Vegetation management

Did you know that tree limbs and branches are among the most common causes of power outages and flickers?

You can help minimize tree-related outages and ensure safe, reliable electric service for the future by taking time to plan before you plant. As a Holy Cross Energy (HCE) member, you are responsible for the safety, protection and right-of-way of HCE equipment for routine maintenance and scheduled work.

  • The right-of way of overhead and underground power lines
  • Proper placement of trees in tall, medium and low zones
  • Maintaining access to equipment such as green transformer box’s and meter enclosures

Remember, before you plant be sure you know where existing underground and overhead power lines are located. Avoid planting directly underneath power lines and consider the trees’ mature height and crown spread prior to planting.

Tall Zone – Large trees that grow 45 feet high or taller should be planted 50 feet away from overhead lines

Plan before you plant

Location is everything when it comes to planting trees and shrubs. Haphazardly planting trees and shrubs near overhead and underground power lines could directly endanger your home and our ability to provide safe, reliable service in the future. Be sure to take your time when considering the type of trees or shrubs to plant and be sure you know where all underground and overhead utilities are located.

What to consider before planting.

Overhead power lines: Determine if the plant is suitable for the desired location by selecting trees and shrubs based on their size at full maturity. Avoid hazardous conditions and costly service interruptions by planting tall-growing trees at least 50 feet away from power line poles. Small growing trees and shrubs should be placed at least 20 feet away from poles. Plant trees and shrubs away from utilities. If planting trees near overhead lines, place taller trees away from overhead lines and use shorter, slower growing trees for closer planting.

Underground power lines: Planting too close to underground utilities can create major damage. Expanding tree roots can lift or crush utility lines or cables, creating additional problems related to service loss, environmental hazards and costly repairs. Call 811 before you dig. It’s important to note that 811 locators will not identify secondary HCE power lines.

We advise contacting a local secondary line locator to be sure all utilities are marked prior to planting. For recommendations on secondary line locators contact HCE.

Pad mounted transformer (green box) clearance: Avoid planting in front of transformer doors. Allow 10 feet of clearance in front of transformer doors, and 4 feet of clearance around the sides and back.

Access to equipment: To help ensure reliable service, HCE personnel must have unobstructed access to equipment at all times. Members are responsible for keeping areas around electric meters, transformers, or other electrical equipment free of any vegetation.

Call 811 before you dig

Neglect one simple step and you could dig yourself into deep trouble. So “call before you dig.”

Locate Secondary Power Lines

It’s critical that you make sure all lines are located before you dig. Calling 811 will not cover you for HCE secondary lines to your home or business. To have your secondary lines located you will need to contact a local locator. Contact us for recommendations.

Tree safety

Members should never attempt to clear trees from around power lines.

Remember that electric utility lines carry voltages that are many times greater than the standard household voltage. Both primary and secondary lines have the potential to kill or severely injure people who make contact with them, either directly or indirectly. This means that although you are not touching the power line, if something near you touches it, you could be electrocuted.