We work year-round to manage the impact of trees on power lines. Our tree trimming program helps reduce the impact of vegetation on lines.
Our specially-trained team of utility foresters, supervisors and contractors maintain more than 24,000 miles of lines, which we inspect and address to eliminate potential issues. We let you know if maintenance is needed at your property with a door notice that provides more detail and contact information.
Tree Trimming Guidelines
Tree trimming guidelines take into account the tree’s size, species, health and growth rate, as well as its proximity to power lines. Based on regulations, we trim vegetation to create clearance between power lines and the canopy of a tree. We also consider trees or limbs that could blow or fall into lines.
Our crews maintain lines before trees and vegetation are close enough to cause outages, in a way that is consistent with good arboricultural practices. Trimmers try to preserve as much of a tree's beauty as possible while providing enough clearance between limbs and lines to ensure safe and reliable electric service. Crews generally visit neighborhoods once every four to five years.
When vegetation and brush prevents our employees from accessing equipment or interferes with power lines, we clear it with an approved herbicide. For safety reasons, we also use herbicide on vines rather than pulling them from lines.
Most trees along power lines can be maintained through directional pruning or trimming so growth is directed away from lines. We’ll only remove large branches from the top of a tree's canopy, if it’s necessary, to maintain clearance between lines and the tree.
If we must remove a tree with a trunk larger than four inches in diameter, we first get your permission. Most of these fall under the category of tall-growing “volunteer trees,” or trees that spring from seeds by natural causes rather than being planted with human hands. We also treat stumps with a safe application of an approved herbicide to prevent re-growth.
Our crews clean up debris from clearance efforts unrelated to outages. If there’s enough wood, we’ll cut it into pieces to fit a fireplace.
Requesting a Line Clearance
If you see a potential issue with vegetation on the lines that run from pole to pole near your house, please let us know with a line clearance request
. We’ll send a crew member to review the vegetation’s proximity to the power line and take action if appropriate. Vegetation impacting the line that runs from a pole to your meter are the customer’s responsibility. Learn more
about the appropriate steps to take.
Trimming to Restore Power
When a power outage occurs, our immediate priority is to restore power to our customers. If trimming is necessary to get the lights back on, we:
- Perform a courtesy knock to let you know we’re on your property.
- Clear trees and vegetation that interfere with power lines and equipment to ensure restoration is performed safely and quickly.
- Rely on you to clean up the outage debris so we can focus on the work of restoring power to the community. If you need help, check online or in your local directory for a reliable tree or lawn care service company. Many cities in our service area offer debris pick-up or drop-off locations after major storm events.