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Utility-Friendly Trees

By selecting the right tree and planting it in the right place, you can help reduce power outages for you and your neighbors.

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Trees near power lines are a common cause of power outages. With a little planning and seasonal maintenance, trees and power lines can safely co-exist.

What to Consider

  1. Find the Right Tree
    Trees come in all shapes and sizes and often change dramatically over their lifetimes. Before selecting your tree, make sure you know how tall, wide and deep its roots will reach at maturity. Visit the National Arbor Day Foundation for information to help you choose the right tree for your property.
    Right Tree Right Place Chart
    Utility-Friendly Trees are small trees, reaching 25 feet or less at maturity. This makes them less likely to interfere with electric power lines.
  2. Choose the Right Spot
    Where you plant your tree is as important as what type of tree you plant. You can increase energy efficiency by selecting a tree that shades your home in the summer. Be sure to plant the tree so it will continue to be a safe distance from existing utility lines as it grows to maturity. Taking the time to consider location now can prevent avoidable power disturbances for years to come.

    Utility Right of Way
    To provide you with safe and reliable electric service, we need to operate and maintain the power lines and our equipment. DP&L is required to clear trees and shrubs that may interfere with the safety and reliability of the electrical system. Customers should avoid planting trees on utility rights-of-way.
  3. Put Safety First
    At DP&L, we always put safety first. It's important to avoid injury and damage to underground electrical, gas and other utility lines. Call the Ohio Utility Protection Service (OUPS) at 800-362-2764 2-10 business days before you start any kind of digging or construction on your property. A representative will identify underground lines on your property so you can avoid any problems. This free service prevents injuries and utility disruptions for your neighborhood.

Trees in the Miami Valley

Listed below are some common trees and plants in the Miami Valley, and recommendations on safe planting distances. We recommend you consult with your local nursery or arborist for specific recommendations for your property.

Trees should be planted 50' from utility lines Trees should be planted 20' from utility lines Ornamental trees acceptable for planting near utility lines* (outside the right-of-way) Ornamental shrubs should be planted to maintain a 10' clearance from DP&L poles & equipment at maturity
  • Maple
  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Washington Hawthorne
  • Golden Rain Tree
  • Redbud
  • Dogwood
  • Crabapple
  • Purple Leaf Sand Cherry
  • Royal Purple Smoketree
  • Sargent Crabapple
  • Forsythia
  • Hydrangea
  • Lilac
  • Weigela
  • Viburnum
*Mature height of 18' or less

Arbor Day Foundation

The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission to inspire people to plant, celebrate and nurture trees. They offer a wealth of information on their website that could be helpful for customers:

DP&L customer service agent

Questions? Call the Line Clearance Team.


Please leave a message and we will return your call within 3 business days.

Download the Right Tree, Right Place Brochure