The United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Center has identified tough, disease and insect resistant trees for urban environments. The scientists spent four years studying what they refer to as "urban worthy" trees. The goal was to identify Power Trees.
"And the group’s findings couldn't have come at a better time. Urban tree plantings—valued as shade-makers, air filters, and sponges for soaking up global-warming gases—are increasingly coming under the chainsaw as a result of pests, diseases, and conflicts with power lines. Poorly chosen specimens often outgrow the confines of streets, highways, and parks, leaving utility companies no choice but to severely prune or remove entire plants. One Washington, D.C.-area utility spends about $20 million annually on tree trimming, removal, and replacements."
Click here to read the report at the USDA site.
Scientists at the U. S. Arboretum have been working to identify what they call urban tough trees with curb appeal.
The Power Trees Project identified these trees as winners.
Powertree Zone A cultivars for planting within 30 feet of power lines
Acer rubrum 'Brandywine'
Acer rubrum 'Somerset'
Acer rubrum 'Sun Valley'
Prunus 'Dream Catcher'
Powertree Zone B cultivars for planting 30 feet away from power lines
Planting trees under and close to power lines is an ongoing problem for the trees. They are unable to grow into their natural form because of space limitations.