The right tree, planted in the right place
Tree Placement and Planting Guidelines
Trees growing too close to power lines can cause sparks, fires, power outages and shock hazards. To avoid these problems, property owners need to make good choices when planting, and utility companies need to trim trees regularly.
Site and Tree Selection
A tree properly placed today can avoid problems tomorrow – especially where power lines are concerned. Here are some safety and energy-saving tips for planting.
Plant trees that won’t interfere with power lines when fully grown. Small ornamental trees or shrubs that will not exceed 25 feet in height are best to plant around power lines. Trees that grow to a mature height of more than 40 feet high should be planted more than 50 feet from any overhead power lines.
Call Sunshine One-Call locator service three days ahead of any planting to check the location of underground services. This service is free.
Consider Energy Savings:
To reduce cooling costs, plant deciduous trees to the south, southwest or west side of buildings to provide shade from summer sun.
To reduce heating costs, plant evergreens and shrubs on the north and west sides of buildings to block the wind. Plantings around the foundation also can help insulate against cold weather.
Planting trees in the right places can reduce your annual energy costs considerably.
Clearances for Underground Service Equipment
Newer developments typically have underground electric service coming from a green transformer box. If you want to surround the box with a fence or shrubs, you must maintain safe and easy access for our maintenance work. To help us avoid removing or damaging your landscaping, make sure you have a clearance of 3 feet on each side of our equipment and 10 feet to the front (where the lock is located). Placement diagram from electric service standards book (Figure V-1) PDF. View the Specifications for Planting Trees and Shrubs PDF in the Southeastern U.S. provided by the University of Florida Extension IFAS.
Additional Resources for Tree Selection and Planting
National Arbor Day Foundation – Web site with information that includes how to plant the right tree in the right place.
Florida Urban Forestry Council- Promoting sound urban forestry policies and practices by educating citizens and communities throughout Florida.
Page last updated: October 29, 2012