LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative

LCEC is a proud member of Touchstone Energy Cooperative.

LCEC does not contract solar or installers. Beware of solar company reps stating they work for LCEC.

Vegetation Management FAQ

What if I see a tree branch touching a power line and it is sparking?

Any dangerous condition with the power lines should be reported to LCEC by calling 239-656-2300 or 800-282-1643. If you see a person who has come in contact with the power line, call 911 immediately.

What standards do LCEC and its contractors follow?

LCEC, and most utilities, follow the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) directional pruning guidelines. These standards are industry practice and endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture.

Why does LCEC maintain vegetation around the power lines?

LCEC only maintains vegetation for safety and reliability reasons. Our preventative maintenance circuit trimming routinely manages vegetation on a cycle basis.

Why do the LCEC qualified tree care contractors prune trees the way they do?

According to the ANSI standards and many vegetation experts, directional pruning helps to preserve the tree while reducing the potential for causing an outage.

Why are trees sometimes removed completely?

Fast-growing trees and specific species of palms are difficult to manage between pruning cycles. If this type of vegetation is growing in a location that could potentially interfere with LCEC’s primary lines, its removal is the best solution. Please contact LCEC to inquire if any tree on your property may qualify for a free removal by LCEC.

How do I know that qualified tree care professionals have the authority to trim my tree?

LCEC has every legal right to maintain its facilities and is required to do so by the Florida Public Services Commission.  LCEC only contracts reputable line clearance contractors to perform within its vegetation management program.  Customers may ask our contractors for identification or contact LCEC to verify a tree worker is on their property at the request of LCEC.

Can I hire a private tree company to prune trees around power lines?

Per OSHA and ANSI Standards, only line clearance qualified arborists may work within ten feet of electric lines. Very few private tree companies have the knowledge, training, and equipment to be considered line clearance qualified.  Please contact LCEC for a free site visit and consultation for any private tree work within ten feet of electric distribution lines. We may perform the work at no cost to you, or provide safe clearance for you or your contractor.

Why are tree crews pruning my tree, if it is not even close to the power lines?

LCEC maintains vegetation in its easements and right of ways on a regular maintenance cycle and through our robust off-cycle maintenance program.  LCEC obtains clearances that allow for safe restoration and maintenance of our facilities. When pruning trees away from electric lines, LCEC must obtain a reasonable amount of clearance that allows for growth of the trees between cycles.

What is the difference between a transmission and distribution line?

  • Transmission lines carry electricity from power plants to substations and between substations. They are high-voltage lines and are typically located on poles that are steel or concrete.
  • Distribution lines carry electricity from substations to the end user. These typically are wooden poles. They may have from one to three or more energized lines.

What is the recommended pruning practice for palm trees near power lines?

Many palm species grow large enough to negatively impact utility facilities. Even palms not immediately adjacent to facilities may pose a threat because of their height and large fronds. Palms cannot be reduced in height or directionally pruned like other trees. The best solution for palms interfering with utility facilities is removal.
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