How far shall I plant a tree away from buried gas line?

(Question)

I want to plant a baby blue spruce, currently 2′ heigh, in front of my house. However there is a buried gas line. How far away shall I plant the tree from them? Thanks!

(Answer)

The distance you would plant a tree from a gas line is often dependent on it’s mature width size. The full width of the tree will have many roots  underground and may even extend out from this area. If you were planting a dwarf blue spruce that will only grow between 3-6 feet wide, then you would plant the tree rootball no closer than 5-6  feet from the gas line. If you are planting a full size blue spruce that will reach 10 – 20 feet wide at maturity, then you would plant it no closer than 15 – 20 feet from the gas line. The fine roots near the end of the tree root system will not harm the gas lines so much as the very thick roots closer to it’s base. This is especially true if the tree were to fall over in a wind storm as it ages. If the large roots were wrapped around the gas line then it would be ruptered. If you were unable to plant the recommended distance away from the gas line, then root deflectors may be installed. They are a non-degradeable form of tough plastic that is the height and width of your rootball. It is placed in between the tree and the gas line to deflect the roots to grow away from the underground utilities.

there should be information on your gas suppliers’ webpage