It’s all too familiar, a consequence we’d rather not see: When a tree is planted under or near electrical power lines, it can cause power outages, property damage, or injury to people and animals as it grows. Of course it puts the tree’s health in jeopardy over time, too. Pepco and Casey Trees are working together to reduce mash ups between trees and power lines and ensure that trees get planted where they can thrive.
When selecting a tree, consider the ultimate mature height of the tree. Small trees, those less than 25 feet tall, are the only trees that should be considered for under or near power lines. Examples of small trees suitable for the DC area include dogwood, redbud and flowering cherry. Medium trees that grow to a height of 40 feet or less, such as honey locust, service-berry or hornbeam, should be planted at least 20 feet from power lines. Tall trees such as maple, sycamore, oak, spruce, pine and birch should be planted well away from wires – more than 50 feet to the side.
In partnership with Casey Trees, Pepco is offering 250 trees on a first come first serve basis to District of Columbia homeowners through its Right Tree, Right Place tree planting program. Homeowners request up to two trees through Pepco’s online form, and can schedule a consultation to ensure that the “right tree get planted in the right place” on the property. Casey Trees will then plant selected trees during the spring or fall planting seasons.
For more program details, check out Right Tree, Right Place Program fact sheet.