Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place
When a tree’s branches start to come too close to utility power lines or even touch them, a potentially hazardous situation is created. Trees and power lines can coexist, and potential conflicts can be avoided by selecting trees with size and growth characteristics appropriate to their location. If you are planning on planting trees, it is important to pick the right tree for the right place. In order for your tree to thrive, you should know why and where you will be planting.
- Is the tree for shade, or to block a view?
- How large will the tree be at maturity?
- Will the shape of the tree enhance or detract from your landscape theme?
- IS the tree susceptible to disease and insects?
- Will the tree be strong enough to bear snow and ice without limbs breaking?
Taller trees could be used in any location 50 feet or more from power lines. Trees near a house can bring energy savings by producing cooling shade in summer and giving protection from winter winds.
Trees that grow no more than 40 feet tall are recommended for areas adjacent to the Low Zone to avoid branches that overhang power lines or trees that could topple onto the lines during severe storms.
These are plant species that will not exceed 25 feet in height in the area adjacent to the utility right of way. Taller existing trees in this zone will be pruned by TSEMC and its contractors to grow away from the lines. (In some cases, trees may be considered for removal by TSEMC.)
Evaluate your landscaping
Trees and shrubs are enticing to children, who like to play in hedges, climb trees, etc. Before you plant, make sure that accidental contact with power lines cannot be made.
Keep electrical devices accessible
Don’t allow shrubs and other landscaping to obstruct transformers, switch cabinets, pedestals, and other electrical-related devices. Tri-State EMC needs access to these things to maintain them. And don’t plant over an underground utility facility, because the cable or pipe may require maintenance, which, in turn, requires digging (thereby ruining plant roots). Plant 10 to 15 feet from these devices.