Usage and Safety 
tree care q & a

Why does CMP invest in a Tree Care program?
Delivering reliable electricity is our top priority.  Through the Tree Care program we work year-round to prune branches and remove trees that could be troublesome and cause power outages.  In addition, we install highly sensitive monitoring equipment along the system to prevent momentary contact from wind-blown branches from turning into an outage.

Who performs CMP’s tree work?
Our team of licensed arborists work with qualified contractors throughout our service territory.  These qualified contractors prune and remove trees along thousands of miles of lines to provide you with safe, reliable electric service. 

What standards do CMP’s tree contractors use when pruning trees?

Our crews use pruning standards endorsed by the Tree Care Industry Association. Our tree crews are committed to preserving as much of the trees’ natural beauty as possible, and consider the shape, strength, growth rate and appearance of the tree before pruning.

What clearance does CMP require around primary conductors?

Our contractors will clear a minimum of 15 feet above the primary wire, a minimum of 8 feet to the side of a primary wire and will ground cut certain tree species underneath the wires. 

Will CMP prune trees around my service cable?
During routine maintenance work, CMP will prune two feet around all service cables. 

Will CMP’s tree contractors remove the branches and wood from the property?
Once pruning is completed by CMP's contractors, the brush will be chipped and wood larger than 3" in diameter will be left behind for the land owner's personal use. In some cases a chipping crew will follow within a few days to chip the brush that is left behind.

Is pruning bad for trees?
In most cases pruning can be healthy for trees.  Making the correct cut at the branch collar will help with the tree’s natural defense mechanisms.  Removing dead wood and other defections will improve the overall health and structure of the tree.

What types of trees can I plant near power lines?
Consider planting dwarf trees or shrubs that won’t grow tall enough to threaten the lines.  Follow the 50/50 rule by planting trees that grow to 50 feet tall, more than 50 feet away from the power lines.  Before you begin planting, visit for a step by step process for properly planting trees and shrubs.

During storm restoration, who will perform the tree work and will wood or brush be removed?

In the event of a storm, severe weather or immediate hazard to safety or service, our tree contractors work with our line crews to remove downed trees, so that power can be restored safely and quickly.  We do not perform wood clean up or brush removal of any debris resulting from the storm damage to our system. 

How often does CMP trim trees in towns and cities throughout the service area?

We perform routine Tree Care on a 5 year cycle so that approximately 20% of the system is cleared every year. Once we have completed the entire cycle then we will start at the beginning again. In addition, we perform Tree Care as needed when trees are deemed “hazardous” to the system. These situations are identified when we are inspecting the system or performing restoration work.