When a tree service comes out to give an estimate for stump grinding, they should be asking about water, power, and gas lines. NO CUTS is a free service that will come out and mark the lines, usually within 24 to 48 hour of your call. I recommend allowing more time the farther you happen to live from the city center.
In 2007, the Federal Communications Commission designated 811 as the national, toll-free number for NO CUTS requests in the United States. All you have to do is call 811 from your phone, the answering service is automated and operates 24/7.
They come out with spray can to mark the different lines. They often times send a different person for each service so expect some activity in your yard. They may leave a notice, but not always. NO CUTS merely contacts the local power, water, and gas companies and they send out one of their surveyors. You don’t pay anything, the local utility companies are reimbursed by the Federal government.
In many states, it is against the law to dig before calling NO CUTS. Smaller stump grinders available for rental only grind down a few inches and aren’t that much of a worry. Commercial stump grinders, like ours, grind stumps down up to 15″ into the ground. This is well past the depth of power, water, and gas lines at around 8 – 12″. Rupturing one of these lines will negatively affect you, and more than likely, your neighbors as well.
After NO CUTS comes out, we can’t grind into the ground anywhere within 2 feet of their lines. It is possible that there are stumps that we can’t grind all the way down because they are too close to utility lines. We will grind them down as far as we feel comfortable, depending on the situation. If we were to rupture a utility line withing that 2 foot, we could be held liable.
Stump grinders can weigh up to a few tons. If you have a sprinkler system the lines and heads will need to be marked. If you have a septic system, septic pipes, and a leech field we will need to know where they are located. This must be done even if you aren’t having the stumps removed. The machines required to remove the tree weigh just as much as most commercial stump grinders. They can bust septic pipes that aren’t buried deep enough or are lie in soft wet soil. We can put plywood down in soft areas or over pipes to distribute the weight of heavy machinery.
Cutting tall trees from the bottom with a single cut is also known as felling trees. Felling a tree produces enormous power and force at the top third of the tree as it strikes the ground – similar to swinging and hitting a ball with a baseball bat. If we know where the sensitive areas are, we can arrange other sections of logs on the ground in the impact zone as barriers to absorb and distribute the energy.