Bryan Texas Utilities (BTU) has contracted with Smith Mountain Investments to perform inspections and preservative treatment of wood electric distribution poles within parts of BTU’s Rural System. This program is part of an effort by BTU to identify poles that may need preventative maintenance or replacement as part of BTU’s overall preventative maintenance program. The […]
Bryan Texas Utilities always strives to provide our customers with low rates and high reliability. To help keep the lights on Vegetation Management, also known as “tree trimming”, is performed to keep branches and overgrowth from contacting overhead powerlines and interrupting your service.
Here is some information about the Vegetation Management process, and what you can do to help.
Vegetation within the right-of-way access can create an obstacle when our crews need to perform maintenance, or restore power during an outage. When high winds and other inclement weather occur, tree limbs can break off and fall into lines, causing lengthy outages. BTU proactively clears the right-of-way to lessen the threat to system safety and reliability.
With nearly 2,300 miles of overhead transmission and distribution line to maintain, BTU has a 4-5 year “trim cycle” to ensure that we adequately trim vegetation throughout our entire service territory, which includes all of Brazos, and parts of Burleson, and Robertson counties. Prior to work beginning in your area, you will receive a door hanger on your front door, or gate, to inform you that crews will be on your property. A number will be provided should you have questions or concerns about their presence.
One challenge of this maintenance is achieving the required long-term clearance while also preserving the aesthetic value of your trees. With trimming being performed every 4-5 years, crews must cut enough to keep them within clearance until they return next time. Some factors that determine the method of trimming include the branch structure, the position in the right-of-way, and the proximity of the lines. Industry accepted principles of proper arboriculture are practiced to prevent damage to your trees.
Branches that contact the service line, also known as a “service drop”, running from the utility pole to your meter are not normally pruned by our crews. However, at your request, BTU will disconnect the service line and move it clear of the limbs to allow you or your contractor to safely prune, or remove, the tree.
What can you do?
When planting new trees or bushes, always be aware of the proximity to overhead lines. Know the maximum mature height of the tree, and make sure that it is a minimum of 20 feet away from the line.
It is never recommended that a customer attempt to prune trees that are contacting, or are in close proximity to, power lines. Even commercial arborists must be “line clearance certified” to work closer than 10 feet to electrical lines. It is an extremely hazardous project that should only be attempted by professionals.
To report vegetation that is in danger of contacting our lines, please call BTU’s Utility Arborist at 979-821-5930, or our 24-hour operation center at 979-822-3777.