Power lines that run down the city and neighborhood streets are called distribution lines. Tree limbs that come in contact with power lines are a major cause of electrical outages, and limbs that touch electric power lines can become energized or even break and fall, bringing the lines down with them. To reduce outages caused by tree contact, Georgia Power prunes trees away from its power lines on a planned cycle.
Keeping power lines clear of limbs and brush also provides easier access to our lines, which means quicker restoration of power during storms or other times of trouble.
When pruning trees, we complete the entire line and do not schedule individual pruning requests.
Cyclical Integrated Vegetation Management
Georgia Power prunes trees to industry standards that were developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). These methods involve pruning to lateral branches and directional trimming to remove limbs at strong branches or at the tree trunk. By making the proper cuts, we do not interfere with the tree's natural defense mechanisms that protect it from decay. Also, this method of pruning removes branches at their natural shedding points, which reduces re-growth.
Georgia Power uses only qualified line clearance companies that hire qualified workers to prune trees near our power lines. Private individuals and unqualified tree contractors should never prune trees near power lines. If you or your contractor are going to perform an activity within 10 feet of an overhead high-voltage line, you must contact the Utilities Protection Center and comply with the High-Voltage Safety Act.
A major factor in restoring power quickly during emergency situations is clear access to our rights-of-way. To keep these areas accessible, we keep weeds and brush below a height that would hamper visibility or hinder access along the right-of-way. Maintenance involves selectively applying commonly used herbicides to non-desirable species on the right-of-way, making way for the growth of grasses and other herbaceous plants. We use only non-restricted use products that are approved by the EPA and that are applied under the direction of licensed herbicide applicators. In addition, the use of herbicides encourages the growth of plants that have more nutritional value for wildlife, and herbicides minimize the use of heavy equipment such as mechanical mowers, reducing rutting, hydrocarbons and oil.
Your Property's Trees
Selecting the best trees for your yard is an important decision. Learn how to plant the right tree in the right place.
Trees near power lines can be dangerous. If a snapped or trimmed limb falls onto a power line, do not touch the limb with your hands, a pole or other object. Call Georgia Power or 911 immediately. See more safety tips
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