I had my yard marked for utilities before digging for new landscaping(trees, etc). Unfortunately, the cable TV line runs diagonal across my entire back yard. I was planning on putting a 3" diameter tree right where the line runs a few feet from each side of my fence. Is it my responsibility to pay for this relocation, who does it, and any ideas of cost? I am located in the US(Minnesota).

This seemed more like a GC question and less like a landscaping question so I asked here over the gardening SE site.

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    Generally, you'll have to pay the utility to move it. Aug 20 '12 at 15:49

Like Chris says, you'll likely have to pay for this. If the line had become damaged through no fault of your own, they would pay to run a new line, and at that point you might get them to run it a different way.

That said, cable lines tend to be buried fairly shallow. You can dig it up yourself and rebury it a short distance away. Just be careful when digging it up since they are also easy to damage and they'd likely charge you for the repair. And when you rebury the line, try to get it deep enough so it can't be hit with an aerator or other routine yard maintenance.

  • Great news. I was wondering if I could just pull it up and rebury it myself. Seems easy enough for a coaxial/tv cable. The question will be if enough slack is in the line to even move it a few feet away from the tree. I'll have to give it a shot.
    – dpollitt
    Aug 20 '12 at 16:35
  • I don't think this is allowed. What happens when the person who buys your house calls for a locate? The owner of the cable needs to be involved. Aug 20 '12 at 17:55
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    @ChrisCudmore, they would then mark the new location. They hook up some kind of tone generator to the buried equipment to locate it, they aren't looking at a map to know where it is. If it was gas, electric, or plumbing, I would say not to touch it. But comm lines on your property are easy enough to move a foot or so to the side.
    – BMitch
    Aug 20 '12 at 18:43
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    @dpollitt, you might have to go out 5-10 feet to each side to pull the cable a foot or two to the side, but it should be doable.
    – BMitch
    Aug 20 '12 at 18:50

I ditched it in to the proper depth and had them lay conduit (thin polyethylene plastic pipe) for future maintenance ease. Since the cable tech had so little to do, they charged me for time and materials which was basically dropping the conduit in the bottom of the ditch with enough left over on each, snaking the cable, putting ends on and connecting them. I filled and reseeded and you wouldn't even know it was there.

Since you have everything located, this should be a pretty quick job with a Ditch Witch or similar trencher. Just watch out for your own sprinkler systems.

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