Temperatures are warming up, which means landscaping projects are beginning. Before making any adjustments to outdoor areas, it’s important to practice proper planting, to keep loved ones safe while also helping our AEP Ohio crews keep the lights on. Here are some important tree planting tips from our Forestry team to keep in mind. (refer to diagram below)
Height: Knowing the potential height of any trees you’re going to plant will help ensure branches will be clear of power lines once the tree is fully grown. Small trees such as redbud, dogwood and crabapple should be planted 10-25 feet away from power lines. Medium trees such as Washington hawthorn and golden rain trees should be planted 25-50 feet away from power lines. Tall trees such as maple, oak, spruce and pine should be planted at least 50 feet away from overhead lines.
Canopy Spread: It’s important to keep in mind how wide the tree might be once the branches are fully grown. The extended branches should never come within 10 feet of the power line. Only trees with a small canopy spread, such as dogwood or crabapple, should be planted within 10 feet of a power line.
Growth Rate: You should consider how fast you want your tree to grow. Slow-growing species such as spruce trees are typically stronger and live longer than fast-growing species.
Form or Shape: The amount of space you have will impact the kind of tree you can plant. For example, if you have limited space a tree with a columnar shape would be best. If you’re looking for trees that will provide more shade, round or v-shaped trees are best.
What’s Underground: If you want to plant a tree, make sure you don’t run into underground lines. Call 811 at least 48 hours before you start a project. This connects you with the Call Before You Dig national hotline, which allows you to request any underground lines on your property be marked clearly above ground to help you avoid serious injury, expenses or possible penalties.
Watch this video to make sure you’re planting the right tree in the right place. This helps ensure future generations will enjoy the tree’s beauty without impacting the reliability of the electric service for your home and neighbors. Happy planting!
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