Early autumn is often considered the best time to plant a tree. But no time is a good time if you don’t have a plan and take precautions. Not only do dangers lurk for the person at planting time, but without a plan, a tree can cause problems for nearby power lines, people who rely on the power, and the longevity of the tree itself.
Before you start planting, we encourage our consumers to call 811 at least five days ahead of time. Never assume the utility lines are buried deeper than you plan to dig. Digging into a buried power line, or any buried utility, with power equipment or a hand shovel, can cause serious injury or death. A single call to 811 will bring representatives out from affected utilities to mark where their respective utility lines are.
Once you know where to plant to avoid underground utilities, figure out the prime planting spot away from any overhead utility lines. If you are planting a small tree that will grow no larger than 25 feet tall, planting it 25 feet away from power lines is a safe distance. If the mature tree is 25-40 feet tall, plant it 40 feet away from power lines. The bigger the tree, the farther it should be. So, if the tree is expected to grow more than 40 feet high, it should be planted 60 feet away from utility lines.
Tipmont REMC works hard to provide you reliable electric service. You can help by following these few simple guidelines when managing the trees on your property. Being aware of these dangers and how to avoid them can keep you, your home and the trees safe.
Rob Ford is Tipmont and Wintek's communication director, a role he's held since 2015.
Rob has a bachelor's and a master's in Communication from Purdue University. He lives in West Lafayette with his wife and three children and has a life-sized Yoda statue in his office. Away from the office, you’ll find Rob working on his golf swing, jump shot, or hope for a Purdue basketball national title – all futile endeavors.