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Have a question about street or park trees? Visit the City's Urban Forestry Division webpage

Electric Utility Easement Tree Trimming
Westerville is a leader in the Utility Tree Trimming Industry and is consistently recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Line USA Community.  Residents should never attempt to trim or remove limbs near power lines. If you should have any questions you should call (614) 901-6700 to have an Electric Division representative evaluate the situation. 

Westerville’s tree trimming crews work to the highest standards as outlined by the American National Standards Institute.  The crews are lead by an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist / Utility Specialist.

In order to provide safe and reliable electricity to our customers, Westerville Electric Division tree trimmers perform various types of tree trimming along the utility easements, rights-of-ways and on private property when trees come in conflict with the overhead power lines.  In order to perform the work necessary, we oftentimes must gain access to private property.  The Division always make an effort to contact the owners before doing our regular scheduled work.

Westerville crews generally prune away three years of growth on trees that are prone to growing into the power lines.  We will clean up, remove all trimmings, and leave the property as found.  If you have any questions about line clearance tree trimming, please call (614) 901-6700.

Types of Tree Trimming
The four types of utility easement tree trimming utilized by the Electric Division are:

1. Side Trim
2. Crown Reduction
3. Through Trim (sometimes referred to as V-Trim)
4. Removals

Trees beside power lines are often “side trimmed.”  Side trimming involves removing entire side branches, not just trimming branch tips.  To keep the trees strong and healthy, cuts are made at either the growth collar or the lateral branch bark ridges.

Crown reduction is the most extensive form of trimming involving the crown (upper branches) of the tree. The preferred method of crown reduction is called “drop-crotching,” or cutting the main branch(es) back to a lateral branch well below the top of the remaining crown.

The “Through Trim” (or “V-Trim”) can only be utilized on trees that are under a single-phase power line, and involves cutting out the tree’s center.  Sometimes, even this type of trimming cannot provide proper access to utility lines, making removing the entire tree the only alternative.

Tree Removals
It may be at times better to remove trees along the power lines due to safety, health, appearance or future maintenance needs. The Westerville Electric Division will work with the landowner to identify these trees and determine if the trees will be removed.  Trees removed will be at no cost to the landowner and the wood from the removal could be left for the resident in manageable lengths or may be hauled away.  Stumps will be ground out when possible, and the resident will be responsible for cleaning up the stump grindings.

Westerville Tree Replacement Program
Trees add a special, natural beauty to our city.  However, not all tree locations are compatible with overhead electric lines and can pose a threat to public safety and electric service reliability.  Planting the right tree in the right place is the best way to remedy conflicts between trees and overhead electric lines.  Tree replacement can occur through the Westerville Electric Division’s Tree Replacement Program. The City’s Electric Division will evaluate a tree to determine whether the tree should be removed and/or replaced and look at the options as to what types of plant material would be best suited for the site.  MORE

Call Before You Dig
Spring means yard work for many people, but before you get started on a project, there’s an important call you need to make. Calling before you dig is critical for your safety. The following are some examples of when you need to call:

  • Landscaping
  • Planting trees
  • Removing tree roots
  • Installing a retainer wall
  • Digging holes for fence posts or a mailbox
  • Anchoring supports for decks and swings sets
  • Driving landscaping stakes into the ground

Calling before you dig is the only way to know the exact location of utility lines or underground structures.  It is recommended to allow at least an 18-inch "tolerance" zone on either side of the marked utility line.
Help protect yourself and your neighbors by calling your local utility or state underground protection service before you dig this spring.  Dial 8-1-1 from your phone to be connected to the Ohio Utility Protection Service.

Source: AMP Public Power Connections Spring 2015 edition.