Safe Planting

Trees are the major cause of power interruptions for SMECO customer-members. Download our Right Tree, Right Place brochure to learn the correct distances for planting trees when near the Cooperative’s power lines.

Right Tree, Right Place (PDF)


Although the big green transformer in your yard is not the most beautiful of landscape accents, it is probably one of the most important. Without the transformer, you would not have electricity.

Like all pieces of equipment, the transformer may need repairs at one time or another, and SMECO crews will need access. To prevent your plants from being removed, please place them at least 10 feet away from the transformer.

Here are a few landscaping thoughts:

  • Put grass, gravel, or 2-inch rock around transformers or other electrical equipment.
  • Do not use ivy or other climbing plants around the equipment.
  • Do not change the grade around equipment to avoid problems with access and service.

Before you dig to plant trees or shrubs, call Miss Utility by dialing 811 to have the location of underground power lines on your property marked.

If you have any questions about the equipment, call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311. Thank you for your cooperation.

Vegetation Management:

SMECO manages vegetation along its rights-of-way on a four-year cycle, controlling the vegetation that threatens power lines so that we can maintain a safe and reliable electric system. Read the current vegetation management schedule.

Maryland Tree Experts List:

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources offers a searchable list of licensed tree professionals in the state.

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