Our professionals, both on staff and contractors, have arboriculture certifications and extensive experience specific to the utilities industry.
EPB contracts only with qualified tree companies that meet strict specifications. These contractors follow the National Electric Safety Code and ANSI A-300 Guidelines as endorsed by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the International Society of Arboriculture.
Trees will be trimmed a minimum clearance of 10’ from power lines. Limbs may be trimmed further from higher voltage lines.
Limbs overhanging lines will be trimmed as high as possible. We will make every effort to eliminate weak, diseased, and dead limbs above the wires that may fall or blow into the wires.
Protecting a tree from becoming burned or entangled in power lines is actually for the health of the tree in the long run and of course it helps prevent power outages caused by falling trees and branches. In addition, and most important, vines and trees touching lines can be hazardous.
We trim only enough of a tree to prevent power lines and the public from being endangered. It’s possible to prune a tree into various shapes when you prune correctly based on the trees age and species, and a tree can remain healthy and safe for many years. We always trim in ways that redirect new growth away from power lines.
V-cut and side pruning are two of the most common pruned shapes for large, maturing trees near power lines.
During a power outage, our primary responsibility is to restore power as quickly as possible. We do not typically remove brush, debris or trees that are knocked down by natural causes, even if we have to saw through the downed tree to repair the damaged line.
During routine trimming and removal, trees are sawn into firewood lengths, however we don’t remove stumps. Brush and debris will be cleaned up and removed or made into mulch, which we can leave at the customers request, before the crew leaves the area. If a routine trimming area is not cleaned up after a few days, please let us know at 423-648-1372 and we will look in the situation immediately.
EPB manages vegetation year-round along its thousands of miles of electric lines to ensure safety and maintain reliable service.
Additionally, it's much more economical to prevent damage and power outages by trimming trees according to schedule and standard guidelines throughout the year than it is to repair downed or damaged lines.
If you see a paint mark on your tree or received a notification of upcoming pruning, the work will be performed in the next few months. This time frame is necessary because the planners work months ahead of the pruners.
Even if vegetation marked for trimming does not seem to be near wires, planners have marked it because they know it will be a concern before that location is evaluated again.
EPB only trims trees that pose a potential hazard to primary power lines. These are typically the highest (and sometimes also the second-highest) lines on a pole. We also trim trees and other vegetation to maintain EPB fiber optics lines and the existing right-of-way.
We do NOT trim trees interfering with service lines (wires typically running from a transformer pole to a home or other building), which include telephone, cable TV, fiber optics and electric, as these are your responsibility. If trimming around an electric service line is necessary to ensure reliable electricity into your home, we can lower the service line to enable you to more easily trim the vegetation. Call us at 423-648-1372.
If you see vegetation that appears to compromise electric lines, please call us at 423-648-1372 and we’ll be happy to send a representative or arborist to evaluate the situation and schedule the appropriate help.
EPB’s arborists use lateral trimming methods – cutting tree branches back to the lateral or parent limb. If there is no lateral, the branch may need to be cut back to the trunk of the tree. Lateral pruning is healthier for trees because it helps allow the tree’s natural defenses to seal the cut and prevent the spread of disease or decay. In addition, we use directional pruning that redirects the growth of the tree away from the power line.
In some geographical areas, such as rural areas, we may use mechanized techniques in addition to lateral pruning.