Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Trade A Tree

Electric customers that have trees growing into their power lines can have them replaced with small growing ornamental trees for FREE. Please fill out our online tree form, call 874-6205 or e-mail us ( for more information.
If your property has trees growing into power lines, it's likely that you'll experience 'blinks' in your service or a power failure. Most power outages result from trees and limbs falling on electrical lines during storms.
The first step in trading your large tree with a smaller one is to notify us and we will inspect your trees growing near the city's main distribution system power lines. Trees growing in service lines to your home do not qualify for this program.

If the tree on your property does qualify for the program, Columbia Water & Light will remove the problem tree. To keep the costs of this program down, we do not remove the tree stump. Once you have your Trade A Tree voucher, please go to Superior Garden Center to pick out your free bush or tree. You will be given a stake to take home and mark the location where you want your tree or bush planted. Superior Garden Center staff will take care of the planting for you.

DIRECTIONS TO SUPERIOR GARDEN CENTER: Head west on Interstate 70. Take exit #121 for MO 240 west/US 40 west toward Fayette. (commonly referred to as the Midway exit) After traveling for 2 miles, take a left at Trails West. Superior Garden Center is on the left side of the road.

Trade A Tree Options

  • Amur Maple (15' to 25' height and spread): Average growth rate. Full shade to full sun. Fragrant inconspicuous spring flowers. Brilliant red foliage.
  • Apple (25' height, 15' spread): Average growth rate. Full sun. Attracts birds and fruit is edible. Different types of apple trees are available.
  • Pie or Sour Cherry (15' height): Medium growth rate. Full sun. White to pink flowers in the spring. Fruit in mid-to-late summer, ideal for use in pies/cobblers. These trees are usually available April - June.
  • Crabapple (20 height, 15' spread): Average growth rate. Full sun for best flowers. Fragrant spring flowers varying in color from white to red. A showy landscape choice. Different types of Crabapples are available.
  • Saucer Magnolia (20' to 30' height, 25' spread): Medium/fast growth rate. Full sun. Small low-branched tree with large, saucer shaped flowers. Early spring blossoms are pink/purple outside and white inside. Good pollution tolerance.
  • Eastern Redbud (20' to 30' height, 30' spread): Fast growth rate. Full sun or light shade. Rosy pink flowers appear in April. Reddish purple leaves change to dark green then yellow. Forms a spreading, graceful crown.
  • Serviceberry (10' to 20' height, 20' to 25' spread): Average growth rate. Partial shade to full sun. Attractive white flowers in spring. Orange, red, yellow fall color.
  • Smoke Tree (10' to 15' height, 20' to 25' spread): Slow growth rate. Full sun. Attractive white and pink blossoms in spring and summer. Leaves stay purple through summer and fall.
  • Lilac bush (5' to 8' height, 8' to 10' spread): Average growth rate. Full sun. Fragrant summer lavender blooms. branched trunk, no change in fall color.
  • Viburnum bush (15' height, 6' to 10' spread): Average growth rate. Sun to part shade. Attractive white flowers in spring. Fall color, fragrance and size are determined by species chosen.
  • Juniper bush: Average growth rate. Several species in various shapes, sizes and colors. Fragrant, evergreen foliage. Full sun for best growth.
  • Yew bush: (15' height and spread): Slow growth rate. Partial shade to full sun. Evergreen foliage grows extremely well in full day sun with plenty of room to grow.
  • Ornamental Grass: (5' to 6' height): Fast growth rate. Partial shade to full sun. Several species are available.

To Avoid Electrical Problems Due To Trees…

When planting trees, it's important to choose the site based on what the tree will look like when it is fully grown. Make sure that there is plenty of room for the tree to grow above and below the ground. Plant trees away from overhead power lines (see image below), driveways and sidewalks. Remember there are also utilities like sewer, water and electric lines underground. Planting too close to your utility lines can eventually cause problems with your services.

Always call 1-800-DIG-RITE (Missouri One Call) to have the location of all utilities marked before doing any digging in your yard. Sewer and water lines will only be marked on the city side of the meter. Lines running from the meter to a home are not located by the utility.

diagram of tree planting near power poles
Examples of large trees (over 70 feet): Shagbark Hickory, Black Walnut, Austrian Pine, Basswood, Bur Oak, Pin Oak, Pecan, White Pine, Sweetgum and Scotch Pine.
Examples of medium trees (30 to 70 feet): Marshall Seedless, Littleleaf Linden, Norway Maple, Kentucky Coffeetree, English Oak, Pagoda Tree, Sugar Maple, Ash.
Examples of small trees (under 30 feet): Flowering Dogwood, Eastern Red Cedar, Russian Olive, Crabapple, Hawthorn, Redbud.
Examples of shrubs (to 15 feet): Euonymus Manhattan, Beautybush, Wahoo, Burning Bush, Lilac, Rose-of-Sharon, Forsythia, Honeysuckle, Mockorange, Pyracanthia.
This information taken from proposed Columbia Ordinance - Chapter 27, Section 27-165


Property Site: Situated on a large double lo...