Is this too close to utility?


LGY

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Hi,

I am trying to replace this brown dirt unhappy vegetation area with one small tree. If I had a small tree like a Japanese maple or crape mytle in the middle of the brown box, would that be too close to utility? It’s the small grey box to the left of the brown box and my neighbors car, and I have kept my neighbors car in the picture for reference/sizing.

thank you

6856C242-34A6-451E-932F-4D5D98CE2214.jpeg
 
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The utility may not be a problem. Do you know what service/s are underneath the cover?

Bearing in mind most trees grow roots over the same spread underground as the canopy above when it's fully mature, a small tree is a possibility. Have you any specific tree in mind?
 

LGY

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The utility may not be a problem. Do you know what service/s are underneath the cover?

Bearing in mind most trees grow roots over the same spread underground as the canopy above when it's fully mature, a small tree is a possibility. Have you any specific tree in mind?

I was thinking crape mytle or Japanese maple. Would that work? Still have not look around in local nursery due to COVID.

I think all the utilities like gas, electric, and water come from there to both of the houses on this side from across the street.

That site seemed to have constant infestation or either mealy bugs, spider mites, or beatles. The existing vegetation came with the house so we were trying to see what would work best. It is quite sunny and windy area. For the record we are in Sacramento (zone 9b). Probably add a border of boxwood or something along the boundary side.

and yes there are lots of spiders in the area!
 
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My apologies, I should have explained better. Both of these plants can vary greatly in size and spread so measurements are vital of a specific variety. If the site is quite windy I wouldn't suggest a Japanese Maple (Acer) as it tends to burn the leaves and in time will die. They need a sheltered spot, out of wind and preferably shade or semi-shade.

With all those utilities running through the grounds of the properties there's a possibility they run across that plot. From a point of safety can I suggest you find out exactly where they run and if they are clear of the area in question. Here in Britain those details would show on our house deeds/plans, so perhaps you have something similar.
 

LGY

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My apologies, I should have explained better. Both of these plants can vary greatly in size and spread so measurements are vital of a specific variety. If the site is quite windy I wouldn't suggest a Japanese Maple (Acer) as it tends to burn the leaves and in time will die. They need a sheltered spot, out of wind and preferably shade or semi-shade.

With all those utilities running through the grounds of the properties there's a possibility they run across that plot. From a point of safety can I suggest you find out exactly where they run and if they are clear of the area in question. Here in Britain those details would show on our house deeds/plans, so perhaps you have something similar.

These are the utility lines flagged before. I believe the blue was water drainage while the other ones are for gas, cable, and electric, and they ran across. Fortunately most of them are at my neighbors side.
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Thank you for the diagram. With the blue water line running through the plot it does restrict where you place a tree or shrub. Assuming it's a modern non porous pipe, unlike old clay pipes, I don't see why you would have a problem planting close to it. Roots of some trees and plants would break through an old pipe seeking water. My advice would be to avoid an Acer (Japanese Maple) for the reasons I gave above, but a Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) would be possible providing it's one of the smaller varieties.

My apologies for all the questions but many people unknowingly make the mistake of planting too close utilities and find as time passes that they have major problems from tree/plant root damage.
 
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LGY

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Thank you Sheal.

Thank you for the diagram. With the blue water line running through the plot it does restrict where you place a tree or shrub. Assuming it's a modern non porous pipe, unlike old clay pipes, I don't see why you would have a problem planting close to it. Roots of some trees and plants would break through an old pipe seeking water. My advice would be to avoid an Acer (Japanese Maple) for the reasons I gave above, but a Lagerstroemia (Crape Myrtle) would be possible providing it's one of the smaller varieties.

My apologies for all the questions but many people unknowingly make the mistake of planting too close utilities and find as time passes that they have major problems from tree/plant root damage.
 

LGY

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Actually a complete different question, would I be better off / safer if I were to plant shrubs like boxwood, euonymus, italian cypress, lavendar / rosemary, or juniper / juniper pom pom instead?
I've read euonymus is bad near the house before and I kind of removed the original two from that site when I moved it (and replant somewhere else). Is what I have in mind a worse choice than before?
Also not sure about boxwood/juniper/italian cypress but I always seen them near other people's home around the area so I am assuming it's not a problem. (besides that their italian cypress always covered by spiderwebs). I am assuming Rosemary and Lavendar can survive almost anywhere...

I just cannot think what a square area would look like with 3 lines of shrubs... would it look weird? (I mean it kind of look weird already now)
 
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You've mentioned both Boxwood and Euonymous. The Euonymous in the link below would give you some colour and could be used as hedging or as individual shrubs not being very tall, giving you the best of both worlds and disposing of the boxwood. There is also a golden variety of 'White Spire'. Ignore converting the price on the site to USD as the plants at this nursery come up more expensive than others. It's a good site to check out plants though. :)

Buy Japanese euonymus Euonymus japonicus White Spire (PBR): £18.99 Delivery by Crocus

Italian Cypress is part of the conifer family and root spread, whatever the size of the plant, is quite wide and can be damaging to utilities. They are thirsty and hungry plants and will seek out water and take all the nutrients from the soil. Junipers are also of the conifer family.

Lavender and Rosemary are safe options.

The area being square doesn't necessarily mean the layout has to be. For instance, you could create a circle around the pipework, planting either side of it. Lavender would be ideal for that, their roots aren't invasive. If you are looking for something taller to give the bed some height, then perhaps a large flower pot or trough with a small tree in the centre of the plot would work. No problem with spreading roots either. Another link to give you inspiration....

round flowers beds images - Bing images
 
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