Practice Tree Safety on National Love a Tree Day

Did you know that Sunday was National Love a Tree Day? The day is meant to encourage people to plant, care for and enjoy trees. But, before you get to planting or caring for the trees you have around you, CPS Energy wants to make sure you are safe when doing so.

Before you consider trimming your own trees, its important to note that CPS Energy routinely trims tree limbs and vines that may be growing on utility poles and into power lines. In fact, in 2020, CPS Energy completed 463 circuit miles (miles of overhead lines that were exposed) and closed out 5,509 work tickets.  If you notice limbs growing onto lines in your area, first reference the English or Spanish infographic to determine if these lines are managed by CPS Energy.

If a line is managed by CPS Energy, you can contact 210-353-2222 or use our Residential Service Request Form to put in a request to have your trees trimmed. If you are unsure if a limb or branch is interfering with your line, CPS Energy can also come out to do a tree inspection to determine if they will be able to assist. Brad Goforth, EDS Maintenance Coordinator, highlighted in a blog last year, says if you are unsure, you should call a CPS Energy Advisor to report it and have it checked. “It is always better to be safe than sorry,” Goforth says. “We understand that you may be unsure about the situation, but we will not be upset if you report something that ends up not being a problem. It is never a good idea to attempt to trim the tree by yourself when it is near a power line, always use a professional.”

A crew of arbor experts (contracted by CPS Energy) trims trees in a residential neighborhood. Drop Zones are distinguished, and spotters are used to make sure the team is working Safely.  

If the trees growing on lines in your area are not managed by CPS Energy or, if you are simply looking to do some Spring tree trimming in and around your yard, it’s imperative you heed the advice below to ensure you are staying safe.

Hire a certified tree trimmer/arborist: While most people believe they are capable of trimming their own trees,the safest course of action you can take is to hire a certified tree trimmer and/or arborist. Not only are these professionals well-versed in how to remove branches to preserve your trees’ wellbeing, they are also certified professionals with experience on how to work safely to remove your branches. A single branch, the tools used, and various other scenarios pose a great safety risk to someone with no tree trimming experience.

Look up and Live: Be aware of any power lines in or around the area you are trimming in. Accidental contact with a power line can cause electrocution, death or serious injury.

Call Before You Dig: Before you spruce up your yard with some new trees, make sure you call 811 before you dig. 811 is the national call-before-you-dig phone line that provides guidance to make sure you don’t dig into any underground utility lines. You should call 811 at least 48 hours before you plan on digging to ensure teams have enough time to come and mark your lines. 

To commemorate this year’s National Love a Tree Day, check out the video below of CPS Energy crews and contractors working to ensure areas in and around our service territory have power lines clear of tree limbs.