It’s Arbor Day, which has many of us thinking about spring landscaping projects. At AEP Ohio, we’re asking customers to plan before they plant to ensure future generations can enjoy the beauty and benefits of trees without affecting the reliability of your electric service.

Foresters celebrate Arbor Day with Chillicothe elementary students in Yoctangee Park.

“Trees are a top cause of power outages,” Forestry Manager Dale Hopkins said. “Our forestry team works hard to keep trees away from our power lines and equipment. By planting the right tree in the right place, you can enjoy it for many years to come and help reduce tree-related power outages.

The forestry team attends an Earth Day event at the Human Rights Garden in Portsmouth.

Consider the following tips when planning where to plant:

Height: Determine the potential height of a tree to ensure its branches will not grow into power lines and equipment once fully grown. We recommend planting small trees like Redbud, Dogwood, and Crabapple at least 10-25 feet from power lines, medium trees such as Washington Hawthorn and Golden Rain Trees at least 25-50 feet away, and tall trees like Maple, Oak, Spruce and Pine at least 50 feet from overhead lines.

Width: Consider the width of the tree’s branches at full growth to ensure they are at least 10 feet away from power lines. Trees with a small canopy spread, like Dogwood or Crabapple, are the only ones suitable for planting within this 10-foot range.

Growth: Take into consideration how fast a tree will grow. Slow-growing species, such as Spruce or Oak trees, are typically stronger and live longer than fast-growing species.

Asplundh crews and Louie the Lightning Bug visit the Pioneer Center in Chillicothe.

What’s Underground: It’s important to avoid underground lines when digging. Call 811 at least 48 hours in advance to make sure underground lines are clearly marked to prevent injuries, expenses or penalties.

Watch our video to make sure you’re planting the right tree in the right place. For more information, click here.

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