Tree Giveaway

Tree Giveaway History

  • Since 1991, Golden Valley Electric Association (GVEA) has given away over 90,000 trees or shrubs to members to celebrate Arbor Day.
  • 2023 is GVEA’s 32nd Annual Tree Giveaway!

2023 Tree Giveaway

The tree giveaway will take place on Saturday, May 13, from 9 a.m. to noon (or until the trees are gone).

Locations are:

  • Delta: GVEA Delta office parking lot, 1681 Richardson Highway
  • Fairbanks: GVEA Fairbanks campus parking lot, 758 Illinois Street
  • Nenana: Coghill’s General Store, 807 A Street, Nenana
  • Healy: Denali Chamber of Commerce, Mile .4 Healy Spur Road

This year’s plant is a Amur maple tree. It is a deciduous large shrub or small tree that grows to 20 feet, with brilliant red fall color.

Quantities are limited to 1 plant per family.

Landscaping Guidelines

The following are guidelines for the City of Fairbanks landscape ordinance for multi-residential and commercial projects.

  • GVEA will approve planting in easements as long as the landscaping won’t adversely affect our underground or overhead utility equipment
  • Landscape plans need to incorporate existing and planned electrical equipment locations and must show all existing utility easements
  • GVEA needs to inspect these plans, whether public utility easements or private GVEA easements, before granting a waiver of the landscaping ordinance
  • This allows GVEA to determine potential conflicts before they arise.

Guidelines for landscaping near underground power lines to assure access to GVEA facilities:

  • Call GVEA to locate cables before digging – This includes landscape contractors
  • Digging by hand is required within 5 feet of located primary underground lines
  • Plant large trees, such as birch and spruce, at least 8 feet from transformers and underground cables, so roots can’t grow into the equipment – Appropriate distance is specific to tree species.
  • Plant shrubs at least 5 feet away from GVEA’s underground equipment

To prevent interference with overhead power lines and equipment, when selecting trees for planting within or adjacent to utility easements:

  • Consider the height of the tree at maturity in relation to conductor height, which varies from site to site
  • Consider the spread of mature trees in relation to the location of utility lines and poles
  • Plant trees at least 15 feet from the center line of the power line, a power pole or where they will not interfere with guide wires or other equipment
  • Plant small trees and shrubs in a way that allows access to the right of way by utility personnel and vehicles for constructing, operating, or maintaining utility equipment

Examples of some small trees and shrubs that may be acceptable are listed in the approximate order of growing height from smallest to largest. These include:

  • Muhgo Pine
  • Nanking Cherries
  • Rose Tree of China
  • Lilac
  • Crab apples
  • Chokecherry (Shubert and Canadian Red)
  • Common Chokecherry (Prunus Virginia)
  • Showy Mountain Ash (Sorbus Decora)

GVEA, as well as other utilities, may exercise their rights to access, construct and maintain utility equipment within easements for overhead and underground facilities at any time.

For more information, contact Alex Olesen, Right-of-Way Maintenance Superintendent or visit our Plant Smart page.

Fencing Guidelines

Fences are important and often necessary for a property owner’s privacy. However, it’s necessary for GVEA to have access to the power lines to provide safe and uninterrupted service.

Most power lines extend along back lot lines and the right of way is the only access for the power line. If a fence is constructed around the entire perimeter of a lot crossing or running adjacent to a power line, please follow these guidelines:

  • Do not attach fencing or posts to power poles
  • Retain a minimum distance of 10 feet from all poles or underground transformer boxes – When underground electrical is present, call GVEA for an underground locate
  • When building a fence adjacent to a power line that extends along the property line, either:
    • Set the fence 10 feet from the centerline of the power line to allow for truck access
    • Set the fence along the property line but provide 12-foot wide gates at either end of the right of way so access is maintained
  • When building a fence across the power line right of way, a 12-foot wide gate is needed to access the power line – If a gate is not provided and GVEA needs immediate access to the power pole or line, GVEA may have to remove a portion of the fence at the owner’s expense
  • If the property owner intends to lock the gate, it will need to be double-locked – GVEA and the property owner each provide a lock and the two are interlocked – This allows the owner to maintain control of access and line crews to perform emergency repairs without having to contact the property owner

For more information, contact Golden Valley’s right-of-way office.