Plant with a plan
Spring is considered the best time to plant a tree. But no time is a good time if you don’t have a plan and take precautions. Not only do dangers lurk for the person at planting time, but without a plan, a tree can cause problems for nearby power lines, people who rely on the power, and the longevity of the tree itself. After all, you cannot spell plant without a plan.
Underground power lines
If your home has underground electric service, you have an important role to play in ensuring the safety and reliability of your power. Homes with underground service may have a dedicated pad- mounted transformer on the property – you know, the ugly green box. CCEC crews may need access to these for maintenance or to restore power at any time, including the middle of the night.
Suppose the area around a transformer does not have the proper clearance. In that case, lineworkers may have no choice but to quickly remove plants or landscaping that are in the way of accessing the transformer during an outage or emergency.
Overhead power lines
It’s important for members with overhead electric service to plant the right tree in the right place. Consider the mature size of the species to prevent trees, bushes, and plants from growing under electric lines. If you are planting a small tree that will grow no larger than 25 feet tall, planting it 25 feet away from power lines is a safe distance. If the mature tree is 25-40 feet tall, plant it 40 feet away from power lines. The bigger the tree, the farther it should be. So, if the tree is expected to grow more than 40 feet high, it should be planted 60 feet away from utility lines.
Call before you dig
Play it safe and dial 811 to find out where utility lines run on your property. In 2020, 22 power outages were caused by dig-ins. Call 8-1-1 before you dig. It’s easy, and it’s the law. Digging into a buried power line, or any buried utility, with power equipment or a hand shovel can cause serious injury or death. Cass County Electric works hard to provide you reliable electric service. You can help by planning before you plant.