Trees and Powerline Safety

Keeping You Safe and the Lights On

Lineman trimming a tree near a power pole.Trees growing near power lines can be a safety hazard and are a leading cause of power outages. Power lines are easy to overlook and can pose serious electrical hazards if unnoticed. Strong winds and storms can topple trees or shatter branches that pull down power lines and cause outages. Sometimes, even if heavily damaged, lines remain energized with the potential to electrify trees and nearby objects.

To “cut back” on potential tree-related problems, Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) maintains an aggressive vegetation management/tree trimming policy.

The tree-free zone, referred to as the “Circle of Safety,” is a 15-foot radius around a power pole or conductor. It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep trees from growing near power lines, MEC equipment, easements, and right-of-ways before they reach within 15 feet of the centerline, in compliance with MEC’s tree trimming policy.

If you have a tree that appears to be within the “Circle of Safety” or within 15 feet of any overhead/underground equipment such as ground transformers, call MEC to send someone out to evaluate the site.

Thank you for your help as we work together to keep a safe, reliable, and affordable supply of power flowing to your home or business.

To report trees you think are a problem, call (928) 763-4115 during regular business hours, and press option 1. Then press option 3.

Trimming Future Problems

To prevent future problems when planting trees, bushes, or shrubs, look up first to see where overhead power lines may hinder future growth. Remember the required setback for trees and other plants is the 15 foot “Circle of Safety.”

Many tree varieties can grow 8 to 10 feet per year and will grow to be 15 to 100 feet tall and 30 to 50 feet wide. Choose tree varieties with care and plant with power lines in mind.

With careful planning and regular maintenance, you can help prevent trees and shrubs from growing near power lines, lessening the need for tree trimming. That can save MEC and you, the member, thousands of dollars in unnecessary expense.

Safety Tree Trimming Tips

Make sure to always look up and down for nearby overhead/underground power lines or equipment before you cut down trees or trim branches. If a tree falls into a power line, contact MEC.

  • Treat all power lines as if they are energized. Never climb or attempt to handle a tree that has a limb caught in a power line. You may not see any visible evidence that the tree is “electrified” or dangerous.
  • Make sure to maintain required clearances between equipment and power lines.
  • If a fire starts from a fallen power line, notify the fire department and MEC. Stay away from the site of the electrical hazard. Make sure others stay clear of the line and treat it as if energized.
  • Do not use water on or near a fallen power line.