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Many power outages and interruptions are caused by tree limbs that fall into power lines. This potential danger to you and your property can be avoided by routine tree pruning and not planting tall-growing trees under or near electric wires.

Preventing power outages

Where practical, we construct new utility lines to avoid potential conflicts with trees, either by installing lines underground or routing lines to avoid existing trees. Proper selection and planting of trees near utility easements can:

  • Improve the appearance of the landscape
  • Prevent safety hazards
  • Improve utility service reliability

Important: Before planting new trees, look overhead and all around the intended site. Note how far the tree planting site is from overhead utility lines and the easement; select trees that won't interfere with utility lines.

Types of power lines

Primary lines

Primary overhead lines are the main wires that run from pole to pole and bring electricity to your neighbourhood. They're typically located at the top of the pole and don't run to your house.

Many neighbourhoods have different overhead utility lines and it's important to be able to identify them so you know who to call if there's a problem.

 overhead-lines-id.jpg

Note: These lines are maintained by EPCOR and carry high voltage. Learn about power safety.

Secondary lines

Secondary overhead lines are the wires that run from pole to pole. They're typically located directly below the primary lines in the middle of the pole. These lines are also maintained by EPCOR and carry lower voltage. Learn about power safety.

Service lines

Service lines are the wires that bring electricity to your home. They run from the main power poles to your house. These lines are also maintained by EPCOR and carry lower voltage. Learn about power safety.

Communication cable lines

The communication cable lines that run to your house provide cable, phone and internet service. These lines are maintained by your cable/telephone provider. If there's an issue with these lines, please contact your cable/telephone provider. These lines are usually the lowest lines attached to the pole.

Tree pruning services we provide

To maintain safe and reliable service, we'll prune tree limbs that:

  • Interfere with existing primary overhead lines
  • Have the potential to interfere with existing primary lines
  • Obstruct the route of new primary lines
  • Are damaging or affecting the integrity of service lines

Note: We will prune trees from service lines in emergency situations only. You are responsible for the disposal of fallen trees or pruned branches related to service lines on your property.

On private property

We will prune trees from service lines on private property in emergency situations only.

As the property owner, you're responsible for:

  • Pruning tree limbs from services lines in non-emergency situations
  • Disposing of fallen trees or pruned limbs

If you want to prune trees on your property near power service lines, we can disconnect the power service while you or your hired arborist completes the work.

Please call our emergency phone number 2 hours in advance to ensure our crews can be made available. This service is available every day, including Sundays and holidays, but may be delayed due to emergency work.

On easements

An easement is a right to use a landowner's property for a specific purpose.

Right-of-way easements allow us the authority to prune trees, without property owners' permission, in order to provide a safe and reliable electric system.

However, we respect your property and will always try to notify you of the need for the tree work before pruning is done. In unusual or emergency situations, it may be necessary to prune trees without first notifying you in order to restore service or eliminate safety hazards.

Because of the inherent danger of electric lines, any pruning needed within easement areas should only be carried out by qualified contractors in line clearance pruning, never by homeowners or non- certified arborists companies.

We contract pruning professionals who follow Best Management Practices for Utility Trimming of Trees. These practices were developed from the residential and commercial tree care industry, utilities, the municipal and federal sectors.

Report tree pruning

By phone

Call our 24 hour power emergency phone number if the tree is:

  • Interfering with primary power lines
  • Causing power service issues
  • Causing severe stress on the service line

Online

The form below is for non-emergencies only. If the tree is causing an emergency, please call our power emergency phone number.

Note: It may take us up to 2 business days to respond to any requests made through this form.

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