Selecting and planting the right tree

Before you plant a tree, get the facts. Find out how the tree will look five, 10 or even 50 years into the future. Knowing what height a tree will reach at maturity will help you make the right decisions now.

Recommended trees and plants

There are a limited number of trees and other plants recommended for planting near power lines. The recommendations below have low water requirements and can be safely planted near power lines since their height at maturity is rarely more than 20 feet unless heavily irrigated.

Here in our desert climate, we recommend the following:

Chart showing how far away from power lines trees should be planted, x-axis shows distances trees should be planted from lines and y-axis illustrates height for both power lines and trees. For power lines that are around 30 feet tall, following guidelines are set: do not plan any trees or oleanders within 25 feet of the power lines, 25 feet from the power lines smaller trees can be planted with caution. Any trees within that zone should be small and grow to less than 25 feet in height/spread. Medium trees, any types that have a 25 - 40 foot height/spread, can be planted 25 - 40 feet from power lines and larger trees, those that reach 40 foot height/spread, always plant at least 60 feet from power lines.

The illustration at the right provides some helpful guidelines for planting trees.

Remember, before you plant a tree, make sure you know where existing underground lines are located by calling 811. One call to this free service notifies the appropriate local utilities, which send technicians to the requested site to mark the approximate location of existing underground lines.

More information

If you would like help choosing a tree, call SRP at (602) 236-8888 for a free brochure with additional information on approved desert shade trees for planting near power lines.

You may also contact your local nursery or state forester for additional information on proper tree selection and care.