LCEC – Lee County Electric Cooperative


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Why, When, How

Why, When, How

LCEC trims trees for electric safety & reliability. Our vegetation management programs help to prevent contact between tree limbs and electric facilities which can cause power outages and unsafe conditions. Trees without the proper clearance can contact power lines during high winds or storms causing outages, fires and safety hazards.

LCEC does not trim trees around streetlights unless there is a threat to reliability.

Maintenance Trimming Program

In order to maintain the electric system, minimize tree-related outages and keep equipment operating safely, trees near electric facilities and lines are trimmed on a regular cycle or removed. LCEC contracts with professional tree trimmers, trained in safety practices, to systematically trim and prune trees and other vegetation located in utility easements and in right-of-ways.

Maintenance trimming around electric facilities in specific areas throughout the LCEC service territory is conducted on a rotating cycle. However, situations or emergencies may arise from time to time that require changes to the schedule.

Where We Trim

LCEC is responsible for trimming trees or vegetation contacting or having the potential to cause an outage on primary electric lines. Primary lines are the distribution or transmission lines that lead from the substation to the secondary lines that feed homes and businesses. 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.

Often, there are other utility lines such as cable television or telephone lines located below the electric lines on a pole. These lines are maintained by their service provider.

Customers are responsible for maintaining trees and vegetation around secondary lines and outside of utility easements. These also include the service drops that lead to the home or business. Never attempt to prune or trim near electrical wires or remove branches that are touching power lines. Only qualified tree contractors should trim trees, especially those growing near power lines and other electric utilities. Contract your local Chamber of Commerce for a list of reputable contractors. LCEC is not responsible for trimming trees around streetlights or for aesthetics.

Notification

LCEC makes every effort to notify customers through personal contact, letter, or by leaving a door hanger at the location prior to vegetation maintenance activities. However, this is not always possible for routine pruning. In the case of restoring power due to a tree-related outage or when a potential safety hazard exists, time is critical and crews may prune or remove a tree before notifying the property owner.

Clearances

All trees are trimmed according to American National Standards Institute A300, utilizing directional trimming techniques. Palm trees with fronds that are contacting the primary line require removal. Trees located within the utility easement at new electric facility construction sites require removal if it is determined they will grow to a height that will interfere with the primary line.

Pad-mount Transformer for Underground Equipment Clearances
There should be eight feet of clearance from the door side and 3 feet of clearance from other sides. This also applies to shrubs and obstructions such as fences. Providing adequate access to LCEC facilities allows for quicker maintenance and restoration.

Pad-mount Transformer for Underground Equipment Clearances

How We Prune

In order to maintain the electric system and keep equipment operating safely, trees near electric facilities and lines are routinely trimmed on a regular cycle or removed.

LCEC adheres to the American National Standards Institute A300 standards for pruning. These are the generally accepted industry standards for tree care. The ANSI A300 standards evolved from the National Arborist Association (NAA) standards and are supported by the Society of Arboriculture and the Tree Care Industry Association. These standards provide detailed guidelines for lateral and directional pruning to ensure reliability and safety and protect the health of the tree.

Directional or Lateral Pruning
This is a professional technique of trimming trees around power lines and directing the future growth of the tree away from the lines. Branches and limbs are removed up to the main trunk, juncture of the trunk or a major limb of the tree. This is the location a tree would most likely lose a branch under natural conditions. Re-growth tends to grow away from the power lines. This method does not impede the natural defense system of a tree, which allows it to fight decay, disease and insects.

Directional or Lateral Pruning

Pruning Your Own Trees

It is important to maintain the trees on your property also. This will help to avoid outages and unsafe conditions. Never attempt to prune or trim near electrical wires or remove branches that are touching power lines. Only qualified tree contractors should trim trees, especially those growing near power lines and other electric utilities. The qualified tree trimming service can contact LCEC to request a temporary interruption of power until the work is complete.

Tree Removal

LCEC recognizes the vital role that trees play in our environment and urban landscape. However, the removal of tall-growing trees within a utility easement is often beneficial to both LCEC and the customer by increasing safety and reliability and managing costs.

Transmission Lines
LCEC attempts to remove all tall-growing vegetation within the right-of-way. We work with customers to ensure that impact to their property is minimized.

Distribution Lines
LCEC contractors typically trim trees directly under the distribution lines; however, there are instances when the removal of trees is beneficial. If there is a tree under or near electric lines on your property that you would like to have removed please submit the Tree Trimming Request Form. LCEC inspectors will assess the tree to determine if it is a candidate for removal. You will be notified of the results. LCEC tree removal is scheduled on a quarterly basis.

Debris Removal

LCEC tree-trimming contractors typically remove debris within 24 hours on maintenance-related work. However, crews do not remove debris during restoration efforts after a storm.

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