Trees and Power Lines
Why are so many trees in our community shaped like a “V”?
- Many of our boulevard/terrace area trees are planted below overhead utilities. To ensure reliable electric service which minimizes electrical outages, and prevents fire hazards and other dangers Wisconsin Public Service has the responsibility to prune or remove trees that are in conflict with overhead utilities.
- Contractors use natural pruning methods. Natural pruning reduces re-sprouting in problem areas and allows the tree to seal itself naturally. WPS does not allow their contractors to use “round over” trimming, which causes a tree to grow in an unnatural way and wounds a tree severely.
Will pruning or removal cost me anything?
- No, there is no charge for pruning or removal.
Who performs the pruning or removal work?
- As part of a regular maintenance program Asplundh has been hired by Wisconsin Public Service to minimize outages and hazards.
How much pruning is necessary?
- The extent of pruning needed along high voltage primary lines depends on the species of trees. Slow growing species (i.e. most trees in the conifer family and fruit bearing trees) are pruned to provide a clearance of at least 6 feet from conductors. Fast growing species (i.e. ash, aspen, basswood, birch, elm, maple, oak, willow, and white pine) are pruned back to provide a minimum clearance of 10 feet from conductors. All limbs, which overhang conductors are pruned in order to provide a 20 foot clearance above.
- Open 3 wires secondary and service wires are cleared 5 feet for fast growing and 3 feet for slow growing.
- Coated secondary, service and streetlight wires are cleared only if trees or limbs are deflecting the conductors.
How do you determine when a tree needs to be removed?
- Trees within 10 feet of high voltage primary conductors less than 12” in diameter are to be removed.
- Diseased, structurally weakened or leaning trees which pose an imminent threat to the conductors are removed.
- Trees smaller than 4 inches in diameter or brush that are located within the clearing zone and are capable of growing into the electric lines in the future are removed.
- Stumps and young tall growing species of trees are treated with herbicide.
- Trees that have caused repeated safety problems or power outages are removed rather than trimmed.
What about clean up?
- Limbs are chipped and hauled away. Wood larger than 4 inches in diameter is left on site.
- Free wood chips, in rough form, may be available as a result of tree pruning. If you are interested, please call the call center at Wisconsin Public Service: 800.450.7260
What if we have questions?
- You can reach the call center at Wisconsin Public Service: 800.450.7260
The above information was made possible by Wisconsin Public Service and their publication, “How Trees Are Pruned Near Electric Line”. For more information you can call their 24-hour customer service number at: 800.450.7260 or e-mail: [email protected]
Erik Rantala, Administrator, with Langlade County Forestry and Recreation and Sarah Repp, with Antigo Park, Recreation and Cemetery Department collaborated to compile the following educational information for our residents and visitors.
“This document was funded in part by an urban forestry grant from the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Program as authorized under s. 23.097, Wis. Stat.”