What Our Tree Crews Do

Middle Tennessee Electric's tree pruning crews are in your neighborhood once every two years to maintain our power lines and more often to maintain fast-growing trees. National Electric Safety Code (NESC) and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regulations require electric utilities to clear vegetation from power lines as a safety measure for our crews and our members. We maintain a right of way extending 20 feet on both sides of the power lines. We do not, however, clean up debris caused by storms. Our tree pruning maintenance crews are supervised by certified arboriculturists who follow the guidelines of urban foresters and experts from the National Arborist Association and the International Society of Arboriculture. Their work may include:

Side pruning
Pruning the branches growing toward lines on one side of the tree. Trees that encroach within 20 feet of the power line right of way will be pruned back.

Crown reduction
Removing the main leader or leaders to a suitable lateral branch, only suitable for slow-growing trees located under the power line. This type of pruning is not endorsed by the ISA because it can lead to diseases and, therefore, is only done at the homeowner's request.

Tree removal
Trees will only be removed if they pose a threat to your electric service. However, repetitive pruning of fast-growing trees directly under power lines is costly, temporary, and ultimately damages the tree by causing it to develop internal decay. Therefore, Middle Tennessee Electric recommends that you consider removing fast-growing trees.

Tree replacement
When a residential tree must be removed, we will replace it with another one of the homeowner's choosing. A variety of beautiful, low-growing trees are available through our tree replacement program at no cost to you. Because it is not recommended to plant trees during the growing season, Middle Tennessee Electric will plant trees from November to mid-April.