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LCEC performs year-round vegetation management for electric safety and service reliability. Our robust vegetation management program clears vegetation from electric lines and facilities. When trees and other vegetation do not have the proper line clearance, they can cause service interruptions, fires, and other safety hazards.
LCEC electric circuit clearing is maintained on pre-determined pruning cycles year-round. During this work, our certified line-clearance contractors notify residents in advance of any clearing scheduled to be performed on customer property. LCEC contractors are instructed to systematically follow national standards for tree care, which include directional pruning techniques and clearances designed to maximize safety and reliability goals.
LCEC has additional programs to address vegetation that grows faster than maintenance cycles can manage. These programs address vegetation that may pose a risk to public safety or electric service reliability. Vegetation on customer property that may be a cause for concern can be evaluated through a free site visit by LCEC experts. Please contact LCEC to schedule a visit to determine the best course of action for the vegetation in question. If work is assigned, this service will be performed by at no cost by qualified LCEC line clearance contractors.
Primary distribution lines are between fourteen and twenty-four thousand volts, and are usually found at the top of each pole. They carry electricity between our substations and transformers, which then reduce the voltage to the typical 220-volt lines that serve our homes and businesses.
During our scheduled maintenance programs, LCEC clears all primary distribution lines and the lines below them between poles. For trees we are alerted to that grow faster than our scheduled maintenance programs, LCEC may prune or remove them if they are contacting primary lines, have the potential to cause a service interruption, or need proper clearance in advance of work by a homeowner or their contractor.
For low-voltage, secondary lines that serve more than one customer and streetlight wires, LCEC may maintain vegetation when trees are likely to cause a service interruption or safety issue. LCEC does not prune trees around service drops, where low-voltage lines serve just one customer. For non-essential private pruning around low-voltage lines such as service drops, streetlight wires, and secondary lines, LCEC can schedule an appointment to deenergize or disconnect these lines while tree care is performed safely around them.
LCEC does not prune trees around streetlight globes unless it is necessary for installation or repair.
Tree care near power lines is dangerous and may cause serious injury or death. Touching or contacting a power line with body parts, tools, or trimmings may cause a powerful electric shock. During tree care, all tools, body, and tree parts must remain a minimum of 10 feet away from energized lines. Only qualified line clearance arborists may work within 10 feet of energized lines.
Always contact LCEC before performing or contracting tree work near our electric lines. When trees are within 10 feet of primary lines, we can schedule safe clearing in advance of tree care.
Please submit a Tree Trimming Request Form for a free site visit to assess and determine the best course of action for your tree and line conflicts.
LCEC attempts to notify customers in advance of tree work through personal, phone, or door hanger contact unless the work is part of emergency power restoration activities.
Customers served by underground power lines have a responsibility to keep trees, shrubs, and plants away from above ground enclosures. When landscaped plants block access to transformers and service pedestals, they interfere with LCEC’s ability to service equipment and restore power. These plants may be removed by LCEC during maintenance and service restoration. For the larger pad-mount transformers, all vegetation must have an 8-foot space in its front and 3-feet on each side of the enclosure. Smaller pedestals should have a minimum of two feet of clearance from all vegetation.
Vegetation growing around poles and in utility easements may be removed by LCEC for access, maintenance, and service restoration.
In order to maintain the electric system and keep equipment operating safely, trees near electric facilities and power lines are routinely cared for 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 pruning 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.
LCEC recognizes the vital role that trees play in our environment and urban landscape. The removal of tall-growing trees within a utility easement often increases safety and reliability.
LCEC has an active tree removal program that targets fast-growing trees and palms that are difficult to manage between maintenance cycles. Trees or palms growing around our primary distribution lines can be considered for removal. Please submit a Tree Trimming Request Form for a free site visit to discuss removal options.
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.
LCEC qualified line clearance contractors typically care for 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 a Tree Trimming Request Form. LCEC inspectors will assess the tree to determine if it is a candidate for removal.
Palms are synonymous with Southwest Florida’s natural and landscaped environments. They define our region and attract visitors and residents to our sub-tropical climate. Yet, palms and power lines are incompatible.
Palms cause over 50 percent of vegetation-caused power outages at LCEC. They cannot be directionally pruned or reduced in height. Palm fronds may contact or drop onto high voltage power lines and cause service interruptions. For safe and reliable electric service, the best solution for palms near power lines is removal.
Palms should never be planted under or adjacent to power lines. Palm fronds can mature to between five and fifteen feet long and regularly detach from the trunk. Tall-growing palms should never be planted within 25 feet of existing power lines.
Homeowners should never attempt to prune or hire contractors to care for or remove palms with trunks or fronds within 10 Feet of energized power lines. Only qualified line clearance arborists may work within 10 feet of energized lines.
Customers with palms growing near our power lines on their property, are encouraged to submit a Tree Trimming Request Form. LCEC inspectors will assess the tree to determine if it is a candidate for removal. We may prune them safely away from our lines or remove them at no cost to the customer.
LCEC tree care contractors typically remove debris within 24 hours on maintenance-related work. However, crews do not remove debris during restoration efforts after a storm or in emergency situations.
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