How to measure the safe planting distance given by the Choose the Right Tree or Shrub tool

There are two ways to measure, depending on whether you have a certain type of tree or shrub in mind or whether you’ve already chosen a planting site.

WARNING

Never let anyone or anything—tape measure, tools, scaffolding, building materials, etc.—come within 3 m of a medium-voltage line.

I’ve got a certain tree or shrub in mind

Let’s say you want to plant a Japanese tree lilac ‘Ivory Silk’ and there’s a medium-voltage line nearby.

Step1 of 6

Using the Choose the Right Tree or Shrub online tool, enter “Ivory Silk tree lilac” in the Name of the species or variety field and click on Search.

Step2 of 6

You’ll see that the safe planting distance for this tree is 3.5 m. That means you must plant your lilac at least 3.5 m from the power line.

Step3 of 6

Look for the medium-voltage line closest to the spot where you want to plant your tree.

Step4 of 6

Lay a rope on the ground along an imaginary line between the two poles supporting the medium-voltage line.

Step5 of 6

Lay a second rope on the ground at a right angle to the first one. On the second rope, measure the distance recommended by the tool (in the example, 3.5 m for an Ivory Silk Japanese lilac) from where the two ropes cross and mark this point on the ground.

Step6 of 6

Move the first rope to the point you just marked on the ground, making sure that it is still at a right angle to the other one. You can plant your tree safely here or anywhere farther away from the medium-voltage line.

I’ve already chosen a planting site

Let’s say you want to plant a tree or shrub at a particular spot on your property and there’s a medium-voltage line nearby.

Step1 of 6

Identify the medium-voltage line closest to the spot where you want to plant your tree or shrub.

Step2 of 6

Lay a rope on the ground along an imaginary line between the two poles supporting the medium-voltage line.

Step3 of 6

Lay a second rope on the ground from the first rope to your intended planting site, at a right angle to the first one.

Step4 of 6

On the second rope, measure the distance from where the two ropes cross to your intended planting site and mark it. Let’s say it’s 4 m.

Step5 of 6

Use the Choose the Right Tree or Shrub tool. Don’t enter anything in the Name of species or variety field. Instead, select 4 m in the Safe planting distance field. Next, select any other criteria relevant to you and click on Search.

Step6 of 6

Read through the search results and choose a tree or shrub. You can rest easy, confident that every species or variety listed can safely be planted at your desired location.