Tree selection and planting
Right Tree, Right Place

When selecting a new tree to plant, EWEB recommends the "Right Tree, Right Place" approach. Proper species selection and planting procedure can increase public safety, reduce power outages, reduce the need for routine pruning and promote healthy, beautiful trees.

Tree planting recommendations

Under and next to electrical lines
Small trees (up to 25 feet in height at maturity) are ideal for planting under or next to overhead electrical lines, and will seldom need to be pruned for electrical line clearance. The following trees are consider "line friendly," by EWEB and are suitable for planting under or next to overhead electrical lines.

  • Beech, weeping purple
  • Canada Red Chokecherry
  • Cherry, flowering
  • Columnar Spruce
  • Dogwood
  • Dwarf Plum
  • Galaxy Magnolia
  • Globe Maple
  • Golden Desert Ash
  • Goldenchain Tree
  • Halesia
  • Hinoki Cypress
  • Japanese Maple
  • Japanese Snowball
  • Lilac
  • Photinia
  • Redbud
  • Rhododendron
  • Royal Galaxy Magnolia
  • Smoke Tree, purple
  • Snowball Bush
  • Stewartia
  • Weeping Hornbeam
  • Weeping Spruce

To learn more about the trees recommended in the list above, visit the Urban Forest Ecosystems Institute's tree selection guide.

Line adjacent portion of yard
Small to medium sized trees (up to 50 feet in height at maturity) are appropriate. Plant trees with spreading crowns at least 25 feet away from electrical lines; plant trees with columnar or pyramidal forms at least 15 feet away from electrical lines.

Non line adjacent portion of yard
Any size tree is appropriate. However, consider the size of the tree at maturity and proximity to buildings and other public or private property. Proper tree selection can minimize potential hazards, and can help avoid costly future maintenance.

Right Tree, Right Place Guidelines

Underground lines
When landscaping or installing a fence -or other structure, keep in mind that utility workers need clear access to pad-mounted transformers for underground electrical lines. Please keep at least six feet clear in front of the opening side of the transformer. In the event of a transformer failure that requires repair or replacement, outages can be prolonged while crews remove landscaping or structures for access.

Utility Poles
EWEB is required to maintain clearance around utility poles for maintenance and emergency access. Plant all perennial, woody vegetation at least three feet from the utility poles for access, and to reduce the need for routine pruning.

Tree planting tips

Tree selection, location and proper planting technique are extremely important factors influencing the long-term health of a tree. Please visit the International Society of Arboriculture website for additional resources concerning tree planting.