Other Things to Keep in Mind
Last updated April 2009

Other Things to Keep in Mind

  • Are you located in a high fire hazard area?  Some areas consist of naturally fire-prone vegetation.  Drought can result in fire hazards.  Fire safe landscaping is critical if you live in one of these areas.  Check with your local fire protection service for more information or see the following web site: www.firesafecouncil.org/education/landscaping
  • Do you know whether your new design installation requires a permit?  Check with your city/county planning department for ordinance and code regulations requiring permits. Pay attention to codes for ramps, retaining walls, and fence height.  Building without proper permits may result in having to remove your work.
  • Do you belong to a homeowner’s association?  If so, you may be subject to codes, covenants, and restrictions (CC&Rs) that you will also need to comply with.
  • Do you have overhead power lines through or adjacent to your property? Ask your utility company for their planting guidelines, and if tree replacement and/or trimming programs are offered for existing trees.
  • Do you know where underground utility lines are located?  Aggressive roots can damage meters and other underground utility lines.  Plant trees a minimum of ten feet away.  Contact your local water, electric or gas utility for assistance in locating existing lines.
  • Do you have a well?  Know where your pump and wellhead are located.  Aggressive roots can damage these systems.  Plant trees a minimum of ten feet away.
  • Do you have a septic system?  Know the location of your septic tank, main line, and leach field (underground pipes). Aggressive roots can damage these systems. Plant trees a minimum of ten feet away.
  • Do you have any easements or deeded rights-of-way?  Construction in these areas may result in having to remove your work later. Contact your city/county planning department to identify easements.
  • How do you plan to water your garden?  New plantings will almost always need watering for the first couple of years until their root systems are established, but you may not need a permanent irrigation system, depending on your plant choices and climate.  If you have a system, check to see if it needs repairs and/or upgrading. 
  • Do you have allergies to plants or insects that should be considered?  Consult with your doctor to obtain a list of plants to avoid.  If you are allergic to bees or other insects, avoid plants that commonly attract them.