News Center > Don’t Plant Palm Trees Under Power Lines
Don’t Plant Palm Trees Under Power Lines
Palm trees have become synonymous with tropical paradise, but the straight, fast growing trees can quickly become a nightmare for some homeowners who plant them under power lines.
Unlike other trees, palm trees grow in a straight, vertical line, with a single growing point at the top of the tree. Because of this single growing point, normal pruning techniques are not effective. If a growing palm tree becomes a safety hazard, it may need to be topped or removed altogether.
“Palm trees present a specific hazard to energized electrical lines, due to their extremely flammable properties,” said Tracy Dillon, supervisor of vegetation management for Entergy Texas, Inc. “Palm fronds contacting the power lines can lead to unsafe conditions, as well as affect customer service reliability by causing power outages.”
If homeowners choose to include palm trees in their landscape plans, Dillon recommends planting them at least 20-40 feet from electric facilities, in order to reduce the risk of windblown fronds coming into contact with power lines.
“No part of the tree should ever grow within 10 feet of the power line,” he said.
The same holds true for other trees, and the appropriate distance from power lines depends on the tree. A matured tree’s height as well as width should be considered when choosing your planting location.
Power lines can carry up to 34,500 volts and can be deadly, so people trimming trees need to use extra caution. If you are planning to trim or remove a tree near any power or service line, please call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749). Trained personnel can identify potential reliability or safety threats and advise you what can be done.
Never touch an electrical wire; always assume it is conducting electricity and is dangerous. For more information on tree trimming or about where to plant trees, so they will be power line friendly, visit the tree section of our website.
Entergy Texas, Inc. provides electricity to approximately 450,000 customers in 27 counties. Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 9,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11 billion and more than 13,000 employees.