Worker trimming trees next to a power line

Tree Trimming

There are three reasons we trim trees: safety, reliability and to save our members money. The first two reasons seem simple enough. Trees near power lines can pose a safety threat to people and pets on the ground. When trees get too close to power lines, outages are sure to come. But the third reason – saving money – is a little more complicated. Even though we spend millions of dollars each year trimming trees, it is actually cheaper to trim trees than not. Here’s why. Trees and other vegetation growing near power lines can create serious damage to the distribution system. A tree falling into a power line can not only break the wire, it frequently breaks the pole as well. Replacing a pole can cost thousands of dollars. If the pole has a transformer, security light or expensive monitoring equipment on it, the cost could be even higher. In most cases, the expense of trimming the tree is far less than repairing or replacing equipment.

CEMC Partners with A&G Tree Service, G&C Tree Service, Wolf Tree, and Looks Great Tree Service to assist with tree trimming.

Worker removing a limb from a tree

Tree Removal

Trees will only be removed if they pose a threat to your electric service. Repetitive trimming of fast-growing trees directly under power lines is costly, temporary, and ultimately damages the tree by causing it to develop internal decay. Therefore, CEMC recommends that you consider removing trees that will grow into the power line space.

Person spraying a field with a tank

Herbicide Management

Targeted herbicidal management that promotes grass growth and wildlife habitat is the most cost-effective way to maintenance and maintain wood growth in the right-of-way. CEMC has partnered with ChemPro for our herbicide management program. ChemPro only utilizes materials registered with the Environmental Protection Agency that is administered by contracted, licensed professionals.

Vegetation Management FAQs

Information on our vegetation management program, the how and the why.

It’s all about keeping the lights on! Put simply, trees are one of the most common causes of blinking lights and outages. Proper right-of-way maintenance, which includes maintaining a 20-foot clearance on both sides of the lines, is a good investment that enables us to help ensure our service is safe, reliable, and affordable for all.

No. For primary lines CEMC must first obtain the proper clearance required by OSHA in Ansi Z133.1. For secondary lines (service to home), please contact CEMC at 800-987-2362 to set up a service order to have CEMC drop the service line before you begin pruning or tree removal.

Yes. Clean-up is a part of CEMC’s vegetation maintenance program.

No. CEMC vegetation management program works to prevent electric outages on our system. Therefore, CEMC wants to remove that tree before it causes an outage, not after. The tree still belongs to the member. In this case, our immediate priority is to restore power to our members.

The following methods are options that will be used by CEMC (or a contractor) to notify members of scheduled right-of-way maintenance: personal contact, phone calls, mailings, door cards, public announcements (Tennessee Magazine, website, etc.).

Yes. CEMC has the right and the obligation to its members to maintain any and all vegetation within its right-of-way. The court and legal system strongly support utilities’ right to trim and remove trees and/or brush within and outside of the right-of-way.

Contact Us

Michael Blackwell

Michael Blackwell

Manager of District Operations & Right-of-Way
800-987-2362 (ext. 1116)
Jimmy Luffman

Jimmy Luffman

Supervisor of Right-of-Way – Ashland City, Clarksville, Dover
800-987-2362 (ext. 6610)
Chad Dunning

Chad Dunning

Right-of-Way Assistant – Portland, Springfield, Gallatin, White House
800-987-2362 (ext. 7711)