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For Electric Cooperative Members
For Electric Cooperative Members

Look Up Before You Plant

Place trees so they will be out of reach of overhead wires

Spring is a good time to plant shade trees, which eventually will grow up and out and cast some nice shade on your house, keeping it cooler during the summer.

But beware of where you plant. Tree branches can conduct electricity, creating a possible shock hazard for utility workers who need to service overhead power lines that are too close to towering trees.

Do some homework about the trees you’ve chosen before you plant them. Know how tall and wide each one will grow. That way you can plant it in a spot where, when it’s fully grown, it will still be at least 10 feet away from a utility pole and overhead wires.

Here are a few other smart springtime cautions:

  • Call your electric cooperative and 811 before you dig a hole to plant a tree—just to make sure you won’t interfere with underground lines on your property. That one is not only a safe practice; it’s the law.
  • Don’t climb a ladder that’s within reach of a power line.
  • Hire a professional to prune any tree branches that are near overhead wires. That’s not a job for a do-it-yourselfer.