Plant the Right Tree under Utility Lines

Trees planted under overhead utility lines can be problematic when they grow into the lines. Because such trees can cause power outages and are safety hazards, utility companies are responsible for pruning them and they have the right to prune branches back 10’ from the lines. The result is often unnatural and unattractive. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) found that in Indiana, 85% of trees under utilities are species not compatible with the site. As their bulletin notes, “The right tree, planted in the right place, will provide a safer environment, reliable power, and natural beauty.”


See Table 2 in the West Lafayette’s Tree Manual and Guide to the West Lafayette Landscape Ordinance for a list of small trees that are approved for planting under utility lines.

For more information about trees and overhead utility lines, plus appropriate trees to plant near or under such power lines in Indiana, see