It is the goal of Bryan Municipal Utilities to ensure safe, reliable service to their customers and to maintain access to utility structures.
Trees growing too close to power lines can become a hazard and contribute to power outages. Ice, snow, and wind can break branches growing above and among wires and cause the wires to malfunction or break. Trees are one the most common reasons for utility outages. Pruning trees to avoid contact with electrical conductors and equipment is required to maintain reliable electrical service, increase the safety of crews and the public, and is mandated by Ohio and Federal law. This specialized pruning is known as line clearance pruning.
BMU has contracted with Asplundh Tree Experts in 2019 to perform line clearance pruning throughout our system. Asplundh is a well established company that has over 80 years of experience in utility line clearance. All pruning will follow the latest American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A-300 pruning standards and employ Best Management Practices for utility pruning developed by the International Society of Arboriculture. All work will be performed under the supervision of certified arborists with safety as the first priority.
The most appropriate way to prune trees for electric utility line clearance is by directional pruning. This pruning method removes branches growing toward conductors in favor of those growing away. Branches are pruned back to a lateral branch that is at least one-third the diameter of the branch being removed. This allows for good wound closure and reduces sprouting. Directional pruning removes fewer leaves, which trees need for making food. Directional pruning actually removes fewer branches and increases wound closure, thereby reducing internal decay.
In some situations tree removal may be preferable to line clearance pruning including:
- Fast-growing species growing directly under the power lines that require frequent pruning and will never have a natural form – high outage risk
- Saplings (brush) with the potential to grow into or close to the lines
- Large, previously topped trees under the lines
- Hazardous trees (examples – leaning, in decline, severe dieback, cracked or split, hollow, insect/disease infestation, etc)
- Tree species recognized as invasive
Customers affected will be notified by door hangers or in person prior to work beginning. If you have any questions or concerns please contact BMU at 419-633-6100 or City arborist April Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.