Most lots in Cary have underground utilities including telephone, electricity, and TV Cable. We tend to forget that the utility companies have the right to work within those easements for maintenance and upgrades.
And AT&T is expanding their UVerse fiber system through Cary.
In my neighborhood, Giverny, that means checking all the splices in existing cable and upgrading and improving those connections as needed. AT&T contractors are excavating in the utility easement as needed to access the cables for those upgrades.
It means that there will be plantings removed, and some nice shrubs lost. I see it as an opportunity at our house. The area near the cable pedestal has never been fertile, and I have lost a lot of plantings there. Healthy shrubs turn black and die within weeks. And it is always to hard to dig out. But when the backhoe gets here, I will haul away all the loose dirt I can and replace it with something else.
It will cost me a cotoneaster that has been a survivor. And I am worried about my peony, which finally this year showed what a happy peony can do.
But mostly I am worried about the neighbor’s crape myrtle. It is one of the few in the neighborhood that has not been “crape murdered,” i.e., hacked to shreds, and it has a beautiful natural shape. I hope the utility contractors can leave it unscathed.
But this fellow down the street lost a beautiful stand of wax myrtles:
They stood about 12 feet tall, right at the corner. And he maintained them carefully, pruning them so they grew very dense.
They were right on top of a splice the contractors needed to access:
Score: Cable 1, Wax Myrtle 0
And we get competition in TV and internet access offerings.
This is all legitimate. The easement is commonly the first 10 feet from the curb on most Cary lots. And the contractors are not responsible for plantings that are placed there. When I took those photos, the supervisor asked me, “What are you taking photos of?” I replied, “Shooting for a blog on the risks of planting in the utility easement.”
He liked it. They get chewed out sometimes by people who do not realize they shouldn’t plant valuable plants in the easement.