The sun’s shining bright, and the yard work is calling, but don’t head outside without your sunscreen – or a plan to make sure your foliage can flourish. We trust the Master Gardeners for their tips on how to make flowers, shrubs, veggies, and trees thrive in our green spaces. They, in turn, can trust us for tips on how to ensure the tallest plantings can grow freely without running afoul of the clearances that are necessary to keep power flowing.
GIVE THEM ROOM TO GROW
Farmers EC requires a 30-foot margin around power lines. This helps reduce the number of hazards that could interfere with electrical flow and helps ensure safety for everyone. Communities have similar ordinances – check to make sure a planting is not encroaching on a clearance-space.
CONSIDER THE CANOPY
When planting something that naturally reaches toward the sun, bear in mind a simple fact – branches spread away from the trunk. Over time, a tree that stretches too near an electrical line must be trimmed back, which severely limits its growth potential. Plan ahead and pick the right spot so trimming isn’t necessary later.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT HEIGHT
Plantings that don’t grow tall are a better option near a utility easement since it won’t affect any overhead power lines. Rather, a naturally short tree or other greenery will add value to your yard and your home with room to grow – wide, not high.
PICK THE PERFECT PLANT
When you’re selecting some greenery for a spot away from a power line, consider planting evergreens on the west and north side of your house, at least 50 feet away, as they’ll serve as effective windbreaks. Likewise, deciduous trees that drop their leaves in the fall are ideal for the south and west sides of a home, offering shade in summer and sunlight in winter.
STAY AWAY FROM UNDERGROUND UTILITIES. YOU DIG?
It’s simple: Never plant on an underground utility. Pick another spot for safety’s sake and to avoid any interference with the buried service. If you’re considering planting in an adjacent area, pick plants whose roots are non-invasive.
STICK WITH EASY EASEMENT ACCESS
Fences and landscaping can be installed on utility easements – so long as they don’t prevent access or interfere with the operation and maintenance the utility. Ensure gates are available and unlocked if they’re on the path to Farmers EC equipment.
Download our Free Vegetation Management PDF.