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Right-of-Way FAQ

Tree Trimming for safe, reliable electricity

Trees are the heart of southern neighborhoods, but trees growing near power lines can be a dangerous combination. They affect the safe, reliable delivery of electricity to homes and businesses. In fact, damage resulting from trees, tree limbs or other forms of vegetation is a leading cause of power outages in our service territory.

Berkeley Electric Cooperative employs on-staff foresters to supervise professional tree trimming contract crews. These crews trim trees following the industry standard created in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This standard, known as ANSI A300, directs future tree growth away from the power line. ANSI A300 trimming may appear more drastic when compared to previously used methods, but it's actually better for the tree's health because cuts callus faster and decay is reduced.


What is a Right-of-Way?

Much of Berkeley Electric Coop's tree trimming is done along easements or right-of-way, which are necessary for the company to properly maintain its power lines and other equipment. Essentially, you own the land but the right-of-way allows Berkeley Electric Coop to construct and maintain transmission and distribution facilities in order to serve customers.

Transmission right-of-way corridors range from 50 to 500 feet in width, allowing room for high voltage lines carrying electricity from generating plants to substations or substation to substation. 

Distribution right-of-way corridors typically range in width from 20 to 50 feet. These lower voltage line are often seen running along streets or in neighborhoods.


Can I trim the trees myself?

Do not attempt to trim trees near power lines as there is a risk of serious or fatal injury. If you are concerned about trees or vegetation growing too close to power lines, please contact Berkeley Electric Cooperative.


Is Berkeley Electric Coop responsible for clean up after trimming trees?

Berkeley Electric Coop cleans up tree limbs and brush in yards following routine circuit maintenance. Along rural rights-of-way, the debris is often mowed or cut up with saws, but otherwise left to deteriorate. Berkeley Electric Coop does not leave debris in ditches or waterways.


How can I select and plant shrubbery or trees so that they wont interfere with power lines?

One of the best ways to avoid situations where shrubbery or trees could interfere with overhead power lines is to carefully select shrubbery or trees that will not grow into power lines.

Along transmission line rights-of-way, planting shrubbery with a mature height of 20 feet or more is not allowed. It's also important to note that trees should not be planted directly under the service line that runs from the pole to your home or business.

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