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A Clear Path for Power

Tree branches and vegetation on power lines is a major cause of power interruptions and outages. To provide reliable, safe and affordable electricity to members, Jackson EMC regularly trims trees and vegetation that threaten to damage our 14,000-plus miles of power lines.

What We Do
Tree Maintenance Program clearing crews maintain areas clear of all vegetation directly under power lines and 15 feet on either side.

Why Clearing a Path for Power Matters
During storms, trees or tree branches on power lines is one the major causes of power outages.

Trees contain water and sap, which are excellent conductors of electricity. If a tree grows into a power line, the electricity can travel and create an electrocution hazard.

What You Can Do
Keep shrubs and structures at least 10 feet away from a pad-mounted transformer, so workers can safely maintain transformers. Never dig near a pad-mounted transformer because they are surrounded by underground power cables. 

Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place
When a tree’s branches start to grow too close to power lines, or touch them, they create a potentially hazardous situation. To reduce the danger, you can plant the right tree in the right place that will enhance the surroundings, while allowing you to enjoy safe, reliable electric service.

  • Small trees: Avoid planting within 20 feet of power lines. When planting within 20 feet is unavoidable, use only shrubs and small trees. Height/spread of no more than 25 feet, such as: Star Magnolia, Crabapple, Lilac.
  • Medium trees: Plant at least 40 feet from power lines. Height/spread of 25-40 feet, such as: Washington Hawthorn, American Arborvitae, Eastern Redbud, Goldenraintree, Dogwoods.
  • Large trees: Plant at least 60 feet from power lines. Height/spread of more than 40 feet, such as: Maple, Birch, Sweetgum, Oak, Spruce, Pine, Linden, Leyland Cypress.

How We Clear Trees & Vegetation
Safety, service reliability, pruning techniques and aesthetics are all considered.

Trimming is also determined by how fast a tree species grows new branches, how much branches may sway in the wind and voltage in the power line.

Our crews follow standards set fourth by organizations, like the Arbor Day Foundation.

Who Clears Trees
Tree maintenance program crews work year-round to clear around power lines.

Jackson EMC personnel supervise independent tree-trimming contractors, who are professionals in utility arboriculture.

Staying Safe
Never attempt to trim or remove a tree that has power lines running through it. Call Jackson EMC at 1-800-462-3691 to report it.

For more information about Jackson EMC's Tree Maintenance Program, visit www.jacksonemc.com/tree.

Sources: Arbor Day Foundation & National Rural Electric Cooperation Association (NRECA)