LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative

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Planting Trees

Planting Trees

Making the right decision when selecting a tree or planting site can help maintain electric reliability for you and your neighbors. Tree branches that brush against electric lines are dangerous and can cause power outages. LCEC is dedicated to providing reliable service and protecting trees and the environment.

Right Tree

Choosing the right type of tree is critical to the long-term success of the tree. The trees you select should depend on a number of characteristics: growth rate, leaf persistence, shape and salt tolerance (if you live near saltwater). Palms are difficult to maintain once they reach a mature height and they often must be removed for safety reasons. The mature height is the maximum height of the species when it reaches maturity.

Visit the University of Florida’s website for a list of recommended trees in your area or click here to view LCEC’s list of trees common to Southwest Florida.

Right Place

Trees need space to grow. It is important to look up when determining if your tree will have vertical space to grow also. Vegetation that could potentially interfere with power lines at its mature height should not be planted below power lines or near electric utilities. Some trees may appear to be a safe distance from power lines. However, that may not be the case during a storm or when the lines are carrying a heavy demand.

Also, shrubbery that blocks ground transformers and electric meters interferes with LCEC’s ability to service equipment or restore power. Please leave an 8-foot space in front of the door side of the transformer so utility employees can work quickly and safely. We also ask that you maintain a 3-foot cleared area around the electric meter and a 3-foot-wide approach to the meter.

Tree Planting and Power Lines


  1. Shrubs up to 6′ high at maturity should be planted 5′ away from the pole.
  2. Shrubs up to 10′ high should be planted 10′ from the pole.
  3. Small trees & large shrubs up to 20′ high should be planted 15′ from the pole.
  4. Medium trees up to 40′ high should be planted 30′ from the pole.
  5. Large trees over 40′ high should be planted 45′ from the pole.
  6. The distances given above are the minimum distance the plant should be placed away from the pole.


  1. Transmission lines require a wider right-of-way area, but landscaping can be done if careful attention is paid to the mature height of shrubs & trees.
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