Tree work near transmission lines

There are two types of power lines: transmission and distribution. Transmission lines have the highest voltage and are usually on towers. Distribution lines are thinner and more likely to be near your home.

The Northeast blackout was a widespread power outage that occurred throughout parts of the United States and Canada in 2003. This blackout was caused by a transmission line that made contact with a tree. By pruning or removing trees when necessary, we help prevent outages and keep our communities safe.

Steps we take when pruning and removing trees near transmission lines

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Communication is key

We want to make sure you're aware of the work we will be doing in your area. Our communication process includes the following:

  • Door hangers
  • Letters
  • In-person visits
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Tree safety inspections are vital

Before marking trees in need of pruning, our tree inspectors consider a range of factors:

  • Potential for power-line sag
  • Type of tree
  • Tree health, growth and structure
  • Wind sway potentially affecting trees and power lines
  • Other environmental factors

We inspect all 20,000 miles of our transmission lines every year.

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We identify trees that are potential safety hazards

Removal
When trees are a safety hazard and cannot be pruned effectively without significant impact to their health or shape, they need to be removed. Tree work is done by our certified contractors at no cost to you. Trees on your property identified as a public safety risk are marked with an "X," indicating they will be removed in the coming weeks.

Should you choose to replant, call 1-800-743-5000 and request the Transmission Plant Guide to learn how to create beautiful, usable landscape spaces for wildlife and beneficial insects.

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Debris cleanup

After tree removal, we chip or remove wood debris that is less than 4 inches in diameter, and we cut wood that is greater than 4 inches in diameter into pieces. We leave the larger wood from the tree(s) on your property to use as firewood or to dispose of because you are the owner of the tree. Sometimes tree-work debris is left at the site. For disposal, we recommend customers contact their local fire safe council by visiting cafiresafecouncil.org.