TREES AND POWER LINES OFTEN COEXIST WITHOUT PROBLEMS. HOWEVER, THERE ARE PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE WHEN PLANTING A TREE.
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.
Meanwhile, 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.
QUICK TIPS FOR SAFELY PLANTING A TREE:
- Call 811 to have underground utilities marked at least a few working days, but no less than two full working days, before digging (IC 8-1-26). Knowing their locations helps you dig safely, and planting a safe distance away will help prevent damage from roots.
- Create a basic plan, or a sketched diagram, before you begin planting to avoid future troubles. Using the information from the underground utility locator service will be a big help in setting some guidelines.
- Consider a tree’s potential growth when choosing its location. If it’s expected to grow higher than 15 feet, choose a spot 25 to 50 feet away from utility lines and your home.
- Plant with energy savings in mind. Not only can you upgrade your landscape, you can decrease your energy use, too. Trees can keep your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Just be sure you’re aware of power line location and avoid structural damage.
- Call your local cooperative if you need help trimming a tree away from power lines. This will keep you and everyone around you much safer.