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Tree Management FAQs

Trees & Right-of-Way Management

Why does Georgia Power prune trees?

Trees that come in contact with power lines are a major cause of outages. Timely pruning to maintain adequate clearance between trees and power lines reduces outages, which improves the quality and reliability of electrical service. Safety is another reason to prune trees. Our customers, employees and contractors can be exposed to life-threatening risks if limbs touch lines and become energized.

How often do you prune trees?

Urban areas usually are pruned on a three-year cycle, while more rural areas are pruned every four years or more.

How do you determine which trees to prune?

The need to prune a tree is based on its growth rate and proximity to a power line. Small, slow-growing trees need less pruning than tall, fast-growing species. The further a tree is from a power line easement, the less often it will have to be pruned.

Will pruning harm my trees?

Georgia Power prunes trees according to industry standards such as those created by the American Standards Institute. These pruning methods capitalize on a tree's natural growth and defense mechanisms to avoid harming it.

What rights do tree crews have to come on my property?

We have an obligation to maintain our electric facilities to provide safe and reliable electric service, as well as the right to enter and leave private property. We comply with the National Electric Safety Code (NESC) and other rules and regulations that govern the utility industry.

Can I get wood chips/mulch from Georgia Power?

Over the past few years, the demand for woods chips has increased faster than the amount we can supply, so we can no longer take delivery requests. Wood chips come from trees that have been trimmed and are available to residents when tree crews are in your area. Only full loads are available, and an average truckload is equivalent to three to four pickup truckloads. These wood chips consist of many trees species, are irregular in shape and color, and can include some twigs and rakings. For more information, ask a tree crew working in your area.

When is tree removal the best option?

Georgia Power may need to remove trees that are a risk to electrical service and public safety, particularly in cases involving repeated or severe pruning. When tree removal is the best option, we may provide a suitable low-growing replacement tree to the customer. Only low-growing species are permitted on defined width easements; tall-growing species are removed when found.

Can the crews prune other trees while on my property?

No. We will only prune trees that pose a potential hazard to our lines.

Why won't Georgia Power put the lines underground and spare trees?

In older neighborhoods with overhead lines, placing lines underground would be difficult and expensive. It also would require Georgia Power to dig into the trees' roots, which could harm the trees, make them susceptible to disease or even kill them.

How will I know when your tree crews are in my neighborhood?

We make an effort to notify property owners in person before any work is done. If no one is at home, a door hanger will be left on your main entry door with the projected date for pruning and a contact number.

Why don't you mow more often?

We use a combination of mowing and herbicide to manage fast-growing, tall woody species. We mow once every six years to remove vegetation before its height reaches 15 feet. This cycle is a best practice to ensure a safe an reliable electric system, as well as the most economical.

Can I mow the easement more often?

Yes. If you are the property owner you can mow more often. If you are not the owner, you will need permission from the property owner.

Can I purchase the same herbicides to use on my property?

Yes. All herbicides we use are non-restricted, which means anyone can buy them.

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding pruning trees or tree removal on your property, we are here to help.
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Call Before You Dig or Work

Before beginning any excavation in the vicinity of underground electrical lines or working in the vicinity of an overhead high-voltage electrical line, call 811 to request an underground locator service or overhead safeguards. For more information, visit Call811.com.

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