If your trees have grown so tall they touch overhead power lines, they can cause all kinds of trouble. Branches that sway in the wind and rain can snap an electric line, sending a live wire to the ground where it can pose a danger. Plus, tree damage to electrical equipment can cause lengthy electricity outages. That's why any tree that poses a danger to electrical equipment; even an old or favorite tree; could be a candidate for trimming or even removal.
You can prevent problems from the start by planting smart. First, do some research about the tree you want to plant. Learn how tall it will grow, and how wide the full branch span will become. Use those dimensions to determine the distance from a power line you should plant it. WCEC and other utility companies must maintain a right-of-way space to provide reliable electricity. If you plant where overgrowth encroaches in that space, when the utilities trim vegetation, you could end up with a lopsided tree. If you plan (and plant) right, you can enjoy a mature tree with a beautiful natural shape for years to come.
If your yard is already home to mature trees that are near power lines, keep them trimmed so they don't touch any overhead wires. Hire a professional tree trimmer with the proper tools and training to provide this service for you. Don't risk doing it yourself.
For added safety, if notified, we can temporarily cut the power to a line section. And, if you think a tree is jeopardizing WCEC's electric line, you can turn in a trimming request to us. If we inspect and deem it a hazard to our lines, we'll trim it
As a reminder, the right-of-way clearance for a primary distribution line is 15' on both sides of the lines (30' total), all the way to the ground. For secondary line (the lines leading to your meter), 4' on either side of the lines, and to the ground, should remain clear. This is not only our policy, but it follows industry standard guidelines that help ensure electricity remains reliable and safe for all.
How To Report a Tree Hazard?
To report wayward vegetation that warrants attention from our Right-of-way crew, the more information a member can relay will help us prioritize. Include:
* Is power off?
* If you have power, are lights dimming or flickering?
* Is vegetation contacting the distribution line or the feeder line to your meter?
* Is there electrical arching or burning?
*Is there a large tree threatening to fall and damage line or equipment?
Members may submit a tree-trimming request at wcec.org. Select the member services tab, and then select and fill out the online tree trimming request. Alternatively, call in your request to 903-762-2203, weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Once we receive a report, we'll inspect within 2 to 3 working days. Then, because of the number of requests, we'll prioritize action based on the critical nature. Please note, it could take a month or more to perform work at your location.
Also, please know, our crews will only trim trees that jeopardize our lines and that are encroaching on our electrical system right-of-way.
Before Planting, Know What's Below
We've reminded you to look up, but you also need to pay attention to what's underground. Before digging any holes to plant trees or shrubbery, call 811. This is the state's "call before you dig" service. If you don't call and should hit underground utility lines, you and anyone with you, could be seriously injured. Too, you could also be liable for expensive repairs.
When you call 811, you'll simply give the operator your contact information, a description of where you plan to dig, and the type of work you will be doing. Following, all utility companies with facilities in the area will be notified and within 2 to 3 days will locate and mark the approximate location of underground utility lines.