Be aware that digging holes with shovels to plant trees, using metal or wooden stakes to secure them or using an axe to remove existing trees involves the risk of damaging utilities in your yard. There are no safer tools a tree planting service can use and therefore homeowner's are responsible to have all of their utilities marked. Treeland takes no financial responsibility for repairs or reimbursing the customers for their costs whether the lines are marked by a professional or not.
For the safety of our customers and employees, Treeland requires every customer to contact Texas811 before Treeland begins digging in their yard. This is required even if there has been a tree or shrub in that same location due to the stakes that are hammered into the ground outside of the existing tree hole. Texas811 can be reached at (800)344-8377 which is answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. After reading through this document please be sure to immediately call Texas811 and tell them that we will be digging more than 16" deep. This service is free and Texas811 will call each company responsible for the electricity, gas lines (that run from the source to the meter), telephone and cable. Each company will come out and spray paint dashes on the grass or place flags where the utility lines run. However, Texas811 does not mark the following utilities: gas lines extending from the meter to the house, main water lines, sprinkler pipe, sprinkler wire, septic systems, swimming pool water lines, swimming pool gas lines, swimming pool electric lines, electric lanterns, gas lanterns, propane tanks/lines and landscape lighting.
Professional contractors can be hired to mark all of the utilities not covered by Texas811. Most customers choose not to hire separate contractors due to cost. It is a calculated risk for a customer to decide not to hire professional contractors to mark their lines but taking this calculated risk releases Treeland from all financial responsibilities.
The most common utilities that Treeland encounters are main water lines, sprinkler pipes and sprinkler wires. Main water lines can be only located by hiring a professional plumber. If you call your city they will only mark the location of the meter and not the line from the meter to the house. Concerning sprinkler pipes and wires it is impossible to mark them beyond the valve (there is a dedicated valve for each zone in a customer’s yard) because there are no wires beyond that point for equipment to detect. Even though customers might know the locations of the valve boxes and the above ground sprinkler heads/bubblers this does not indicate where the sprinkler pipes run below ground.
Gas lines are the most critical utility that we encounter because of the danger they present to our customers and crew. As noted earlier, Texas811 will mark the gas lines from the source to the meter. Texas811 will mark the gas line all the way to the house in the event that the gas meter is next to the house. If the gas meter is located at the street or alley, the gas line to your house will not be marked by Texas811. In this event customers should call a professional plumber to locate the gas line from the meter to the house.
In the event that Treeland’s crew sees a utility that is cut or broken then our crew will ask the customer if the tree can be planted in another area. Otherwise if the customer does not want to move over then the crew will bring the tree back to the farm until the repairs are resolved. In either one of these scenarios Treeland’s crew will expose the area of the damaged utility. We realize this may leave an unfinished job but you should verify that your contractor is going to clean the yard and cover the hole.
There are instances when Treeland’s crew does not know that the utilities are damaged and the customer finds out after the job is complete. If there is a stake that has damaged a utility then Treeland will come back out at no charge to the customer and restake the tree. If the damaged utility is below the rootball and the contractor can’t fix the utility then we would dig up and replant the tree at no cost to the customer.
Below is a list of utilities and their associated contractors that need to be called to have the utilities properly marked: