Trees & Utilities

Trees under power lines

Underground Utilities

There are many utilities commonly located under planting strips and your front yard that would be negatively impacted if a tree were planted too close. Water and sewer lines are of particular concern because the roots of a tree planted too close can infiltrate small cracks in the lines over time, leading to breaks in the pipes leading to very costly to repair. You also definitely want to avoid hitting a communication or gas line when you're digging! Trees should be planted at least 5 feet from sewer, water and gas lines.

Before planting your tree, it is your responsibility to Call Before You Dig by dialing 811 at least two days before digging. Visibly mark your proposed planting location in white before the utility companies arrive. Utility companies will mark the location of your water, electric, communications, and gas lines.

Additionally, you should also know where your side sewer line is located before digging. You can find a map of your property and the location of the side sewer line here.

Overhead Power Lines

Seattle City Light employees and contractor crews work to maintain safe and reliable electric service by clearing branches, limbs and fallen trees away from power lines. Seattle City Light customers are expected to keep the line drop from pole to home or other buildings clear of trees and obstructions.

More information about City Light’s electrical safety tree trimming program

If you are concerned that a tree may be interfering or putting electrical lines at risk or have a question about the tree trimming program, contact City Light (206) 386-1733 or by email at A City Light employee will respond to your questions or concerns, usually within two working days.