Determining where to plant a tree is a decision that should not
be taken lightly. Many factors should be considered prior to
planting. When planning what type of tree to plant, remember to
look up and look down to determine where the tree will be
located in relation to overhead and underground utility lines.
Often, we take utility services for granted because they have
become a part of our daily lives. For us to enjoy the
convenience of reliable, uninterrupted service, distribution
systems are required to bring utilities into our homes. These
services arrive at our homes through overhead or underground
Overhead lines can be electric, telephone, or cable television.
Underground lines include those three plus water, sewer, and
The location of these lines should have a direct impact on your
tree and planting site selection. rolex replica sale
The ultimate mature height of
a tree to be planted must be within the available overhead
growing space. Just as important, the soil area must be large
enough to accommodate the particular rooting habits and ultimate
trunk diameter of the tree. Proper tree and site selection
provide trouble-free beauty and pleasure for years to come.
Overhead utility lines are the easiest to see and probably the
ones we take most for granted. Although these lines look
harmless enough, they can be extremely dangerous. Planting
tall-growing trees under and near these lines eventually
requires your utility to prune them to maintain safe clearance
from the wires. This pruning may result in the tree having an
unnatural appearance. Periodic pruning can also lead to a
shortened life span for the tree. rolex replica uk
Trees that must be pruned away
from power lines are under greater stress and are more
susceptible to insects and disease. Small, immature trees
planted today can become problem trees in the future.
Tall-growing trees near overhead lines can cause service
interruptions when trees contact wires. Children or adults
climbing in these trees can be severely injured or even killed
if they come in contact with the wires. replica watches
Proper selection and
placement of trees in and around overhead utilities can
eliminate potential public safety hazards, reduce expenses for
utilities and their rate payers, and improve the appearance of
Trees are much more than just what you see overhead. Many times,
the root area is larger than the branch spread above ground.
Much of the utility service provided today runs below ground.
Tree roots and underground lines often coexist without problems.
However, trees planted near underground lines could have their
roots damaged if the lines need to be dug up for repairs.
The biggest danger to underground lines occurs during planting.
Before you plant, make sure that you are aware of the location
of any underground utilities. To be certain that you do not
accidentally dig into any lines and risk serious injury or a
costly service interruption, call your utility company or
utility protection service first. Never assume that these
utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig. In some
cases, utility lines are very close to the surface.
Proper Places for Trees Around Homes
The illustration indicates approximately where trees should be
planted in relation to utility lines. We will gladly help you select the right
Trees that grow as tall as 60 feet (20 meters) can be used in
the area marked as the tall zone; however, you should consider
your neighbour's view or their existing plantings of flower beds
Plant large trees at least 35 feet (11 meters) away from the
house for proper root development and to minimize damage to the
house or building. These large-growing trees are also
recommended for streets without overhead restrictions.
Street planting sites must also have wide planting areas or
medians [greater than 8 feet (3 meters)] that allow for a large
root system, trunk diameter, and root flare.
Large trees are also recommended for parks, meadows, or other
open areas where their large size, both above and below ground,
will not be restricted, cause damage, or become a liability.
Trees that grow up to 40 feet (12 meters) tall can be used to
decorate or frame your house or provide a park-like setting.
Select your trees first, then plant shrubs to complement the
trees. Medium-sized trees are also recommended for planting
anywhere the available above and below ground growing space will
allow them to reach a mature height of 30 to 40 feet (10 to 12
meters). Appropriate soil spaces are wide planting areas or
medians [4 to 8 feet (1 to 3 meters) wide], large planting
squares [8 feet (3 meters) square or greater], and other open
areas of similar size or larger.
This zone extends 15 feet (4.5 meters) on either side of the
wires. Trees with a mature height of less than 20 feet (6
meters) may be planted anywhere within this zone, including
street tree plantings under utility lines. Such trees are also
recommended when the growing space is limited. These trees are
appropriate as well for narrow planting areas [less than 4 feet
(1 meter) wide]; planting squares or circles surrounded by
concrete; large, raised planting containers; or other locations
where underground space for roots will not support tall- or
Some Further Suggestions
Plant evergreen trees to serve as windbreaks on the west or
north side of the house, approximately 50 feet (15 meters) or
more from the house.
Plant deciduous trees (those that drop their leaves in the fall)
on the south and/or west side of the house to cool in the summer
and allow sun to enter the house in the winter.
Right Tree—Right Place
Planning before planting can help ensure that the right tree is
planted in the right place. Proper tree selection and placement
enhance your property value and prevent costly maintenance
trimming and damage to your home. For further information on
planting and helpful tips on tree selection, refer to ISA’s
brochures on tree selection and new tree planting. If you have
any more questions, please contact your local ISA Certified
Arborist or tree care professional, utility company, local
nursery, or county extension office.