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Landscaping & Tree Trimming

There can be a silent, hidden and potentially deadly hazard located in the trees right outside your home: powerlines. Respect their immense power and reduce the chances of serious injury or death by following these precautions when trimming trees and doing regular maintenance around the home.

Existing trees

It’s important to ensure trees and other plants don’t grow too close to powerlines and other electrical equipment. Here’s why:

  • Tree limbs that come down during a storm or high winds can bring powerlines with them causing a power outage and a safety hazard for anyone who gets too close.
  • Tree branches that touch powerlines can also cause a fire and create an electric shock hazard if someone touches the tree.

Use extreme caution when using ladders to prune trees, bushes and hedges and cleaning eavestroughs around the home.

If you have trees that are growing too close to powerlines, contact a utility arborist or your Local Distribution Company to have the tree safely trimmed.

Planting new trees and shrubs

If you’re planting new trees on your property, make sure to plant them far enough away from the powerlines so even when your sapling is a mature tree, it doesn’t come too close. Download ESA's tree planting guide for suggestions on species that are appropriate to plant near powerlines.

Thinking about planting shrubs around that green box on your property? Remember, this box – called a padmount transformer – contains electrical equipment that runs underground. Never dig near one, and don’t plant shrubs or plants within 1 metre of the box. This will make it difficult for utility personnel to find and access the box if there’s a power outage.

Also, always make sure to call before you dig. Contact Ontario One Call to locate all underground utility-related infrastructure. Privately owned underground powerlines require a private locate.

Video: Call Before You Dig

Make sure you know what is in the ground before you dig. Don't be like Lucky the Squirrel - call or click Ontario One Call one week in advance before you dig.


More Resources

Privately-Owned Powerline Assets - Know Your Responsibilities

Homeowner Tree Trimming & Planting Checklist

Tree Planting Guidelines

Tree Trimming Guidelines 

Landscaping - Homeowner Information Card