Tree limbs that cross electrical wires can lead to blinks, outages and downed wires. Tri-County Electric contracts with a local tree service from Beaver, Okla., to maintain its right of way. These crews systematically inspect our service territory year-round for trees that could pose a problem for the system or the safety of our members. Trees that grow too close to electric lines can create shock and fire hazards as well as power outages. More importantly, children can become victims of electric shock when they climb trees that have grown too close to the power lines. Trees growing into power lines can also create electrical hazards for people who might be trimming branches, hanging lights or otherwise working around them. If a tree poses such a risk, the crews will trim or remove trees on the Tri-County Electric right-of-way. A tree that is dead or dying, and in danger of falling into the power lines, must be removed. We also trim back trees when they grow too close to the power lines.
Tree maintenance helps ensure safe and reliable electric service to our community and is provided at no additional cost to members. When trees grow too close to power lines, they can interrupt electric service and create hazardous conditions for you and your neighbors. This is especially true during periods of strong winds, ice and snow. Our goal is to maintain a balance between safe and reliable electric service and the health of your trees. Tree crews are trained in modern tree trimming techniques and safe work practices.
Contractors for Tri-County Electric typically have signs identifying them as contractors on their vehicle. Before trimming or removing trees from a homeowner's property, they will attempt to contact the homeowner. If unable to reach a homeowner, they will try to leave notice of their visit at the property.
If you are concerned about a tree on your property, or are interested in the possible removal of a tree near power lines, please call us at (800) 522-3315.
Properly Planting a Tree
Trees require room to grow both above and below ground. This means that before you plant a new tree, you must identify the right kind of tree for your yard - and the right location, away from power lines and underground facilities.
Talk to your nursery or the County Extension Agent for suggestions on low-growing trees that can be planted near power lines. And as always, before you dig, make sure to contact your local One Call Center by calling 811.
Right-of-Way Illustration showing proper clearance for trees
Before planting a tree, consider what the mature height of the tree will be. The letters below each tree in the above illustration relate to the types of vegetation listed below than can be safely planted near the cooperative’s right-of-way.
A. If landscaping is needed near right-of-way areas, choose low growth shrubs.
B. Smaller trees can be planted on right-of-way edges, at least 15’ from power lines.
C. Medium trees need to be planted at least 35’ away from lines.
D. Large trees need to be planted at least 45’ away from overhead lines.
E. Trees planted too close to the lines will always be misshapen by unavoidable pruning of limbs to prevent interference with lines.