Trees not only beautify homes and property, they can lower utility bills if correctly sited. But care should be taken with trees near power lines. Every year, power outages are caused by storms that bring trees or limbs down on lines. Restoring power is expensive, as is trimming trees to prevent these outages. Take a minute to see how you might plant “power friendly” trees.
Tree Trimming & Planting
Lane Electric works very hard to keep the power line right-of-ways cleared of trees and branches that can cause outages. Trees are the number one cause of outages in our rural service territory. Our tree crews are constantly trimming and removing trees under power lines, in our ongoing effort to make your electric service as reliable as possible.
Along stretches of road where there are no houses, we remove problem trees from the public right-of-way. It saves our customers money to remove them rather than trim repeatedly. We would never remove yard trees without first talking with the homeowner, though we might trim them if we’re unable to reach the homeowner beforehand. We work with the wishes of our customers whenever we are able to without endangering our personnel or the reliability of the system.
Customers are responsible for making sure trees aren’t growing into the line that comes from our distribution system to your house. If limbs are getting too close, contact us and we will make arrangements to come and drop your service line for you while you trim the trees. Do NOT attempt to trim trees yourself that are growing near distribution lines or your service line. Doing so can put you at risk of deadly electrical shock.
We encourage property owners to plant Power Friendly trees near power lines. These are low growing, so your property won’t be the cause of power outages for you and your neighbors, and will still be attractive. For information on Power Friendly trees, call us at (541) 484-1151.
Select the Right Tree
When planting near power lines, choose trees that will grow no higher than 25 feet at maturity You’ll find a suggested list at the bottom of this page. Power-friendly trees give you options for spring and fall color, tree shape and size, and fruit.
Ask your local nursery or garden center for help in selecting trees. They may have further suggestions for your particular climate and landscaping.
Plant in the Right Place
- Avoid planting directly under power lines. Within 30 feet of power lines, plant trees that will grow no higher than 25 feet.
- Larger trees should be planted 30 feet or more away from lines. Look at the service lines to your house as well as the main line along the street or right of way.
- Plant leaf-bearing trees to the east and west of your home to reduce summer cooling costs, while admitting winter sunlight. Site evergreens and shrubs where they will block cold winter winds.
Are you planning to log a parcel of land this year? Be careful around power lines. Remember, “safe logging saves lives!” If there are LEC power lines in proximity to your harvest area please call for assistance and consultation. LEC will provide at no charge, technical expertise to help survey the hazards involved with power lines. Upon mutual agreement, LEC will schedule to fall hazardous trees at no cost. ONLY PERSONS QUALIFIED TO WORK NEAR ENERGIZED CONDUCTORS SHOULD WORK AROUND POWER LINES!! Slash should not be piled and burned on power line rights of way. After your trees are safely harvested, be certain when replanting to observe dedicated easements and rights of way on the property.
Check Before You Dig
Power lines run underground as well as overhead – natural gas lines do, too! Check with your utility before you dig. Root structures can grow and damage underground lines, or create problems if line repairs are necessary check 48 hours before you dig: call (800) 332-2344.
Keep Your Trees Hazard-Free
Inspect your trees carefully each year and during all seasons. Look for dead limbs, forked trunks, signs of decay, wounds and cracks, leaning or lopsided trees, and branches growing near or into power lines. Dead or diseased trees should be removed or replaced. Consult a certified arborist if you are unsure of what to do to keep your trees hazard-free. Prune trees when they are young, and regularly thereafter, if necessary.
You Can Help
You can help by taking a “power friendly” approach in landscaping your property. Choose the right tree, plant it in the right place, and maintain it – it’s easy, with a few simple guidelines.
When you are thinking about planting a tree, keep in mind that some species are more “power friendly” than others. Lane Electric suggests that you consult with your local nursery to find out what trees and shrubs are appropriate to your particular landscaping and climate. Listed below are some of our local “power friendly” trees:
- Amur Maple
- Vine Maple
- Japanese Snowbell
- Golden Desert Ash
- Mt. Fuji Cherry
- Japanese Tree Lilac
- Flowering Plum