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“Isn’t it possible to avoid tree-caused outages by cutting back more aggressively so trees aren’t anywhere near the power lines? Outages seem to happen every year when we have wet snow."

After the December storms we received a lot of feedback and questions on our outage management practices. Many of the comments suggested we implement more aggressive tree-trimming practices, to avoid outages caused by trees moving forward. 

Here are a few things you should know about tree-trimming at LPEA. 

  • LPEA strives to cut trees and foliage around overhead powerlines to prevent unnecessary blinks and outages and to reduce the risk of wildfire. Each year, we trim more than 200 miles of overhead lines, which gives us one of the most aggressive tree-trimming programs in the state. 
  • That said, we are only able to maintain trees within our right-of-way (ROW). Many “problem” trees are outside our ROW, giving us no right to trim them. For trees outside LPEA’s ROW, tree maintenance is the responsibility of the property owner. 
  • We highly recommend that you contact a tree professional to assess any tree trimming needs on your property. They can then contact LPEA at (970) 247-5786 when action is needed. If damage to LPEA infrastructure is caused by the private felling or trimming of trees, the member is responsible for repair costs. 

LPEA’s policy 103 covers our tree-trimming policy as follows: 

  • LPEA has no affirmative duty to remove trees outside the Cooperative’s rights-of-way. 
  • However, LPEA will work with landowners to remove trees that are, or could become, a danger to the LPEA’s power lines and facilities. 
  • With a written request from a landowner, LPEA may assist the landowner with the removal of any tree outside the right-of-way at no cost to the landowner if LPEA has identified the tree as either a Hazardous Tree or a tree that could become a Hazardous Tree. 
  • Removal of any branches or other debris from outside LPEA’s right-of-way shall be the sole responsibility of the landowner, unless otherwise agreed upon in writing.