LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative


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Vegetation Management FAQ

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 trim around the power lines?

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

Why do the LCEC contractors trim 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?

Vegetation that grows extremely fast or specific species of palm trees are difficult to safely manage between trim cycles. If this type of vegetation is growing in a location that could potentially interfere with LCEC’s primary lines, it must be removed.

How do I know that tree-trimmers have the authority to trim my tree?

All LCEC contractors have the required identification and will only trim vegetation that is within the utility easement or that presents a safety or reliability threat.

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

Any tree in close proximity to primary power lines must be trimmed by a certified line clearance arborist. LCEC recommends that customers contact LCEC before having trees pruned that are close to power lines.

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

LCEC trims vegetation in its easements and right of ways on a regular maintenance cycle. LCEC does not trim vegetation that will not interfere with LCEC’s primary lines, including trees with a low mature height and trees that are maintained in commercial groves. When we trim a circuit we trim all trees that could interfere with the lines before the next scheduled cycle.

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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