Vol72-09 September 2022
Cooperative Review

Plant the right tree in the right place

Fall is a great time to plant trees and shrubs. Consider electric equipment near your home and the
future of your plantings.

Planting for the future

Trees are a major cause of power interruptions for SMECO members. We devote many resources to
Vegetation Management on SMECO rights-of-way. When carefully selected and placed, a tree can provide
your family with many years of enjoyment without threatening your electric service.

  • At its mature height, a tree planted under or too close to a power line may create costly
    trimming and maintenance work for you and SMECO to prevent trees from contacting power lines.
  • Like all pieces of equipment, the transformer may need repairs at one time or another, and SMECO
    crews will need access. To prevent your plants from being removed, please place them at least 10
    feet away from the transformer.

Picking the right tree

Good tree placement and landscaping can enhance your property’s value, prevent costly maintenance, or
damage to your home, and can even help lower energy bills.

  • Large trees should be planted at least 75 feet away from SMECO lines to avoid interference with
    electric utilities.
  • When planting a tree, consider the view, your neighbor’s view, the location of flower or
    vegetable gardens, and environmental conditions such as drainage, soil type, and sunlight
  • Windbreaks should be evergreens planted on the west or north side of the house, about 100 to 150
    feet and no more than 300 feet from the house.
  • Deciduous (leaf-dropping) trees planted on the south or west side of the house will provide
    shade in the summer to cool the house and allow sun to enter the house in the winter.

Planting diagram

Do your research before you plant. If you have questions, call SMECO or visit smeco.coop/safe-planting.

Always call 811 before you dig to locate buried utility lines.
SMECO will mark the location of underground power lines on your property.