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Tree trimming and power line safety around trees

You, your neighbors, businesses – your community – depend on safe, reliable electric service. Safe and reliable electric service can sometimes be threatened in part by trees growing into electric lines. When electric lines come in contact with trees, problems can occur:

  • Power Outages
  • Fire Hazards
  • Safety Hazards


Why Montana-Dakota prunes/sometimes removes trees around power lines

Montana-Dakota works to assure the reliable and safe operation of its electric lines near trees. Tree limbs that come in contact with power lines are a major cause of electrical outages. Limbs that touch electric power lines can become energized if they break and fall. They can bring the lines down with them. To reduce outages and minimize safety hazards caused by tree contacts, Montana-Dakota prunes trees away from its power lines on a planned pruning cycle. Sometimes removal of a tree that is causing interference with a power line is the best approach. Keeping power lines clear of limbs and brush provides easier access to power lines, which means quicker restoration of power during storms and other times of trouble.


Your safety counts

To ensure your safety, never trim limbs or remove trees around power lines. Let a professional tree trimmer handle these situations or contact Montana-Dakota. Do not climb utility poles or trees near power lines. Tree branches or limbs can conduct electricity when touching a power line. In the event of a storm, treat any downed wire as if it is energized, stay away from the line, and call Montana-Dakota. When trees or branches break during storms, do not attempt to pull tree limbs off lines. Let our trained work crews perform this potentially dangerous work.


Planting around power lines

With our help and proper tree selection by you, we can work together to minimize future maintenance and storm restoration problems by providing adequate clearance near power lines. There are many trees that can be planted under or near power lines that will not result in interference. Selecting the proper tree can eliminate or reduce the need for pruning. For additional information on trees that are suited for planting under or near power lines, please contact a Montana-Dakota representative.

View this brochure for additional information.


Commitment to healthy trees in our communities

Crews and contracted personnel use the tree trimming guidelines of the National Arborist Association and ANSI Standard A300. An overview of the two primary trimming methods used is based on the work of Dr. Alex L. Shigo, the author of “Pruning Trees Near Electric Utility Lines: A Field Pocket Guide for Qualified Line-Clearance Workers.” Montana-Dakota is also a member of Tree Line USA® and has been recognized for its progressive tree-care practices.

Contact Information

To make arrangements for tree pruning or tree removal near a power line or advice regarding tree selection, call a Montana-Dakota representative at 800-MDU-FAST (800-638-3278) or request service online.