KEEPING YOUR POWER LINES CLEAR
DMEA's Vegetation Management Program
Trees beautify our communities, provide habitat for wildlife, offer shade, and help keep our environment clean. But trees that grow too close to or into DMEA’s power lines, can result in power outages and safety risks. That’s why DMEA operates an aggressive vegetation management program that keeps our power lines clear of trees.
Why does DMEA trim and remove trees?
Safety: Trees are excellent conductors of electricity. When they grow into power lines or even just too close, it presents a major safety hazard. Electricity can travel through the tree and severely injure or kill individuals who may be working or playing on or near the tree.
Reliability: Maintaining a proper clearance of at least 15-25 feet between our power lines and trees minimizes the impact trees have on your electric service. This clearance space helps prevent wind, snow, and ice from breaking tree limbs and sending them into the power lines.
Affordability: By maintaining clear rights-of-way around our power lines, we prevent the need to repair and replace power lines, poles, and other equipment that may have been damaged by trees during storms. The upfront cost to our vegetation management program is outweighed by the significant savings from reduced outages and equipment maintenance.
How does DMEA trim and remove trees?
DMEA’s priority is to remove trees that are within our power line rights-of-way on our primary power lines.
Primary power lines are the lines you see running from pole to pole on our system. DMEA removes trees within our rights-of-way along these lines because they carry high-voltage electricity to our local communities and require special care and handling. In some cases, these lines cross private property. While DMEA has the authority to remove trees located within our rights-of-way on private property, we understand this can be frustrating for homeowners. You can opt to tell us that you do not want your tree(s) removed. In this instance, DMEA will provide one complimentary trim. After that, you will be charged every time we must trim your tree. Depending on the species and growth rate of your tree, this could result in substantial costs to you.
DMEA is not responsible for trimming or removing trees along the service lines running from our poles to your home.
The service line carrying power from our system to the meter on the side of your home has the least impact on power outages, therefore DMEA does not maintain vegetation clearances along these lines. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to trim trees and vegetation along these lines. Always hire a qualified and licensed professional tree trimmer to perform any work along your service lines. You must also request a temporary disconnect and we will de-energize your service so your contractor can safely trim back your trees.
How can you help?
You can help us keep our power lines clear of trees by following better practices when you plant trees. With lifespans ranging from 50 to 5,000 years, you’ll want to plant your tree in a place it can flourish long-term, not under power lines.
- Don’t plant trees within 25 feet of DMEA’s power lines.
- Only shrubs or small trees (growing less than 20 feet high) should be planted within 25 feet of power lines.
- Don’t plant any vegetation around DMEA ground equipment, such as poles, transformers, or junction boxes.
- Call 811 before you dig to locate any buried utility lines.
- Report any trees growing into power lines or other DMEA equipment immediately to 877-687-3632.
- Never trim these trees yourself.