To protect electric reliability and personal safety, it is important that Access Energy Cooperative periodically trims trees near power lines. Tree limbs and power lines are a bad combination, especially with storms involving high winds, lightning, snow, or ice. Trees are one of the most common causes of electric service outages.

Tree limbs and branches that extend into power lines also can pose a significant risk to public safety during any kind of weather. Anyone in close contact or trying to trim or climb such trees could be seriously injured.

Professionally trained crews trim trees around our primary transmission and distribution lines, rotating the areas they work in yearly. Franchise and easement agreements allow us to trim affected trees on private property. The goal is to trim no more than is necessary for public safety and electric service reliability. If we keep them trimmed we not only prevent limbs from touching our lines, we improve the risk of dead limbs that could snap and fall in to the lines.

Always check for nearby power lines before planting or trimming your own trees. Try to plant trees away from power lines. If a power line is in the vicinity, determine how tall and wide a tree is likely to be when it is fully grown. Placing low-growing trees near power lines will help prevent service problems and limit the need for tree trimming in the future. Trimming a tree near a power line will require a professional tree trimmer, and you should contact your electric utility about this.

Also, remember to contact Iowa One Call (IOC), by dialing 811 or  by calling 1-800-331-5666, at least 48 hours in advance of any tree planting to have underground utilities marked. Please contact our office with any questions or concerns about tree trimming or planting. If questions or concerns persist, you may also contact the Iowa Utilities Board toll-free at 1-877-565-4450.