Insights > How and Why We Trim Trees in Arkansas

How and Why We Trim Trees in Arkansas

02/01/2019

Most customers understand the necessity of tree trimming, and we appreciate that. For those who are interested in some details of how and why we trim trees, please read on:

We follow the U.S. Electrical Code and the pruning guidelines from the International Society of Arboriculture. We hire professional contractors to perform this work. They’re trained in Occupational Safety & Health Administration regulations and the latest arboricultural techniques and safety procedures.

While there is some variation based on types of trees and terrain, we aim to trim every distribution line once approximately every five years. This means we trim about a fifth of the lines in Arkansas every year, which is an enormous and costly undertaking. We currently spend just under $30 million every year trimming trees away from about 7,000 miles of lines. Trimming  five years’-worth of growth is a significant cut, and, at times, there is no aesthetically pleasing way to do it and still maintain the necessary clearance from the electrical equipment. But it is necessary, and we appreciate customers’ patience and understanding.

The strategy behind the five-year trimming cycle considers both reliability of the system and costs of the tree trimming, as well as factoring in the cost of repairing tree-related storm damage.  Because these costs are part of the costs to serve customers, trimming efficiently and effectively is one way we are able to keep our rates below both the national and regional averages.


David Lewis
Communications Specialist II