Planting Trees In the Right Place

Taller trees should be planted away from overhead utility lines.

Trees are prized possessions in our communities. They give needed shade in summer, help clear the air of pollutants, provide a home for songbirds and wildlife, and please the eye with the beauty of their foliage and blossoms.

But when a tree’s branches start to come close to or actually touch utility power lines, a potentially hazardous situation is created. Trees and power lines can co-exist, and potential conflicts can be avoided by selecting and planting trees with size and growth characteristics appropriate to their location:

Low Zone – beneath power lines and for 20 feet to either side of them, plant species that will not exceed 25 feet inheight. Taller trees in this zone should be pruned to grow around the wires by the utility company.

Medium Zone – trees that grow no more than 40 feet in height are recommended for areas immediately adjacent to the Low Zone in order to avoid high branches that overhang power lines or trees that could topple into the lines during severe storms.

Tall Zone – higher trees could be used in any locations at a distance of 50 feet or more from power lines. Trees near your house can provide significant energy benefits by providing cooling shade in the summer and giving protection from winter winds.

Please call Citizens’ Electric Company at (570) 524-2231 if you have questions about where or what trees to plant near our power lines.

For a free copy of the brochure, ‘The Right Tree for the Right Place’, write to:

The National Arbor Day Foundation 100 Arbor Ave. Nebraska City, NE 68410

Or visit