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I want to plant another row of trees next to the first row. It so happens one of trees will be a few feet away from the buried electrical lines going to my house. There are two electrical lines in 2 inch pvc conduit since I have two electrical panels.
The tree that I will be planting is a five foot tall Norway spruce. I would hand dig with a shovel since it will be close to the electrical lines.
My concern would be in the future if the tree roots cause any damage to the electrical lines.
 

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Nice that you used conduit, and assuming it was glued correctly the chances of the roots harming the electrical lines is almost nil. IF the lines were direct bury, and there were a problem with the line in the future, it would most likely come at the cost of the tree's roots, but you will not encounter that with the conduit, assuming it holds up. Well done.
 

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I'm not a fan of planting anything with a with a woody root system near underground utilities if it can be avoided. However; realistically we all know it can't always be that way. Having your wires in conduit is the best thing you could have done. As long as the roots don't seriously deform the conduit, you should be OK if you need to do something in the future.
 

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The more distance you can plant from the lines, the better. A bigger root growing will be more likely to damage underground utilities. The further you plant from the lines, the smaller the roots will be that get near the lines. The covenants in our area require all trees to be at least 20 feet from natural gas lines. I think it's being ignored frequently, but it's a good idea.
 

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When I was a kid in the 'burbs, the neighbors planted a cottonwood tree in their front yard essentially right over their sewer line. Those houses were built in the mid 50's, which means segmented clay drain pipes. That damn tree loved the leaking turd water, and its roots eventually found their way to my Mom's sewer line with similar results. It got old calling Roto-Rooter because of your long gone neighbor's stupidity to plant a cottonwood tree where it didn't belong. :banghead:

After Mom died in 2010, her house was sold in 2011 and it's not my problem any more. :good2:
 
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