Trees beautify and add personality to our communities, and have a generally positive impact on the environment. Powerlines help make modern, technological life possible. These mismatched companions share the landscape, mostly in harmony and often in close proximity. Make no mistake, though, trees and powerlines need their distance from one another, and when they get too close, unfortunate things can happen including fires, power outages and more.
Regular Preventative Vegetation Management
GVEC’s Vegetation Control department proactively works year-round to make sure tree branches throughout our service territory remain a safe distance from lines. There are a lot of trees to manage! According to GVEC Vegetation Control Manager Jeff Siegel, our general “reclearing” rotation is six or seven years, with occasional spot trimming needed sooner for certain trees. Faster-growing species like cottonwoods, pecans, elms, hackberries and Chinaberries require annual or biannual trimming. Additionally, trees in areas around rivers or lakes require more frequent powerline management, regardless of species. Understandably, with 3,500 square miles of electric territory to maintain, there will be times when members identify trees that need our attention before we’re scheduled to return to the area. When that happens, we encourage you to let us know, especially if lines and trees are coming into contact. GVEC generally strives for 15 feet of clearance between tree branches and powerlines, Siegel explains.
DIY Powerline Tree Trimming
Electricity is so essential and pervasive in our lives, it’s easy to forget its potential hazards. Powerlines carry high-voltage, unbuffered current, presenting unique risks compared to those of home electricity. Anyone trimming branches back from powerlines needs specialized training and equipment. This is why homeowners should never try to do such jobs themselves. Even professionals can risk serious injury.
Leave it to the Professionals
In addition to our in-house vegetation team, GVEC contracts and coordinates with reputable
companies on much of our trimming work:
- McCoy Tree Surgery Company
- Townsend Tree Service
- Vegetation Management Services
Questions About Powerline Tree Trimming?
Homeowners should keep in mind that the Cooperative trims branches between electric poles and any limbs that need to be trimmed up to the meter. If you have questions about GVEC vegetation management or have a tree near a powerline that needs trimming, call us at 800.223.4832.