Frequently asked questions about tree trimming

SRP periodically trims or removes trees that are near power lines. Choose any link to get answers to frequently asked questions about SRP's tree trimming program.

There are two important reasons we trim trees:

  1. To prevent unsafe conditions
  2. To maintain reliable electric service

Trees that grow too close to overhead power lines can create fire and safety hazards, and cause power outages. We trim around lines that are part of the SRP electric delivery system. However, we do not trim trees that grow near overhead lines that run from a utility pole to a home or business (called a service drop), or around lines that run to street lights.

Yes, we use an internationally recommended arboricultural technique called "directional pruning." Learn how we trim trees. Various tree shapes result from this technique. However the approach enables us to maintain the proper clearance from overhead lines, and keep trees in place.

SRP inspects and trims around its transmission power lines annually. These are the highest-voltage lines that are typically supported by steel towers. We inspect and trim near distribution lines that run along streets and through neighborhoods once every two years.

For our transmission network, trees that require trimming are those that currently or that will within two years grow too close to overhead power lines. Transmission facilities carry much higher voltages and require greater clearance than distribution lines.

On our distribution system, trees that require trimming are those that currently or that will within two years grow too close to overhead power lines.

SRP representatives who evaluate trees for trimming are foresters. They consider the location of trees, growth rate, available moisture amount (drip or flood irrigation), potential wind conditions and limb configuration when identifying which trees to trim.

Tree crews typically arrive 4–8 weeks after a forester assesses an area. Scheduling conflicts, emergencies or other circumstances may delay trimming work. To see where our foresters and trimming crews are working, check out our notification map.

If a tree in your area poses a hazard to a power line, please call us at (602) 236-8888.

Some trees create hazards, but cannot be trimmed effectively without a significant impact to plant health.

For example, palm trees that grow within 10 feet of overhead power lines can cause frequent outages in your community, especially during storms and wind events. Trimming the center or "heart" of a palm to maintain a clearance for safety and reliability may kill the tree.

Our foresters will contact property owners to seek permission to remove palms and other trees. If SRP does not receive permission to remove a tree, we will trim it to provide the appropriate clearance. However, the tree may not survive or may not appear aesthetically pleasing.

No. Do not endanger yourself or others. Only authorized professionals, such as SRP crews, should handle this work.

SRP does not trim trees that grow near overhead lines that run from a utility pole to a home or business (called a service drop), or around lines that run to street lights. In these cases, property owners or homeowner associations are responsible to keep vegetation clear from overhead service drop lines.

Keep your family and neighbors safe. Contact a certified low-voltage tree trimmer, and be sure to arrange for a temporary disconnection of the power at least one day prior to the scheduled trimming by calling SRP at (602) 236-8888.

Yes. Here are some of the federal, state and corporate guidelines we follow.

  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission FAC-003-3 requires utilities to maintain transmission facilities and prevent outages caused by vegetation.

  • Arizona Revised Statute 48-2336 grants utilities the right to maintain and protect overhead power lines for the good of all its citizens.

  • Arizona Revised Statute 40-360 defines who is authorized to work near overhead power lines.

  • SRP Rules & Regulations identifies the right and need to trim or remove vegetation to safely operate, maintain and protect the SRP electric system.

SRP provides trimming and removal services free-of-charge for property owners. As consideration for this service, debris will become the property of SRP.

We recycle most of the tree materials we trim or remove. Clippings are chipped and used for mulch. This recycling effort significantly decreases the amount of waste placed into area landfills and SRP's disposal costs. We also conduct our line-clearing activities in a way that protects wildlife, including endangered species such as the spotted owl.

No. Removal of the stump is the responsibility of the property owner. SRP may apply growth inhibitor to the stump.

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