Tree Trimming & Conservation Tips

Tree Trimming

If you are concerned about trimming trees around your service conductors, Oak Ridge Electric can arrange for one of its service trucks to safely roll back your service conductors. There is no charge for the service during regular business hours.

We offer two drawings to assist customers in planting trees and shrubs:tree line usa Opens in new window

Planting trees in the right place helps conserve energy by providing summer shade and winter warmth, which can reduce your power bills. For information about how to plant trees to conserve energy, please visit the Arbor Day Foundation website.

Planting Trees to Conserve Energy

Strategically planting trees can be a good way to save on energy costs.Diagram of Evergreens and Deciduous Trees Surrounding House

Planting the right trees in the right place can help:

  • Use less energy for your household
  • Allow winter sunshine to warm your house and windows when deciduous tree leaves fall
  • Block winter winds by planting conifers
  • Shade patios, sidewalks, and driveways cool the concrete, the entire yard, and even the neighborhood

For more information about planting trees to conserve energy, visit the Arbor Day Foundation website.

Related Information

Method of Trimming

The Department uses only "lateral" or "natural" tree trimming methods.Conservation Trees Logo In this method, limbs are removed at their nearest main branch, and not trimmed in length. The Department will not "top" a tree unless it is absolutely necessary. The Department will not "round" trees.

Lateral tree trimming has been endorsed by experts, including the Arbor Day Foundation, as the best method to trim trees for the health of the tree. Although the appearance of the tree can be unusual after the initial trim, the appearance quickly improves with time and growing seasons.

Clearance Distances

The Department trims all trees to a minimum of nine feet from the primary (top) conductors. Trees that overhang the system are trimmed as high as the worker can reach with the equipment on site.

Tree Removal

If a tree is obviously diseased, dying, or dead and is on public property, the Department will remove the tree. At the abutting landowner's request, we will replace the tree with an ornamental tree from a selection available. If the tree is on private property, City ordinance requires that the property owner remove the tree.

Trimming Trees on Private Property

There are two conditions where the Department will trim a tree that is located on private property.

First, if the tree violates the nine-foot clearance, the Department will trim it to that clearance. It is not possible to notify property owners of this action.

Second, if a property owner has a tree that is dangerously close to power lines, the Department will aid in the removal and/or trimming of that tree. This is done for safety reasons. Persons in this situation should contact the Department for specific guidance.

Limbs on Service Drops

The Department does not maintain clearance of limbs on the service drop. The property owner is responsible for these trees. If the owner requests, the Department will remove a service drop to allow an owner to trim or remove a tree adjacent to it. This service is provided during business hours only for no charge. Please contact the Department for further information.