PECO offers Arbor Day tree-planting tips

In recognition of National Arbor Day on Friday, April 24, PECO offers tips to help customers “plant the right tree in the right place” to ensure trees remain compatible with aerial power lines.

PECO recommends planting trees that will not be tall, such as many flowering varieties, around power lines.

PECO recommends planting trees that will not be tall, such as many flowering varieties, around power lines.

Vegetation growth causes about one-third of all electric outages. To ensure reliable service for customers, PECO invests approximately $36 million each year in vegetation management around approximately 2,800 miles of aerial electric lines.

Property owners, community groups, developers and customers can avoid tree-related outages and unnecessary pruning by planting the right trees. The Arbor Day Foundation recommends planting small-growing trees up to 20 feet from power lines, medium-growing trees between 20 and 50 feet from power lines, and trees destined to be tall more than 50 feet from power lines.

“If you are thinking about planting a new tree, consider what the tree will look like when fully grown,” said Alex Brown, PECO manager of vegetation management. “It’s important to know how tall and wide the tree will be so you can ensure there is adequate space between the tree and the lines.”

PECO encourages planting flowering trees that grow to heights less than 25 feet - like dogwoods and crabapples – under power lines. Trees that grow to more than 30 feet high should never be planted under power lines. At full height, these trees may contact overhead wires and cause power outages.

When planted in the right place, trees can help reduce energy use by providing shade in the summer and slowing cold winter winds. Once trees are fully grown, they can reduce energy bills by up to 15 to 30 percent. In addition, trees can increase property value, reduce carbon footprints, improve air quality and more effectively catch storm water runoff.


Customers are reminded to call 811 at least three days before digging to ensure the area is safe for planting. For more information call 1-800-311-6345, ext. 915, or visit and click on the Trees and Powerlines link under the Customer Service / Service Request tab on the home page.


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