VEGETATION MANAGEMENT: Why it Matters to YOU.
Vegetation and tree-related outages are responsible for almost 80% of Dickson Electric System (DES) power outages, and the number goes up when storms hit. To keep your lights on, your homes comfortable, and the public and our workers safe, DES utilizes a balanced vegetation program of routine and emergency trimming/removal of trees, limbs, and brush as well as safe, nontoxic herbicide application under and around our lines, poles, and equipment. Spraying of safe, nontoxic, industry-standard herbicide application is conducted along specific cycles during summer months.
For many years, DES has taken pride in managing a safe, economical, proactive approach to maintaining the right-of-way which protects our lines, equipment, and workers from threats to our power system while ensuring the highest quality of safe, reliable electric power at the lowest possible cost for our customers. By investing in responsible, proactive vegetation management, we can rest easy knowing that your children stay safe, your powerlines stay secure, and your lights stay on.
DES’s program utilizes a variety of approved, environmentally sound methods to keep vegetation and growth a safe distance from our powerlines and equipment. This includes trimming, spraying, and removal, if needed, of trees, limbs, bushes, and brush to maintain 15-feet of clearance from either side of our lines. Our goal is to never again hear of another injury or accidental death where a child climbs a tree and comes in contact with energized lines or an emergency responder makes contact with an energized line hidden under brush and tree limbs. The potential cost of not maintaining our right-of-way to ensure a safe and responsible clearance could very well be life-or-death.
Tree trimming is conducted year-round on a cycle-basis for power and broadband reliability. Arborists work to evaluate the system and mark trees for trimming (•) and removal (x), leaving door-hangers on customer mailboxes to identify the intended plan for the right-of-way closest to each customer’s home/property.
Likewise, sprays utilized by DES contractors during summer months are registered with the EPA and administered by licensed applicators. Contractors survey the areas to be treated and prescribe an appropriate mix that will promote a subtle transition of the right of way into native grasses and flowering plants. These herbicide and tree growth retardant application services are vital to affordable accessibility, while also promoting environmental stewardship, habitats, and multi-use of the right of way.
DES appreciates a strong partnership with our valued customers and works to ensure that you receive the very best service. Our commitment to public and lineworker safety, our steadfast dedication to the highest reliability, and our focus on prioritizing the needs of our communities over all others are some of the pillars of the public power model. We are DES. We are #communitypowered.
Submit Your Tree-Related Request Below:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Did you know…
- 8 out of 10 power outages are caused by a tree on the power line.
- Your tree could knock out power to hundreds of your friends and neighbors.
- DES has a legal and moral responsibility to keep power on for all customers and to keep power lines clear of trees in order to continue providing safe and reliable service.
Why is tree trimming necessary?
Can DES legally trim trees?
What method of trimming does DES use?
DES utilizes the following methods to achieve these goals:
- Manual trimming
- Bush hog mechanical removals
Who cleans up debris?
- Routine Trimming – Contractors for DES will remove tree limbs, etc. and after completion of work, make every effort to restore areas to their prior condition, if possible. Small debris will be left behind, as it is impractical to attempt to collect items that will degrade naturally in the environment. Customers may request ahead of time for the wood to be left for the property owner. To do so, simply call (615) 441-6343 to speak with an ACRT representative.
- Emergency Trimming – Regardless of how aggressive a utility’s tree trimming program may be, storm damage related to trees and limbs will still occur. When tree debris is caused by a storm or emergency situation, DES does not remove it. Our crews must work quickly to restore power to all customers. Crews may need to cut broken and uprooted trees to make repairs to our lines, but it is the responsibility of the property owner to remove the tree debris.
Will DES remove trees if necessary?
Can I be present when trees are trimmed?
What can I do to help?
2. Plan ahead before planting trees. Remember, by planting trees away from power lines, poles, and guy wires, you’ll ensure safe, natural growth and eliminate the need for extensive trimming. Even the most properly planted or carefully groomed tree may require trimming over the years to make certain that new growth doesn’t interfere with overhead power lines.
What if I don’t want Dickson Electric System or their contractors to trim my trees?
What if I don’t want Dickson Electric System or their contractors to spray on my property?
DES offers a spray opt-out option for special situations where the property owner commits to take a more personal investment and, if approved, agrees to maintain the right-of-way according to the required distance. Those interested need to contact DES at 615.441.6343 or email@example.com and request information about the no-spray list/opt-out option for spraying.
How often will trees be pruned?
How can I report trees/limbs near or on a power line?
What if I have more questions?
I want to plant a tree on my property. What do I need to know?
The Arbor Day Foundation encourages thoughtful practices that help preserve community trees while also serving a utility company’s customers.
The following drawing demonstrates effective planting, placing the right tree in the right place. Trees properly placed can lower line clearance costs for utility companies, reduce tree mortality, and result in healthier community forests.
Medium trees, 40 feet or less in mature height, might include Washington Hawthorne and Golden Raintree, while smaller trees such as Redbud, Dogwood, and Crabapple are suitable for planting closer to utility lines, but should not be located within 15 feet of a utility pole. When planting near utility lines, consider a 25 foot maximum mature height and 20 foot spread.
For a list of recommended tree species and distances for planting, contact our ACRT Representatives at (615) 441-6343.