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Ameren Illinois Reminds Customers of the Benefits to Planting "Right Tree in Right Place"
Important safety tip – Call J.U.L.I.E. at 8-1-1 before digging

COLLINSVILLE, IL (APRIL 27, 2021) – Now that Spring has arrived, many homeowners are heading outdoors with landscape beautification plans in mind. Ameren Illinois is offering customers important safety advice when it comes to tree planting and safe digging.

Before the first shovel is turned into the ground, homeowners or contractors should call JULIE at 8-1-1 to have underground utilities properly marked. Digging without first calling JULIE can disrupt utility service to an entire neighborhood, lead to injuries and result in hefty repair costs and possible fines. There is no charge for JULIE utility locating services and the call must be made at least two business days before digging.

George Justice, Vice President of Electric Operations for Ameren Illinois, encourages the planting of shrubs and trees, which can help reduce a homeowner’s energy costs by keeping homes cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  However, he suggests consulting with a nursery or an arborist to help select "the right tree to plant in the right place" to avoid potential problems in the future.

"Many folks plant trees and shrubs without understanding the future problems that can arise when planting near power lines," Justice said. "When tall trees are too close to electrical power lines, strong winds, wet snow and ice storms can cause tree limbs and even entire trees to fall into those power lines.  Downed wires can cause extensive power outages and pose a safety risk to members of the public."

Justice adds that tall trees growing near electrical lines must be trimmed frequently to minimize the threat to reliable electrical service. Tree trimming crews, working on behalf of Ameren Illinois, follow the standards and methods endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture.

"If you are concerned about tree growth near the power lines that run from the utility pole to your residence, please call us at 800-755-5000 to request and schedule an appointment to have your service drop disconnected in order to have the trees near this line trimmed safely," Justice said. "We recommend that you hire a professional tree service to do this trimming."

Justice offered these tree planning and planting tips or by visiting MySafeTrees.com:

  • Plant shrubs within 15 feet of electric distribution lines. Shrubs that do well in Illinois include forsythia, lilac, mock orange, burning bush and viburnum.
  • Small trees that have a mature height of up to 25 feet may be planted 15 to 25 feet from electric distribution lines. Examples include redbud, hawthorn, and Amur maple.
  • Medium trees have a mature height of 25 to 45 feet and may be planted 35 to 45 feet from distribution lines. Examples include American hornbeam, juniper, red pine and sassafras.
  • Large trees that grow 45 feet and taller should be planted at least 45 feet away from distribution lines. A few examples include sugar maple, bur oak, red oak, Norway spruce and yellow poplar (tulip tree).

About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

For further information: Brian Bretsch, 618.407.6894, bbretsch@ameren.com