Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place

Trees and power lines are a delicate mix.

This is why DREMC encourages homeowners, builders and developers to think about the relationship of electric rights-of-way when landscaping. Some trees have no place near power line rights-of-way; other tree types, however, can be safely planted within and near rights-of-way. The lists below provide a number of trees DREMC recommends to ensure you plant the right tree in the right place.

Small trees with a mature height of 20 feet or lower can be planted within the right of way if planted in a maintained yard setting; they may be planted no closer than 10 feet from the center of the pole line.

Medium growing trees with a mature height of 20 to 40 feet may be planted at the edge of the right of way, which is 20 feet from the center of the pole line. Trees with a mature height of greater than 40 feet should be planted no closer than 40 feet from the center of the pole line.

When planting near underground facilities, make sure to follow the “no-grow zone,” and leave access to the electrical boxes when the grass or shrubs are at mature size. The “no-grow zone” is defined as 3 feet on the sides of the underground box and 12 feet in front of the door.

Be sure to double check your space from the center of the pole line before selecting your tree.

Small Growing Trees

Plant this size tree no closer than 10 feet from the center of pole line.

Adirondack Crabapple
Malus ‘Adirondack’
Max Height – 18′

Common Smoketree
Cotinus coggygria
Max Height – 15′

Red Buckeye
Aesculus pavia
Max Height – 20′

Narragansett Crabapple
Malus ‘Narragansett’
Max Height – 20′

Stellar Pink Flowering Dogwood
Cornus florida x Cornus kousa ‘Stellar Pink’
Max Height – 20′

Aurora Dogwood
Cornus florida x Cornus kousa ‘Aurora’
Max Height – 20′

Constellation Dogwood
Cornus forida x Cornus kousa ‘Constellation’
Max Height – 20′

Celestial Dogwood
Cornus forida x Cornus kousa ‘Celestial’
Max Height – 20′

Ruth Ellen Dogwood
Cornus forida x Cornus kousa ‘Ruth Ellen’
Max Height – 20′

Jane Magnolia
Magnolia liliifloria ‘Jane’
Max Height – 20′

Star Magnolia
Magnolia stellata
Max Height – 20′

Tatarian Maple
Acer tataricum
Max Height – 20′

White Fringetree
Chionanthus virginicus
Max Height – 20′

Witchhazel
Hamamelis spp.
Max Height – 20′

Common Lilac
Syringa vulgaris
Max Height – 15′

Spartan Juniper
Juniperus chinensis ‘Spartan’
Max Height – 20′

Most fruiting trees are also acceptable.

Medium Growing Trees

Plant this size tree no closer than 20 feet from the center of the pole line.

Chinese Fringetree
Chionanthus retusus
Max Height – 25′

Purple Leaf Plum
Prunus cerasifera
Max Height – 25′

Foster Holly
Ilex x attenuata
Max Height – 25′

Japanese Maple
Acer palmatum
Max Height – 25′

Serviceberries
Amelanchier spp.
Max Height – 25′

Eastern Redbud
Cercis candensis ‘Eastern’
Max Height – 30′

Hawthorns
Crataegus spp.
Max Height – 25′

Kousa Dogwood
Cornus kousa
Max Height – 30′

Yoshino Flowering Cherry
Prunus yedoensis
Max Height – 40′

Kwanzan Flowering Cherry
Prunus serrulata ‘Kwazan’
Max Height – 40′

Greenleaf American Holly
Ilex opaca ‘Greenleaf’
Max Height – 35′

Warren Red Holly
Ilex decidua ‘Warren Red’
Max Height – 30′

Saucer Magnolia
Magnolia x soulangiana
Max Height – 25′

Emerald Green Arborvitae
Thuja occidentalis ‘Smaragd’
Max Height – 25′

Okame Cherry
Prunus x incamp ‘Okame’
Max Height – 30′

Trees to Avoid

These trees are considered invasive, medium or large growing at maturity, fast growing or have weak wood. Such trees are best planted well away from DREMC’s 40-foot right-of-way.

Bradford Pear
Pyrus calleryana
Max Height: 60′

 Mimosa
Albizia julibrissin
Max Height: 40′

Lombardy Poplar
Populus nigra ‘Italica’
Max Height: 60′

White Poplar
Populus alba
Max Height: 75′

Silver Maple
Acer saccharimum
Max Height: 80′

Ailanthus (Tree of Heaven)
Ailanthus altissima
Max Height: 80′

Empress Tree (Royal Paulownia)
Paulownia tomentosa
Max Height: 50′

Chinese Tallow
Triadica sebifera
Max Height: 50′