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Right Tree - Right Place
When trying to figure out what type of tree to plant and where to plant it, remember to consider underground and suspended utility lines when making your choice. You need to imagine what that tree will look like when it reaches maturity. Each tree species grows in a different way, to different heights and spreads.
As a general rule, trees that will grow to a maximum height of less than 20 feet can be planted below or very close to overhead utility lines.
Trees that top out at 30 feet need to be planted at least 20 feet from all surrounding utility lines.
Large trees (taller than 30 feet when mature) should be planted at least 30 feet from all surrounding utility lines.
Besides overhead lines, you need to remember that there are cables and pipes buried underground as well. For a free underground utility check of your property, contact "Sunshine State One" at 1-800-432-4770.
This service provides a comprehensive analysis of your property and lets you know where the utilities are buried on your property so you don’t accidentally damage them while planting your new tree. You will also want to plant your new tree a distance from these utilities so its roots don’t interfere with buried cables and pipes.
Planning your planting based on this knowledge and by taking utility lines into account will ensure that your new tree will have a long and healthy life and won’t pose a risk to you or your property.
This site provides planting information – including recommended distances from utility lines - on trees available through the Adopt-a-Tree Program. Consult with a landscape specialist for trees not listed here, and read Florida Power and Light's Guide to Trees and Power Lines .
Another helpful resource is Florida-Friendly Landscaping.
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