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Tree limbs and power lines are not a good combination – especially in severe weather. Trees are a common cause of service interruption and outages. A damaging storm can disrupt power for extended periods. In addition, tree limbs and branches that extend into power lines pose a significant risk to public safety even with mild weather.
City crews will trim trees on an annual basis, typically one neighborhood at a time. Trees are also trimmed in an emergency situation. Notification of crews working in a neighborhood will take place by written notice. City-owned trees are trees planted in the public right of way, along street alleys or highway, and on City property. These trees are trimmed and, if necessary, removed without notice to property owners.
Trained crews use methods to protect the health of the tree while providing the established minimum safety clearance. The tree is trained to grow away from the lines, minimizing the need for future trimming.
If limbs continue to interfere with lines, the City may suggest removing the tree, with permission from the property owner, at no charge. If a tree is dead or dying, the City may cut it back to the point of safety and suggest that it is further removed by the property owner, at the owner’s expense.
Local ordinances provide for the authorization to trim trees as necessary for public safety and reliability of electrical service. City crews will make efforts to contact a property owner, in person and by written notice, prior to going on private property and conducting tree trimming, unless it is an emergency situation requiring attention.
The amount of trimming depends on the type of tree and how close it is to electrical lines. For example, a fast-growing tree like a silver maple may be cut back more often than a slow-growing tree. Around high-voltage lines, clearance is approximately 10-12 feet for a fast-growing tree and 5-7 feet for a slow-growing tree. Where public space is interfered with, such as sidewalks, streets, intersection visibility, and street illumination, trimming may range from 10-14 feet of clearance.
The City will not remove a tree on private property without permission from the property owner. If a growing tree continues to grow into lines, the property owner may be notified to obtain permission to remove the tree instead of continual trimming. The City will not charge the property owner to remove a tree for this reason; however, the City will not remove stumps.
A dead or dying tree posing a hazard to lines will be cut back to the point of safety, and the property owner may be notified to remove the tree at the owner’s expense.
If you observe tree branches in contact with overhead lines, please notify Lodi Utilities immediately. Do not attempt to remove tree branches or limbs on your own.
The City provides the service to check and remove branches. The City trims only those branches or limbs in contact with lines.
The City will work with a property owner and/or contractor to move or shut off service to the home so trees can be further trimmed or removed safely by property owners.
Wood chips are available to customers where a crew is working in the neighborhood. Additionally, wood chips are generally available at the City compost site.