Customers

Lakeland Electric has a comprehensive vegetation management program to keep the power lines clear. By trimming the trees in your neighborhood every 3 years, our customers experience fewer power outages. This sensible schedule, to trim the tree just prior to when the branches approach the power lines, prevents momentary outages can affect the sensitive appliances in your house. Our strategic program keeps all of the utility equipment clear of vines and overgrown vegetation can obscure conductors. This is especially important during storms. Repairs are expedited when the power lines can be quickly assessed and vegetation does not impede access to our equipment. Tree trimming is essential for safe and reliable electric service.

Lakeland Electric has a team of professional arborists who are committed to improving our urban forest. We inspect the trees growing near the power lines to evaluate hazardous conditions. Our tree trimming program requires our contract tree trimming crews to utilize proper pruning techniques established by national standards. The method of natural target trimming preserves the health of the trees and fewer sprouts emerge because this pruning preserves the terminal buds on lateral branches. We are always available to meet with you to discuss utility pruning, tree care, establishing trees for energy conservation and other related topics.

Lakeland Electric has a Tree Replacement Program designed to eliminate small, unsightly trees. Planting the right tree in the right place is a proactive way to improve the appearance of our community. We offer alternatives and long-term solutions to eliminate trees that are growing too close to the lines. Call us for a free site visit and we can discuss some ideas to improve your landscape.

Lakeland Electric has a responsive safety program. If you are planning to remove or prune a tree near the lines, or if you have hired a residential tree service, please submit a Tree Trimming Request. We will inspect your tree and provide appropriate measures to keep everyone safe.

For any questions about our Tree programs, please call Customer Service (863) 834-9535 from 7:30 am-8:00 pm, Monday through Friday. Or email us at customerservice@lakelandelectric.com.

Frequently Asked Questions


How do you decide when the trees are trimmed?
A:  The primary voltage lines that provide electric service to your neighborhood are trimmed every three years. This schedule is ideal for the growth patterns and weather conditions in our area. A timely trim cycle keeps the tree branches from growing too close to the primary voltage lines and prevents power outages.

How do you determine the clearances required to maintain the trees?
A:  The primary voltage lines require approximately 10 feet of initial clearance. This amount of clearance is necessary to prevent the tree from contacting the power line for the next three years. Trees with decay or weak limb attachments may require more clearance for safety. Individual tree growth rates also determine the amount of clearance needed. Since tree trimming is scheduled on a cycle, slow growing trees do not require as much clearance as fast growing trees.

Why are some trees trimmed differently than others?
A:  The distance between the tree and the primary voltage line determines the type of trimming required. A tree located 15-20 feet from the power line typically needs side limbs trimmed back to the clear the lines. A tree located directly under the lines will need to be topped to reduce the overall height of the tree. Additionally, limbs growing over primary voltage lines need to be trimmed back to protect the lines from being damaged by falling limbs.

What’s the difference between the main line through the neighborhood and the line that goes to my house?
A:  The Service Entrance Cable (the line that goes from our pole to your house) is a low voltage line that requires less clearance from tree limbs and branches. The black coated wires of this cable are a protective shield so that this type of line can be within inches of a tree trunk and large limb. It can also withstand minor contact with small tree branches.

Do I need to submit a request to trim the Service Entrance Cable?
A:  Lakeland Electric no longer routinely trims the Service Entrance Cable. Customers can submit a request for the service cable to be trimmed. The request will be inspected and then scheduled accordingly. Tree trimming for the service cable is limited to branches that are contacting the line and limbs that are less than 4” in diameter (approximately the size of a baseball). Large diameter limbs and limbs that are above the service cable are the customer’s responsibility.
 

How does trimming affect tree health?
A:  When a side limb is trimmed back to the point of origin at the trunk of the tree, the branch collar zone of the tree protects the tree by generating wood to form a closure. In contrast, when a tree directly under the lines is topped in order to reduce the height of the canopy, there is no branch collar at the topped location to protect the tree. The exposed wood tissue begins to decay which can create a hazardous situation and eventually affect the health of the tree.

How can we avoid topping trees?
A:  A large tree located under the power lines will never achieve its full potential. Sometimes the only solution is to consider having the tree removed and then replace it with a suitable species.

How does Lakeland Electric’s Tree Replacement Program work?
A:  If a tree is less than 12” in diameter (approximately the size of a dinner plate) and located within the normal trim zone, we can remove it and replace it at no charge. Replacement trees are usually in 15-gallon containers, depending on budgetary allowances. Tree Replacement Vouchers are also available for property owners who prefer to purchase their own tree. Selecting a new tree is an important decision and our utility arborist can assist you with suggestions.

Is there a long term solution to eliminate the conflict between trees and power lines?
A:  We must select and plant trees that are appropriate for each location. Before planting a new tree, contact Lakeland Electric for our Growing with Trees Planting Guide. This brochure contains helpful information and recommended planting distances to prevent new trees from conflicting with utility lines.

What if we have concerns or questions about a tree near the lines?
A:  Please submit a Tree Trimming Request if you have any concerns. Our arborists will provide a site visit to evaluate trees growing near the lines and to explain what type of trimming will be necessary.

Will Lakeland Electric assist if a tree on my property needs to be removed or pruned?
A:  If you are planning to remove a tree or prune a tree near the primary voltage power lines, it may be necessary for Lakeland Electric to trim the tree first. This will provide a safety clearance zone for the tree service to proceed with their portion work. Due it the extensive trimming required, the property owner will be responsible the debris. Please provide 5 days’ notice to make these arrangements. There is no charge for this service.

What if the tree to be removed is near the electric line to my house?
A:  If you are planning to remove or prune at tree near the Service Entrance Cable (the line that goes from our pole to your house) it may be necessary for a line crew to temporarily disconnect the cable. The house will be without electricity for the duration and then re-connected when the work is completed. Please provide 5 days’ notice to make these arrangements. There is no charge for this service.

What if a tree on my property is hazardous or causes damage to the lines?
A:  Trees that have fallen into primary voltage power lines will be trimmed back by Lakeland Electric to facilitate the repairs. The property owner is responsible for the debris and the remaining portion of the tree. Safety clearance from the primary voltage power lines or other measures to ensure safety will be provided. There is no charge for this service.

Will Lakeland Electric trim the trees on my property prior to the maintenance schedule?
A:  It is usually not cost effective to trim the trees at one address if a large portion of the power lines that feed the neighborhood are not trimmed. If there is a situation that could create a potential hazard or power outage, it will be expedited and scheduled by priority.

 

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