When planting trees near utility lines, choosing a low-growing tree that will mature at a height of 10 feet or less can enhance a home’s beauty and help ensure uninterrupted electric service. Other tips for selecting the right tree include:
Avoid the following tree varieties near any overhead lines of any kind (these trees can be brittle, which makes them vulnerable to storm damage or susceptible to diseases and insects):
- Black locust
- Callery pear
- Box elder
- Elm (American and Siberian varieties)
- Poplar (Carolina Lombardi or other hybrids)
- Silver maple
- Tree of heaven
- White pine
Grow tall trees (such as maple, oak, pine or spruce) at least 50 feet from the nearest residential overhead power line.
Plant any medium-sized trees (those that grow to a height of 40 feet or less) 20 to 50 feet from power lines. These trees can include linden or magnolia.
Make sure any tree that’s planted within 20 feet of a neighborhood power line grows only to a height of 25 feet or less. Good choices include flowering crabapple, dogwood or serviceberry.
Avoid planting any tree directly beneath a power line.