Pruning Near Distribution Lines
Many communities in New Jersey have lower-voltage utility wires called distribution lines. Unlike transmission lines, which are usually connected to large metal towers, distribution lines can be found on utility poles located alongside roadways or in easements along property lines.
Trees that are close to power lines must be cut back to ensure they don't cause power outages. PSE&G vegetation management works on a four-year maintenance cycle, during which time trees are either trimmed or removed in order to maintain an adequate distance from power lines and to allow for regrowth until the next cycle.
Pruning Techniques on the Distribution System
To ensure the maximum health and beauty of New Jersey's trees, we have arborists and certified tree experts on staff overseeing all tree trimming work.
There are many factors that determine how we cut trees, including:
- The species of the tree
- Its characteristic shape and growth habit
- The voltage of nearby conductors, and
- The type of construction in the vicinity.
In order to prevent outages, our contractors use directional pruning to train tree branches to grow away from energized conductors. Directional pruning allows for proper healing of pruning cuts without depleting the tree's natural nutritional reserves.
After trimming, trees may look similar to the images below. However, this is only a representation of how the majority of trees are trimmed. Final decisions on pruning cuts are made based on the tree species, its characteristic shape and growth habit, voltage of the conductors, and the type of nearby equipment.
Important Safety Tips to Remember
- Never attempt to trim or remove any tree next to a power line.
- Never build tree houses in trees near power lines.
- Never climb trees near power lines.
- State and federal laws prohibit any person from working within 10 feet of any electric power facility without proper training and certification.
Tree Trimming Near YouCheck out the vegetation management schedule. Please note that most tree trimming is planned, proactive work that ensures the reliability of our system. It is possible you may see work that hasn't been announced. This is due to an imminent issue and it is not considered planned maintenance.