Selection of Trees
Guidance for Planting Trees within the UPZ, in the Opposite Public Right-of-way
and on Private Land
and on Private Land
Within the UPZ: Any new tree to be planted in the UPZ should be compatible with the utility infrastructure, known as a "right tree/ right place" tree. The UPZ is a defined rectangular space that is bounded by a horizontal line 8 feet out from the outermost wire or conductor on either side of the distribution system, from ground to sky. Care should also be taken not to plant a tree on private property that could encroach into the UPZ in a way that would require pruning. A chart included in the State Vegetation Management Report lists trees and shrubs that are compatible with the utility infrastructure. Existing tall mature trees can, however, remain if they can be pruned in accordance with professional pruning standards to be compatible with the utility infrastructure.
Within the Opposite Public Right-of-way: Recognizing that tree wardens and the DOT have care and control over trees and shrubs in their public rights-of-way pursuant to Section 23-59, C.G.S., and Section 13a-140, C.G.S., and may impose restrictions now or in the future, there are no limitations under Section 16-234, C.G.S., on planting trees that will grow tall as they mature, and which therefore provide far more benefits to private property owners and municipalities.
On Private Land: Although one may want to check municipal ordinances and guidelines, in general there are no state limitations on what trees can be planted or removed on private property by property owners.
Related Information on Tree Selection, Planting and Maintenance
For general information on selection, planting and care of trees, including trees near electric distribution wires, see CT Tree Planting and Maintenance, by the Urban Forestry Division of the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
New Haven Urban Resource Initiative: STREET TREE CHARACTERISTIC CHART is an excellent guide to what trees are appropriate for planting along streets, especially in New Haven, and can be used elsewhere based on the detailed information provided about each tree. The chart indicates which trees may be planted under electric distribution wires.