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Planting Guidelines

When dealing with long growth cycles, you may forget that the tree you plant today may be a potential electrical hazard when it reaches mature height. Good planning is needed to avoid future problems with trees in power lines. While it is preferable to not plant within the 30-foot clear right-of-way at all, low-growing ornamental trees, shrubs, and brush may be allowed to remain in the right-of-way path as their mature height does not endanger power lines. 


Keep in mind, if your lines need service, maintenance, or repair, we are not liable for landscaping placed in the right-of-way. So before you place that expensive Japanese maple under the line in your yard, keep in mind our trucks or linemen may need that spot for their equipment in an emergency.
right tree, right place planting distance guidelines from Arbor Day Foundation


South Central Indiana REMC recommends that you do not plant trees closer than 25 feet from poles, guy wires, and other energized electrical equipment. Since this is not always possible, below is a list of hardiness zone 5 trees and bushes that are low growing and considered utility-compatible. Using this list is the first step in planning a landscape around power lines that you can enjoy for years in the future. Always have all underground lines and utilities located before you start planting.


Utility-Compatible Tree & Bush Species  

Variety Ht Wth Shape Hardiness Foliage Flower
Trident Maple 20' 20' round, low -10F green none
Hedge Maple 30' 30' dense and round -20F dk green none
Flame Maple 20' 20' rounded -50F fine, med green none
Flamingo Box Elder 20' 15' oval-round -20F white and green with pink tint none
Kelly's Gold Box Elder 25' 20' oval-round -20F bright yellow none
Variegated Box Elder 25' 20' oval-round -20F variegated creamy white none
Globe Norway Maple 15' 18' dense and round -15F medium green none
Tatarian Maple 25' 20' oval-round -15F medium green none
Autumn Brilliance® Serviceberry * 20' 15' upright-spreading -30F medium green white clusters
Cole's Select Serviceberry * 20' 15' upright-spreading -30F small green white clusters
Princess Diana Serviceberry * 20' 15' graceful spread -40F small, green white clusters
Snowcloud Serviceberry * 25' 15' upright oval -30F dk green/red tint in spring white clusters
Crimson Cloud Hawthorn * 25' 18' oval-upright -30F small glossy green bright red
Lavalle Hawthorn * 28' 20' irregular vase -30F dk green, leathery white clusters
Snowbird Hawthorn * 22' 20' oval-round -40F dk glossy green double white
Toba Hawthorn * 20' 20' upright round -40F dark green double white
Washington Hawthorn * 25' 20' oval-round -30F deep green and glossy white clusters
Golden Desert® Ash 20' 18' round-compact -20F yellow none
Leprechaun™ Ash 18' 16' compact-round -20F small medium green none
Columnar Goldenchain 10' 10' narrow vase -20F dark green yellow clusters
Amur Maackia 25' 20' vase-round crown -40F medium green white clusters
Adirondack Crabapple * 18' 10' upright-invert cone -30F medium green white  
Golden Raindrops® Crabapple * 20' 15' upright vase -40F green, deep cut white
Red Barron Crabapple * 18' 8' narrow columnar -30F purple fades to bronze green dark red
Red Jewel™ Crabapple * 15' 12' upright pyramid -30F green white
Sentinel Crabapple * 20' 12' narrow-upright -15F dark green, glossy pinkish white
Amanogawa Cherry * 20' 6' columnar -20F green pale pink 
Kwanzan Cherry * 30' 20' vase shape -15F dark green double pink
Sargent Cherry * 30' 30' upright spread -15F dark green single pink
Snow Goose Cherry * 20' 20' upright and wide -20F bright green white
Spire Cherry * 30' 10' columnar/vase -20F dark green single pink
Big Cis® Plum * 14' 12' round-dense -30F purple   light pink
Mt.St. Helens® Plum * 20' 20' upright-round -30F purple light pink
Newport Plum * 20' 20' oval-round -40F purple-red light pink
Thundercloud Plum * 20' 20' dense and round -20F dark purple light pink
Red Cascade™ Mountain Ash 16' 8' compact-oval -40F lustrous green white clusters
Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac 20' 15' upright round -15F dark green creamy white
Summer Charm® Tree Lilac 20' 15' upright spread -40F dark green, glossy creamy white
Wireless Zelkova 24' 36' spreading vase -20F medium green none
Japanese Maple 20' 24' upright-spreading -15F green none
Burning Bush * 11' 11' mound-spreading -15F dark green yellow-green
Bayberry 10' 10' dense-round -15F leathery grayish green yellow-green
Black Chokeberry * 8' 8' upright vase -15F green white
Common Lilac 15' 12' upright-leggy -15F dark to blue green leaves varies
Purple Leaf Sand Cherry 14' 10' rounded -15F purple pinkish white
Butterfly Bush 10' 8' rounded -15F gray green-blue green varies
Highbush Cranberry * 10' 6' dense -15F dark green white
Red Twig Dogwood * 9' 10' broad, round -15F medium to dark green white
American Hazel Nut * 16' 13' round multi stem -15F dark green red
Note: There are other low growing species available that are compatible with high voltage lines and equipment.  Please consult with your local arborist or nursery for compatibility and hardiness zone information.
*This is a good wildlife food source.


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