Utility tree trimming
Why we trim
Trees that are too close to power lines can interfere with electric service, especially when weather brings lightning, ice or high winds. For reliability and compliance with the National Electric Safety Code, we prune or remove trees that threaten electric service. We anticipate the threats and schedule trimming to ensure safe, reliable electric service.
If you are concerned about trees making contact with power lines, contact us at 800-242-9137, and we will have a forester visit your property to evaluate the situation. We will determine if trimming is needed to maintain safe, reliable service and inform you of our findings. If you are planning to remove or trim a tree near our power lines, see tree trimming safety.
How we trim
Asplundh Tree Expert Company, our tree trimming contractor, follows guidelines set by the International Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association.
Asplundh crews are trained to recognize hazardous situations and use proper pruning techniques to correct those situations. They use directional pruning, which removes entire branches and limbs to the main tree trunk. This technique directs future growth away from power lines, reduces re-growth and protects the tree from decay while preserving as much beauty as possible. Crews remove trees only when the hazard is severe and are cut as close as possible to grade. We do not remove stumps.
We avoid tree topping because topped trees can quickly regain their original height, and the large number of fast-growing sprouts are susceptible to breakage and storm damage.
Primary lines: Trimming requirements vary according to facility type, tree species and line proximity. Branches can extend above or below but not too close to wires. The preference is to prune branches, but in some rare cases, we may request permission to remove a tree if it threatens reliability.
Service and secondary lines: These wires are designed to be more resistant to tree contact. However, we will trim branches that prevent the service wire from hanging freely, or we will add a sleeve to the service wire to prevent tree damage. Before you or your contractor trim or remove trees close to service lines (pole-to-home wires), call 800-242-9137 to ask us to turn off power. We turn off electricity temporarily and restore it when your work is complete — at no charge.
Cable/phone lines: We do not trim trees for these facilities. Contact your phone or cable company if you are concerned about tree contact.
When we trim
Typically, we trim trees every few years, depending on tree growth rate and type of electric facilities in the area.
When we schedule trimming in your area that includes trees on your property, Asplundh employees contact you personally, via letter or door notice before trimming trees and limbs too close to our power lines.
- You do not incur any charges for required tree trimming work.
- Crews only perform work needed to maintain reliable electric service.
- Work is done efficiently to minimize disruption.
What happens to wood and brush
When we conduct tree trimming for power reliability, we leave the wood on your property so you can use it or give it to others. We remove and chip small branches and make the wood chips available to the public at several locations.
Storm restoration work
Storms can damage our electric distribution system. Trees and tree limbs falling on power lines during storms is one of the greatest causes of power outages. When storms occur, we quickly mobilize our crews to restore your power. Often, we remove fallen trees and broken limbs only to the point where we can restore power safely and quickly. We are not able to assist in removing debris from yards. Please contact your municipality for storm cleanup information.