Trees & Power Lines...the Battle Continues
June 8, 2016
All across the Dallas/Fort Worth area, mature trees are being severely pruned in order to accommodate the power lines they are obstructing. While many of these trees may have been old and beautiful, and the severe pruning can destroy the look and healthy of the tree, the reality is many were simply planted in the wrong place to begin with.
When trees planted in easements under power lines grow large enough to obstruct them, they can become a safety hazard for anyone living nearby. Storms, strong winds, hail or rain, can cause trees that touch power lines to come crashing down, taking the service line with them and knocking out electricity in entire neighborhoods.
We understand that the aesthetics of these heavily-pruned trees are greatly compromised; no one likes to see trees be “butchered”. But, planting the right tree in the right place is the best way to avoid this situation. Once a tree threatens the power lines, action must be taken.
How far away should limbs be from power lines?
The distance rules for tree limbs and power lines are as follows: Tree limbs must be 10-feet away from the primary pole-to-pole electric wires and 7-feet away from open secondary wires. If they are not, then you must call your electric service provider to hire a contractor to prune the branches first. If a tree must be removed, and it’s branches are closer than is allowed to power lines, you’ll still need to contact your electric service provider first. Tree care companies are not allowed to prune such limbs unless contracted by Oncor.
If your pole-to-home connection electric wire is closer than 7-feet from your tree branches, then you may need to schedule a temporary service disconnect so that we can work on your tree.
What do I do if there are limbs down on power lines, or I need my tree pruned or removed? If your limbs are closer to the power lines than stated above you must:
- Call your electric service provider first. Do not call Preservation Tree services first, as we’ll have to direct you back to your service provider.
- Your service provider will contact the Oncor and the Vegetation Management Contractor (VMC) directly to work on your trees.
- The VMC will perform a Make Ready Prune, meaning they will prune the limbs to the regulation distance away from the power lines, or take down the entire tree.
- They will leave all debris on your property. You are responsible for its removal.
- Then call Preservation Tree Services or another reputable tree care company to complete the rest of your tree care. We’ll complete any remaining pruning or removals and we remove all debris from your property.
What to expect from your visit from the Oncor Vegetation Management Contractor:
- Let your service provider know that you need a make ready prune on the tree(s) located in your yard, between the poles with the electric lines on them, so that it’s cleared away from the wires and work on the trees can be finished with a tree care provider you choose.
- An Oncor representative will call back and verify the request and go over details.
- Your request will subsequently be assigned to the designated Vegetation Management Contractor.
- The VMC will call and schedule a time. We highly recommend meeting with the Oncor VMC on your property to discuss which trees are the trees in question and whether any other pruning or removal needs to be done on property and whether it would needed to be performed by the VMC or a tree care pro of your choice.
- Sign the removal / brush responsibility permit they provide.
For more details on working with Oncor to prune or remove trees click HERE or download attachment below.