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Before you plant that tree…

Call before digging, determine how far to plant trees from power lines

Trees growing too close to electrical lines are the No. 1 cause of momentary short circuits and flickering lights, as limbs touch lines during storms. 

Electric co-ops work hard to provide you with safe and reliable electric service. Co-ops are required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service to have effective tree trimming, right-of-way clearing and maintenance programs. 

Overhead utility lines are extremely dangerous. Never try to trim trees away from power lines; call your electric co-op. 

Underground utility lines can be buried close to the ground’s surface. It’s important to call 811 about a week prior to digging, to have the location of your underground utilities marked.

Determine where to plant 

Plant with energy savings in mind, as trees can keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. 

Know how tall your tree will grow when mature and the prime planting spot away from overhead utility lines.

Plant a small tree, under 25 feet at maturity, a minimum of 25 feet from distribution power lines.

For a tree that matures at 25-40 feet, plant it 40 feet from power lines. If the tree is expected to grow more than 40 feet high, plant it 60 feet from utility lines.

Do not plant near underground utility services, as tree roots can interfere with underground pipes, cables and wires. 

Keeping trees away from these utility lines not only keeps you safe, it keeps them safe as well. Trees planted too close to underground lines can suffer root damage. Trees planted too close to overhead lines need regular pruning, damaging the tree and its appearance. 

Contact your electric co-op to request that your tree be trimmed if it begins growing near power lines; don’t risk your safety doing it yourself. 

Being aware of these dangers and how to avoid them can keep you, your home and the trees safe. 

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