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Tree Trimming and Vegetation Management

The National Arbor Day Foundation provides an illustration and information in regards to planting trees near and around overhead and underground electric utilities. OEC also offers these useful tips when considering tree and shrub plantings or pruning near our facilities.

  • Do not prune trees near or over power lines. Please call our office (405-321-2024) or use the online form to schedule an appointment with our certified arborist or trained professional in tree evaluations.
  • When removing trees, always check for overhead conductor lines.
  • Avoid planting near and around utility poles that may hinder work crew efforts to access the pole. Obstructions may be damaged or removed during service restoration or maintenance.
  • Do not obstruct underground pads or facilities. Keep shrubs and structures 10 feet away from the front of doors and 4 feet away from all other sides. Obstructions may be damaged or removed during service restoration or maintenance.
  • Be aware of underground and overhead utility line locations prior to digging for tree planting. The National Arbor Day Foundation website offers tree species and guidelines for plantings.
  • While we make every attempt to preserve the aesthetic value of trees and vegetation in and around rights-of-way, our primary concern is to reduce outages, fire and electrocution hazards while providing personal and public safety from falling branches and tree failure. Following these events, some trees may require additional pruning or removals to meet industry standards.

Vegetation Management Regulations, Specifications, & Definitions

All pruning will be defined as directional pruning.  Directional pruning is defined as the pruning of unwanted branches back to lateral branches or parent stems that are GROWING AWAY FROM THE FACILITY. These lateral branches should be of sufficient size to become dominant, thus discouraging the growth of sprouts.

  • On Primary lines – 15’ minimum clearance from the center of a pole with a cross arm; 10’ minimum clearance from the center of a pole without a cross arm
  • Primary overhang – 15’ minimum clearance above all primary wire, including established wood
  • Neutral (bottom) lines– 10’ clearance from the center of the pole laterally and below the wire, yet with the focus being that all vegetation below the OEC line be cleared “ground to sky”.
  • Secondary or Service wires – 5’ clearance laterally, below, and above the line.  Only pruning for strain or abrasion on the wire.
  • Guy wires – 5’ clearance for ALL guy wires from pole connection to anchor.
  • Primary poles – 10’ clearance around all poles.  All brush will be removed 10’ around all primary poles.  Any tree up to 10” DBH will be removed 10’ around all primary poles.  Any tree that is greater than 10” DBH that is creating strain or abrasion on that pole will be removed.
  • Meter and uplift poles – 10’ clearance around all poles.  All brush will be removed 10’ around all primary poles.  Any tree up to 10” DBH will be removed 10’ around all primary poles.  Any tree that is greater than 10” DBH that is creating strain or abrasion on that pole will be removed.
  • Guy wire anchors – 5’ clearance for ALL guy wires from pole connection to anchor.

All trees that are creating strain or abrasion on the underground transformer pad will be removed without member, homeowner, or property owner permission.  The pruning for a underground transformer pad will be 10’ clearance around and above the underground transformer pad.

Voluntary growth trees will be defined as trees that are native and have grown naturally and not been planted by the property as part of their landscape, (ie. Common Hackberry, Siberian Elm, Eastern Redcedar, Blackjack Oak, etc.). All herbicide is handled and applied from an Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry certified Service Technician or Applicator.

  • Foliar and/or basal application – the target trees for high volume foliar and/or basal application will be voluntary growth trees that are under the primary wires.
  • Stumps – after any and all removals that are cut with the use of a chainsaw, the stumps will be cut as low as possible or at ground level and will be treated at that time.

Brush will be defined as any voluntary growth tree, up to 6” diameter, under the OEC primary wires. All brush that is under a primary line, will be removed and treated.