I would like to plant a couple of Sugar Maples along my driveway. However, I am aware that there is a water line fairly close to my driveway. How close is too close? Is there another tree that would be a better option?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Olivia: You should have your underground utility lines located before planting. As a Kentucky resident, you can dial 8-1-1 and have your utility lines marked. This is a free service and required before any installation. You will also want to take into consideration any overhead wires. Not only can roots damage underground lines, but the roots can be damaged if the lines ever need maintenance. Choosing the right tree for your space is the first step to a long-lived planting. You should measure your space to help determine the size tree that is suitable.
Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum) are large trees that reach 60′-80′ tall and 20′-30′ wide. In general, roots expand out as far as the canopy of the tree. Depending on your space, this may or may not be a good choice. If you need a medium or smaller tree visit the following links for detailed information on other native options.
This is also a good time to have your soil tested and amended if necessary. The Henry County Cooperative Extension Service can have this done for you for a minimal fee. The offices are located at 2151 Campbellsburg Rd. The phone number is (502) 845-2811.
Kentucky Living-Ask the Gardener