When it comes to tree-trimming, Jump River Electric Cooperative takes a preventative and protective approach to improve power reliability for our members. Not only have we used and continue to use our own staff to perform tree trimming and brushing, we also contract outside tree services to clear lines and right of ways. This is important for achieving our long-term goal of reducing outage time in all three service areas.
Is permission of the property owner necessary before doing tree work?
The cooperative’s easements grant Jump River Electric the authority to trim trees without further property-owner consent. Having this authority is important for the provision of a safe and reliable electric system. However, Jump River respects the interests of its members and notifies property owners of the need for tree work before trimming is done whenever feasible. In unusual or emergency situations, it may be necessary to trim trees without first notifying the property owner to restore service or eliminate safety hazards. Jump River Electric also understands that property owners may not wish to have trees removed even if Jump River has the authority to do so. As such, it is Jump River Electric’s practice to only remove trees with advance notice to the property owner. Trees that require extensive trimming on a regular basis should be removed to avoid continual trimming costs to the landowner.
How does Jump River know when a tree needs to be trimmed or removed?
The following priority will be followed in determining when and where tree trimming will be done:
1. Reports of electrical outages caused by trees.
2. Areas where trees have been damaged by storms.
3. During the regular tree-trimming cycle.
4. Periodic inspections by Jump River Electric personnel.
5. Reports from customers indicating potential tree/power-line problems.
Can a private property owner or commercial tree-trimmer obtain help in trimming or removing trees near electric wires?
Jump River Electric will assist property owners and/or their commercial contractors, at their request, with the trimming and removal of trees that are near Jump River Electric’s wires. Please call the office at 715-532-5524 to make an appointment. A representative of Jump River Electric will inspect and explain to the property owner or contractor what we can do to assist. Jump River Electric’s assistance may include one or both of the following activities:
- The temporary rerouting, de-energizing or removal of electric wires that may be hazardous to workers. Jump River Electric will coordinate the timing of the work with the property owner or contractor.
- Tree trimming to the extent that removal or trimming can be safely performed by the property owner or contractor. All wood will be left on the property owner’s premises. Jump River Electric is not responsible for cutting wood to size or piling brush. The customer or contractor will be responsible for removing brush that is blocking sidewalks or driveways.
What happens to the wood?
All wood trimmed by Jump River belongs to the property owner and will be left on their premises. Please note the following:
- Persons who want wood on private property must make arrangements with the property owners.
- Tree crews cannot cut wood to uniform size or smaller than necessary for normal handling.
- Tree crews cannot load wood into private vehicles or trailers.
- Crews will not stack or separate wood.
How does Jump River Electric determine how far we remove trees from our lines?
When Jump River performs tree trimming, the crews are instructed to clear lines to a minimum of 15 feet from the center of our lines. This effectively gives us a four to five-year cutting cycle. Depending on the application, we might cut further back to leave trees as healthy as possible. For example, if you cut part of a fir limb off, but not all the way to the trunk of the tree, the limb will die. If we only cut to the exact 15-foot distance, we get members calling back explaining how ugly the tree looks once the limb dies and, in response, we send the crew back to cut limb all the way over to the trunk. This is expensive and time consuming, especially when we could be putting our energy into additional tree trimming.
Why does Jump River Electric cut this far back?
Other than some of the reasons alluded to above and other more obvious reasons, such as preventive and reduction of outages, limbs touching and burning on electric lines is one of the principal wastes of electricity. Also, with lines clear from trees, our linemen have the necessary room to operate and restore power more quickly by not having to manipulate downed power lines from around trees.
What can the member do if he/she does not want us to cut as much as the 15’ clearance from center of the line?
Jump River Electric attempts to notify all members of its ongoing tree trimming maintenance program. If you receive notification of our crews in your area and would like for us to cut less than 15 feet, you must notify us in time to do so. Depending on the location, we will likely be happy to cut less than our typical 15-foot minimum, but the result will be increased future trimming needs for the location. As such, we will calculate an additional yearly tree trimming cost and invoice you for such services. We cannot put this additional cost on all the members.
What do I do if I see a limb or tree on a line?
Please call our member services at 715-532-5524 and we will send someone out to check on it. If it is on or near our lines, we will remove it. Never try to do this yourself!
How close can I plant trees or bushes next to Jump River poles or underground transformers?
Our personnel need to have access to all of our electric facilities for maintenance and storm repair. Please keep trees a minimum of 20 feet from overhead lines. If you must plant trees by lines, make sure that they are small and can’t reach our lines. Please call member services at 715-532-5524 with any questions. Underground transformers require a minimum of 10 feet of clearance so that personnel can safely access them. Find more information on planting the right tree in the right place here.
What do I do if I have a danger tree near Jump Rivers lines?
Please call Jump River at 715-532-5524 and we will send someone out to look over the tree. We will work with you and/or your contractor to make sure that the tree is taken down safely.