I don’t have to tell you this is bad, right? Wrong plant, wrong place and all that? Obviously you’ve seen examples of corrective pruning to deal with improperly located trees, but it’s better for everyone – homeowner, arborist, and tree – if we select a tree that will give us the look we want without growing into and around the wires.
If you live in Virginia, it got even easier to select a tree for under power lines. Did you know that Virginia Tech has a Utility Line Arboretum on campus, where you can view locally appropriate trees that will play well with power lines? How cool is that? The folks at Tech selected many of the trees from this list of Utilitrees, an excellent resource for designers, homeowners, and landscape contractors.
Some of my favorites to use under or near power lines include Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Crabapple (Malus), Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria – featured here), and tree lilac (Syringa reticulata). Take a look at the list; I’ll bet you can find something you’ll love that will work well for years to come.