If you happen to have a fire hydrant on your property then knowing what you are allowed to plant and at what distance from the fire hydrant can be critical so you are not going to get into any trouble with local laws or worse cause any damage to the fire hydrant making it unusable in case of a fire emergency. We have researched the general US laws on the matter along with further information to help you know what sort of trees and plants are safe to plant around the minimum allowable distances of a fire hydrant.
15 feet from the fire hydrants outlets is the minimum distance you can plant a tree from a fire hydrant; however, it can be a minimum of 5 feet from the circumference as long as it is not on the same side or face of any of the fire hydrants outlets.
This is standard US law for most Towns in the United States, however, there are restrictions as to what trees and plants may be grown within the 5 feet and 15 feet distance. Please read on as we explain in detail what trees and plants are permitted in close proximity to the fire hydrant and what types of trees and plants you can grow at 5 feet, 10 feet, and 15 feet from a fire hydrant. We will also explain further the reasons why some trees should not be planted closer than 15 feet from the fire hydrant.
Why You Need To Allow 15 Feet From A Fire Hydrants Outlets When Planting Trees
The first reason is that it is the Law in most United States towns. For example, if you were to take a look at Williard, Ohio Bylaws section 963.11 DISTANCE FROM STREET CORNERS AND FIRE HYDRANTS, It states “No street tree shall be planted closer than ten feet from any fire hydrant.”
The second reason is that the roots of a tree can grow some distance underground from the main trunk and cause serious damage to the fire hydrant and the water pipe feeding the fire hydrant.
And finally, if the fire hydrant access is impeded by plant growth and trees then valuable time could be wasted cutting away the overgrowth to gain access to the outlets. In a fire emergency every second of time wasted could mean more damage and lost lives.
Types of Trees and Plants You Can Grow at 5 Feet, 10 Feet, and 15 Feet From a Fire Hydrant
Trees cannot be grown within 15 feet of a fire hydrant but certain ground covers which grow flat to the ground are allowed in many towns. Some of these ground covers could include creeping thyme, but you would need to check with your local governement laws to see what is alllowed.
Usually just well maintained and mown lawn grass is the only acceptable ground cover around a fire hydrant. When you get beyond 5 feet you can usually plant vegetables, small shrubs and flowers.
At 10 feet you can plant larger shrubs, along with vegetables and flowers. Trees need to be a minimum of 15 feet away from a fire hydrant.
Can I Put Plants Around a Fire Hydrant?
Plants cannot be put around a fire hydrant unless they are outside of the 5 feet circumference and not on the sides of the fire hydrants outlets. If they are to be on the sides of the outlests then you need to allow 15 feet.
For all trees you need to allow 15 feet, regardless weather its on the face or side of an outlet due to its underground root system.
Can I Landscape Around A Fire Hydrant?
This is an ineteresting question as many of you may be wanting to make your front section look a lot more attractive and the idea of a bright red or yellow fire hydrant sitting on its own in full view may be a bit of an eyesore. So here is the answer:
You can landscape around a fire hydrant as long as no flowers, fruits, shrubs or vegetables are within 5 feet of the hydrant and no trees are within 15 feet of the fire hydrant. However you will need to check with your municipal rules. Usually ground covers that dont impede acces or visibilty are allowed.
Trees can be planted 15 feet from a fire hydrant, but make sure that the fire hydrant is visible and there is nothing impeding access to its outlets.
You will need to consult your local municipal laws to see what your town will permit for your area.
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