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Tree Trimming FAQ

Why does Vectren clear vegetation away from power lines?
To protect our power lines, prevent outages and ultimately keep you safe, we must trim and maintain the foliage in and around these lines. Our goal is to increase reliability of service by properly pruning and maintaining trees. Training them to grow away from power lines ultimately leads to fewer downed lines during storms.

Who do I contact if I notice there are trees near my power lines?
To avoid serious injury, do not attempt to remove limbs or trim trees that are on or near power lines. To report a tree problem near your home or business, you can contact us online. If you feel the condition is urgent, call Vectren at 1-800-227-1376.

How will I know when and which trees are going to be trimmed?
After the contracted tree trimming company determines which trees are causes for concern, they will inform you of the work that needs to be done. The contractor will go door-to-door in the area to be worked to notify residents and discuss details. If the property owner is not there, a door hanger with details and a number to call with questions will be left at the residence. You will receive notice at least two weeks before the tree trimming is scheduled to be performed. Quarterly maps will also be posted on our website of the areas where tree trimming is taking place.

Who performs the tree trimming?
Vectren uses three main tree trimming contractors, Halter, ShadeTree and ASPLUNDH. Our tree trimming crews follow approved trimming standards that were established by the Arbor Day Foundation and are designed to preserve the health of the trees. Read more about Vectren’s tree trimming standards through the Tree Line USA program at http://www.arborday.org/treelineusa.

How often does Vectren trim trees from its circuits?
Vectren prioritizes areas based on the frequency of tree-related outages and their effect on customers. On average, tree trimming is typically done on a four-year cycle, but in some cases, certain areas might need additional trimming before the four-year period is over. Unless it is a matter of public safety, emergency or an imminent threat of a power outage, we always make it a point to give proper notification to property owners about our tree trimming activities before the process begins.

What is Right-of-Way?
Right-of-way (ROW) is a strip of land where some of the property owner's legal rights have been granted to a utility company. A right-of-way agreement between a company and a property owner is also called an easement and is usually filed in public records with property deeds. The right-of-way enables a utility company to operate, inspect, repair, maintain or replace power lines, transformers or other equipment on property owned by others.

Rights-of-way must always be kept free of structures and other physical obstructions, including trees. Anything that is placed into a right-of-way contrary to the terms of the easement is called an encroachment. Vectren allows the property owner to use the easement area within certain guidelines which generally allow the property owner to continue with any agricultural, recreational or other activities that pose no problem or threat to the long-term integrity of the electric system. Click here for a list of encroachment activities that are not acceptable.

What guidelines does Vectren follow when clearing limbs and trees away from electrical equipment?
Vectren performs tree trimming in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and its administrative rule on the subject. Vectren uses pruning practices that are recommended by the National Arbor Day Foundation. These practices avoid topping, tipping, removing branch collars and leaving long stubs. Proper tree care ultimately increases reliability of service by maintaining healthy trees with less decay and structural weakness, resulting in fewer downed power lines during storms.
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