Planting & Pruning Around Power Lines

Trees and power lines don't mix, and Jackson EMC's Right-of-Way maintenance program is designed to ensure that tree limbs and foliage don't interfere with power lines or your service.

If you plan on landscaping, here are a few tips to help you select power-line-friendly trees.

  • Select the right tree for the right place to avoid pruning or possible tree removal.
  • Decide what you need from your tree – privacy screening, fall color or an ornamental or specimen tree.
  • Research the height, width and shape of the desired tree. Power lines are approximately 30 feet above the ground, requiring a clearance of 15 feet, so trees need to be the right size to avoid them. No trees or shrubbery, regardless of width or height, can be planted in the right-of-way, which is 30 feet wide.

Fall Color

Slender varieties of maples, such as Bowhall or Armstrong maples, have 15-foot widths, grow 30-45 feet high and provide spectacular color. Trident or Japanese maples are other options.

Screening Trees

Evergreens are usually shaped like an upside-down ice cream cone. Plant this tree at least half the expected mature diameter of the tree from the power line. The upper shape of the tree forms a point, growing away from the power lines. A few to choose from include the Arizona Cypress, Green Giant Arborvitaes and large hollies.

Ornamental or Specimen Trees

These trees flower in the spring or summer. Consider tall shrubs that can be limbed up into spectacular small trees. Some of these shrubs can reach 15 feet in height and include several varieties of evergreen plants, such as camellias, purple leaf Loropetalums, Illiciums, Banana Shrubs, Crape Myrtles; varieties of weeping trees; and the deciduous Rose of Sharon.