Trees and shrubs are attractive additions to your landscape, but can also cause electrical hazards if you don't pay attention to where you plant. Trees growing too close to power lines can cause sparks, fires, power outages and shock hazards. Trees and shrubs located too close to utility equipment can cause delays in power restoration and create safety hazards.
To avoid these problems, make sure to give trees and shrubs plenty of room to grow to full size without getting too close to utility equipment.
Safe Tree Planting
Consider the size of the tree when fully grown to be sure they won't interfere with power lines.
Consider the location of overhead lines and underground equipment when choosing where you plant.
Don't plant right next to transformers or your meter and keep these areas clear. This is for your safety and so crews can quickly access equipment when needed.
Call 811 at least three days before you plant to have underground lines marked for safe digging.
Trimming For Safety and Reliability
United Power has an aggressive tree trimming program to reduce the number of tree related outages. However, in some cases the homeowner may be responsible for keeping a line to their home clear. Here is how it works:
- United Power is responsible for trimming around primary lines.
These are lines that run from pole to pole. United Power maintains these lines because they are higher voltage, and require "special handling" from a qualified tree trimming crew. Our tree trimming contractors work to keep trees out of these lines to help us avoid unplanned outages or hazards to our electric system.
- Members are responsible for obstructions in secondary, or "service," lines.
These are typically single lines that stretch from our pole to a member's home — often seen in backyards, crossing from the main electric line to the home. Generally trees that grow into these lines were planted under or adjacent to the line in the homeowner's yard. Any qualified tree trimming crew can handle the necessary work to remove trees from these lines. United Power can assist with the line if a crew needs unobstructed access to the tree.
If you are worried about a tree in a line, or not sure whether trimming is your responsibility, contact United Power at 303-637-1300. We'll be happy to send out a crew to assess the situation. The safety of everyone we serve is our top priority.