ComEd continues its cyclic maintenance programs for tree trimming throughout the winter months. The programs are designed to help minimize weather-related impacts to the system that could impact customers this winter season and all year long. ComEd commonly performs additional targeted, reliability-focused tree trimming work from January through June to help make its infrastructure more resistant to the damaging affects of summer storms.
ComEd’s Vegetation Management programs are managed by International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists. ComEd will continue its longstanding practice of balancing the aesthetics provided by trees with the electrical clearance that reliable service requires. ComEd has an obligation to meet all state and federal requirements for addressing National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) clearance violations. This includes maintaining the appropriate clearance around and beneath transmission and distribution lines to prevent power interruptions and to allow electrical equipment to operate safely.
ComEd annually spends more than $58 million on trees and tree maintenance across northern Illinois to ensure public safety and reduce interruptions. For electric distribution lines (those commonly on wooden poles serving businesses and residences), pruning clearances are based on:
- Individual characteristics of each tree, such as growth rate, maturity size and shape
- Location of tree in relation to power line
- Type of utility facility (line voltage)
- Cycle length of four years
Pruning is completed in compliance with ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A300 standards and practices for pruning. In some cases, ComEd will offer to remove trees that could pose continual reliability and maintenance concerns. Sometimes fast-growing trees directly underneath overhead conductors will require such extensive pruning that removal of those trees would be advantageous.
ComEd always considers the electric reliability impact when a customer requests tree trimming or removal. When tree trimming is not possible, ComEd will advise the property owner as to the best way to safely remove their trees. OSHA requires unqualified workers to stay 10 feet away from energized conductors. For more information, call 800-EDISON-1 (800-334-7661).