Site provides education on avoiding power lines while promoting tree planting


UT Gardens and KUB tree planting demonstration
A new tree demonstration garden in the UT Gardens, Knoxville, is a partnership with the Knoxville Utilities Board to educate the public on planting the Right Tree in the Right Place. Kneeling (L to R):  UT Facility Services Nathan Ownby and Jacob Capps; KUB in safety vests (L to R): Bill Julian, Elizabeth Hannah; Back (L to R):  UT Facility Services Ted Murphy, Jason Cottrell, Larry Stalans, Harley Finley, Duane Atkins, Tony Aparijo, Brickey Hearon, Gunaranjan Arepalli, and UT Gardens Director, Dr. Sue Hamilton. Download photo.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A new tree demonstration garden in the University of Tennessee Gardens is being funded by the Knoxville Utilities Board to educate the public about planting the “Right Tree in the Right Place” around utility lines. Between the design of the garden, plants used, and interpretative signage, the new garden is a great resource in educating the public about how to plant around utility lines to avoid the deep pruning that has been required on many large, established trees in the Knoxville area. The partnership and collaboration between KUB and UT Gardens support the mission of both groups. Both want to promote the planting of trees and ensure their long-term survival in the landscape, and this demonstration garden does just that.
"The UT Gardens is a perfect venue for The Right Tree, Right Place Demonstration since we are a public garden providing educational opportunities for not only UT faculty and students but the Knoxville community as well. Visitors will be able to see firsthand examples of different tree species appropriately planted under and around power lines based upon their long-term mature size,” said Sue Hamilton, UT Gardens director.
The demonstration site provides education on protecting trees as a valuable resource and keeping power lines clear. Trees are beautiful and important to our environment, but trees growing near or into power lines are a danger and may cause power outages. Having power interrupted is annoying, and it can also be dangerous. When a tree comes in contact with a power line, it gives electrical current a path to the ground. That makes it a potential electrocution hazard to crews restoring service and to the public.
“As a public utility, KUB is responsible for providing safe and reliable power to our customers,” said Mintha Roach, KUB President and CEO. “We take this responsibility seriously, and our crews work hard to keep power lines clear and to balance the beauty of trees with our commitment to serving customers. By planting the right tree in the right place, customers can help keep our community beautiful and help protect themselves and KUB crews who work on power lines.”
If you would like more information on the Right Tree in the Right Place Demonstration, visit to learn more about tree planting, pruning and other options; view videos or sample photos of pruned trees; and find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also view the KUB Tree Pruning: A Customer Guide brochure online.
KUB is an independent agency of the City of Knoxville. KUB provides electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 439,000 customers in Knoxville and parts of seven surrounding counties.
The University of Tennessee Gardens located in Knoxville and Jackson are part of the UT Institute of Agriculture. They inspire each year 70,000 families, children, youth, green industry professionals and students about plants to enrich their lives with beauty, better health and a closer connection to nature. Their mission is to educate and cultivate an appreciation of plants through horticultural displays, educational programs and research.
Both gardens are Tennessee Certified Arboreta and American Conifer Society Reference Gardens. The gardens are open during all seasons and free to the public. For more information, visit and


Dr. Susan Hamilton, UT Gardens Director, 865-974-7972,

Leslye Hartsell, Knoxville Utilities Board, 865-594-7988,