What are these trees?
Why does it matter?
- Underwire trees are ones that can be easily kept out
of the primary distribution lines.
- The best are those that grow only to 25-30' and so never need utility
pruning at all.
- Choosing the right trees for underwire planting brings:
- greater safety by eliminating the possibility of climbing
into the wires
- lower maintenance costs from frequent pruning and power
- more reliability on uninterrupted electric service to customers
- fewer potential hazards from repeated wounding and subsequent
- no misshapen trees from topping, one-sided cuts, or center
- Set-back planting--placing public trees back from the right-of-way
onto private property--is another option.
What are some good species for a northeast US urban environment?
Japanese tree lilac
planted beneath power lines
- Examples of trees suitable for underwire use include:
- Hedge maple (Acer campestre)
- Robin Hill serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora 'Robin
- Winter King hawthorn (Crataegus viridis 'Winter King')
- Goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata)
- Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis)
- Professor Sprenger crabapple (Malus 'Professor Sprenger')
- Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
- Ivory Silk tree lilac (Syringa reticulata 'Ivory Silk')
What varieties should be avoided for underwire planting?
- Check the cultural requirements of these trees before selecting
them for your site.
Where can I buy the recommended species?
- Any medium or large tree that will grow quickly into the wires.
- Trees that require high maintenance, like many crabapples and cherries.
Where can I get more information?
- Some are available at good regional nurseries, but check them against
your stock specifications.
- Otherwise, order from the catalogue of a reputable tree nursery,
best 6 months in advance.
Check with your local utility for its list, and with your land-grant institution's
urban forestry personnel. For other information, advice and help on
this topic, call offices of your State Urban Forestry Coordinator or University
Extension service, or visit urban forestry web sites.