Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place Prevents Risk of Injury, Power Outages

- Dominion Virginia Power offers free online information to help homeowners choose right placement for trees, shrubs
- Trees touching power lines is most frequent cause of outages, can cause injury
- Proper planning prevents poor plant placement

RICHMOND, Va., May 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the arrival of spring gardening and landscaping season, Dominion Virginia Power  urges customers to plan carefully and choose trees and planting locations that will not endanger people, power lines or equipment.  

"Trees and branches that touch electrical lines and equipment are the number-one cause of power outages and can present a serious risk of electrical shock to anyone coming into contact with them," said Rodney Blevins, vice president, distribution operations. "Careful planning before planting can avoid future problems and help keep your lights on."  

Dominion's website,, offers information on how to plant trees and shrubs with safety, beauty and energy efficiency in mind. Well-placed shrubs and trees can offer energy savings comparable to other home improvements such as insulation and weatherstripping.

  • Decide on placement before selecting the tree or shrub.
  • Before digging, call Miss Utility by dialing 811 or 1-800-552-7001 to ensure you are aware of any underground lines.
  • Plant low-growing shrubs, not trees, beneath and within 15 feet of overhead power lines.
  • Within 50 feet of a home, trees should be no more than 50 feet tall at maturity.
  • Leave room for safe access for maintenance when planting around pad-mounted electrical transformers.

The website also offers information on the methods Dominion uses to trim trees near power lines. The company adheres to the guidelines issued by the Virginia State Corporation Commission and maintains professional affiliations with the American Forestry Association, International Society of Arboriculture, Virginia Nurserymen's Association, Virginia Association of Landscape Designers, Society of American Foresters, Look Up Virginia, and Utility Arborist Association.

A demonstration of why it is important to stay clear of power lines and electrified equipment is available for viewing on YouTube.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at

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SOURCE Dominion Virginia Power