YVEA Vegetation Management

How Much Will They Cut From Tree?

Typically, the amount and type of pruning that is necessary is based on:

  • Tree species
  • Growth rates (how fast the branches grow back)
  • Wood strength (the chance of the branch breaking under the load of strong wind, snow, or ice) -Conductivity (how well the wood can conduct electricity)
  • Branch size (Larger-diameter branches coming in contact with conductors by failure or deflection create the greatest risk for tree-related interruptions)
  • Voltage conducted by the line and the line’s construction (the higher the voltage, the greater the clearance required)
  • Framing and spacing between phases of multi-phase lines (compact design and multi-phase lines pose a higher risk to tree-related interruptions)
  • Location of a tree in relationship to protective devices and critical customers on the circuit (hospitals, etc)
  • Location of a tree in regards to general public safety (existence of tree houses, public places, climbing ability of tree, etc)
  • Risk of wildfire ignition
Which Pruning Guidelines Does YVEA Follow?

Yampa Valley Electric follows the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) A-300 Part 1: Tree, Shrub, and Other Woody Plant Maintenance – Standard Practices, Pruning. These guidelines are followed to remove or shorten dangerous limbs, such as those overhanging wires that have a high potential for breaking or bending into YVEA's conductors due to ice, snow, or wind loading.

Why Not Put The Utility Lines Underground?

Installing utility lines underground comes with a very high price tag, coupled with more difficult (and longer) repairs in the event of a power failure. Also, converting an overhead system to underground may do more damage to the root systems of existing trees.

If members would like to pursue this avenue in order to preserve trees on or near the utility lines, YVEA will consider each request on a case-by-case basis, and members should be aware that they would be responsible for the costs required for undergrounding the power-relevant section of the power line.

Other Reasons We Trim
  • Proper utility pruning reduces hazards resulting from falling trees and limbs, which can cause wires to break or sag to the ground and present a danger to motorists and pedestrians.
  • Overgrown trees or limbs near power lines pose a danger to unsuspecting children who could come in contact with a live line while climbing a tree.
  • Directional pruning allows us to train the tree to grow away from power lines by removing only the branches that come in contact with the wires. By selectively trimming the tree's branches, we can retain much of the tree's natural crown.
  • For certain species of trees, the preferred method of vegetation management would be a full removal. This decision is based on the growth cycle of the species.
  • To assure Cooperative members that unnecessary costs are not incurred because of damage or power losses due to poor right-of-way.
How We Trim – Primary Lines

YVEA’s tree trimming contractor follows guidelines set forth by the Utility Arborist Association, Tree Care Industry Association, and the National Electric Safety Code. All crews are professionally trained to recognize hazardous situations and use proper pruning techniques to correct those situations.

They use directional pruning, which removes entire branches and limbs to the main tree trunk or large lateral branch. This technique directs future growth away from power lines, reduces re-growth, and protects the tree from decay while preserving as much beauty as possible. We avoid tree topping because topped trees can quickly regain their original height and the large number of fast-growing sprouts are susceptible to breakage and storm damage.

  • Primary Lines: Trimming requirements vary according to facility type, tree species, and line proximity. Branches can extend above or below but not too close to wires. The goal is to prune branches and remove trees in situations where adequate clearance will not be maintained until we are in your neighborhood again and it threatens reliability.
    tree trimming
How We Trim – Service & Secondary Lines

YVEA’s tree trimming contractor follows guidelines set forth by the Utility Arborist Association, Tree Care Industry Association, and the National Electric Safety Code. All crews are professionally trained to recognize hazardous situations and use proper pruning techniques to correct those situations.

They use directional pruning, which removes entire branches and limbs to the main tree trunk or large lateral branch. This technique directs future growth away from power lines, reduces re-growth, and protects the tree from decay while preserving as much beauty as possible. We avoid tree topping because topped trees can quickly regain their original height and the large number of fast-growing sprouts are susceptible to breakage and storm damage.

