Trees planted today are an investment in the future. A healthy community forest begins with careful planning. However, selecting the wrong tree for a site can result in significant pruning or removal, or serious electric service interruptions in the future. It is important to remember that no tree planting is allowed within a transmission ROW's Wire Zone.
ComEd recommends that customers use the Arbor Day Foundation’s “The Right Tree in the Right Place” guidebook which indicates that any trees planted within 20 feet on either side of pole-to-pole power lines have a mature height of less than 25 feet. This will ensure that as the tree grows, it will not require major trimming in the future.
View Guidebook (pdf)
Tall growing trees should be planted 50 feet from power lines. If tall-growing trees are planted under or directly adjacent to power lines, they may pose a risk to the reliable delivery of electricity as they mature and grow, and they can require significant pruning.
In some cases, when a customer desires to screen a view or provide a buffer between properties, shrubs are a better solution than trees. A “layered’ planting of small to medium trees with medium to large shrubs is a great way to screen unwanted views. The medium trees planted a minimum of 20 feet from the power poles can be flanked by shrubs on all sides to add interest and depth. The layers help conceal less than desirable views from your home.
There are a variety of trees and shrubs with heights of less than 25 feet which are compatible for planting under electric distribution lines. Note that specific conditions at each site should be considered, including the height of the power lines at the site. Trees should be placed so that as they mature, they will not grow into contact with the power lines.
It is important to remember that no tree planting is allowed within a transmission ROW's Wire Zone.
With a little research and a simple layout, you can produce a landscape that will cool your home in summer and tame the worst winter winds. The
Arbor Day Foundation Website provides excellent information on how to utilize trees and vegetation in your landscape to reduce your peak heating and cooling costs.
It is important to consider the height and location of power lines before planting trees for safety and reliability. Watch the video.