Questions About Trimming Near Power Lines

Why does the Utility Company trim trees near power lines?

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) requires Utility Companies to inspect and clear their power lines on a regular basis.  This is critical to maintain reliable and safe electric power.

How much will be trimmed or cut?

Standards require 10 feet of line clearance.  However, that is a minimum standard and does not mean that only 10 feet of material will be trimmed.  Trimming is species-specific, taking into account the growth rate of trees and the length of time before trimmers will return to the same area.  Typically, limbs and branches will be trimmed to allow at least 12-14 feet of clearance on all sides of power lines.  Trees within transmission line easements (large towers) will be totally removed.

Who does the trimming? What standards do they follow?

The Utility Company usually hires private contractors to conduct routine tree trimming which follow standards developed by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the plan approved by the PUCO.

How will I know where tree trimming is scheduled to take place?

The tree trimming contractor will generally provide a flyer or attach a door hanger notifying the affected property of the upcoming trimming.

Are tree trimmers allowed to enter my property?

Power lines on private property are usually located in utility easement areas, which give Utility Companies or their contractors the right to enter and maintain those lines.  

What happens to the cut material?

Trees are considered a homeowner’s property.  Small debris may be chipped and removed by the contractor as part of jobsite cleanup, but larger limbs and branches are typically cut, stacked, and left on site for the property owner to use or dispose.  Disposal can be done through the city’s Brush and Limb Pickup Program.

Where can I get more information regarding Duke Energy’s Utility Trimming Program?

Duke Energy has a website dedicated to explain their Integrated Vegetation Management Program, it can be found by following the link below.



Who can I contact if I have questions about trimming that will be done on my property?

If you have questions about work at your property, always contact the Utilities’ contractor first.  They should be willing to meet you at your property to discuss the work.  If that does not resolve your concerns, you should contact Duke Energy (800-554-6900) or Butler Rural Electric (513-867-4400).

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1. Questions About Trimming Near Power Lines
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