RICHMOND, Va., May 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- This spring planting season, Dominion Virginia Power encourages customers to plant trees to enhance the health and beauty of the community. But did you know, planning which tree and where it should be planted can actually save you money and increase electric reliability around your home?
A little extra planning before planting trees or shrubs near power lines can go a long way to avoid trouble. Trees along power lines often grow too tall and cause power outages, requiring consistent trimming to help ensure the lights stay on.
"Planting the right tree in the right place is the best way to ensure the optimum health of the tree, while helping Dominion keep the lines clear and the lights on," said Jay Griles, manager of distribution forestry. "A good rule of thumb is to avoid planting any trees within 15 feet of a power line. Small and medium sized trees are suitable 15-35 feet from the line, and tall trees should be at least 35 feet away."
For more information about planting guidelines and recommended species for your area, visit www.dom.com, keyword Trees.Planting the right trees in the right places also conserves energy and reduces your energy bills. By strategically placing trees around the home, customers can save energy by providing summer shade, winter warmth, and winter windbreaks:
- Plant deciduous trees like oak, maple, gum, ash and dogwood. They lose their leaves in the winter, letting the sun through to warm your home. In summer, their leaves provide shade. Plant shade trees to the south, where your home receives the most sun.
- Evergreens are effective for blocking wind. Plant them in a staggered or double line to the northwest of your home.
- Smaller foundation plants can minimize the loss of cool air away from the house in summer and, in winter, provide additional wind protection.
- Shade your air conditioner by planting trees or shrubs nearby. The unit won't have to work as hard to keep up on hot days.