The Importance of Tree Trimming & Your Service

Lineman trimming trees
Tuesday | February 16, 2021

Trimming and removal of trees can be dangerous work. Right-of-way maintenance helps assure safe and reliable electricity to our members. 

To provide safe, reliable electrical service from overhead power lines, Hendricks Power starts on the ground: in the right-of-way under and around the co-op’s 2,540 miles of power lines. Maintenance activities involve mowing, cutting dangerous trees, pruning, applying herbicide and removing trees.
“Great electric service is a delicate balancing act between a safe and reliable power grid and the wishes of property owners when it comes to trees and other vegetation,” said Israel Kemp, Vegetation Management Supervisor at Hendricks Power. “Fortunately, most consumers are cooperative when trimming crews come around every few years to maintain the power line right-of-way that crosses their property. They understand untrimmed trees and overgrown vegetation can affect their electric service and prolong outages after storms.” 
A right-of-way is a type of easement agreement with property owners that grants the electric cooperative the right to manage small portions of that property for the purpose of maintaining power lines that bring the electricity to your home, farm and/or business, and those of your neighbors. Having right-of-way means utilities can access the area to fix a utility-related problem or to perform maintenance.
Generally, the most common cause for power outages and for blinking lights is trees that make contact with power lines. Limbs that touch power lines can become energized or even break and fall, bringing the lines down with them. Trees too close to power lines can also be deadly to you and your children.
Right-of-way programs trim, control and, if necessary, remove trees and other vegetation around 10 to 15 feet on either side of the centerline of electric lines. Branches growing through or around utility lines are also trimmed away or removed. Utilities also remove branches growing above lines, where snow or ice could cause branches to sag or fall onto live lines. It is sometimes necessary to target and remove entire trees. These include trees that might be off the easement that are weak, diseased, dead, dying, severely leaning or growing in a direction that could damage the power line should they fall. 
Electric cooperatives serve the most rural, wooded and challenging stretches of terrain in Indiana that are also the most green. A good right-of-way maintenance plan by the co-op helps ensure less damage and shorter outages when Mother Nature brings strong winds and ice.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your right-of-way, visit our website at www.hendrickspower.com.