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Tree Trimming

TREE TRIMMING

 
Why We Trim Trees

In order to provide customers with safe, reliable electric service, the City of Rocky Mount man in bucket truck with saw trimming tree branchesmaintains an aggressive Tree Trimming and right-of-way maintenance program for power lines. Fallen trees and branches are a major cause of widespread power outages after a hurricane or ice storm. Flickering and dimming lights can be caused by tree limbs rubbing or laying against the power lines. Therefore, having a tree trimming program is crucial for providing reliable service to customers.

How Are Trees Pruned? 

The city prunes trees based on a technique called “directional pruning.”  With directional pruning, entire limbs or portions of limbs growing toward the lines are removed at the main branch or trunk. They are removed at a point where they would naturally shed if they had cause. By doing this, future growth will be directed away from the wires, and rapidly growing attached sprouts will be minimized. The city follows a pattern of trimming known as circuit trimming. This means the trees are trimmed along an electric circuit. Trimming is also done in “hot spots.” This is when there is a limb laying or rubbing against an electric line and causing problems. The citywide Tree Trimming program runs on a 5-year cycle (depending on the growth rate of individual trees).

Click here for the Tree Trimming 5-Year Schedule


FAQs
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Why is a Tree Trimming Program necessary?

The primary goal of Rocky Mount Public Utilities (RMPU) is to provide our customers with safe, reliable and affordable power. We often take our utility services for granted because they have become a part of our daily lives. For us to enjoy the convenience of reliable, uninterrupted service, distribution systems bring utilities into our homes through overhead and underground lines.

Overhead utility lines can include electric, telephone or cable television. Underground lines can include natural gas, water and sewer in addition to electric, telephone and cable television lines. Tree placement could have an impact on these lines, whether it is because of the branches above ground or the root system below ground. An aggressive tree trimming and right-of-way maintenance program is necessary to ensure RMPU's mission of delivering reliable electric power to the consumer and maintaining the integrity of the power system.

Why do trees need to be pruned before they come in contact with power lines?

Fallen trees and branches are a major cause of widespread power outages after a hurricane or an ice storm. Flickering and dimming lights can be caused by tree limbs laying or rubbing against electric lines. RMPU’s goal is to prune trees before they pose a risk to power lines by coming in contact with them.

What pruning guidelines are followed?

The accepted tree pruning guidelines that are endorsed by the International Society of Arborculture (ISA) are the ANSI A-300 Part 1: Tree, Shrub and Other Woody Plant Maintenance—Standard Practices, Pruning.

How are trees pruned?

Trees are pruned based on a technique called “directional pruning.” This technique was developed by the National Arborist Association, approved by the American National Standards Institute and adopted by the pruning industry as the standard. The City of Rocky Mount also uses Dr. Alex Shingo’s guide, Pruning Trees near Electric Utility Lines as a reference.

With directional pruning, entire limbs or portions of limbs growing toward the lines are removed at the main branch or trunk. They are removed at a point where they would naturally shed if they had cause. By doing this, future growth will be directed away from the wires and rapidly growing attached sprouts will be minimized.

RMPU follows a pattern of trimming known as circuit trimming. This means the trees are trimmed along an electric circuit. Trimming is also done when there is a limb laying or rubbing against an electric line and causing problems. RMPU works on a five-year tree-trimming schedule.

How will trees look when pruned?

Trees will be trimmed according to where electric lines are located. Some examples are below:
FAQs

Who performs the work on the trees?

Only qualified professionals are legally permitted to work within 10 feet of power lines or on trees with branches within 10 feet of power lines. Homeowners should never hire private contractors or try to do the work themselves. Always start by contacting RMPU for information.

Why not install the lines underground?

Installing power lines underground is very costly and can result in longer restoration times during power outages. Converting an overhead system to an underground system can also cause damage to the root systems of existing trees.