Plan before you plant: Be sure to call 8-1-1

Electric co-op mascot Willie Wiredhand says make sure there are no power lines buried where you plan to dig.

Trees add beauty and value to your family’s home. They attract songbirds to your yard and can help save energy by shading your home in summer. Trees use some of the excess carbon dioxide we create. But if you plan to join in Arbor Day celebrations and plant a tree this spring, here are some things to remember:

  • Choose the right tree for the right place. Trees that grow too close to electrical lines can create power outages, shock and fire hazards. Do not plant near overhead power lines any tree that can grow to 25 feet tall. A mature height of less than 15 feet is recommended. Trees that later interfere with utilities have to be trimmed or removed.
  • Keep areas around electric meters, transformers or other electrical equipment free of any vegetation that could limit utility service access.
  • Do not plant near underground utility services. Tree roots can grow and interfere with underground pipes, cables and wires. Future repairs to these facilities also could damage the health and beauty of nearby plants and trees.
  • At least a few days before planting, call 8-1-1, the underground utility locator service, to mark location of underground utilities so that accidental contact, damage and injuries can be avoided.