Tree Maintenance is Essential to an Electric
Distribution System’s Reliability
Each year we trim trees to ensure your safety and to maintain reliable electric service. Nearly one-third of power outages each year can be traced to tree interference. In severe storms, tree-related damage accounts for two-thirds of the power outages. If contact with the tree causes the power line to fall to the ground, there’s a potential for electric shock or even death. Also, climbing a tree that’s grown into a power line has led to many deaths and severe injuries.
Our goal is to keep the tree healthy and to ensure that future growth is directed away from the power lines. Usually we only remove those branches that pose a threat involving the power lines. Topping or rounding trees isn’t done because it threatens the health of the tree.
If it’s likely that strong wind, heavy snow or ice may cause the tree to contact the wires or pose any danger, we work to prevent that problem before it occurs. We must also consider the danger if someone were to climb that tree. Your trees may not be an immediate danger, but our customers count on us to anticipate and prevent foreseeable problems.
Maintaining the wires that run from the pole to a home is the property owner's responsibility. Although the voltage running through the service drop is much lower than that of the pole-to-pole wires, special care must be taken to avoid electric shock. Thus, we recommend you hire a professional tree service to do this trimming. Upon request, we will de-energize these wires while trimming is done.
If you notice a broken tree limb or other immediate hazard on a pole-to-pole power line, call the Lowell Light and Power office at 897-8402. Our staff will determine if the tree can be left until its normal trim cycle or if immediate action is needed.
Trees planted near a power line should have a mature height of less than 25 feet. If you’re planting a species that grows taller, it needs to be planted 20 to 50 feet away from the existing power line, depending on the type of tree
As your community owned electric utility, we think it’s important that our customer/owners understand why it’s important to keep the trees and power lines a safe distance away from each other.
Our line clearance program is a critical element in continuing to provide reliable energy at a low cost, which is evident in the fact that the American Public Power Association recently honored Lowell Light and Power with a Reliable Public Power Provider Award (RP3 Award). Lowell Light and Power was one of 82 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to receive this prestigious award.