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Right Tree, Right Place

Please give careful consideration to your tree's growth characteristics to avoid future problems with nearby power lines by making sure you plant the right tree in the right place. Don't forget to Call Before You Dig by calling 811 to have underground utility lines marked to avoid striking them.

Plant trees or shrubs at these minimum distances from electric distribution lines:

  • 10 feet for trees or shrubs maturing to 15 feet
  • 20 feet for trees maturing to 25 feet
  • 30 feet for trees maturing to 35 feet
Never plant the following trees within 50 feet of power lines: Maple, Oak, Ash, Sycamore and White Pine. To learn more about planting the right tree in the right place and to find species that can be planted near power lines, click here.

Trees & Energy Costs
Energy costs in the cooling season can be cut by up to 30% if half of the roof is shaded by trees, and shading the air conditioner will also improve its efficiency by up to 10%.

When planting trees and shrubs around your home:
  • Consider the seasonal sun angles when planting for sun shade. Buildings with large south or west exposures need shade mid to late afternoon.
  • Medium to large trees provide excellent cooling because they shade both home and yard.
  • Plant deciduous trees to the southeast and southwest of the home for shade. Choose and place trees to cast the maximum amount of summer shade and the minimum of winter shade. Make sure the trees are placed far enough away from the house as to not interfere with the structure as the trees mature.
  • Shrubs and small trees can be planted to shade air conditioners. However, be careful not to plant too close to the unit as to block airflow. Keep units free of leaves and needles.
Properly placed trees and shrubs can help reduce heating costs by blocking winter winds.
  • Deciduous trees planted to cool a home will lose their leaves to allow the radiation of the sun to help heat the structure.
  • Conserve energy by planting a combination of evergreen trees and shrubs on the side of your home that blocks the coldest winter winds.
  • Choose plants whose branches will grow low to the ground.
Learn more about the benefits of trees.

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