Landscaping features such as flower beds, ornamental lawns and low shrubbery are generally permitted on the pipeline right-of-way.

However, most landscaping is considered a ground disturbance activity and requires a safety assessment to be completed by Trans Mountain. Under Canadian regulations, any ground disturbance activities in the prescribed area requires our permission. We apply the same stringent measures to our assets in the Puget Sound area of Washington state. To learn more about permitting click here.

Involve us early in your planning process so we can work with you on a landscaping solution that fits your needs and protects the integrity of the pipeline.

A clear and safe right-of-way with visible marking signage and free of tall-growing vegetation and obstructions provides access for our crews to conduct pipeline maintenance, inspections and emergency response.

Although flower beds, vegetable gardens and lawns are permitted on the right-of-way to ensure your safety and the safety of the public, the pipeline and the environment, the following items are not permitted on the right-of-way:

  • Sheds
  • Concrete patios
  • Pools
  • Hot tubs
  • Decks
  • Ponds
  • Other permanent structures
  • Tall growing vegetation
  • Deep-rooted trees or shrubs

Items that require a permit include:

  • Fences
  • Retaining walls
  • Low and shallow-rooted shrubbery
  • Ditches and swales
  • Paved and gravel walkways

Always Click or Call Before You Dig

Before you begin any landscaping or ground disturbance work, contact your local One Call service. If your proposed work is near our pipeline right-of-way, a Trans Mountain representative will call you back within three business days in Canada (two in Washington state) to discuss your proposed work and if required, meet with you on-site to determine the exact location of the pipeline. This service is provided at no cost to you.

You can complete a One Call notification online by visiting clickbeforeyoudig.com.

Planning Your Landscape Design

To prepare for the safety assessment, start with a scale drawing of your property. Using a ruler and grid paper or a copy of the plan, draw the basic elements of your property to scale. This will help you position the main features of the property.

When submitting your landscaping plans for approval, please include the following:

  • Property lines and length
  • Position and dimensions of your house or building
  • Right-of-way of pipeline location (the location will be verified on-site by a Trans Mountain representative)
  • Permanent structures, such as driveways, sheds, fences and walkways
  • Existing landscaping features, such as trees, hedges, retaining walls, drainage ditches and garden beds
  • Known utilities servicing the property, such as power lines, gas lines, waterlines, irrigation systems, drains, septic fields and wells

Maximum Vegetation Heights on the Right-of-Way

Tall growing vegetation is not permitted within the right-of-way. Trans Mountain conducts regular aerial and ground patrols to identify potential dangers.

The mature growth height of vegetation must not exceed one metre (three feet) within three metres (10 feet) of the pipeline and 1.8 metres (six feet) on remaining portions of the right-of-way.


Suitable Plants on Right-of-Way

Dividing your property into plant growth areas will help you plan the types of vegetation and their location on your property, while ensuring vegetation compatibility with the right-of-way.

Whether you’re planning a home improvement job, planting a tree or installing a fence or deck, Click Before You Dig to safely identify buried utilities.

Growth Areas and Vegetation Compatible with Right-of-Way Low-Growth Area:

  • Directly over and within three metres (10 feet) of the pipeline
  • The mature plant height restriction is one metre (three feet) high

Mid-Growth Area:

  • Right-of-way areas not within three metres (10 feet) of the pipeline
  • The mature plant maximum height restriction is one to 1.8 metres (three to six feet) high

Tall-Growth Area:

  • Outside the right-of-way

Fences

If you plan on constructing a new fence or repairing an existing one, you need to contact your local One Call service. A Trans Mountain representative will be notified by One Call within three business days in Canada (two in Washington state) and will conduct a safety assessment and issue required permits.