Tree Planting Guide

Planting Near Overhead Lines

Trees growing under or near power lines are a common cause of power outages. Proper tree planting keeps trees and limbs away from our overhead power lines. Help keep our lines clear by following the Tree Planting Guide.

Proper pruning directs future growth away from power lines, reduces regrowth and protects the tree from decay. “Tree topping” is avoided because topped trees can quickly regain their original height and fast-growing sprouts are susceptible to breakage during storms.

Illustration detailing height of trees to be planted in each zone of distance away from overhead power lines

Planting Around Underground Power Equipment

Newer developments typically have underground electric service coming from a green transformer box. Members may think this box is unattractive and want to put up a fence or plant bushes in front of the box to disguise it. Please follow the safety rules below before installing a fence or planting bushes near an underground transformer box.

  • Do not place a fence or bushes within 3 feet of the rear sides of the transformer
  • Keep fences and plants at least 10 feet away from the front of the transformer where the lock is located. Our linemen use an 8-foot-long “hot stick” to work on pad mount transformers.

Fences and plants too close to underground transformer boxes are a safety hazard to PRECO employees and create longer restoration times. PRECO employees and contractors regularly inspect facilities and will leave a door hanger or contact you by phone if you have landscaping that impedes access. You will be asked to remove the obstructing landscaping.

Illustration indicating clearance needed around the transformer box used with underground electric service