American Transmission Co.

Helping to keep the lights on, businesses running and communities strong®

Grow Smart


Trees and shrubs are an important part of the landscape. But trees, shrubs and transmission lines can be an unsafe combination. Transmission lines can sway or sag, and tall or nearby vegetation can compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system. Grow Smart helps property owners and communities identify low-growing, beautiful, native vegetation that can be planted under or near  transmission line rights-of-way

Since 2014, ATC has partnered with nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, columnist and speaker, Melinda Myers –  who helps landowners learn about compatible vegetation near transmission lines.

Best low-growing plants? Grow Smart - featuring Melinda Myers

“With proper planning and minimal care, you can create a four-season garden, filled with birds and butterflies that’s good for you and the environment – and won’t interfere with overhead transmission lines.”
– Melinda Myers, nationally known gardening expert, TV/radio host, author, columnist and speaker

Watch the guest appearance of Melinda Myers on WTMJ’s The Morning Blend, as she talks about how you can help save the Monarch Butterfly .

Need some gardening tips? Melinda provides weekly updates year-round – just click here.

Planting for pollinators

Low-growing perennials and grasses can grow and thrive within transmission line rights-of-way. ATC launched a pollinator program in 2017, which focuses on identifying and developing portions of our rights-of-way for pollinators following vegetation management or construction. ATC works with our environmental contractors to plant seed mixes that generate vegetation compatible within the rights-of-way that are beneficial to pollinators.

In collaboration with Melinda Myers, we have developed two guides to identify vegetation that is similar to what we plant in our rights-of-way. These suggested plants have deep root systems that will beautify your property and help attract bees, butterflies and birds. In addition, sustainable rights-of-way with compatible plant communities such as the ones we suggest also can help limit ATC’s long-term vegetation management program, which is needed to help keep the lines safe and reliable.

View or print the Grow Smart Planting Guide, or Grow Smart Pollinator Guide and bring it to your local garden center.

To learn about conserving energy for your home by planting the right tree in the right place, please visit the climate change section on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website.

Community Planting Program and Pollinator Habitat Program

As an owner and operator of the area electric transmission system, it is our responsibility to keep trees and brush out of the rights-of-way of our power lines for safety and reliability reasons. While we can’t allow trees and brush in our rights-of-way, we understand that they are an important part of the community landscape.

Our Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs help us support efforts to beautify communities in the ATC service area in a manner that is consistent with our safety and maintenance standards. Eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes may apply for financial support for projects on public property within their community. See if your community is eligible for the program. Applications for the Community Planting Program and Pollinator Habitat Program are accepted July 1 through Sept. 30 each year, and recipients are selected by the end of the calendar year.