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Right Tree in the Right Place

This practice is recommended for lower-voltage, primary distribution lines most commonly found in residential areas. If you have questions about the type of lines in your area, call Vegetation Central at 855-WESTAR-5 (855-937-8275).

Tree planting checklist

Trees can enhance your home with colorful foliage, graceful form and cooling shade. It's important to know the right trees and where to plant them.

To achieve the greatest value from your landscaping investment, you'll want to discuss the following questions with your nursery:

  1. Are you planting the tree for shade? To block an undesirable view? To frame your house? To add more greenery to your yard?
  2. How large will the tree become? Will the tree still fit into your landscape scheme as it grows in width and height?
  3. What shape will the mature tree have - upright, round or spreading?
  4. What maintenance will the tree require?
  5. Will the tree be able to survive the local climate and soil?
  6. Is the wood of the tree strong or brittle? Does the tree have a deep or shallow root system?
  7. Is the tree susceptible to insects and disease?
  8. Will the tree add to the value of your property now and at maturity?
  9. Will the tree overhang or cause any inconvenience to neighbors?
  10. Are there any local ordinances forbidding the planting of certain trees or controlling what you can plant along a parking area?

Tree safety

Call or click before you dig

Before you dig for any reason, call 811 or visit to have underground lines marked at no charge within two business days of your request. 

Overhead tree trimming safety
  • Never get closer than 10 feet to an overhead power line.
  • Only allow Westar Energy personnel to de-energize an overhead line.
  • Always use personal protective equipment when tree trimming.
  • Before trimming, inspect the surrounding areas to identify possible hazards.
  • Mark off areas around the work area to prevent bystander access.

Right Tree in the Right Place – Tree planting guide

  • To keep new trees from growing into utility lines, plant small, medium and large mature-growth trees a proper distance from power lines.
  • Planting around or close to underground utilities is not desirable, since the root systems may disrupt service.
  • Avoid planting shrubs or ornamentals around padmount transformers or pedestals.
  • All plant materials with a mature height greater than 1 foot should be planted at least 10 feet from an underground line or transformer.
  • These distances are necessary to provide access to the transformer for maintenance or to restore service in the event of a power outage.
Zone 1 - Small Trees – May be planted within 20 foot distance from high-voltage overhead power lines.
Tree species Central KS Eastern KS
American Plum X X
Amur Maple X X
Cockspur Hawthorn (thornless) X
Flowering Crabapple X X
Flowering Dogwood
Japanese Maple
Oklahoma Redbud X X
Pinyon Pine X X
Smoketree, short varietites X X
Star Magnolia   X
White Fringetree   X
Winterberry Euonymus X X
Zone 2 - Medium Trees – May be planted beyond 20 foot distance from overhead power lines.
Tree species Central KS Eastern KS
American Hornbeam   X
American Yellowwood   X
Black Hills Spruce X X
Callery Ornament Pear X X
Canada Red Chokecherry   X
Chinese Fringetree
Chinese Pistache  
Chinkapin Oak X X
Eastern Redbud X X
Eastern Red Cedar X X
Goldenrain Tree X X
Hedge Maple X X
Hop Hornbeam (Ironwood)   X
Ivory Silk Japanese Tree Lilac   X
Limber Pine X X
Osage Orange (fruitless, thornless) X X
Paperbark Maple   X
Saucer Magnolia   X
Serviceberry   X
Shantung Maple (Purpleblow) X X
Sweet Bay Magnolia   X
Trident Maple X X
Upright Chinese Juniper X X
Western Soapberry   X
White Mulberry X  
Zone 3 - Large Trees - May be planted beyond 45 foot distance from overhead power lines.
Tree species Central KS Eastern KS
American Linden X X
Austrian Pine X  
Bald Cypress X X
Black Gum   X
Bur Oak X X
Chestnut Oak   X
Common Hackberry X  
English Oak X X
Europeon Hornbeam   X
Freeman Maple  X X
Ginkgo X X
Green Ash X X
Japanese Zelkova X  
Kentucky Coffeetree X X
Lacebark Elm X X
Littleleaf Linden X X
London Plane Tree X X
Norway Maple   X
Persimmon   X
Red Maple Hybrids X X
Red Oak X X
River Birch X X
Sawtooth Oak X X
Shingle Oak X X
Shumard Oak X X
Southwestern White Pine   X
Sugar Maple X X
Swamp White Oak X X
Sweet Gum   X
Thornless Honeylocust X X
White Ash X X
White Oak   X
Willow Oak   X

Tree energy savings

Energy savings can grow on trees
  1. Plant deciduous trees (they shed their leaves in the winter) on the west and southwest sides of your house. They'll provide shade in the summer and allow sun in the winter.
  2. Evergreens on the north and west sides of your house help block cold winter winds.
  3. Foundation plantings can create an insulating space around your house.

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