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Tree trimming near power lines

When it comes to keeping our customers safe and in power, one important aspect that many overlook is the management of trees near power lines. While trees beautify our surroundings, they can pose significant risks when they grow too close to power lines.  

Trees that grow close to power lines can cause fires, disrupt service, and/or create dangerous shock hazards, which cause injuries and could prove fatal.  

Most trees that are within 10 feet of a power line are considered an electrical safety hazard. 

During storms or high winds, overgrown branches increase the risk of electrical fires if they come in contact with power lines and can cause an outage. Despite the risk of outages, one of the most critical reasons to keep trees trimmed near power lines is to keep our customers and our employees safe.  

Self-trimming vs. SRP trimming 

Knowing when it is or isn’t safe for you to trim trees on your property is crucial! Do not attempt to trim any trees on your property if they are near power lines. If you do have a tree near a power line, call SRP.  

If your tree is not within 10 feet of a power line, you can maintain it however you see fit. However, if your tree is within 10 feet of a power line, call SRP for help!  

Upon request, an SRP Utility Forester will visit your home and assess the vegetation, as well as have our contracted vegetation management crew complete a make-ready trim. This means our crews will trim the tree to a safe distance away from the power lines, so you or a residential landscape business can complete the job safely. 

Unsure? Give us a call at 602-236-8366!

Temporary disconnect 

It is important to note that while SRP trims vegetation encroaching on power lines from pole to pole, we do not trim any vegetation encroaching on power lines that connect from a power pole to your home.  

If you’ve hired a professional to trim near overhead lines that run between a power pole and your home or other structure on your property, call (602) 236-8888 to arrange for a temporary disconnection of service. In this case, a line worker will visit your home to physically move the line while you or your previously hired professional can complete the work. The line worker will then reconnect the line, free of charge. Please call at least a day in advance and provide us with a daytime phone number.  

What about palm trees?  

Did you know that despite the commonly known name, the most common “palm trees” in Arizona are not actually trees? They are monocots; think of them as a giant ball of grass! Trees are dicots which means they have a branching structure that can be trimmed or pruned around lines without damaging the tree or hindering future growth. Palms, however, have a single growing point and cannot be trimmed around a power line if the palm is too close.  

Due to the rapid growth rate, palms can easily grow too close to a power line and can then catch on fire. To avoid this, the top of a palm tree must be completely removed. We know this is not the prettiest sight, which is why we try to avoid doing so unless it is a safety emergency.  

What can you do? 

Property owners should regularly inspect trees on their premises and trim any branches that encroach upon power lines. It is crucial to prioritize safety and hire trained professionals for tree trimming near power lines. Attempting to trim trees near power lines without proper training and equipment can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious injuries or fatalities. 

By proactively managing tree growth and seeking assistance from SRP when necessary, you can contribute to a safer and more reliable electrical grid. 

Prioritize safe tree trimming

Set your trees up for success by avoiding planting under power lines. 

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