Our electrical system covers more than 2,600 miles, much of it through wooded areas. Unfortunately, trees and power lines just aren’t a good mix. In fact, trees growing in or around our power lines are the number one cause of blinks and outages on our system.
Trees too close to power lines can also be deadly to you and your children. Tipmont’s Right-of-Way, or tree trimming, program trims, controls and, if necessary, removes trees and other vegetation around 10 to 15 feet on either side of the centerline of electric lines.
How we trim
Tipmont REMC contracts with local professional tree-trimming contractors that specialize in this type of work. All of these tree trimmers are trained in and practice ANSI 300 standards for trimming trees (guidelines for preserving each tree’s health and longevity).
The following codes are used to mark trees:
- Blue dot = tree to be trimmed
- Blue X = tree to be removed; wood left for member's disposal
- Blue line = brush (to be removed)
All tree trimming is done in line with the International Society of Arboriculture pruning standards.
What we trim
We trim away branches growing through or around our lines. We also remove branches growing above lines, where snow or ice could cause branches to sag or fall onto live lines. It is also sometimes necessary to target entire trees. These include trees that are weak, diseased, drying or severely damaged. It may also include trees that would have to be trimmed so much that they would not survive or would be very unsightly. Typically, if more than ¼ of the crown or the main stem of a tree is removed, its overall health is severely affected.
Tipmont REMC pays for the tree trimming done in your neighborhood. When we trim or remove a tree, we clean up the area and haul away the brush. Logs too large to be mulched and hauled away (usually six inches in diameter and larger) are cut into smaller lengths and left on site for the property owner's disposal. When storms knock trees into our lines, we do not clean up or remove debris left behind.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is there a charge to remove trees?
- If a Tipmont employee deems removal of a tree is necessary for safety purposes, there is no cost to the homeowner.
- Will I be notified before you cut down a tree?
- Yes, except in the instance where a tree has sustained damage from a storm and has come into contact with a power line.
- When is the best time to plant trees?
- The best time to plant trees is in the spring or the fall. See our tree planting guide for more information.
- I have a tree I'd like for Tipmont to evaluate for removal. Who can I contact?
- Please call Member Service at (800) 726-3953 during our normal business hours of 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday. Our right-of-way coordinators accept appointments from 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday - Friday, or by appointment.
- Why does Tipmont REMC trim trees?
- A clear right-of-way improves power quality, reliability and safety. We all enjoy trees, but when they interfere with power lines, reliability and safety are compromised. That’s why it’s important to remove trees, branches and brush from the right-of-way.
- What do the markings on tress mean?
The following codes are used to mark trees:
- = tree to be trimmed
- X = tree to be removed; wood left for member's disposal
- = brush (to be removed)
Trees and power lines often coexist without problems. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take precautions when planting a tree.
- Before you dig, call 811, the underground utility locator service, to mark the location of underground utilities so accidental contact, damage and injuries can be avoided.
- Choose trees that will grow no higher than 25 feet when planting near power lines. Plant larger trees more than 40-60 feet away from power lines.
- Do not plant near underground utility services. Tree roots can grow and interfere with underground pipes, cables and wires. Future repairs to these facilities also could damage the health and beauty of nearby plants and trees.
- Pick the right spot. Don’t plant trees, shrubs, plants or other vegetation where they can damage electrical equipment or interfere with your electric co-op’s ability to access it.
- Ask Tipmont REMC to come trim your tree if it begins growing near power lines; don’t risk your safety doing it yourself.
If you have questions about trees or other vegetation on your property that are close to power lines, please call us at (800) 726-3953.