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Planting over electric cables?

We've recently had some armoured electric cables put in underground (in a protective tube) for a hot tub, however it's had to be positioned running alongside a fence and I had wanted to plant some privacy hedging and shrubs along this fence for privacy.... will this still be possible? Would the roots be a danger and make this a safety hazard or will the cables be fine protected in its tube?

The plants I had in mind were Red Robins, Conitus and Ceanothus. 

I'm a very novice gardener, so any advice or recommendations on what best to do here would be much appreciated. 


  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 9,075
    The armoured cable will be fine.
    I have about 120ft of it running along hedge - I do occasionally come across the cable whilst digging, but it's been there for well over 20 years and I've not electrocuted myself - yet and the leccy still works down the garden.
    You have sensibly also run yours inside a protective tube for added protection - I didn't
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,179
    I can't see it being a problem as long as the cabling has been properly done, and is as near the fence as possible. Any planting would be much further away from the fence anyway. 
    However, it's not something I've ever done, so someone else might be able to offer better advice   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,617
    I agree it should be fine if the cabling is in the tube. Just be aware that some plants and shrubs won't do well if planted above the tube. In my narrow garden, my shed tube is shallow forever getting in the way of planting.

    It may be as well to take photos while the pipe or trench is exposed so you know excactly where the pipe runs, so you can plant to avoid it.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 10,398
    As the cable is armoured and also has other protection,l can't see a problem. If it was installed by someone with the appropriate experience and qualifications and at least 600mm below ground you should be fine.
    I'm not sure whether the work should have been certified (although l would have thought so, if only for your own peace of mind).

    As for the planting, if you know the cable is at least to that depth and it's exact location ,when it comes to planting you should be fine. Depending where you are in the UK , bear in mind that ceanothus can be tender. Red Robin is a pretty tough shrub, so should be okay  :)
  • Oh that's making me feel much better, thank you. I'd heard horror stories about roots destroying foundations and I'd had nightmares of them piercing the cable!

    Our builders dug the trench in preparation and the electric work completed by a qualified electrician (and we have the certificate), but it was only after this was all completed that I started thinking the plants could be a potential hazard and didn't know the tube could also affect the plants themselves either. 

    Frustratingly, the tube runs about 50cm parallel from the fence, which was where I'd hoped to plant, but will just have the plants further away from the fence than originally planned.
  • All good advice.. you may want either mark where the cable is or note it down (or both). Not so much for you but for others - you may move or install other garden features in the future..etc etc.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 15,617

    Frustratingly, the tube runs about 50cm parallel from the fence, which was where I'd hoped to plant, but will just have the plants further away from the fence than originally planned.

    I have this some problem with my pipes. In fact fences give shelter from the rain, so it's no bad thing to plant a little further away. It will be less dry and the shrubs will grow backwards towards the fence. When I first moved in I did plant a dwarf apple tree right over the pipe. It look a longer while to establish (and it wasn't a good place to plant) but it got there in the end.
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