Consider Power Lines When Planting Trees
Now is a good time to plant trees so they have growing time before the heat stresses of summer begin. Trees can cut electric bills after they have had a chance to grow and also increase the value of your property and enhance its appearance.
The keys to selecting and planting trees should include both placement and the mature size of the trees. When placing trees, consider the areas you wish to shade and be certain the trees will not come in contact with power lines as they grow.
Smaller trees, such as cedar elms are a good choice for limited space and locations where they may grow close to power lines. Flowering trees, such as crape myrtle and mountain laurel, add color and also represent good choices for areas where shorter trees are required.
On the other hand, oaks and pecans grow well in South Texas but can reach 30-40 feet tall. They are poor choices for small lawns and areas close to power lines.
Consider some advantages of planting trees:
- Trees on the east and west sides of your home can block the sun, keeping the walls and roof cooler.
- Trees cool the ground near them, with the result that less heat reaches the walls of your home.
- Trees near streets can reduce the pavement temperature by as much as 10 degrees compared with neighborhoods that don’t have trees.
- Trees reduce the amount of lawn watering required and clean the air by taking in carbon dioxide.
Floresville Electric Light & Power System (FELPS) has a responsibility to the customers, this responsibility is to deliver safe and reliable energy to our customers. For FELPS to deliver safe and reliable energy it requires proper tree trimming and vegetation management. Tree limbs and vegetation can cause widespread outages, hazardous conditions (electric shock) and fires.
The National Electric Safety Code (NESC) requires that vegetation does not interfere with workers maintaining, upgrading or repairing a line. NESC requires removal of any trees or other vegetation that is a hazard to the power system or that could become a hazard to the system. This is also a tree trimming or vegetation management program is in place at FELPS.
Unpruned trees could cause serious injuries or fatalities to anyone who climbs trees too close to electric power lines, electrical shock and injury to anyone close to a tree that is energized and increases the chance of a fire from arcing electricity.
There are numerous examples of what happens when proper tree trimming, and vegetation management does not happen as part of our responsibility to the communities we serve. The California fires this past year are being blamed on electric wires the Bastrop fire was blamed on electric wires, and FELPS is doing its best to mitigate the potential of any hazard with our electric system. FELPS is attempting to enhance public safety awareness to minimize tree/wire issues to reduce the fire risk.
FELPS is currently using two vegetation contractors, who have arborists on staff and FELPS also has an arborist working full-time. The vegetation contractors are following the vegetation management standards which FELPS adopted. , and follow the guidelines set forth in ANSI A300.
Now is a good time to have trees trimmed to avoid power interruptions caused by contact with electric lines. Call FELPS at 830-216-7000, sub-option 5, to have trees trimmed. They will be trimmed to provide seven feet of clearance for service lines and ten feet of clearance for high voltage power lines.