Planting Guidelines

Stay safe and help improve reliability by following these important guidelines. Consider the mature size before planting, and never obstruct PEC’s access to electrical equipment.

Right tree, right place

As a homeowner, you want your trees to live long, healthy lives. So do we. Trees contacting power lines can cause fires, power outages, or electric shock. Utilizing LiDAR technology, we prioritize maintenance where vegetation poses a risk to electric equipment. If you’ve planted trees, bushes, or plants directly under electric lines, they’re at risk of being removed.

You can help protect your plants. Never allow trees, bushes, or plants of any size to grow directly under electric lines. Before planting, consider the mature size of the species you’ve selected. For example, a 4-foot-tall, 2-foot-wide tree planted today could end up 60 feet tall and 30 feet across when fully grown. Use the diagram below as a reference when thinking about the right tree, the right place.

Contact us

Do you have a vegetation issue or question about a contractor?

Contact us at: 888-554-4732
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We proudly adhere to industry-wide standards for the safety of your family, your trees and our staff.

See our standards.

PEC field employees and contractors carry authorization and never ask for payment.

Learn more.

The Texas Forest Service recommends these trees for Central Texas:

  • American smoke tree
  • Texas or Mexican redbud
  • Desert willow
  • Lacey oak
  • Mexican plum
  • Bigtooth maple
  • Cedar elm
  • Bald cypress
  • Bur oak

Call 811 before you dig

If you’re digging 16 inches or deeper anywhere in your yard, call Texas811 first — it’s the law, and it can save your life. Injury and power outages can occur when metal tools contact buried electric line. Other hazards like water and sewage, telecom, and oil and gas lines could also be buried underground.

When you call 811, their staff will come to your location and mark all underground equipment for free. Make a request by calling 800-344-8377 or visiting Texas811. You must contact them at least two working days in advance before you plan to dig.

Planting near pad-mounted transformers

In areas with underground electric service, do not plant shrubs or other vegetation around pad-mounted transformers or otherwise hide or block access. Obstructions near this equipment will make maintenance work hazardous or difficult for crews and may increase outage restoration times. Ten feet of clearance is needed in front of equipment so crews can safely open it, and 5 feet on each side allows easy access. Some large pad-mounted electric equipment requires 10 feet of clearance in the front and back.