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Tree Planting Guidelines

Tree Planting Guidelines in the vicinity of Dee Valley Water’s Assets

Roots from trees and shrubs can damage pipelines over time, and extensive root systems will limit access to pipelines and other buried apparatus in breach of the company’s right to access for repair or replacement. Conflict between trees and above-ground apparatus can be created as trees mature due to interference by branches and tree canopies with telemetry and control systems, overhead lines and with the fabric of buildings and structures such as pumping stations, reservoirs etc. Such damage and encroachment will impact on the serviceability of Dee Valley Water’s (DVW) assets, and render their repair, maintenance and renewal difficult, with consequential lowering of levels of service to Dee Valley Water’s customers and increased operating costs.

The risks to Dee Valley Water’s interests can be minimised through appropriate planning. Early consultation with Dee Valley Water should be undertaken whenever consideration is being made of a scheme of tree or shrub planting. Records of underground apparatus should be obtained so that the position of existing buried apparatus can be identified and the planting scheme prepared to avoid impact on this apparatus.

In planning a planting scheme, the aim shall be to ensure that no tree is planted such that either a Root Protection Area is created over the ground in which a DVW asset is located or takes support from, or a tree canopy develops such that interference occurs to an above ground asset. The following guidance should help to avoid such a scenario developing:

  • Poplar and willow trees have extensive root systems and should not be planted within 10 metres of a DVW asset;
  • No large or forest trees should be planted within 7 metres of a DVW asset. (Examples include oak, ash, beech, sitka spruce, douglas fir etc.);
  • Medium and small size trees should be planted in such a way as to ensure that the eventual root spread reaches no closer than 1 metre to the asset. In practice, if trees are planted a distance of 5 metres away from the pipeline this should be sufficient;
  • Bushes/shrubs should not be planted closer than 2 metres to an above ground asset;
  • When simple screening is required within 2m of a DVW asset, the following shallow rooting shrubs would be suitable: blackthorn, broom, cotoneaster, elder, hazel, laurel, privet, quickthorn, snowberry, and most ornamental flowering shrubs.
  • DVW requires access to the route of its mains at all times to inspect for leaks and carry out surveys. Shrubs or bushes which might obstruct or interfere with our access should not be planted within one metre of the centre line of any water main. However, in areas where soft fruit is grown, blackcurrant, raspberries and gooseberries may be planted close to the main, provided that a path is left clear for inspection access and surveys.

The measurements and distances set out above are for guidance only and there will always be exceptions. If you are unsure in any individual case, then specialist advice should always be sought prior to planting and discussed with Dee Valley Water.

Prior to planting commencing, appropriate on site apparatus detection techniques should be employed, and trial holes should be undertaken to validate the results of such detection surveys to confirm the actual position and depth of the apparatus.

Any damage to Dee Valley Water’s assets caused by inappropriate planting by a third party must be rectified at the cost of that third party.