Power line tree trimming safety

Only our certified line clearance arborists can work near power lines. Neither you nor anyone you contract should attempt this work. Our primary concern is safety. Call us to determine whether you or your contractor can safely remove a tree or part of a tree close to power lines.

Observing 10-foot rule

If you want to remove a tree or any part of it that is closer than 10 feet to a power line, call us at 800-450-7260.

  • Notification is required by state law and helps keep you safe.
  • Violators may be subject to fine for negligence.
  • After you call us, we inspect the line at no charge and determine whether you can proceed safely. If conditions are unsafe, we assist in making conditions safe for you to complete work.

Making tree work safe

If you want a tree removed by a contractor, we can help in several ways. Our work depends on how close the tree is to the different parts of the electric distribution lines.

graphic showing common electric distribution lines

Lines on utility poles

  • Service lines: These wires are designed to be more resistant to tree contact and only need attention if branches prevent the wire from hanging freely. Before you or your contractor trim or remove trees close to service lines (pole-to-home wires), call 800-450-7260 to ask us to turn to ask us to turn off power. We turn off electricity temporarily and restore it when your work is complete — at no charge.
  • Primary lines: Primary lines (pole-to-pole wires) cannot be removed from service temporarily because they serve many customers. In these cases, we have Asplundh, our tree trimming contractor, trim your tree only to make it safe. Once safe, our work stops, and you or your contractor take over.
    Note: Our make-safe work can generate large amounts of wood and brush. We do not take any requests for assistance with clean up. You should plan for handling this material when you take over the remainder of the work. We recommend close coordination of our trimming with yours to minimize the time that brush and wood remain on your property.
  • Phone and cable lines: Phone and cable companies maintain their lines on our poles. Contact your phone or cable company for assistance.

Contracting your tree trimming or removal work

We recommend use of professionals for extensive tree trimming and tree removal. When you contract a tree service, check whether the contractor is certified. You also should check the policy on tree topping. That practice often allows a tree to grow back to the wires. Directional pruning is the preferred method because it keeps branches away from lines. If the contractor recommends topping, consider getting a second opinion.

Check for certification:

International Society of Arboriculture