Cooperative News

Your fall planting guide

PEC expert shares tips for safe and optimal planting

You don’t have to wait for spring to plant trees in Texas. Many native varieties actually thrive when planted in the fall. The extra time in the ground helps them establish in the soil and grow new roots, so when spring comes along, they’ll bud new growth and lots of it!

Before you pick up your gardening shovel, PEC Vegetation Maintenance Supervisor Ryan Krause says, “Consider what’s located both above and underground.” Here are his top five tips for fall planting. Follow them carefully for a safe and beautiful yard.

Call before you dig

Decide where and how deep you’ll be digging. If you’re digging 16 inches or deeper anywhere in your yard, your very first step should be to call Texas811 —it’s the law, and it can save your life.

Picture your tree full-grown

For reliable electric service, make sure to plant the right tree in the right place. Before planting, consider the mature size of the species you’ve selected. Remember, you’re planting in the fall to establish the root system, which is going to shoot up in the spring. Don’t expect a lot of growth in the fall, but know that planting now can create much more growth in the spring.

Resist the urge to hide the big green box

While it’s tempting to want to hide pad-mounted transformers, those big green boxes provide electric service through underground lines. From time to time, PEC crews may need to access them to help restore your power quickly and safely. That’s why it’s important to keep the area around them clear. Planting shrubs or obstructing access makes work hazardous and difficult for our crews, and may increase your outage time.

Plant a butterfly garden

One thing you can plant safely around a pad-mounted transformer is our PEC wildflower seed mix. By planting this in the fall, you’ll enjoy the flowers and butterflies next spring. “The wildflowers are short and a lot of them are native, so they’ll die off and come back again. They don’t grow into a big bush or limit access, plus they help promote pollinators in our area which is increasingly important.”

Enlist the help of our experts

Our experts are eager to work with members to find solutions that benefit both you and PEC. If you have questions about planting or vegetation, Krause encourages you to reach out. He said, “Our folks are always happy to assist and find the best possible solutions to keep your yard beautiful and our system reliable.”

Trimming trees near electrical equipment is dangerous — never attempt to do it yourself. If you see trees growing near our lines, request free tree-care service online via SmartHub by selecting “Contact Us” from the navigation menu or visit the Contact Us page at pec.coop. You can also call us at 888-554-4732, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. A PEC arborist will contact you and send a crew to safely clear the vegetation.

Find more tips at pec.coop/yard, and visit pec.coop/monarchs to learn more about PEC’s commitment to monarch preservation.