Trimming is a Job For Professionals
OUC trims tress along our distributions lines on a regular maintenance cycle employing trained, highly skilled professionals who use the proper tools and safety practices. We trim only those trees on our easements and rights-of-way or trees endangering our power lines and equipment. This may include removal of invasive tree species of less than six inches in diameter that endanger our facilities. It may also be necessary to remove an old/dead tree that has become hazard to the public or our electrical system. Please not that OUC does not trim trees that interfere with streetlights.
OUC estimates that 20 percent of all outages are caused by falling trees or limbs that come in contact with electrical lines. Please never attempt to trim a tree near electrical wires yourself.
That's why OUC contracts with Asplundh Tree Expert Company and Davey Tree Expert Company to provide tree trimming services that use an environmentally sound method recommended by the U.S. Forest service and the International Society of Arboriculture. This will help prevent power outages and dangerous downed lines while promoting healthy, natural growth for our precious trees.
Once a line has come into rotation for regular trimming:
- OUC will notify you and your neighbors two to three weeks in advance by leaving a notice on your doorknob.
- When trees are being trimmed, make sure to look out for the OUC logo on our vehicles.
- As a further service—and at no cost to you—OUC will trim trees that encroach on the service entrance cable to your home.
- If you'd like us to perform this work, please call 407-423-9018 or complete the Request Tree Trimming services form so that we can schedule this service while we are in your neighborhood.
DIY: Preventive Pruning
Pruning trees near electric wires is very dangerous and should only be done by a licensed contractor. Here are a few tips to prevent trees and other vegetation from becoming an issue:
- Make sure to regularly trim trees on your property that are NOT near power lines. Not only does this protect power lines, but it also lessens the chances of home damage from flying debris in strong winds.
- OUC uses an approved pruning method when trimming trees. The illustration below shows how to prune a branch while leaving the branch collar intact.
- Additional pruning information is available from the Orange County Cooperative Extension Service.
While we perform our routine line clearing in your area, you may be eligible to receive free mulch left behind after trimming. Once our professionals are finished clearing threatening vegetation in your area, they can grind the trimmings into wood chips that and make them available to you free of charge. Because the chips are comprised of many different types of trees, they may not add to the aesthetics of your property; however, they can serve other purposes, such as:
- Reduce soil compaction – which can stunt root growth
- Reduce weeds and other invasive vegetation
- Return nutrients to your soil through the natural decomposition cycle
- Maintain soil temperature and moisture level
For more about mulch availability, please call 407-423-9018.
Planting trees in your yard can be both visually and environmentally beautiful. But it’s important to keep in mind that choosing the perfect tree and the perfect area is crucial to long-term success. Be sure to use these guidelines as you choose the right tree and right place to plant:
Choose a Tree that Meets Your Landscape Plan
Every tree is different and each can change drastically over time. Some trees will stay about the same height; some will branch out and grow quickly; and others have an expansive root system. Therefore, it's important to do your research beforehand to choose a tree that best fits your landscape.
It makes good sense to think ahead before you plant a tree. The tree you plant will make out much better away from overhead lines. If your landscaping plans call fro a tree near electric lines, choose a low-growing variety. Fast-growing trees should be planted a minimum of 20 feet away from power lines. Anytime you plant, also remember to check for underground power, cable and utility lines. Also, please avoid planting trees, shrubs or vines close to pad-mounted transformers.
Here are some trees that are ideal for planting beneath power lines and most are available at your local nursery or garden center:
- Scrub Hickory
- Weeping Bottlebrush
- Crepe Myrtle
- Wax Myrtle
Choose the Perfect Spot for Your Tree
Due to expansive root systems and canopies, you must take into account the overhead and underground lines as you choose the perfect spot to plant. If your landscape plan calls for a tree near electric lines, choose a low-growing variety. Fast-growing trees should be planted a minimum of 20 feet away from power lines. Also, be aware of underground electric lines in your neighborhood and avoid planting trees close to pad-mounted transformers.
811 – Call Before You Dig
Before starting any digging on your property, Florida law requires you to call Sunshine State One-Call at 800-432-4770 or 8-1-1 to find out where underground pipes and electric lines are located. Please call at least two business days before starting, whether it involves heavy equipment or even simple landscaping.
OUC has a tradition of providing safe, reliable power while doing our best to keep Orlando the "City Beautiful." The beauty of trees adds to every street and neighborhood, but when branches and limbs grow too close to power lines, trouble grows right along with them. Directional pruning allows us to train the tree to grow away from the power lines by removing only the branches that come in contact with the wires. By selectively trimming the tree's branches, we can retain much of the tree's natural crown.
Make sure to follow safety protocols when working around your trees.
- Always keep ladders, tree-pruners and other equipment at least 10 feet from power lines.
- Never attempt to trim a tree near power lines.
- Never take it upon yourself to retrieve items tangled in power lines. Instead, call OUC for help.
- Never touch a downed power line. If you see one, contact OUC immediately.
- Do not climb trees that are anywhere near overhead power lines.
If you notice a tree interfering with power lines, please contact us immediately at 407-423-9018.