When trying to decide what type of tree to plant and where to plant it, consider the location of overhead utility lines when making your choice. Remember, each tree species grows in a different way and to different heights. Keep in mind what that tree will look like when it reaches maturity. Besides overhead lines, remember that there are cables and pipes buried underground as well. Before digging, be sure to call Miss Utility at 800-257-7777 if you live in Maryland or District One Call at 202-265-7177 if you live in the District of Columbia.
Tall trees, such as Maple, Sycamore, Oak, Spruce and Pine, should be well away from wires - more than 50 feet away.
Medium trees that grow to a height of 40 feet or less, such as Birch, Serviceberry, and Honey Locust, should be planted at least 20 feet from power lines.
Small trees that grow slowly and to no more than 25 feet in height, such as Dogwood, Flowering Cherry, Crabapple, Purple Leaf Plum and Japanese Red Maple, are recommended for areas close to power lines.
It’s important to “plant the right tree in the right place.”
For more information on tree planting and selection, check the Additional Resources page, and the National Arbor Day Foundation.