Safety: Vegetation Management & Forestry Clearance

Tri-County Electric Cooperative Tree Trimming

Trees are an essential part of the environment.  They can protect our homes from elements, give us clean air, and make the landscape more appealing.  However, during storms they can be dangerous to personal property.  They can fall on our homes, cars and power lines.  When a tree or limb falls on the power lines, it disrupts service.  This is why the cooperative does a year-round trimming and removal of trees within the service territory. 

If you have a tree with a limb near the lines or plan on trimming a tree that is in danger of falling on the lines, we ask that you contact us and we will send someone out to take a look at it first.  The cooperative does a majority of our tree trimming during spring, summer, and after storms. 

Before any tree removal or tree trimming near power lines, give us a call at 1-800-244-5151 or send your request online and we will look at it to see if we can assist you or if a private tree service is necessary.  

Frequently Asked Questions

Will you contact me before trimming? 

We make every effort to contact landowners before we come.  Notice will be posted each year in the Hi-Lites informing members which areas will be trimmed each year.  If yard trees are involved, our Right-of-Way Coordinator or our contractor will make every effort to contact you.  

Why do you need so much clearance?

Your cooperative operates and maintains 3,000 miles of line to serve all 16,000+ members.  Without sufficient clearance, outages and blinks would increase and frequency of trimming would also increase. Your quality of service would suffer and the maintenance cost would rise. 

Do you use chemical treatment as part of your right-of-way maintenance program?

Yes.  If vegetation is small, some areas can be controlled through use of chemicals without first clearing, reducing the overall cost of maintenance.  All products we use are approved for utility right-of-way use and are very safe, and our employees and contractors all have the appropriate Illinois licenses. 

How close to the power lines can I plant trees? 

That varies with variety.  At mature height, there should still be 20' clearance from power lines.  Please plant as far away as possible and never plant under the line. 

Right Tree in the Right Place

Trees and power lines can coexist and potential problems can be avoided by selecting and planting trees with the appropriate growth characteristics.

If you must plant trees below power lines, choose short varieties that will not reach the lines when they grow to maturity. A good rule of thumb is to select trees with mature heights less than 20 feet.

When planting trees near power lines, choose medium-sized trees with a mature height of 25-35 feet. Plant these trees at a distance away from the power line equal to their maximum crown radius (half the width of the tree at its widest point). Avoid trees with weak wood, such as poplars and willows, because their limbs break easily during storms.

Learn more at:

Can I plant shrubs next to padmount transformers or metal pedestals?

Keep in mind there are buried lines around these devices.  First call JULIE (8-1-1) to get underground lines marked.  For your safety, please do not dig within 5' of marked lines and plant no closer than 10' from any device.

If I have a yard tree under the line, what options do I have? 

Other than trimming, we offer a Swap-A-Tree program. 

The illustrations below are used as a general rule of thumb to show proper tree clearing around power lines.

updated tree clearing
tree clearing house 1
updated after clearing house 2
updated tree planting