Trees & Power Lines
An essential part of providing safe, reliable service at a reasonable cost is the establishment and maintenance of a clear power line corridor. Trees contacting power lines is a primary cause of power outages. When tree limbs grow too close to power lines they can cause damage or interrupt your service.
Tree Trimming Information
Our Right-of-Way maintenance program helps prevent power interruptions by trimming or removing trees and brush which could be potential fire hazards or cause power outages. Tree-to-line contact can also cause momentary interruptions or blinks in power. Tree trimming or clearing helps prevent extended outages during storms or strong winds.
Safety is the number one reason for cutting down trees around power lines. Electricity always seeks a path to the ground. Conductors of electricity include water, your body, tree branches, metal poles, and ladders. When you become part of this path, you may be injured or killed. Reducing the amount of trees and brush provides a safer environment for your family members and provides safer access for MLEC personnel when it becomes necessary to repair power lines or poles.
After safety, service reliability is a key responsibility of your electric cooperative; providing members with the best possible power quality. Have you ever noticed your lights blink? Tree branches that touch power lines are a major reason for these blinks. One tree on your property coming into direct contact with power lines not only affects your home, but it affects the power quality for hundreds of your neighbors. Proper clearance today prevents inconvenience tomorrow.
Benefits of Tree Trimming
Clearing trees and overgrown vegetation is vital to provide safe, reliable power to our members. We clear areas in our service territory, known as rights-of-way, to:
- Keep power lines clear of tree limbs
- Restore power outages more quickly
- Keep crews and members of our community safe
- Reduce unexpected costs for repairs
What is the Right-of-Way?
An electric line Right-of-Way is a strip of land that an electric utility uses to construct, maintain, repair or replace an overhead or underground power line. The Right-of-Way allows the utility to provide clearance from trees, buildings and other structures that could interfere with the line installation, maintenance and operation.
A clear corridor also allows safe access for line personnel and equipment needed to restore power after a storm and for routine maintenance. Our goal is to maintain a minimum 20-foot clearance between trees and power lines. Tree trimmers that work within this distance are required to have special training to ensure their safety and that of others within close proximity.