FAQs

Q - Why is my tree being trimmed or removed?
A - NPPD trims or removes trees for public safety, to prevent outages and fires and to maintain compliance with federal regulations. These regulations mandate that minimum clearance distances between transmission lines and the nearest vegetation must be established to ensure the reliability of the nation’s high-voltage electrical grid. To avoid substantial financial penalties, NPPD’s vegetation management policies ensure that we are in compliance with federal regulations.

Following federal guidelines, NPPD has made it a policy to remove trees and other woody-stemmed vegetation within the transmission line right-of-way as well as tall-growing trees located outside the right-of-way that could interfere with the continuous safe operation of the transmission system. In many cases, this means removing trees in areas where they may have been only trimmed in the past.

Q – My trees haven’t caused a problem recently so why trim them?
A - By being proactive we can reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related outages while providing for the safety of our customers, their property and our crews.

Q – What method of tree trimming does NPPD use?
A - NPPD uses natural trimming where branches are pruned back to the natural point of growth in the crown, making the least damaging cut, reducing the chance of insect and disease damage and promoting a healthier regrowth of branches away from power lines.

Q – Why is the tree trimming not balanced or aesthetic?
A - NPPD trims trees for compliance, not aesthetics. NPPD trims according to industry standards as endorsed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Society of Arboriculture, taking into account the health of the tree and the clearance required.

Q -What’s the difference between transmission lines and distribution lines?
A - Transmission lines are high capacity power lines that bring electricity from a generating station into local substations. Distribution lines carry power from local substations to homes and businesses.

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Q – How should I go about safely trimming the tree branches around my power lines?
A - You should never get near an overhead power line or use any kind of equipment close to a line. If tree branches have grown into lines in an alley, street or backyard utility easement (this includes all major lines except the service lines that go over your property from the pole to the electric meter), you should call NPPDor your local electric utility so they can schedule an inspection.

 

Q - Will NPPD trim or remove trees near a home’s service line? 
A - Yes. NPPD will trim three (3) feet of clearance around your service line, which runs from the pole to your electric meter. Contact NPPD at 1-877-275-6773 if more clearance is needed, to review your tree-removal options or to request a temporary service disconnect.

Q – How can property owners help in ensuring that trees are not trimmed?
A - Property owners can assist NPPD by planting the right tree in the right place near overhead power lines. Proper selection of trees will support growth of easily maintained healthy trees, prevent future removal of mature trees and reduce expenses for utilities and their rate payers.

Q – What safety rules should I follow if I do my own landscaping and gardening?
A - If overhead electric lines serve your home, never get too close to the lines and don’t take tools or other objects near the lines. If you have underground electric service, never dig until you know where the lines are buried. Dial 811, the toll-free number of the Diggers Hotline. The service will contact member utilities who will mark the location of underground facilities at no charge.

Q - Will I be charged for work done on my property?
A - No. As part of NPPD’s regular tree maintenance program, we will trim trees within 10 feet of an overhead distribution system (low voltage) power line. In such cases, cleanup of debris is at no cost to the customer.

Q - Will I be notified of work in advance?
A - You will be notified in advance, when possible. In the event of storms or other emergencies, advanced notice may not occur.

Q - When will crews arrive?
A - NPPD crews or hired professional contractors will usually start within two to three weeks after notification and may be in your area for several months to complete the necessary work.

Q - Do I need to be home when crews arrive?
A - You don’t have to be home when crews arrive. However, if you need to make arrangement for pets, gates, etc., call NPPD at 1-877-275-6773 to schedule a time that works best for you.

Q – Does NPPD hire contractors to trim trees?
A – Yes. Professional contractors for tree pruning and removal work may be hired by NPPD. All contractors are licensed arborists; required to follow NPPD guidelines; Power Line Certified.

Q - What is the practice on removal of debris?
A - Crews remove tree debris created during regular pruning maintenance. You may request to keep all or a portion of the wood. Wood will be cut in lengths, as necessary, to facilitate handling. Stumps will be cut as close to the ground as practical and treated with an approved herbicide, but they will not be removed.

NPPD will clear electric lines of broken or damaged limbs caused by storms, but removal of brush and wood from storm damage will be the responsibility of the customer.