Tips: Tree Trimming

SHOWERS throughout May, June and July brought more than flowers to Oncor Electric Delivery communities this year. Texas usually experiences two growing seasons, spring and fall. Double the rainfall and cooler temperatures over the last 90 days have supercharged the growing season, nearly tripling the average expected growth of some trees from 2 feet to 6 feet in a never-ending cycle. Across the system, trees, bushes and other vegetation are sprouting new leaves at a time when they are normally just trying to survive the summer heat.

Every year in Texas, people are injured or even killed when they climb or prune trees near power lines. Tree limbs in contact with power lines can sometimes act as conductors, and it's possible to be seriously injured or killed. Trees that fall into utility lines can injure people or damage property near the utility line, and may also cause power outages, surges, fires and other damage.

Oncor offers these safety tips on tree trimming:

  • Hire an expert -- look for a tree trimming company with an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) to trim near service line.
  • If you decide to trim a service line yourself, call the number on your electric bill before trimming to arrange for power to be turned off. For a fee, power can be disconnected from an individual home and re-connected the same day.
  • Do not attempt to trim trees along main lines running pole to pole.
  • If a tree falls into a power line, call the number on your electric bill. Don't touch anything that comes into contact with the line.
  • If a power line falls, call 911, stay away and keep others away until the electricity is disconnected.
  • Use extra care when operating electric power tools, such as chain saws or hedge trimmers. Keep extension cords away from wet areas or service lines. Don't operate electric power tools in wet weather or where the ground is wet or even damp.

For more electric safety tips, visit http://www.oncor.com.

Additional tree-trimming tips can be found in PDF format at www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_Hurricane_Facts/trim.pdf or www.osha.gov/SLTC/landscaping/solutions.html.

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