Field tests show that the link-quality of wireless links in different smart grid environments, such as outdoor substation, varies greatly both in space and time because of various factors, including multi-path, fading, node contentions, radio frequency (RF) interference, and noise. This leads to both time and location dependent capacity limitations of wireless links in smart grid environments. To improve network capacity in such environments, multichannel communication and the use of proper routing topologies emerge as efficient solutions to achieve simultaneous, interference-free transmissions over multiple channels. In this paper, we explore the impact of multi-channel communication and the selection of efficient routing topologies on the performance of wireless sensors networks in different smart grid spectrum environments. Particularly, we evaluate the network performance using a receiver-based channel selection method and using different routing trees, including routing trees constructed considering the link qualities, Capacitated Minimum Spanning Trees (CMSTs), capacitated minimum spanning tree considering link qualities and Minimum Hop Spanning Trees (MHSTs). We focus on performance measures such as delay and throughput that can benefit from the simultaneous parallel transmissions and show that the use multiple channels together with routing trees that consider network capacity and link quality, i.e., capacitated minimum spanning tree considering link qualities, substantially improve the network performance in harsh smart-grid environments compared to single-channel communication and minimum-hop routing trees. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.