Mark StubbsRight-of-way maintenance ensures Farmers Electric Cooperative delivers safe and reliable electric service. Clearing limbs and trees away from power lines not only helps prevent outages and blinking lights, it also reduces many potential hazards.

Vegetation, trees, shrubs, and brush growing too close to power lines and distribution equipment lead to about 15 percent of power interruptions. That’s why we use a system-wide right-of-way management program.

Why We Trim Trees
Safety. A very important reason for keeping rights-of-way clear is safety. Kids climbing trees can be a tragedy waiting to happen if they touch a limb in contact with an energized line or touch the line itself. The result can be severe injury or even death. Adults also are at risk if working around lines in trees. Never touch an electrical wire or anything it is in contact with; always assume it is conducting electricity and is dangerous.

Farmers EC, like all utility companies, must comply with National Electric Safety Code standards to keep trees out of power lines for safety reasons. If you are planning to trim or remove a tree near any power line,  please contact us first. Our trained personnel can identify potential safety or reliability threats and advise you on what can be done.

Reliability. We also trim trees for service reliability. We all appreciate trees, which beautify our property, cool our homes, and provide privacy. But we need electricity, and our members expect reliable electric service.

Trees that fall into power lines due to high wind or storms can knock out power to hundreds of members in a second. Not only do lines come down, but utility poles can snap due to the weight of fallen trees— potentially causing lengthy outages.

Pruning trees is only a stopgap because the trees will grow back. Therefore, trees sometimes must be permanently removed. Not all storm-related outages can be prevented, but we can certainly minimize the damage by keeping rights-of-way clear.

We Need Your Help
In working to keep a safe and reliable supply of power flowing to your home or business, we need your help. Let us know if you notice trees or branches that might pose a risk to our power lines.

Just as important, before planting trees in your own yard, think about how tall they could grow and how wide their branches could spread. As a rule of thumb, 25 feet of ground-to-sky clearance should be available on  each side of our utility poles to give power lines plenty of space. Choose tree varieties carefully, and plant with power lines in mind.



For more safety tips download our Free PDF in the member hub resources.