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Tree Trimming

Tanner Electric Cooperative has taken an aggressive approach to improve power reliability. Not only have we used and continue to use our own staff to perform tree trimming, the board has authorized over $100 thousand per year to contract additional outside tree services to clear lines and right of ways. This is a small step, but an important one in the long term goals of reducing the outage time in all three service areas.

 

Is permission of the property owner necessary before doing tree work?

The cooperative’s easements grant Tanner Electric the authority to trim trees without property-owner permission to provide for a safe and reliable electric system. However, Tanner respects the property of its members and will notify the property owner of the need for tree work before trimming is done. In unusual or emergency situations, it may be necessary to trim trees without first notifying the property owner in order to restore service or eliminate safety hazards. Tanner Electric recommends the removal of trees that will require extensive trimming on a regular basis. However, trees will not be removed without the property owner’s permission.

 

How does Tanner know when a tree needs to be trimmed or removed?

The following priority will be followed in determining when and where tree trimming will be done:
1. Reports of electrical outages caused by trees.
2. Areas where trees have been damaged by storms.
3. During the regular tree-trimming cycle.
4. Periodic inspections by Tanner Electric personnel.
5. Reports from customers indicating potential tree/power-line problems.

 

Can a private property owner or commercial tree-trimmer obtain help in trimming or removing trees near electric wires?

Tanner Electric will assist property owners and/or their commercial contractors, at their request, with the trimming and removal of trees that are near Tanner Electrics wires. Please call the office at 425-888-0623 to make an appointment. A representative of Tanner Electric will make an inspection and explain to the property owner or contractor what we can do to assist. Tanner Electric’s assistance may include one or both of the following activities:

  • The temporary rerouting, de-energizing or removal of electric wires that may be hazardous to workers. Tanner Electric will coordinate with the property owner or contractor the time the work can be done.
  • The trimming of the tree so that it can be safely removed or trimmed by the property owner or contractor. All wood will be left on the property owner’s premises. Tanner Electric is not responsible for cutting wood to size or piling brush. The customer or contractor will be responsible for removing brush that is blocking sidewalks or driveways.

 

Are wood and wood chips available to the public?

Wood that is not wanted by property owners will be made available to the public on the following terms:

  • Persons who want wood on private property must make arrangements with the property owners.
  • Tree crews cannot cut wood to uniform size or smaller than necessary for normal handling.
  • Tree crews cannot load wood into private vehicles or trailers.
  • Crews will not stack or separate wood.
  • Wood and wood chips may be dumped on private or public property with approval of the property owner only when a savings in crew labor hours and equipment hours is evident.

 

How does Tanner Electric determine how far we remove trees from our lines?

When Tanner performs tree trimming, the crews are instructed to clear lines to a minimum of 10 feet from our lines. This effectively gives us a four to five-year cutting cycle. Depending on the application, we might cut further back to leave trees as healthy as possible. For example, if you cut the majority of a fir limb off, but not all the way to the base of the tree, the limb will die. In time, we will get members calling back explaining how ugly the tree looks and in response we will send crew back to cut limb all the way over to the base. This is expensive and time consuming, especially when we could be putting our energy into addition tree trimming.

 

Why does Tanner Electric cut this far back?

Other than some of the reasons alluded to above and other more obvious reasons, such as preventive reduction in outages, limbs touching and burning on electric lines is one of the principal wastes of electricity. Also, with lines clear from trees, our linemen have the necessary room to operate and restore power more quickly by not having to manipulate downed power lines from around trees.

 

What can the member do if he/she does not want us to cut as much as the 10’ clearance?

Tanner Electric attempts to notify all members of its ongoing tree trimming maintenance program. If you receive notification of our crews in your area and would like for us to cut less than 10 feet, you must notify us in time to do so. We will be happy to cut less than our 10 foot minimum, but we will have to calculate an additional yearly tree trimming cost and invoice you for such services. We cannot put this additional cost on all the members.

 

What do I do if I see a limb or tree on a line?

Please call our member services at 425-888-0623 and we will send someone out to check on it. If it is on or near our lines we will remove it. Never try to do this yourself!

 

How close can I plant trees or bushes next to Tanner’s poles or underground transformers?

Tanner personnel need to have access to all of its electric facilities for maintenance and storm repair. Please keep trees a minimum of 20 feet from overhead lines. If you must plant trees by lines, make sure that they are small and can’t reach our lines. Please call member services at 425-888-0623 with any questions. Underground transformers require a minimum of 10 feet of clearance so that personnel can safely access them.

 

What do I do if I have a danger tree near Tanner’s lines?

Please call Tanner at 425-888-0623 and we will send someone out to look over the tree. We will work with you and/or your contractor to make sure that the tree is taken down safely.

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