Right Tree, Right Place

Planting the Right Tree, in the Right Place

Planning ahead is important when you are thinking about planting a new tree. People often plant trees without thinking about how large they will grow once they mature. It’s difficult to imagine that the six- or eight-foot tree you plant today could grow as tall as 80 or 100 feet over time.

Our Right Tree, Right Place brochure can help you select a tree that is appropriate for the area you’re considering. This guide provides valuable tips and suggestions on how to plant the right tree in the right place to prevent the tree from growing into overhead powerlines.

When planting within 15 feet of an overhead powerline, you should choose large shrubs or small evergreens and hardwood trees with mature heights ranging from 15 to 30 feet (see Zone 1 - Small Trees chart below).

Always Call 811 Before You Dig

No matter what type of tree you purchase and where you plan to plant it, always be sure to call before you dig. The depth of underground utilities (i.e. electricity, natural gas, water, cable and telephone service) varies.

When you dial 811, Kentucky 811 will coordinate with its member utility companies in your area to have the underground service lines marked. LG&E and ODP are member utilities in all of the areas they serve. KU is a member utility in many areas, but, in some areas, you will need to make a call to KU to request to have underground electric service marked. To find out if KU is a member in the county where you will be planting your tree, use the drop-down list here. The utility companies will mark your yard using the American Public Works Association's standard utility color code — at no charge to you — to ensure you know where their service lines are buried.

Zone 1 - Small Trees Chart

Species Drained Soil Moist Soil Sun Shade Mature Height (ft.) Value & Remarks
Junipers *   *   30 Keteleeri, Canaerti, Columnaris
Arborvitae * * *   20 Techny, American, Emerald
Paperbark Maple *   *   25 Exfoliating bark
Serviceberry *   * Semi 30 White flowers; orange-red fall color
Redbud * * * Semi 35 Purplish flowers in spring
Fringetree *   * Semi 30 White blooms in spring
Dogwoods *   Semi Semi 40 White or pink blooms
Kousa Dogwoods *   * Semi 20 Good resistance
Cornelian cherry dogwood *   * Semi 20 Yellow flowers - early spring
Smoke tree *   *   30 Green- and red-leafed varieties
Winter king hawthorn * Semi * Semi 35 Red berries in winter
Royal star magnolia * Semi * Semi 20 White blooms in spring
Sweetbay magnolia * Semi * Semi 30 Tulip-like blossoms in spring
Ann magnolia * Semi * Semi 25 Pinkish-white tulip flowers in spring
Flowering Crabs * Semi *   25 Choose disease-resistant
Japanese tree lilac *   *   30 White blooms late spring
Red buckeye * Semi * Semi 25 Red blooms
Akebono flowering cherry *   *   25 Pinkish-white flowers in spring
Carolina silverbell *   * * 25 White bell-like flowers in spring
American hornbeam * * * * 35 Ky. native; beech-like foliage
Paw paw * * * * 20 Tropical-like foliage, edible fruit
Witch hazel *   * Semi 15 Winter bloomer
Hop-hornbeam * Semi * Semi 35 Good native ornamental tree
Crepe Myrtle *   *   15 Train into multi-trunk flowering tree