  • service linesService and Secondary Lines: These wires are more resistant to tree contact, and the homeowner is responsible for trimming trees to prevent them from growing into service lines. Before you or your contractor trim or remove trees close to service lines (pole-to-home wires), contact YVEA to ask us to turn off the power. We turn off electricity temporarily by dropping the service line to the ground and restoring it when your work is complete -- at no cost to you during normal business hours.
How We Trim – Underground Electricity Service

YVEA’s tree trimming contractor follows guidelines set forth by the Utility Arborist Association, Tree Care Industry Association, and the National Electric Safety Code. All crews are professionally trained to recognize hazardous situations and use proper pruning techniques to correct those situations.

They use directional pruning, which removes entire branches and limbs to the main tree trunk or large lateral branch. This technique directs future growth away from power lines, reduces re-growth and protects the tree from decay while preserving as much beauty as possible. We avoid tree topping because topped trees can quickly regain their original height and the large number of fast-growing sprouts are susceptible to breakage and storm damage.

  • Underground electricity service: As part of our continuing effort to provide safe, reliable service, we routinely inspect pad-mounted transformers. On occasion, we need to access them to maintain the equipment or restore service during a power interruption. To make this work possible, we need to be sure there are no trees, shrubs, plants, or other obstructions within 10 feet of the front of the transformer and within five feet of the other three sides.
    underground
  • Cable or Telephone Lines: We do not trim trees for these facilities. Contact your telephone or cable company if you are concerned about tree contact.
When We Trim

Trimming cycles are highly dependent on tree growth rate and the type of electric facilities in the area.

Scheduled Vegetation Control - Line Clearing and brush control performed on a cycle or periodic basis.

The Members shall do the following

  1. Allow YVEA employees or its representative access to the overhead power lines for vegetation control.
  2. Allow for vegetation control to meet NESC requirements and right-of-way widths specified in the easements.

The Cooperative shall do the following

  1. Identify sections of primary lines needing vegetation control, which are not in compliance with the National Electrical Safety Code.
  2. Budget funding for identified work.
  3. Contact Property Owners of line sections to be cleared.
  4. Perform the work identified for scheduled vegetation control.
    • Follow accepted clearing and brushing methods identified in the current ANSI Standards.
    • Provide traffic control, as needed.
    • Trim vegetation or cut brush within the right-of-way.
    • Dispose of the cuttings by spreading the material, chipping the cuttings, or stacking it for burning later.
    • For large areas, YVEA utilizes the use of EPA-approved herbicides for the control of brush.
      • Inform the property owners of its use.
      • Meet all Environmental Protective Agency testing requirements.
      • Follow the label directions by the Product manufacturer.

When we schedule trimming in your area that includes trees on your property, a Company Representative will contact you personally, in person, on the phone, or by leaving a door hanger before trimming and removing trees and limbs too close to our power lines.

  • You do not incur any charges for required tree trimming work.
  • Crews only perform work needed to maintain reliable electric service.

Requests for Vegetation Removal by Members

  1. The Cooperative will provide members with assistance by dropping service wires for purposes of removing vegetation where appropriate, at no cost to the member during normal hours of operation.
    • The Cooperative shall lower service lines and reattach the service once the vegetation is removed.
  2. The Member shall
    • Contact YVEA for assistance with vegetation removal.
    • Schedule the service drop or any secondary service to be dropped at least 5 working days ahead of time during normal hours of operation.
    • Arrange for the removal of all non-threatening vegetation to YVEA facilities.
    • Clean up the debris from the vegetation removal.
  3. The Cooperative will assist members when possible with situations involving primary conductors for vegetation removal.
    1. The Cooperative shall:
      • Evaluate the situation for hazards to YVEA facilities.
      • Strive to maintain service to existing members.
      • Look for alternatives to lowering any primary lines.
      • Arrange for the YVEA line clearing contractor to remove any vegetation hazardous to YVEA facilities.