We Trim Trees to Keep Your Lights On
Severe weather, including strong winds, lightning, and ice storms, is the main cause of power outages. Storms can cause trees and tree limbs to fall on overhead power lines, damage our equipment, and interrupt your service.
To protect our equipment and prevent power outages, we regularly inspect and carefully trim trees to keep them safe distances away from overhead power lines. We hire professional foresters who are specially trained in preserving tree health and follow International Society of Arboriculture pruning guidelines.
Over the past few years, hurricanes and other big storms have severely damaged trees, causing widespread power outages. Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter just days later in 2012 knocked out power for 70 percent of our customers served by overhead lines – more than five times the number of outages than any other storm in our history.
As weather forecasters expect the frequency of storms to increase, we are redoubling our efforts to prevent outages and reduce the time it takes to restore power when an outage occurs. Read more about how we are strengthening our systems against storm damage.
We Trim Responsibly
The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized us every year since 2009 for our responsible tree-trimming practices that protect and enhance New York’s urban forests. The Tree Line USA program promotes the dual goals of providing safe, reliable electric service while maintaining abundant, healthy trees across utility service areas.
About Our Wires
There are two types of overhead electric wires:
Distribution wires travel along streets and sidewalks typically on wooden poles. They deliver electricity directly to homes and businesses and carry lower voltages than transmission wires. We have about 34,000 miles of overhead distribution wires and 198,000 poles in Westchester County and New York City.
Transmission wires carry high voltages of electricity over long distances. They are supported by large steel lattice structures installed on property called a right-of-way. Transmission wires carry power directly from power plants to substations, where the power is transferred to distribution lines so it can be safely delivered to homes and businesses. We have about 113 miles of transmission rights-of-way throughout Westchester, Dutchess, Putnam, and Richmond counties.
How You Can Help
When you’re planting trees, pick the right tree for the right place. Think about how large it will be when it’s fully grown. For tips on landscaping, choosing the right trees, and how trees can help you save energy, see Trees Can Help You Save Energy and Money.
Tree Trimming FAQ