April showers may bring May flowers, but by March, spring has sprung in the Texas Hill Country. Before you grab your shovel and gardening gloves, take a spin through these tips so you can “spruce up” your yard safely this planting season.
Tree limbs and power lines are a dangerous combination, creating the risk of fires, outages and death from electric shock. To ensure safety and service reliability, our staff must routinely prune or remove trees planted too close to power lines. When placing new trees, use the guidelines to the right to keep yourself and your trees safe.
Know What’s Below
Injury and power outages can occur when metal tools contact buried electric lines. If you’ll be digging 16 inches or deeper anywhere in your yard, call Texas811 first—it’s the law. Texas811 staff will come to your location and mark all underground equipment. Make a request by calling 811 or visiting texas811.org at least two working days before you plan to dig.
Tree Replacement Program
If there are trees growing beneath the electric lines on your property and you would like to see if you are a candidate for our tree replacement program, contact our Vegetation Maintenance team at 1-800-868-4791, ext. 5252. If you qualify, our staff will plant a beautiful 35-gallon hardwood or other tree of your choosing at a safe distance from electrical equipment. Learn more about this program on page 21.
Planting Around Underground Equipment
To work safely, lineworkers require ample space around underground electric equipment. When planting near pad-mounted transformers, leave a 10-foot clearance in front of this equipment and a three-foot clearance around the sides and back. And be careful—call 811 before digging! Buried utility lines run out from these transformers in many directions.