OPPD’s utility foresters keep trees located near power lines from disrupting power to customers. Here’s how the process works:
During maintenance or service calls, contractors will first try knocking on the door to speak with a customer directly. If there is no response, they will leave a door hanger, which indicates what needs to be done and why.
From there, a customer may receive a follow-up phone call or message. Tree-trimming contact information is also available.
The time between notifying a customer and completion of the job depends on factors such as existing workload and weather. Timing can range from a couple of weeks to a month.
Companies trim trees using the natural pruning method. First, the amount of clearance is identified. Then, crews trim back branches to either their point of attachment or an acceptable, healthy existing lateral branch.
This method is a generally accepted industry best practice with guidance from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 standard, Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Plant Maintenance. Trees typically take on the shape of what is referred to as a “side” or a “V out” style of trim.
While OPPD recognizes that these cuts may not always be aesthetically appealing, this method ensures that OPPD maintains appropriate safe clearance while maximizing the remaining crown of the tree. Of course, the best option may be to remove the tree entirely.
On routine maintenance jobs, OPPD contractors are responsible for cleaning up all material that is trimmed or removed. They use large chippers or specialized trucks to pick up debris. The crews take the debris to an authorized dump site.
However, cleanup varies during unusual scenarios such as a storm. The branches trimmed and wood cut during this type of emergency work is the customer’s responsibility. The top priority for crews is power restoration.
When private tree trimmers or customers request OPPD assistance outside of what would be considered routine maintenance, they would be required to clean up, as well.
Routine maintenance varies in time from one circuit trim to the next. Some circuits require greater attention, while others can go many years before trimming is needed. When in doubt, a customer can talk to contractor personnel or visit with a forester directly.
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