Vegetation Management Safety
To ensure safety and quality of service for our customers, LCUB regularly trims trees near high voltage power lines. A large number of power outages occur due to trees falling onto or growing into the power lines. LCUB has increased its trimming efforts to further ensure quality of service and safety for our customers and is currently trimming approximately 400 miles of power lines per year.
LCUB’s Trimming Responsibilities
As part of receiving electrical service from LCUB, customers agree to provide LCUB with the necessary rights of way to trim trees. Any tree that threatens primary high voltage (protected zone) lines may be completely removed. All other trees near LCUB service lines outside of the protected zone will be considered for trimming, removal, or replacement.
To ensure adequate notification and communication, LCUB, in non-emergency situations, will attempt to notify landowners prior to any tree removal or trimming activities.
Customer’s Trimming Responsibilities
Customers are responsible for trimming trees around low voltage service wires that are on the customer’s property. LCUB does not trim trees for service wires crossing a customer’s property or those that connect the meter to the pole transformer. If a customer fails to adequately trim these trees and damage occurs, the customer is responsible for all financial costs associated with the damages.
Customers must maintain a clear path to the electric meter so LCUB employees can regularly access it as part of the customer’s service agreement. If a customer does not maintain a clear path to the meter, LCUB may disconnect service and not reconnect service until the situation is resolved.
The Arbor Day Foundation publishes information about proper tree selection and planting. Please reference this information prior to planting any tree near high voltage, service lines, or meters.
To ensure service rates remain as low as possible, LCUB trims trees strictly for utilitarian needs within protected zones. This may leave trees partially trimmed or trimmed unevenly and they might be considered unattractive by landowners. Customers are responsible for aesthetically correcting any trees they may consider unattractive.
LCUB has four general categories of trees and will attempt to trim trees based on classification.
- Evergreen Non-Ornamental Trees: Pine, fir, and spruce type trees that are located on unoccupied land or open wood lots.
- Evergreen Ornamental Trees: Pine, fir, and spruce type trees are located on occupied land and rights of way and are used for aesthetic landscaping or shading.
- Deciduous Non-Ornamental Trees: All non-evergreen trees that were likely not planted for aesthetic landscaping or shading.
- Deciduous Ornamental Trees: All non-evergreen trees that were planted for aesthetic landscaping or shading.
Trees are usually trimmed by following one of the following methods:
- Top Cutting: Used for deciduous trees where the trunks are too far outside the center line of the primary overhead line to use lateral cutting, but are too close to the center line of the primary overhead lines to use side cutting.
- Side Cutting: Used for all deciduous trees where the trunks are too far outside the center line of the primary overhead line to use lateral cutting, but are far enough from the center line to not warrant top cutting. Also used for very large ornamental evergreen trees where the center is too far outside the center line of the primary overhead line to use top cutting.
- Removal: Trees are completely cut down. Stumps may be removed, but only at the discretion of the trimming foreman.
The protected zone is an elongated, vertical rectangle boundary approximately 12 feet below the neutral overhead line, 10 feet on either side of the outside wires of the primary overhead line, and 50 feet above the primary overhead line. The diagram below illustrates approximate vegetation removal within the protected zone:
LCUB will remove all brush from the trimming area and leave it at the road right of way for pick up once all work is finished, usually by the next business day. No brush will be left on the landowner’s occupied property without express consent.
Trees larger than 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet tall will be cut into 18 inch logs and stacked at the trimming site. Landowners should contact LCUB’s Tree Trimming Department with any special requests or instructions.
All limbs and debris will be chipped at the trimming site and removed by LCUB. Any LCUB customer who wishes to receive free wood chips can place a standing order by contacting LCUB’s Tree Trimming Department. Requests from the landowner at the trimming site take priority over standing orders. LCUB will not remove any walnut or cherry tree debris without written consent of the landowner.
- Underground and Overhead Subdivisions: LCUB has expressed and implied easements and rights of way within all subdivisions constructed after 1975 that were granted as a condition of electrical service. Most easements extend inward at least 12 feet from the curb. Customers must not plant trees or shrubs within this area unless granted written permission from LCUB. All trees planted in this area may be removed without notice or recourse by LCUB.
- New Service: LCUB requires that all applicants provide all easements, tree trimming, and removal for all new primary or secondary overhead lines that are greater than 50 feet from the service tap point. LCUB does not provide this service.
- Chemical Spraying on Rights of Way: LCUB may use environmentally-safe weed killers and brush growth retardants near the road or on the main line rights of way. No chemicals will be sprayed without notifying all landowners within 200 yards of the site. No aerial spraying will be conducted without full public notification.