Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tree Trimming Program

Trees growing into your electric lines? Sign up for Trade-A-Tree

Is there a tree on your property with branches near an electric line that you want trimmed or removed? Please fill out our online tree trimming request form.

Why does Columbia Water and Light trim trees?

Properties with trees growing into power lines are likely to experience 'blinks' in electric service or power outages. Columbia Water and Light budgets $1 million annually to trim trees along overhead power lines. Trimming trees on a three year cycle helps the reliability of the electric system and it keeps the amount needing to be trimmed to a minimum.

How will I be notified when trees on my property need to be trimmed?

Columbia Water and Light will notify property owners two to three weeks before trees are to be trimmed with a hang tag on their door. The hang tag gives you the choice of agreeing to have your trees trimmed, having the tree removed or having a Water and Light staff person contact you. After you have checked off the action you want to take, leave the hang tag on your door and a staff person will pick it up.

Want to replace your problematic tree?

Sign up for the Trade-A-Tree program. Columbia Water and Light will remove the hazardous tree and arrange for the planting of a more appropriate species, free of charge.

How does Columbia Water and Light decide how much to trim?

Trees near power lines in Columbia are trimmed on a three year cycle.  Columbia Water and Light's policy is to trim trees for a three year growth cycle so the branches will not interfere with the lines before the next trimming cycle. The amount trimmed depends on how much a particular species grows in three years.  Proper trimming practices prescribed by the National Arbor Day foundation are followed to maintain the health of the tree.

How can I avoid having my trees trimmed?

The right tree needs to be planted in the right spot. Keep in mind the dimensions of the tree when it is mature to determine the best placement.

proper planting of trees near power lines diagram

Tree roots can also cause problems with your underground utility services, foundation, sidewalks and driveways. Most trees have root spans similar to the mature width of the tree. Plan distance away from structures accordingly.

Problematic trees to avoid

The following trees are susceptible to broken limbs, disease and other problems in our area:
  • Silver Maple
  • Lombardy Poplar
  • Silver Poplar
  • Weeping Willow
  • Cottonwood and Hybrid Poplar
  • Box Elder
  • Sycamore
  • Osage Orange
  • Siberian (Chinese) Elm
  • Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus)

Treeline USA Award

For nine consecutive years Columbia Water and Light has received the Tree Line USA award from the National Arbor Day Foundation. The program honors utilities for responsible tree trimming practices and programs to promote appropriate planting near utility lines. Proper planting techniques are encouraged throughout the year by Water and Light employees. The utility also provides free shade trees through its Tree Power program.


Property Site: Situated on a large double lo...