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Plant Trees Away From Power Lines


The right tree planted in the right place can add natural beauty to any landscape, but a tree in the wrong place can become expensive to maintain and even dangerous—especially if it grows too close to power lines.

Arbor Day presents the perfect opportunity to learn more about the benefits of tree planting and selecting the perfect tree for the right place in your yard. National Arbor Day was celebrated in April, but many states observe the holiday at other times of the year: In Texas, it’s celebrated the first Friday in November—this year, November 4.

When considering tree placement, select a planting location that does not interfere with utility lines in the air or underground. Tree branches can interfere with overhead power lines, and roots can do the same with underground utilities.

Power outages or interruptions can occur when trees and branches come into contact with overhead lines. Electrical arcing and sparking from a wire to a nearby branch can cause fires and injuries.

Tall trees with a mature height of more than 40 feet should be planted at least 50 feet away from lines to avoid the need for pruning around electrical infrastructure. A mature height of less than 25 feet is recommended if planting nearer to lines. Keep in mind that trees should never be planted directly under—or even less than 10 feet on either side of—power lines, poles or electrical equipment.

Trees growing near power lines must be pruned to maintain a safe distance from the wires. If you have trees that are growing into power lines, contact your electric provider.

Before any tree planting begins, call 811. The 811 Call Before You Dig program is a free service that locates and marks your public underground utilities so you can avoid buried lines when you dig.

Posted: 10/26/2022 3:18:10 PM
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