Right Tree, Right Place

Overhead and Underground Lines

Overhead lines can be either electric, telephone, or cable television. Underground lines include these plus water, sewer, and natural gas. To locate underground lines, call 811 at least three days before beginning any digging project.

The location of overhead and underground lines should have a direct impact on planting site selection. For instance, the mature height and canopy spread (how wide the tree will grow) must be within the available overhead growing space. The soil area must also be large enough to accommodate the particular rooting habits and ultimate trunk diameter of the tree.

Right Tree Right Place illustration
Tree Characteristics

For a proper landscape plan, consider the following for each tree:

  • What is the form or shape of the tree? For example, a columnar tree will grow in less space, but round and v-shaped species provide the most shade.

  • What is the growth rate of the tree? Slow growing species typically live longer than fast growing species.

  • In what hardiness zone do you live? The United States and Canada are divided into hardiness zones based on the average annual minimum temperature. Hardiness zones have been recommended by the Arbor Day Foundation for all trees and perennials. Click here to find out where your location falls in the Arborday.org hardiness zone database.

Energy Savings

Choosing the right type of tree and location can also help you save energy. Deciduous trees lose their foliage (i.e. leaves) during cold weather. When planted on the south and west sides of the home, they save energy by creating shade in the summer and allowing sunlight to warm the home in the winter.

See how properly placed trees save energy by providing summer shade and winter warmth

For additional information about choosing the right tree in the right place, visit the Arbor Day Foundation at www.arborday.org. For assistance with selecting the right tree location, call the city of Rocky Mount forester at (252) 467-4856.

Planting Near and Around Transformers
  • DO NOT place obstructions (e.g. fencing, shrubs, trees, plants, flowers) around the transformer that hinder the ability of the City to service, repair or inspect the transformer.

  • DO NOT place pine straw or compost around the base of the transformer as this could promote corrosion and cause the transformer to leak.

  • DO NOT plant any variety of running vine or shrubs or bushes that bear thorns or sharp protrusions around the transformer.

  • DO ensure that the top and front of the transformer are clearly visible.

  • DO ensure that a 5’ clearance is maintained when placing plantings or fencing around the sides and back of the transformer. Trees planted within 15’ of the transformer may eventually require removal if tree roots or foliage hinder service or maintenance of the transformer.

Customers are encouraged to contact the city before planting. Obstructions found by repair or inspection crews will be removed without notice to the resident.

Examples of Incorrect Planting around Transformers


Examples of Correct Planting around Transformers


For more information, contact the city of Rocky Mount staking engineer supervisor at (252) 467-4846.