Whenever a particularly vicious storm blows through, we’re reminded of the relationship between man and nature. Trees and power lines usually coexist peaceably, but when they tangle, people are the ones who lose. Landscapers and garden-savvy homeowners are particularly aware of this tenuous relationship between trees and manmade technology. If you’re planting or trimming this March, respect live wires and drainage pipes by planning ahead of time.
It’s imperative to avoid planting new trees and shrubs too close to power lines and pipes. Trees cause over 30% of all power outages. Root systems planted too close to underground plumbing can penetrate the pipe, backing up water flow and causing thousands of dollars in home damage. Just as you should know your soil pH before planting a new tree, you should be aware of buried pipes and power lines. Before planting, ask your electric company for a blueprint of your neighborhood to prevent striking a hidden line. Plant high-canopied deciduous trees like oak and maples at least 30 feet away from power lines. Shorter trees like junipers can safely grow closer to electrical lines, but take care not to plant them directly under the wires.
Most of your heavy pruning should be completed by mid February, but take this week to double check trees growing near power lines. If the branches overhang electrical wires, hire a professional tree trimming service to remove hazardous limbs. If a tree grows too close to power lines without touching the wires, homeowners can safely trim branches that may be blown into the power lines during a heavy storm. During next year’s winter pruning, pay special attention to any trees or shrubs planted too close to electrical lines and carefully shape the canopies away from wires.
Have a question about the projected canopy of your spring trees? Call 3am Growers to purchase Alabama trees and talk to our expert horticulturalists.