Emerald People’s Utility District (EPUD) is required by the State Public Utilities Commission to keep the power line right-of-ways clear of trees and branches that can cause outages. Trees are the number one cause of outages in our rural service territory. Our tree crews are constantly trimming and removing trees under power lines in our ongoing effort to make your electric service as reliable as possible.
Customers are responsible for making sure trees aren’t growing into the line that comes from our distribution system to your house. If limbs are getting too close, call us at (541) 744-7492 or email our Operations team, and we will make arrangements to help you safely remove the tree. Do not attempt to trim trees yourself that are growing near distribution lines or your service line. Doing so can put you at risk of deadly electrical shock.
Get Power Friendly!
Trees enhance our quality of life, as they beautify our homes and neighborhoods. Yet improperly selected or sited trees can cause major problems. Storms bring trees and limbs down on power lines, disrupting service and creating very hazardous conditions. Even in good weather, a tree growing too close to a power line can endanger lives.
Emerald PUD works hard to give you the most reliable service possible. You can be a partner in this by managing vegetation on your property and following a few simple guidelines:
The Right Tree
When planting near power lines, choose trees that will grow no higher than 25 feet at maturity. Power-friendly trees like these give you many options for spring and fall color, tree shape and size, and fruit:
- Amur maple
- Vine maple
- Japanese snowball
- Golden desert ash
- Mt. Fuji cherry
- Japanese tree lilac
- Flowering plum
The Right Place
Avoid planting trees directly under power lines. Within 30 feet of power lines, select trees that will grow no higher than 25 feet. Larger trees should be planted more than 30 feet away from power lines.
Tree Trimming FAQ’s
Many trees have grown up into or were planted too close to power lines. Outages and safety hazards can occur when trees are too near overhead conductors. Service interruptions caused by trees are serious and may affect many customers and cause damage to the electrical infrastructure.
Once we have identified that your trees need trimming, you will be notified that tree trimming has been scheduled. Your permission is not required, because state law mandates that we maintain clearance and keep the power lines safe and hazard-free.
The utility is legally required to maintain its facilities. Utility franchises, easements, and right-of-ways are often conveyed in the deed to a property. In addition, as a condition of electric service to your home, you must allow the PUD access for maintenance.
Many factors help determine the distance from the lines your trees will be trimmed. They include:
- Growth rate of tree species
- Voltage level of power line
- Current distance of line to tree
(The minimum distance for most distribution voltage within the PUD system is 10 feet tree-to-conductor clearance.)
EPUD crews take care of trimming trees in our District. EPUD crews will trim trees according to American National Standards Institute A300 (ANSI) Pruning Standards. This trimming technique uses natural lateral or directional pruning methods which direct growth of the tree away from overhead conductors. This allows the tree to retain much of its natural form while requiring less trimming in the future.
Emerald PUD does not charge ratepayers for this service. We provide the tree trimming service to ensure that power is delivered safely, more reliably, and at less cost to our ratepayers.
EPUD will remove trees that are interfering with overhead conductors or ground transformers. Since there are many factors that will determine whether or not a tree qualifies for removal, a site-specific determination will be made by an EPUD representative.
The best way to avoid conflicts is to never plant trees underneath power lines. If you choose to plant trees near power lines, select trees with slow growth rates that have a short mature height and spread that will not interfere with nearby power lines.
Yes, if you feel your trees are too close to power lines, contact EPUD and we will inspect the site to determine if the trees should be trimmed immediately or when periodic maintenance is scheduled for your area.
No! Serious injury or death can result when untrained homeowners attempt to trim trees around power lines. Only EPUD is allowed to trim trees interfering with the power lines.