Plant taller trees away from overhead utility lines.

Powerful Landscaping, Offers benefits to your electric service and creates curb appeal

Spring is just around the corner, and a great way to celebrate is by planting trees and shrubs. Healthy greenscaping means homeowners can enjoy many benefits, such as cleaning the air, filtering storm water, and saving as much as 20% off their utility bills from strategically planted shade and wind-buffering vegetation. A healthy yard and community landscape takes some careful planning. Here are some tips on how to plant the right vegetation in the right place:

  • Plant small trees or shrubs near utility poles, ideally with a 20-foot buffer. These may include trees such as the Venus hybrid dogwood, Lavelle’s hawthorn, or dwarf Sargent’s crabapple, but they should be less than 25 feet tall. If they grow to be any taller, they will be in the tree-pruning zone.
  • PenLight’s contracted crews trim and remove trees within a 10-foot radius of power lines on a three-year cycle. If a homeowner needs to remove a tree that is outside the 10-foot area, contact us and our certified arborist will help create a safe removal plan.
  • If you have an electrical box or a cover over an underground electrical vault in your yard, maintain a clearance of 10 feet in front and 4-feet on the other three sides of the box. This area is well suited for easy-going perennials such as Shasta daisies, dahlias, sword ferns, azaleas, or rhododendrons, especially the dwarf varieties.
  • Taller trees, including Douglas fir, cedar, and maple, should be planted at least 50 feet from all utility equipment.

To learn more about powerful landscaping, visit the Arbor Day Foundation at