Tree Trimming FAQ

Safely delivering reliable electricity is our top priority.  Through the Tree Trimming Program we work year-round to trim branches and remove trees that could cause problems in adverse weather and cause power outages and/or result in unsafe conditions and fire.  

Consider planting dwarf trees or shrubs that won’t grow tall or wide enough to threaten the lines.  Follow the 50/50 rule by planting trees that grow to 50 feet tall, more than 50 feet away from the power lines.   Clear all flammable vegetation within 30 feet of your home and other structures.  If you must plant near power lines, make sure the maximum mature tree height is 10 feet from the closest line.  Before you begin planting, consult a certified arborist for advice.

In most cases pruning can be healthy for trees.  Making the correct cut at the branch collar will help with the tree’s natural defense mechanisms.  Removing dead wood and other defections will improve the overall health and structure of the tree.

Generally, once pruning is completed by BVES's tree contractors, they will chip and remove the branches and wood the same day. Depending on the work, the branches and wood may be left behind and will be removed within a few days by a chipping crew.

During routine maintenance work, BVES will prune approximately two feet around all service cables.  

Clearances established at the time of pruning are based on several factors, including species, growth potential, tree position relative to the power lines, pruning history, and local site conditions.

Also, the potential for tree and wind sway and line sag are also factored.  Our contractors will clear approximately 10 feet above the primary wire, approximately 10 feet to the side of a primary wire and will ground cut underneath the wires.  

Our crews prune to the minimum required mandated safe distances taking into account local factors such as vegetation type, snow sag, and growth rate. Our tree crews are committed to preserving as much of the trees’ natural beauty as possible, and consider the shape, strength, growth rate and appearance of the tree before pruning.

BVES utilizes qualified and expert contractors to perform the majority of tree trimming work throughout our service area.  Additionally, our Linemen will trim trees in the course of repair work or when they spot a problem area that requires immediate attention.  These qualified contractors trim and remove trees along hundreds of miles of public roads to provide our Customers with safe, reliable electric service.  In the event of a storm or severe weather, BVES tree contractors will work with our line crews to remove downed trees, so that power can be restored safely and quickly.

The utility is legally required to maintain its facilities. Utility easements and rights of ways are often conveyed in the deed to a property. In addition, as a condition of electric service to your home, you must allow BVES access to your property for maintenance at all reasonable times. Therefore, we have the right to access our facilities, as necessary, to properly maintain our facilities. If you have questions, call BVES at 1-(800) 808-BVES (2837).

When our inspection staff identifies tree pruning or pole clearing work to be done on your property, you should be notified. Your permission is not required, because state law mandates that we maintain our lines, and keep them hazard free.

Our Tree Trimming Program is designed to perform routine tree trimming on a 3 year cycle and once we have completed the entire system, we begin again. In addition, we perform tree trimming in situations where trees are deemed “dangerous” to the system. These situations are identified when we are inspecting the system or performing restoration work.

In the event of a storm or severe weather, our tree contractors work with our line crews to remove downed trees, so that power can be restored safely and quickly.  We do not perform wood clean up or brush removal of any debris resulting from the storm damage to our system.