Planting & Maintaining Trees near Electrical Equipment

Right Tree Right Place


Planting Trees Near Power Lines

Trees beautify our neighborhoods, and when planted in the right spot, can even help lower energy bills. But the wrong tree in the wrong place can be a hazard… especially to power lines.

We ask that members avoid planting trees within 20 feet of power lines. When planting within 20 feet is unavoidable, plant and maintain only grass, flowers, or low-growing, trees, hedges or shrubs within the 20-foot zone, either side of the power lines. For your reference, Flathead Electric maintains a list of Small Trees – maturing at less than 15′ tall (PDF). Thank you for helping us continue to provide you with reliable, efficient service in the future!

Plan Before You Plant from Flathead Electric on Vimeo.

Maintaining Trees Near Power Lines

When it is time to trim, cut or plant your trees it may seem faster and easier to do it yourself rather than to contact a professional.  Even if you are considering having professional arborists/landscapers perform your upkeep, it’s important to contact us and Montana 811 (Just dial 811, or go to for a free line locator before, just to be safe.

We encourage you to call the Co-op before you trim your trees so we can locate high voltage power lines and anticipate safety issues. If you have a tree or trees growing near or into our primary, high voltage power lines, we will trim or even cut the tree, free of charge to you.

Trees that grow too close to power lines can be an extreme safety hazard for children and tree trimmers. To meet national safety codes, only line clearance certified tree trimmers are allowed to work on a tree within 10 feet of an energized, high-voltage line. Flathead Electric tree trimming crews, or contract trimming crews are trained in the latest pruning techniques as presented by the International Society of Arboriculture. Please call Flathead Electric at 406-751-4483 and ask for the Right of Way department if you have questions.

We understand that you take pride in homeownership and the maintenance of your land, but in the best interest of public safety and providing our workers with a safe working environment, following these instructions can mean the difference between life and death.