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    Vegetation Management

    Find out more about how we manage trees and shrubs around power equipment. Refer to the resources below for more information.


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    We only trim 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 optic 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.

    Because trees grow and mature to different heights, pay special attention to where you plant each specific type in relation to power lines and poles. Trees that mature 20 feet high or less, such as Dogwoods or Crape Myrtles are ideal. Trees that mature less than 40 feet tall should be planted at least 30 feet from utility poles. Trees that mature to 60’ or more and have wide canopies, such as Oaks and Elms, need to be planted 65’ from utility poles.

    We coordinate the pruning of nearly 70,000 trees each year. Utilizing six foresters, 44 tree crews and 125 contract employees in the field, these experts carefully clear a path for power lines while maintaining a healthy, beautiful landscape. Plus, they work directly with customers to answer questions and address any issues well before work begins.

    Trees will be trimmed a minimum clearance of 10 feet 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.

    It is very important to call 811 and have your underground utilities marked for free and to notify electric, gas, sewer, telephone, fiber optics, internet, and cable services at least 48 hours before you start digging.

    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. 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.

    It's best to plant shrubs, bushes or vines at least 3’ to the side of, or 12’ in front of ground-mounted transformer boxes.

    For other questions, get in touch with us


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