How close can one plant to sprinkler lines ... ?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by ArthurFrost, May 6, 2006.

  1. ArthurFrost

    ArthurFrost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Hi all,

    I need some help on a question: Has anybody heard of a rule of thumb how close to a sprinkler line one can put trees/shrubs in ?

    The reason I'm asking is : I have a sprinkler system in my backyard. I also have a pretty rocky ground. Very hard to dig in.
    Now I want to plant some trees and don't necessarily want to redo or rip out any of my existing water lines.
    I don't exactly know where my water lines are but I'm guessing and start digging the holes. If I come upon a sprinkler line I usually can move my hole for the tree a bit to accomodate for the line. I for sure should not plant right on top of a sprinkler line, but how much room between line and center line of the new tree would be adequate ?

    Any numbers or suggestions ?

  2. rluscomb

    rluscomb LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    It really dont matter, but if you have a problem later on down the road the you are either gonna have to rip out what you planted or re-route the line. I have seen roots grow into couplers and t's, especially palms.

    when we plant and run into a line, we try to relocate the plant a couple of feet away, if possible, if not the pvc pipe is gonna have a little company:)
  3. ArthurFrost

    ArthurFrost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Thanks Rob :)

    If I understood you right you'd not be worried about even planting right next to the line ? Say 1 or 2 feet ?

    It looks like on most of the spots I picked for the trees that there are no Ts, couplers or heads nearby. (But of course still the PVC line)

    I was just wondering if the root system of a tree or shrub that grows larger would usually just grow around the line without doing major harm to it (except for making it a little harder to service in case of a malfunction) or if it would crush it at some point in time for sure if lets say the line was buried only 2 feet away from the stem.
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,366

    Roots get into lines all the time they get attracked to heads and eventually will break them. Usually that is not a big deal to repair. Keep in mind a big tree will send roots a long way so don't sweat trying to avoid. I won't get closer than 3 foot to the main line-the one going to valves.
  5. KINGjosh

    KINGjosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 531

    I t really does not matter as long as you dont plant the tree or shrub on top of the line. Reason I say that is, if any roots should get in the lines which is slitely possible, you could always just cut the line and re-route it.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    I have seen irrigation lines crushed within 10' away from the base of a do this at your own risk.
  7. ArthurFrost

    ArthurFrost LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3


    In that case - to be without worries - I could not plant anything in my yard :)

    At least there seems to be no real guidelines out there that I'd have blaim myself for not following if something breaks.
    So, in the ground they go :waving:

    Thanks for all the replies

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