Safe Tree Planting Guidelines

by Glenn Dalton 19 comments

Professional Tree Services Blog


  • When mature, trees should not grow to within two metres of powerlines – that is, the powerline from the street to your home and the powerlines that run along your street or in easements (diagram 1).


  • Before planting on ENERGEX easements always contact ENERGEX on 13 12 53 to check if there are any special planting requirements.


  • If you want to plant taller plants, apply the 45-degree rule: Plant at a distance from the powerline at least equal to the expected mature height of the plant (diagram 2).

  • Do not plant climbing trees or plants near the base of power poles. They can grow up into the lines and pose a safety risk or interrupt electricity supply.


  • Do not plant palms within five metres of powerlines.


Naturally Occurring Species

When planting, ENERGEX recommends you consider species which naturally occur in a particular area. By selecting naturally occurring species whenever possible, you will be helping the environment in many ways. The Department of Natural Resources Mines and Water, your local council or local environmental groups, such as Greening Australia, will be able to assist you with more information and you will be able to find out more at local nurseries which carry the safetree symbol.


Planting Safe Trees

To help provide your new ‘powerline friendly approved’ plants or seedlings with a good start, consider the following planting tips*:

  1. Check the quality of the soil. Does it appear too sandy, heavy, clay or wet? If so, your local nursery can advise you how best to rectify the situation.
  2. Always keep your new safetree moist while it is in its nursery pot, and water daily complying with any local water restrictions.
  3. When planting, dig a hole for the plant that is twice the width of the container the plant is currently housed in and the same depth.
  4. Water the hole you have dug for the plant and let it drain slightly.
  5. To remove your safetree from its pot: (a) place your hand on top of the pot letting the stem of the plant sit between two of your fingers; (b) place your other hand under the pot; (c) turn the pot upside down, being careful not to damage or break the stem of the plant; (d) rotate the pot gently and lift it off, and; (e) using both hands, turn the plant upright again.
  6. Back-fill the hole to the required depth (when the plant is placed in the hole and covered with soil, the stem should enter the soil in the same place as when it was in the pot).
  7. Place the plant gently in the prepared hole.
  8. Fill the hole with soil and press firmly around the roots. Do not use your foot to tread the soil down near the plant (consider using water crystals when back-filling to assist with moisture retention in soil).
  9. Create a basin outward from the stem of the plant to help retain water. Place mulch around the planting area (not up against the stem of the plant).
  10. When planting is complete, always water plants thoroughly. Water your new safetree every second day for one to two weeks and then water and fertilise as required.


*Always read and follow any care or planting instructions that accompany your new plant. The above tips are designed as planting and care guidelines only; following these tips does not guarantee that your plant will flourish. If you are concerned with the progress or health of a plant, consult your local nursery for advice.



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