Call 811 before you dig!

Posted on Sep 22 2017 in Safety

Tree roots and power lines often coexist without problems. But whether you’re dealing with underground or overhead power lines, take these precautions when planting trees.

Not only do dangers lurk for the person planting the tree, nearby power lines and trees can be harmed as well. Trees growing too close to electrical lines are the primary cause of momentary short circuits and flickering lights. When it storms, tree limbs that are too close to power lines can knock the lines out completely and create a greater threat to your safety.

Overhead utility lines are the easiest to see and probably the ones we take for granted most. Although these lines look harmless enough, they are extremely dangerous.

Underground utility lines can be buried very close to the ground’s surface. That’s why it’s so important to call before you dig.

“Before you start planting, we encourage our members to call their 811 local call center at least five days before they start planting,” said Tom VanParis, CEO of Indiana Electric Cooperatives. “Never assume these utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig.”

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.

Indiana’s electric cooperatives work hard to provide you reliable electric service. You can help by following these few simple guidelines when managing the trees on your property. Being aware of these dangers and how to avoid them can keep you, your home and the trees safe.


Click here to find out how far to plant trees from power lines.