Landscaping Around Transformer Boxes

Thinking about planting shrubs around that green box on your property? Remember, this box - called a padmount transformer - contains electrical equipment that runs underground. Never dig near one, and keep all shrubs, fences and other permanent structures at least 3 metres from the front and 1.5 metres from the back and sides of the transformer.

If you have trees, shrubs, greenery or fencing around a transformer box on your property, they will be removed to allow Guelph Hydro's crews to access and service the units.

Landscaping Tips
  • Keep all shrubs, fences and other permanent structures at least 3 metres from the front and 1.5 metres from the back and sides of the transformer.
  • Location numbers and/or company locks must be visible at all times.
  • Don't plant trees near pad-mounted transformers! A tree's large root system could lift the concrete pad and potentially create a power outage.
  • Select plants that are slow growing and easy to maintain. Avoid using plants with thorns, such as holly, barberry, blackberry, hawthorne or roses.
  • Don't allow plants to overgrow the transformer. Equipment can overheat and become damaged, possibly causing a power interruption.
  • Don't plant vines or ivy, which can attach to and potentially damage the transformer.
  • Don't place dirt, wood chips or snow against any portion of the transformer. This can also cause it to overheat and/or rust prematurely.
  • Don't change grade levels around the pad-mounted transformer for 1.8 metres out from the cement base of the transformer.
Landscaping Photos - Do's and Don'ts
 
Acceptable Landscaping - Unimpeded access to the transformer box
Example of acceptable landscaping around transformer boxes Example of acceptable landscaping around transformer box 
Unacceptable Landscaping - Front and side obstructions

Example #1 of unacceptable landscaping around transformer box Example #2 of uncceptable landscaping around transformer box

Example #3 of unacceptable landscaping around transformer box Example #4 of unacceptable landscaping around transformer box

 

Unacceptable Landscaping - Severe obstructions and high grades
Example of severe obstruction around transformer box  Example #2 of sever obstruction around transformer box

Safety First

Call Before You Plant Anything Around Transformer Boxes

If you plan on planting trees or shrubs near the transformer box on your property, before you dig, it is essential that you call Ontario One Call 24-hours-a-day at 1-800-400-8876 or submit an online request for a free locate to find out the location of underground cables. Digging into an underground cable can be deadly. Don't risk it!

Keep Children Away (video)

Children should not play on transformer boxes. They are safe to touch providing they are closed, locked and not damaged. Children should never poke wires, sticks or other objects into the enclosures. A good rule to follow is to encourage your children to stay away from these boxes.

Report a Concern
If you see a transformer box that is unlocked, open, looks damaged or appears to have been tampered with, call us at 519-822-3010.