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Buggs Island Plywood power line

Contact us if you have a tree issue:

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Customers often have questions about how and why Dominion Energy manages trees and plants near our power lines. We cut trees and brush adjacent to our rights of way (the areas around power lines) to maintain safe, reliable and economic electric service, and to provide quicker access for our crews during service restoration and maintenance work.

We follow the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations (ANSI A300) for tree trimming—supported by arborists and other tree care experts. This method helps direct future growth away from power lines while leaving remaining limbs intact.

ANSI A300 trimming may appear drastic at first but results in healthier trees long-term since fewer cuts are used. Affected areas callous quickly, reducing decay and allowing for future trimming that may be less noticeable.

Learn more about our trimming process and schedule below.

FAQs

Our regulators recognize the importance of Dominion Energy properly maintaining vegetation around its power lines and require that such maintenance be performed. Vegetation, including trees, brush and vines, can threaten your safety and the safety of Dominion Energy crews if they grow too close to power lines. Vegetation also causes power outages and limits Dominion Energy's access to its lines to make necessary repairs.

Dominion Energy regularly maintains vegetation along its power lines for safety and service reliability. Serious injury or death can occur if energized lines are touched or if an object is touched that is in contact with a line.

Nearly all of our neighborhood power lines are cleared on a four year cycle. Unusual circumstances, such as storms or excessive growth, may necessitate additional clearing.

In short, it depends on the size and type of debris, and what caused it to fall.

  • Dominion Energy removes pruning debris and brush associated with our maintenance tree trimming and line clearing in residential areas.
  • When we cut diseased, dead, dying, or leaning trees or limbs near power lines, we will occasionally remove smaller limbs or debris. Larger limbs and trunks remain at the property of the landowner.
  • Tree debris resulting from storms is the responsibility of the property owner.
  • In Virginia, when an individual requests assistance with trees that are close to our lines, and we remove or prepare a tree for removal in accordance to the VA High Voltage Safety Act, the debris remains the responsibility of the individual requesting the removal.

Dominion Energy employs trained professionals and contractors who must be OSHA certified to trim trees around power lines. Untrained individuals should not attempt to trim trees near power lines for risk of serious or fatal injury. Approaching power lines is not only deadly, it's against the law.

When in doubt, give us a call: For your safety, never attempt to trim any plants or trees that are touching or growing near power lines.

Doing work near power lines: If you or a contractor are doing work at your home and need to get near lines, and you are in Virginia, the High Voltage Safety Act requires you to contact Dominion Energy.

Trees on lines: If a tree or limb is touching a power line, call us so we can evaluate whether it should be removed. If a limb has fallen onto a line, call us to remove it. For safety, do not attempt to remove any trees or tree limbs from power lines yourself. For more information, please view this video: What can a 7,200-volt power line do?

Important Safety Note: Always assume downed lines and any nearby objects are energized and dangerous. If you see fallen lines on your property or in roadways, stay away and contact us immediately.

We will notify you by letter or a message on your bill approximately 30 days before the line clearing begins. When our contract crews enter your property, they will provide a courtesy knock on your door and then proceed with their work.
Line clearing is necessary to ensure you and your neighbors have a safe, reliable and economic source of electricity. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
The amount of trimming varies by tree and location. Trained line-clearing professionals will consider growth rate and the tree’s relative location to power lines and equipment before pruning. We use directional pruning in an effort to guide tree growth away from power lines. Our maintenance trimming is done on cycles typically ranging from three to four years, so we trim to account for anticipated growth.
Several factors can affect how a tree should be pruned. Power line voltage, tree species and tree location must all be considered. Please contact us if you have questions about tree trimming at a specific site.
Dead trees present a significant threat to our power lines. That's why it's necessary to remove the portion of the tree that may hit the line, which can sometimes mean taking the entire tree down. Any debris resulting from the partial or full take down of a dead tree is the property owner's responsibility.
Our chief concern following large storm events is to restore everyone's power as quickly and safely as possible. Trees and limbs that must be cut or that fall during a storm remain the responsibility of the tree owner.
You should never attempt to trim any vegetation touching or inside the minimum safe distance to power lines. According to Federal Regulations, you must have a minimum clearance of 10 feet when working near power lines.

If you are concerned about trees or vegetation growing too close to power lines, or if you or a contractor are doing work at your home and need to get near power lines, you must call Dominion Energy to help determine a safe way to remove trees or limbs.
We follow the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations (ANSI A300) for tree trimming, which is supported by arborists and other tree care experts. This method helps direct future growth away from power lines while leaving remaining limbs in tact.

ANSI A300 trimming may appear drastic at first, but results in healthier trees long-term since fewer cuts are used. Affected areas callous quickly, reducing decay and allowing for future trimming that may be less noticeable.
During scheduled maintenance, we trim only limbs that vigorously rub against the service line running to homes and businesses. We do not cut down live or dead trees on the service line. We will disconnect the service line at no cost to allow property owners to safely remove such limbs or trees.

A minimum of 20 feet is trimmed above the primary distribution power line, while a minimum of 15 feet is trimmed to the side of distribution wires. Unmaintained and or tall growing vegetation will be removed from the right-of-way.

These distances provide the necessary clearance to safely operate the lines and reduce the chance of rain, wind or ice pushing or breaking limbs into the lines.

ANSI A300 trimming only removes limbs growing toward the lines or other service equipment. We do not remove limbs that are growing away from the wire in order to give the tree a particular shape.

Shaping or “rounding over” of trees can actually be very unhealthy for the tree by leaving stubs that can result in decay.

South Carolina FAQs

View information on vegetation plantings on Dominion Energy right-of-way.

Always remember to call 811 before you dig.

Virginia FAQs

The emerald ash borer is posing an increasing threat to trees near Dominion Energy power lines. This invasive insect was first discovered in the United States in 2002 and is responsible for the rapid decline and death of the ash tree species in 35 states, including Virginia.

Dead or dying ash trees must be cut down because damaged trees and limbs can fall on electric poles or equipment and cause potentially hazardous situations and electrical service interruptions. As part of a mitigation plan approved by the Virginia State Corporation Commission, Dominion Energy personnel and our contractors are safely cutting down ash trees capable of impacting distribution lines along distribution rights-of-way. Any debris resulting from the partial or full take down of a dead tree is the property owner's responsibility.

Adult beetles are bright metallic green; have a bright red, bronze or golden abdomen; and are approximately a 1/2 inch long and 1/8 inch wide. The back of an adult beetle is flat, their underside is rounded, and they have a small spine at the tip of the abdomen and antennae.

As larvae, they feed under the bark and wind back and forth, creating galleries that are packed with sawdust and follow a serpentine pattern. Loss of leaves, thinning, and discoloration of ash tree leaves are also signs of active borer damage.

Learn more about Ash trees and the Emerald Ash Borer:
www.emeraldashborer.info
Virginia Cooperative Extension - Emerald Ash Borer: Options for Landowners
Virginia Department of Forestry - Ash Tree Management

Of the techniques available, selective foliar is the preferred method of herbicide application. The Company and our contractors carefully spot-treat woody-stemmed growth using selective, low volume applications of EPA approved, non-restricted use herbicides. "Selective" application means the Company sprays only the undesirable plant species (as opposed to broadcast applications). "Low volume" application means the Company uses only the volume of herbicide necessary to remove the selected plant species. The Company uses licensed contractors to perform this work that are either certified applicators or registered technicians in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

View a list of suggested species to consider when planning the landscape.

Always remember to call 811 before you dig.

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