Balancing Nature and Safety: Our Commitment to Tree and Power Line Harmony
At Lewis County PUD, we hold a deep appreciation for the role trees play in enhancing the quality of life in both rural and urban settings. Yet, the harmony between nature and our electrical infrastructure can sometimes be disrupted when tree limbs come into contact with power lines, leading to potential dangers and service interruptions.
It is a fact that trees are responsible for a significant portion of power outages that affect our valued customers. Whether it’s fallen trees and their limbs entangled in lines, wind-blown branches crossing power lines during their descent, or tree limbs encroaching upon our electrical infrastructure, these factors are major contributors to service disruptions. These interruptions not only inconvenience our customers but also pose threats to public safety. Disruptions in power supply can affect critical services such as hospitals, traffic signals, fire alarm systems, and customers reliant on life-support systems.
In fulfillment of our responsibility to provide dependable electrical service to our customers, we have meticulously crafted a vegetation management program. This program is specifically designed to ensure that tree limbs and shrubs maintain a safe distance from our power lines.
Under this program, we undertake the careful trimming of all trees and vegetation surrounding energized power lines, fiber optic cables, utility poles, and pad mount transformers. Our approach is rooted in obtaining maximum clearance while also considering the current and future health and aesthetics of the trees. All of our tree trimming activities are carried out with utmost precision and in compliance with the necessary permissions.
At Lewis County PUD, we are committed to the delicate balance between the natural beauty of trees and the reliable operation of our electrical service, and our vegetation management program reflects this commitment.
- We attempt to maintain a seven-year trim cycle.
- The exact amount of clearances needed in a given area depends on the voltage of the line and the type of line construction. Line sag during temperature extremes, as well as wind movement of power lines and trees also must be taken into consideration.
- Any limb within 12 feet of all electrical lines will be cut back. Because proper pruning requires cutting at certain points, branches will be cut at a main branching point, or at the trunk, leaving no stub. Sometimes this may mean the branch is cut more than 12 feet from the lines, but it helps preserve the health of the tree.
- Trees with trunk diameters of 10 inches or less at chest height located less than 10 feet from the nearest electrical line may be removed. Any limb above the line to a maximum height of 20 feet will be removed.
- Certain main branches on older trees can remain inside the minimum clearance, but this depends on the health of the tree, direction of growth and likelihood of its limbs reaching the lines.
- All species located directly under the line that have a maturity height exceeding 25 feet will be removed at ground level.
Services and Street Lights
Trimming for services to residences and private lights is the responsibility of the customer. In order to reduce the risk of electrical hazards, we will drop the service wire and re-connect it after a qualified contractor has completed the tree work. There is no charge for this service, but it must be scheduled. Contact our dispatchers by completing our online form below, or by phone at (360) 748-9261 or (800) 562-5612 to make arrangements in advance.
To ensure reliable electric service for the future, special care must be taken in the selection and placement of new trees. Wise tree planting will also protect street and sidewalk visibility and clearance, and prevent damage to pavement, sewers, and buildings. In addition, properly located trees can increase property values. The care taken to plant the right tree in the right place is an investment in the future.
Choosing the right tree and the best place to plant will help provide beautiful, healthy trees that need little maintenance. When planting near a power line, plant trees that are less than 25 feet high when mature. This reduces the chance of power outages and avoids annual pruning.
There are several tree varieties at your local nursery that are suitable for planting near power lines. The following is a partial list of trees suggested for planting near residential power lines. If you are not sure if the tree you’re considering meets the mature height criteria, ask your landscape professional or visit the International Society of Arboriculture Pacific Northwest ISA Website. and select the Hazard Tree Prevention link.
- Vine Maple
- Japanese Dogwood
- Upright Juniper
- Star Magnolia
- Japanese snowbell
- Fragrant snowbell
- Pyramidal Arborvitae
- Amur Maple
- Japanese Tree-Lilac
- Akebono Cherry
- Red jewel crabapple
- Goldenrain tree
- Hedge Maple
- Thundercloud plum
- Smoke Tree
Tree Trimming Contact Form
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