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Trees and Utility Lines


It takes decades for a tree to mature into a beautiful and valuable asset for your yard. And it can take only one afternoon to reduce it’s splendor into an unsightly spectacle, if long ago it was planted too close to the overhead utility lines.

The heart break of it all can be even further compounded if the tree had special meaning for you such as being planted the day one of your children was born, or if you had received it as a gift. Many homeowners don’t realize just how large certain trees can grow.

In this photo, the left side of this evergreen was trimmed all the way back to its trunk because of the utility lines

Another example of a mature evergreen that lost a lot of its branches due to the utility line maintenance

Maintenance of utility lines will take precedence every time. So to reduce the chance of a big disappointment down the road, check out the growth habit for any tree, whether deciduous or evergreen, you may be planning on planting near the utility lines. Find out what the tree’s mature height and width will be one day, then if you do select a tree that will eventually become large, you can plan accordingly. Good sources for information on trees can be found in our Garden Links section.

Take preventative measures, like being knowledgeable of your tree type selection, evaluating where to locate the young tree, and keeping behind it’s maintenance over the years by having a certified arborist shape it as it grows.

Even certain ornamental trees can become too tall for some utility lines if planted directly beneath the lines.

This medium size tree, planted beneath utility lines, out grew its space & as a result lost much of its canopy.

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