Did you know that April is National Safe Digging Month?
National Safe Digging Month was created in 2008 as a way to encourage and promote the safe digging message in a month when yard work really begins in earnest nationwide.
According to 811, a company dedicated to protecting underground utility lines and the people who dig near them, approximately 38.6 million people will dig this year without first having underground utility lines marked. As a result, an underground utility line is damaged every nine minutes just because someone decided to dig, or in our case grind, without calling 811 first.
The risks taken in these instances go far beyond homeowner inconvenience – the costs of repairs, fines, and risk of injury or even death can be devastating.
Our stump grinders at Jackson Tree Service can grind down up to 18” below grade and many utility lines are buried only 1-2” below grade. It is not unusual, especially in many of the older trees we find throughout St. Louis County, to have lines running through tree stumps. When a tree is growing and something gets in the way of that growth, trees only have three choices – stop growing, grow away from the object, or grow around the object.
In our fifty plus years in business, we’ve seen trees grow around utility lines, including gas and sewer pipes, fences, steel bars, rocks, and bricks.
Our crew is trained to know which tree and stump removals we do that require a call to Missouri One Call first. When these situations arise there are a series of steps we must follow in order to keep our crew safe and our customers satisfied.
- First, we issue a locate request to Missouri One Call. This has to be completed at least three days prior to the stump removal.
- Next, we wait for confirmation from the utility companies that all lines have been marked or that no lines are present.
- Last, and most important, our crew understands what each marking means and proceeds with safe grinding practices.
Whether you’re digging on your own or hiring a professional to do these service for you, be sure to do your homework before you begin.