Clearing the Path to Reliability

Spring brings longer days, blooming trees and warmer weather, which allows us to spend more time outside. Trees are majestic, beautiful and good for the soul. But we also know that our members depend on us to deliver reliable power to their homes and businesses. That’s why Pee Dee Electric strives to balance main-taining the beautiful surroundings
we all cherish with ensuring reliable electricity. You might not realize it, but there are several benefits to regular tree trimming.


Keeping power lines clear of over-grown vegetation improves service reliability. After all, we’ve seen the damages caused by Mother Nature during severe weather events, with fallen trees and limbs taking down power lines and utility poles. While many factors can impact power disruptions, about a third of all outages can be attributed to trees breaking poles and tearing down power lines or tree limbs contacting power lines. This is why you sometimes see Pee Dee Electric crews or contractors in the community trimming trees near power lines. Our trimming crews have been trained and certified based on the latest industry standards.

In fact, all U.S. electric utilities are required to trim trees that grow too close to power lines. Scheduled trimming throughout the year keeps lines clear from overgrown or dead limbs that are likely to fall, and we can better prepare for severe weather events. Unfortunately, we have little control over trees located outside of our right-of-ways and they often are the cause of tree-related outages.


Working near power lines can be dangerous, and we care about your safety and that of our line workers. For example, if trees are very close or touching power lines in our members’ yards, they can pose a grave danger to families. If children can climb those trees, they can potentially climb into a danger zone where they could contact an energized line. Any tree or branch that falls across a power line creates a potentially dangerous situation. A proactive approach lessens the chances of fallen trees during severe weather events that make it more complicated and dangerous for line workers to restore power.


Bobby Joe McIntyre, Vegetation Management Coordinator

As a co-op, Pee Dee Electric always strives to keep costs down for our members. If trees and other vegetation are left unchecked, they can become overgrown and expensive to correct. We all know it’s more cost-effective to undertake preventative maintenance than it is to make repairs after the fact. Our strategic vegetation management program helps keep costs down for everyone.

When it comes to vegetation management, there are ways you can help, too. When planting new trees, make sure they’re planted a safe distance from overhead power lines. Medium-height trees (40 feet or smaller) should be planted at least 25 feet from power lines. Taller trees (over 40 feet) should be planted at least 50 feet from power lines. For planting distances of specific types of trees, contact our office for additional information.

You can also practice safe planting near pad-mounted transformers—plant shrubs at least 10 feet from the trans-former door and 4 feet from the sides. If your neighborhood has any type of underground lines, remember to contact 811 before you begin any project that requires digging. Lastly, please cooperate with our crews when we request trees to be trimmed or cut on your property. The reliability of your power and your neighbors depends on effective right-of-way management throughout our electric system.

We have deep roots in our community and love our beautiful surroundings. It takes a balanced approach, and our vegetation management program
is a crucial tool in ensuring service reliability. Thank you for your help as we work together to continue providing safe and reliable electricity.