• Responsible Tree Management

  • To deliver safe and reliable electric service, we must keep trees pruned a safe distance from power lines because many power outages are caused when tree branches fall onto power lines.

    Our tree management program includes routine pruning, storm hardening, maintenance and rights-of-way work. The work our licensed, professional foresters and contract tree pruning experts do is for public safety and the safety and health of the trees.

    Our tree pruning program consists of four categories:

    • Routine pruning
    • Storm hardening
    • Maintenance
    • Rights-of-way


    Routine Pruning

    The types of trees along our primary distribution lines in residential areas generally need pruning every two to five years. Our tree pruning contractor prunes every tree that could potentially come in contact with power lines or other electrical equipment. This minimizes outages caused by trees and tree branches and improves the reliability and safety of your electric service.

    Storm Hardening

    Some areas along our system are impacted more by storms than other areas. These are areas that have large tree growth well above the electric system and require more than routine pruning. Our storm hardening project focuses on lines most susceptible to damage from trees during a storm to keep them clear of trees that could cause outages. 

    Maintenance

    Maintenance on the system goes beyond routine tree pruning. It includes assisting in the restoration efforts after a storm as well as providing assistance to public and private property owners with the removal of hazardous trees near power lines.

    Rights-of-Way

    On all rights-of-way, we generally mow the land beneath the high-voltage lines every four to five years to prevent trees and other vegetation from growing into the high-voltage transmission and distribution lines.

    Right Tree, Right Place

    When trying to decide what type of tree to plant and where to plant it, consider the location of overhead utility lines when making your choice. Remember, each tree species grows in a different way and will reach different heights, so keep in mind what the tree will look like when it reaches maturity when deciding where to plant it.

    Tall Trees

    Tall trees, such as Maple, Sycamore, Oak, Spruce and Pine, should be planted more than 50 feet away from wires.

    Medium Trees

    Medium trees that grow to a height of 40 feet or less, such as Birch, Serviceberry, and Honey Locust, should be planted at least 20 feet from power lines.

    Small Trees

    Small trees that grow to no more than 25 feet in height, such as Dogwood, Flowering Cherry, Crabapple, Purple Leaf Plum and Japanese Red Maple, are recommended for areas close to power lines.