Keeping Trees Trimmed Essential to Safety and Reliable Energy

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A few weeks ago, we discussed how to plan your yard’s landscaping to improve energy efficiency.

You also should be mindful of another important decision in your yard:  where to plant tall-growing trees.  This summer, Michigan’s energy providers will spend a great deal of time and money trimming trees to ensure they don’t interfere with the safety and reliability of electric service in local neighborhoods.

Summer Tree-Trimming Services

All of Michigan’s energy providers keep regular, rotating schedules for trimming trees and clearing branches and other debris away from power lines and rights-of-way.  You’ll almost certainly see crews around your neighborhood sometime this summer.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do

While planning your yard to keep tall-growing trees away from lines is helpful, the fact is that most trees that could affect power lines were probably planted decades ago.  That means even if you didn’t plant the trees yourself, you may still have to deal with them.

If you have one or more trees growing near power lines that cross or border your property, do not attempt to cut down trees or prune branches near power lines under any circumstances.  Power lines are typically not insulated, so assume they are energized and very dangerous.  Each year there are reports of amateur tree trimmers who are seriously or fatally injured because they either came into contact with a power line or a branch they were working on came into contact with a power line.  If you are concerned that nearby trees are growing too close to power lines or a hazardous situation has already been created by a tree branch breaking off, call your local energy provider—they are prepared to deal with such situations safely.

Click here to see some other tree-planting tips from the Arbor Day Foundation.