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Electric Company Calls for Smart Tree Use

High winds and trees can mean power outages.

While much of Chesterfield has underground electrical power lines, there are still occasions here when falling trees take down above-ground lines and knock out power.

A tree on Old Baxter Road next to Monarch Fire Protection District Firehouse No.1 took a header last Fall, along Clarkson Road for an afternoon.

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Ameren Missouri redoubled efforts to get the word out about trees and power lines.

And since it costs the company when repairs are required, avoiding damage in the first place, may potentially save customers a little on rate hikes?

The smartest, bottom-line advice from Ameren is: Don't plant the wrong tree near power lines—above ground or below. See list of preferred trees below.

Ameren particularly advises against fast-growing trees, saying that those have the softest wood, and more easily blow down in storms. Also, these soft wood trees live fast and die young.

Slow-growing trees tend to have strong, dense wood, Ameren said, and are less prone to insects and disease—things which weaken the tree and cause it to fall.

Ameren provided a list of trees and shrubs to consider when planting in this area, and the message was—the shorter the better near above-ground power lines. 

Also, call before digging in areas with underground power lines, 1-800-344-7483.

Shrubs (up to 15 feet tall, plant 15 feet from utility poles):

  • Burning Bush
  • Forsythia
  • Lilac
  • Mockorange
  • Rose-of-Sharon
  • Wahoo
  • Pyracantha
  • Viburnum

Small trees (under 25 feet tall, plant 15 feet from utility poles):

  • Flowering Dogwood
  • Flowering Crabapple
  • Japanese Maple
  • Amur Maple
  • Fringetree
  • Ivory Silk Lilac
  • Star Magnolia
  • Smoke Tree
  • Serviceberry
  • Red Buckeye

Medium trees (25-45 feet tall, plant 35 feet from utility poles):

  • Amur Cork Tree
  • Lacebark Elm
  • Goldenrain Tree, Panicle
  • Thornless Honeylocust
  • American Hornbeam
  • Juniper
  • Japanese Pagoda
  • Red Pine
  • Sassafras
  • Redbud
  • Hawthron
  • Holly

Large trees (over 45 feet tall, plant 65 feet from utility poles):

  • Shag Bark Hickory
  • Sugar Maple
  • Bur Oak
  • Northern Red Oak
  • Pecan
  • White Pine
  • Norway Spruce
  • Black Walnut

 

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