We get it. After we trim a tree, it may not be quite as lush and attractive as it was before we arrived. But the fact is, those lush trees with limbs too close to power lines account for a significant amount of the time our customers spend without power. However, in areas where we’ve performed maintenance tree trimming, customers experience fewer power outages than customers in communities where we have not trimmed.
Reliable power and trimming trees go hand-in-hand, but we don’t want you to have to choose between reliable service and beautiful trees. By planting the right trees in the right place, you can have both.
The secret is to plant only power line friendly low-growing trees near overhead power lines. Our Right Tree, Right Place guide and the list of Trees Suitable for Planting in Southeast Michigan can help you decide where and what to plant.
Keep in mind other electrical equipment that may be on your property too. Keeping proper distance around this equipment ensures safety and can prevent a prolonged power outage for you and your neighbors. Also, make sure you follow these steps before you begin digging to plant your trees:
- Contact MISS DIG at 811 or missdig811.org at least three business days before digging.
- Wait until the flags are placed. Utility companies have three business days to go out to your property and mark where facilities are located. We use paint and/or flags to identify the approximate location of our lines.
- Check status online to confirm all utilities have been marked. After the three business days, go online to status.missdig811.org to verify that all facilities have been marked. Enter your ticket number and review the responses from the utilities.
- Begin your project. Congratulations. You are ready to begin your project if all facilities are marked, your start work date and time has arrived and Positive Response statuses are all green.
- Dig with care. Most importantly, keep yourself, your family, and friends safe. Make sure you are digging in the Safe Zone (more than four feet out on either side of facility markings). If you are closer than four feet out from facility markings, you must first hand-expose the facility lines to determine their exact location to ensure you do not harm yourself or cut off service. The same rule applies for contractors. If you’re working with an outside expert on a last-minute outdoor project, make sure they call 8-1-1 before getting started. It’s simple, fast and the law.
You can also view this video for even more information on how to determine what the right tree and right place is for you:
Planting the right tree in the right place is one way that you can help prevent outages from happening months and years down the line. The goal is to have as little interference with trees and power lines as possible so that your power stays reliable and your lights stay on. Until then, we’ll continue to do our part to trim overgrown trees, while maintaining the beauty of all the trees that help make Michigan the great state it is.