Trees and overhead power lines do not mix very well. Trees that encroach on overhead power lines are not only the cause of most power outages and disturbances but can also pose a serious safety hazard. To ensure reliable electric service, meet our legislated requirements, and provide for public safety, we must maintain adequate clearance between overhead power lines and trees.
In order to make the most efficient use of our resources, trees must be trimmed to maintain adequate clearance for a reasonable period of time, typically 5 to 7 years. We have established the following clearance guidelines for overhead power lines:
- Primary Voltages (1,000 to 25,000 volts) – 3 m (10 feet)
- Secondary Voltages (1000 volts and below) – 1.5 m (5 feet)
- Residential Service Drop (Pole to House) – 1 m (3 feet)
Our goal is to keep your tree alive, healthy and out of harm's way. We use directional trimming methods that are endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture that also meet North American electric utility standard tree trimming practices. Although the initial trim with the directional pruning technique may appear severe, this method is recommended over topping or rounding-over trees. Directional-pruned trees are less susceptible to disease and insect problems, and the overall structure of the tree is stronger and more resistant to high winds and heavy ice. Directional pruning removes only those branches that pose a threat to power lines and future growth is directed away from the power lines. The illustration below provides examples of directionally trimmed trees.
The City of Swift Current Light & Power utility is not responsible for the removal of trees on private property. If a property owner desires to remove a tree that is encroaching on an overhead power line, we will provide adequate clearance to allow the property owner or their agent to remove the tree safely. We strongly recommend that property owners consider overhead power lines when selecting the species and location of their trees.
To view upcoming planned city tree trimming, please see the map below: