In an effort to provide the most reliable and efficient electrical service to our customers, the City of Madisonville Electric Department has an implimented policy to cut and trim trees interfering with power lines. The Madisonville Electric Department serves close to 9,000 customers who live and work along 241 miles of electric distribution lines. These are the lines that deliver power to homes, neighborhoods and communities. We must keep the trees that are located near these power lines pruned on a regular two or three year cycle. We will trim trees in such a manner as to allow for growth until the trees are scheduled to be trimmed during the next cycle. We will constantly review and adjust these schedules to keep trees a safe distance from power lines.
Madisonville Electric Department uses a private contractor, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, to implement our vegetation management techniques and objectives. They are nationally recognized as a Professional Arboricultural Company. They must meet and maintain specific guidelines in order to retain the contract on a year-to-year basis. These guidelines include OSHA Safety Standards, ANSI pruning techniques and other professional standards.
When it becomes necessary to trim a shade or ornamental tree away from the power lines, the trimming technique most commonly used is one called "Lateral Pruning". Lateral pruning strives to train the tree to grow away from the wires. These trimming practices were developed by the U. S. Forest Service and are endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture as well as tree care professionals across the country.
A guiding principle of lateral pruning is that 90% of the interfering branches can be removed by making 3 larger cuts within the tree, 90% of the time. Our trimmers will look within the tree to determine where these cuts should be made, rather than simply shortening a multitude of branch tips. Initially, your trees will look different following lateral pruning, but this practice provides the best opportunity for the tree to stay healthy.
Lateral Pruning means fewer cuts are required to remove the limb at its attachment point within the tree. While the size of the cut may be larger than was common with tree topping or rounding, fewer cuts mean better wound isolation for the tree. This translates into less future susceptibility to possible decay organisms.