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Tree Trimming Methods
Who Is Responsible for
Trimming Trees
On Private Property?
Order Form: Trees and
Power Lines: They Don't Mix
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Tree branches blowing against or falling onto power lines is one of the most common causes of service disruptions. To help ensure the highest possible overall system reliability, CWLP has an aggressive and proactive program of tree trimming—and, when necessary, tree removal—that is designed to both protect the integrity of the electric system and preserve the health and integrity of Springfield’s urban forest.
When a power line runs through a tree on private property,
is CWLP responsible for trimming the tree? Find out here.

Recognizing the value of trees to our community and nation, CWLP and our contractor, Nelson Tree Service, adopt the most conservative possible strategy for dealing with conflicts between trees and power lines. Whenever possible, trees are trimmed in a manner that will allow them to re-grow as naturally, beautifully and healthily as possible while directing the growth away from nearby power lines. The three trimming methods used by CWLP follow standards set by the National Arborists Association.

When removal cannot be avoided, the utility will, at the customer’s request, replace the downed tree with a new one that is better suited for the site.

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As part of our overall tree trimming (line clearance) program, CWLP strives to educate customers about how they can work with the utility to reduce tree and power line conflicts. We offer our customers a free pamphlet on this topic—Trees and Power Lines: They Don't Mix. The pamphlet can be ordered online or by emailing the Public Information Office. A copy of the pamphlet is also available for viewing online.

If you are considering planting a new tree, make sure you choose and a proper planting site so that, when it reaches maturity (or before), the tree will not conflict with nearby power lines. Use the graphic below as a guide for how far to plant various-sized trees from overhead lines.

tree size planting guide
Graphic courtesy of

For its efforts to maintain Springfield’s urban forest, CWLP has been named a Tree Line USA utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The utility is also a member of the American Public Power Association’s Tree Power Program, which promotes the planting and care of trees in urban centers, as well as utility programs aimed at educating the public about the benefits of urban forests.

Links to even more information about CWLP's tree trimming practices and related topics can be found in the left-hand column of this page.


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