Photo by Melody

Less Pruning, More Power, with Electophobic Cultivars

By Kelli Kallenborn (KelliApril 1, 2013

You can cut down on your shrub maintenance time and improve powerline safety by purchasing one of these new electrophobic cultivars.

Gardening picture

'We all know that plant breeders are working night and day to bring us exciting new cultivars of existing plants. Here, author Sally G. Miller provides the photos of some April 2013 versions of familiar plants.

Thomas Edison is well known for his brilliant invention the light bulb. As he continued to work with electricity, he could foresee the need for civilized urban development to incorporate overhead power lines. His great nephew Fredrick Law Edison's inventing mind soon saw the need for tree cultivars . These new selections allow power lines to be more closely integrated with the landscaping.


Pinus strobus "Verticality" 

Pinus strobes 'Verticality' These amazing pines have an incredible branching structure. Full limbs develop on one side of the trunk, while the opposite 180 degrees of trunk only grow stunted stumps. The one-of-a-kind branching allows the pines to be planted closest on one side of power right of ways.  These have proven indispensable where power lines are close to roads or sidewalks.  A planting near Muncie, Indiana has been praised in several publications. 

Quirkus paucilimba 'Cantilever' Edison hybridizers discovered a rare tree that was highly sensitive to stray emissions from high power lines. These trees roots were stimulated by the electricity but the branches naturally avoided the power lines and simply grew around them. Correspondingly heavy rooting on the power line side allows them to grow near power lines but not blow over onto them in windstorms.  A planting near Chicago, Illinois shows promise. 

Some may decry the unnatural appearance of the plants, but these are healthy plants that never have to be pruned or removed.  Also, the lack of downed power lines is safer for power crews and civilians.  There has been great interest in these species by electrical companies all over the United States and Canada and the trees should be available to the general public in time for fall planting in 2013. 

April Fool! This article was a collaborative effort of Carrie Lamont, Kelli Kallenborn, and Sally Miller. Any resemblance to real botanical information is purely coincidental.

  About Kelli Kallenborn  
Kelli KallenbornKelli has lived in California for 25 years and really enjoys the climate and all of the varied natural ecosystems. You can also follow Kelli on Google.

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