Trees and Power Lines
Why UEC Manages Trees Near Power Lines:
Umatilla Electric Cooperative member’s safety is first and foremost. Every year people are injured or even killed when they climb or prune trees near power lines. This is why Umatilla Electric and other electric utilities are required by law to maintain our right of way to ensure a safe and reliable flow of power to homes and businesses.
High voltage lines are not insulated and direct contact usually results in death by electrocution. A tree contacting a power line can also become energized, injuring someone touching the tree. Children should never climb or play in trees near power lines. Trees contacting power lines can also start fires, endangering lives and property.
Many trees are located too close to power lines. Power outages can occur when trees grow into or fall on power lines. Service interruptions caused by trees are more than an inconvenience; they can endanger life through the failure of life support systems, fire alarms and traffic signals. Power outages can also be very costly, especially to commercial and industrial customers.
Trees provide beauty, shade and habitat for wildlife. They help conserve soil and water, and act as wind, noise and visual buffers. Trees in communities are an asset and must be managed to maintain their health and prevent problems. Reliable electric service is also an integral part of our lives. Umatilla Electric Cooperative strives to provide safe, reliable and affordable electric service. To achieve these goals we must manage trees near power lines. To help meet this goal, UEC has developed and implemented a comprehensive vegetation management plan.