Under the Wire: Planting Beneath Power Lines

SEP 14

In our increasingly wireless world, it may be easy to forget there are still wires running cross country delivering power - and some may run right through your yard. Whether the power company has had to remove your too-tall trees or whether you are planting under overhead utility wires for the first time, let us help you select the right trees that will keep you and your power company happy.

When you have trees planted by us, we take care of contacting Miss Utility before we dig to locate underground cables and pipes that may be in or around the planting area. But what lies beneath the surface is only one concern; your vertical space is another! Be sure to look up to see if above power lines will influence the trees you choose. Tall trees such as maple, oak, sycamore, pine, and spruce should be planted away from overhead wires at a distance of 50 feet or greater. Mid-size trees such as birch, crape myrtle, or honey locust should be planted at least 20 feet away.  For planting directly below lines, use trees that max out at 25 feet in height such as flowering cherry, dogwood, crabapple, purpleleaf plum, and Japanese maple. When planting under the wire, you can also use taller shrubs or small trees like Alleghany, Arrowwood or Leatherleaf viburnums, common lilac, Spartan juniper or Emerald Green arborvitae to fill in space.

Often times we hear, "we don't plan to live in this home for long so whatever we plant will be someone else's problem eventually." Avoid this short-sighted temptation! Planting too large a tree in too small a space, especially under power lines, will be costly for you down the road (remember, some trees may outgrow their space before you outgrow your home). Planting the right trees in the right places will only increase the value of your property - it will be one less expense to add to the budget for you or future residents. There are plenty of lovely options that will work beneath power lines and enhance the visual aesthetics of your home and yard. So when you are under the wire, let us help you get over the challenge!