Trees growing too close to power lines can cause sparks, fires, power outages and shock hazards. To avoid these problems, SECO trims trees regularly and asks members to make good choices when planting trees. A tree placed in the proper spot today can avoid problems tomorrow, especially where power lines are concerned.
Planting trees in the right places can also reduce your annual energy costs considerably. Here are some safety and energy-saving tips for planting:
- Plant trees that won’t interfere with power lines when fully grown. Small ornamental trees or shrubs that will not exceed 25 feet in height are best to plant around power lines. Trees that grow to a mature height of more than 40 feet should be planted at least 50 feet away from any overhead power lines.
- Call Sunshine One-Call (811) locator service three days ahead of any planting to check the location of underground services. This service is free, and in Florida, it’s the law.
Per the Arbor Day Foundation, trees that shade structures and block winds can help reduce your heating and cooling costs by as much as 35%.
- To reduce cooling costs, plant deciduous trees to the south, southwest or west side of buildings to provide shade from the summer sun. Florida elm and hophornbeam are native trees that flourish in Central Florida.
- To reduce heating costs, plant evergreens and shrubs on the north and west sides of buildings to block the wind. Plantings around the foundation can also help insulate against cold weather.
- Plant trees to shade driveways, sidewalks, patios and air conditioning units.