Tree Trimming Tips

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Everyone loves trees, and they can be among the more appealing features of our homes.  Trees add to our quality of life by providing beauty and shade; wind, noise and visual barriers; and they help to improve your home’s energy efficiency, as well as reducing airborne pollutants while bringing in carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen.  Trees also provide food and cover for birds and wildlife. 

Trees that are not properly cared for may cause serious problems if they touch or fall on power lines, cause wildfires, power outages, property damage, or personal injury. Trees interfering with power lines are one of the leading causes of unscheduled interruptions in electrical services.  Unscheduled interruptions in electrical service can also affect traffic lights, residents on life support, and essential public facilities such as hospitals.  

These situations area easily preventable by proper tree pruning and in some instances, removal and replanting of power line friendly trees.   

How We Trim Trees 

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Utilities hire specially trained tree trimmers to trim trees near high-voltage power lines. These workers know how to trim trees to keep them healthy and to make sure branches won’t touch nearby lines.  Never attempt to prune trees near power lines yourself. Contact Power Operations, (509) 942-7429, if you have or see trees growing in power lines.

Richland Energy Services routinely inspects for tree and power line conflicts.  Trees are trimmed on a regular cycle using the accepted industry standards following ANSI A300 and International Society of Arboriculture Trimming Guidelines.  This method uses directional pruning.  Directional pruning may look different and is often NOT aesthetically pleasing, but it is actually better than other pruning methods for safety and health of your tree. 

Directional pruning removes limbs that will come in contact with energized conductors.  This pruning method removes branches at a collar or lateral of a limb where the tree would be likely to lose a branch under natural conditions.  At this lateral the tree’s natural defenses protect against decay and disease.  This type of pruning also requires less frequent pruning, directs growth away from the power lines allowing the tree to achieve its natural height and shape, and improves the safety and reliability of our electrical system.

Proper Pruning Principles

               Tree Branch Pruning Tips