Trees and Power Lines

Trees and reliable electric service are both important to our community. Unfortunately, the two are not always compatible. Here is some information about our tree trimming policies.

Why we trim trees

We must trim trees for various reasons such as requirements of regulations, for safety reasons and to avoid unplanned service interruptions.

EL&P trims tree limbs away from high voltage overhead power lines in Red Deer in order to achieve two critical objectives:

  • Public safety
  • Reliability of electric service

Many power outages are caused by tree limbs falling on or in power lines. This can damage the wires, cause short circuits or other problems that create potential dangers for you and your property. You can help us manage tree concerns by:

  • Not planting tall-growing trees under or near power lines
  • Trimming trees regularly following the guidelines below

Frequently Asked Questions

When will EL&P trim trees?

We trim trees that do or could interfere with existing or planned high-voltage primary lines.

How does EL&P know when tree trimming is required?

The following priorities will be followed in determining when and where tree trimming will be done:

  1. When we have reports of electrical outages caused by trees
  2. Areas where trees have been damaged by storms
  3. When we receive reports from customers indicating potential tree or power-line problems
  4. Regular tree trimming maintenance cycles, usually January to April
  5. Using periodic inspections by EL&P personnel
Does EL&P require the property owner's permission before doing tree work?

Right-of-way easements grant us the authority to trim trees without property owners' permission in order to provide a safe, reliable electric system. However, we respect our customers' property and we will send out a Public Service Announcement prior to regular tree trimming maintenance. In unusual or emergency situations, it may be necessary to trim trees without notification in order to restore service or eliminate safety hazards.

Note: Fallen trees or limbs that have fallen from standing trees are the responsibility of the property owner. Disposal of all limbs and wood resulting from trimming storm-damaged trees in order to restore electric service is also the responsibility of the property owner.

How do I get my trees trimmed?

Property owners may trim their trees in accordance with limits of approach required by the Alberta Electric Utility Safety Code. For all overhead lines, you must keep workers, equipment and tools at least seven metres away at all times if you do not know the voltage of those lines.

Can a property owner or commercial tree service obtain assistance from EL&P in trimming or removing trees near electric lines?

Upon request, we will assist property owners and/or their commercial contractors with tree trimming and removal when trees interfere with our power lines. Charges may apply.

When a tree trimming request is received, we will inspect the location and explain what we can do to assist. Assistance may include one or both of the following:

  • Temporarily de-energizing or removing electric wires that may be hazardous to the workers while the trimming or removal is being done. This would also apply if a home owner is trimming or removing trees on private property in proximity to the low voltage service line to their home.
  • Trimming the tree so that it can be safely removed or trimmed by the property owner or contractor. All wood and branches will be left on the property owner's premises. EL&P is not responsible for cutting wood to size or piling branches. The property owner or contractor will be responsible for removing wood and branches that are blocking sidewalks or driveways.

To request an inspection or temporary disconnection, contact us at 403-342-8274.

Does EL&P do the work themselves? How do we know the tree trimmer works for EL&P?

To assure proper tree trimming and removal, we hire professional tree trimming firms. It is essential tree trimming is done properly to ensure dependable electric service and to provide for the welfare of your trees.

Our tree trimming contractors will have magnetic signage on their vehicles indicating they are an EL&P contractor.