Trees are a large part of the natural beauty of the Oregon Coast. There are literally millions of trees in our 700-square-mile service area. And as beautiful as these trees are, they do present potential problems.
So when you see our crews out there trimming trees, please remember that we’re doing it so our customers can have more reliable electric service.
About half of the unscheduled power outages that occur in our District are the result of trees coming into contact with power lines. Sometimes a tree will drop a limb onto a power line. Sometimes a tree will fall onto a power line. Sometimes the wind will push a tree into power lines.
We have full-time tree crews that work year-round to trim trees around our lines. We try to trim around every set of lines every five years, but nature does an excellent job generating new tree growth, and tree management keeps our crews very busy.
Why not underground all of our lines? There are a number of problems with underground power lines, not the least of which is cost. It costs about four to five times as much to install lines underground.
Lines that are underground do fail, quite often for the same reason as above ground lines. Trees spread out under underground lines the same way they do above ground, and their root systems can cause enormous damage to underground utility systems. There’s also a lot of geologic instability in our coastal area that makes undergrounding impractical in many areas.
Your Help Is Important
When it comes to planting near power lines, help prevent tree problems by planting wisely. Check with your local nursery or arborist to find out which type of tree will grow best in your neighborhood, and how big a new tree is likely to grow. Below are some guidelines about how far from power lines different trees should be planted.
No tree zone: no trees or oleanders within 25 feet of power lines.
Small tree zone: plant trees less than 25 feet in height/spread at least 25 feet from overhead power lines.
Medium tree zone: plant trees 25 to 40 feet in height/spread at least 40 feet from overhead power lines.
Large tree zone: plant trees larger than 40 feet in height/spread at least 60 feet from overhead power lines.
Report a Tree Issue
Tree related issue? Use our Report Tree Issue form to let us know about it. We’ll review the information and let you know what we recommend.
If the tree or branch is creating an immediate safety hazard, please call 877–265–3211 to report the situation.