When landscaping property, remember that trees can grow into electric lines and cause power interruptions. The best way to prevent problems is to plant the right tree in the proper location. Before planting, consider the mature size, height and crown characteristics of trees. For example, a four-foot-tall, two-foot-wide tree could grow to 60 feet tall and 30 feet across at maturity. Knowing this information before you plant can help you choose the best location for your tree.
Important: Do not allow trees, bushes or plants of any size to grow directly under electric lines. This foliage could interfere with PEC crews performing maintenance or repair.
Planting Near Pad-Mounted Transformers
In areas with underground electric service, do not plant shrubs or other foliage around pad-mounted transformers. This foliage will make repair or maintenance work difficult for PEC crews. Dense growth around these transformers can also provide a home for undesirable wildlife and insects.
Ten feet of clearance is needed in front of equipment so crews can safely open it. Some larger pad-mounted switchgear will require 10 feet of clearance in the front and back.
Wise Tree Choices
Plant trees that will grow up to 25 feet tall at least 10 feet from power lines. Trees up to 40 feet tall should be planted 20 feet from lines. Those over 50 feet tall should be planted 50 feet away.
Here is a list of trees the Texas Forest Service recommends for planting in Central Texas:
15 to 20 feet tall
- American Smoketree
- Texas or Mexican Redbud
- Desert Willow
25 to 50 feet tall
- Lacey Oak
- Mexican Plum
- Bigtooth Maple
60 to 100 feet tall
- Cedar Elm
- Bald Cypress
- Bur Oak