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The City of Lockhart's tree trimming program helps ensure citizens keep their lights on by periodically trimming tree limbs surrounding power lines. Storms and high winds are the leading cause of power outages, in which trees too close to power lines can interrupt electric service, damage infrastructure, and create dangerous situations when lines go down. A single tree-to-wire contact may interrupt electric service to hundreds of homes and businesses, along with medical facilities, water systems, traffic lights, and emergency service providers.
The City of Lockhart maintains 65 miles of overhead electric distribution lines.
The City's current line clearance contractor, McCoy Tree Surgery, trims tree limbs deemed too close to power lines. In emergency situations, the City's Electric Department linemen may trim trees. Both use techniques established by the electric and tree care industries to meet federal standards for clearance from power lines while keeping trees healthy, improving public safety, and maintaining electric service reliability. The three most common pruning methods are V, L, and side as illustrated below:
Why does the city need to trim trees in maintaining the electric utility?
In short, reliability. Storms and high winds are the leading cause of power outages. Trees that are too close to power lines can interrupt electric service, damage our infrastructure, and create dangerous situations when the lines go down. A single tree-to-wire contact may interrupt electric service to hundreds of homes and businesses. If electric service is lost to medical facilities, water systems, traffic lights, or emergency service providers, the results can seriously impact the community. One of the best ways to reduce interruption to electric service is by maintaining adequate clearance between power lines and trees by trimming or removing trees that are too close to the power lines.
Why trim trees that aren’t touching any electric wires?
In high winds, limbs can sway into lines causing outages and even fires. For that reason, we aim to trim trees before problems occur.
Who trims trees for the City of Lockhart Electric Utility?
The City contracts with line clearance tree companies for tree trimming. The current contractor is McCoy Tree Surgery. In emergency situations, city linemen may trim trees. These contractors use techniques established by the electric and tree care industries to meet federal standards for clearance from power lines while keeping trees healthy.
How far does the City trim trees?
Generally, the city and contractors plan to trim 10 feet of clear space on primary lines. We do not trim around cable or telephone lines. Each company is responsible for maintaining their own assets.
What pruning methods are used during tree trimming?
The most appropriate way to prune trees for electric utility line clearance is by directional pruning. This method removes branches growing toward conductors in favor of those growing away. Directional pruning may not enhance the beauty of your trees. However, it will make them safer and help them maintain healthy growth.
How can I avoid having my trees trimmed?
Thoughtful planning of new trees is the best way to ensure uninterrupted service and minimal future tree trimming. Always be aware of overhead and underground lines before planning trees on your property.
Can you top or prune the whole tree to give it a more symmetrical shape?
Topping (stubbing and rounding over) is bad for trees, and often causes rapid growth back toward the power lines. Generally, we only prune the part of the tree that could affect the lines. This allows the rest of the tree to naturally grow away from the power lines.
How will I be notified if my trees will be trimmed?
The City’s contractor will notify residents in-person if they are home. A “Tree Trimming and Power Lines” Pamphlet is provided to the resident during this notification. If a resident is not home, a door hanger will be placed on the door.
Can I trim my own trees or hire someone to trim trees on my personal property?
Yes, residents may trim their own trees or hire a professional tree trimming service for maintenance to their property. However, please contact the Electric Department at (512)398-6117 if your trees are close to any power lines to help coordinate proper safety measures.
Is there a fee or permit required to trim my own trees?
There are no fees or permits required to trim your own trees.
Where can I find more information about proper tree care?
The Arbor Day Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Tree Care Industry Association, all have valuable information about tree care.
If you have any more questions or have tree limbs interfering with your power lines, please contact the Electric Department at (512) 398-6117 or email the Electric Department.
City of Lockhart
308 W. San Antonio St.
P.O. Box 239
Lockhart, TX 78644
Phone: (512) 398-3461
Open Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm
CONTACT NUMBER BY DEPARTMENT
(512) 398-3461 City Hall
(512) 376-2475 Utilities
(512) 376-9469 Municipal Court
(512) 398-6452 Public Works
(512) 398-4401 Police Department
(512) 398-2321 Fire Department
(512) 398-3223 Public Library
MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Lew White, Mayor
Angie Gonzales-Sanchez, Mayor Pro-Tem
Brad Westmoreland, Council Member At-Large
Juan Mendoza, Council Member District 1
John Castillo, Council Member District 2
Kara McGregor, Council Member District 3
Jeffry Michelson, Council Member District 4
Copyright © 2016, City of Lockhart, TX
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