Tree limbs are one of the top causes of power outages in southern Colorado. San Isabel Electric strives to keep the community safe and prevent power outages. During winter storms, heavy snow can distort trees and heavy winds can curve branches. If a branch or tree limb meets a power line, it can cause a power outage, sending electric currents through the tree to the ground and creating an unsafe situation for anyone in the area. That is why San Isabel Electric is proud to have tree trimmers working alongside linemen to clear power lines.

If any part of a tree limb or branch touches a power line, it will cause a power outage. Tree trimmers use climbing equipment, bucket trucks, chainsaws and pole saws to cut away dead or excess branches from trees, sometimes perched more than 100 feet from the ground. Every day they clear limbs and branches from the right-of-way for roads, sidewalks and utilities. This also enhances and prolongs tree life. Tree trimmers use a technique to prolong tree life called lateral cutting, which is cutting a third of the tree branch laterally, at an angle, over the collar of the tree branch, allowing the collar of the tree branch to continue to grow after the cut, thus prolonging the tree’s life span. If this technique is done incorrectly, the tree will perish. However, this technique should not be done on fruit trees.

In order to prevent power outages, tree trimmers do line patrols identifying where the limbs are closest to the lines. Then, in a job briefing they discuss possible hazards related to the work and how they’re going to complete the job as a team. The more dangerous tree branches that they clear away, the smaller the risk of having outages — and they keep communities safe. If the tree is close to private property, the tree trimmers will knock on the homeowner’s door, letting them know the crew is about to cut the branches.

Homeowners should be aware of power lines and call San Isabel Electric right away if they see a branch close to a line. Calling immediately can help keep the homeowner safe, prevent an outage and prolong the life of the tree.

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