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We follow the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations (ANSI A300) for tree trimming—supported by arborists and other tree care experts. This method helps direct future growth away from power lines while leaving remaining limbs in tact.

ANSI A300 trimming may appear drastic at first, but results in healthier trees long-term since fewer cuts are used. Affected areas callous quickly, reducing decay and allowing for future trimming that may be less noticeable.

Tree Trimming: Safety, Reliability & Healthy Trees

Questions & Answers

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During scheduled maintenance, SCE&G trims limbs that vigorously rub against the service line running to homes and businesses. Limbs not vigorously rubbing against this wire are not trimmed.

SCE&G does not cut down live or dead trees on the service line. We will disconnect the service line at no cost to allow property owners to safely remove such limbs or trees.

A minimum of 20 feet is trimmed above the primary distribution power line, while a minimum of 10 feet is trimmed to the side and below distribution wires.

These distances provide the necessary clearance to safely operate the lines and reduce the chance of rain, wind or ice pushing or breaking limbs into the lines.

ANSI A300 trimming only removes limbs growing toward the lines or other service equipment. SCE&G does not remove limbs that are growing away from the wire in order to give the tree a particular shape.

Shaping or “rounding over” of trees can actually be very unhealthy for the tree by leaving stubs that can result in decay.

Consult your local nursery or view the following resources to help with your landscape planning:

The Public Service Commission of SC recognizes the importance of SCE&G properly maintaining vegetation around its power lines and requires that such maintenance be performed. Vegetation, including trees, brush and vines, can threaten your safety and the safety of SCE&G crews if they grow too close to power lines. Vegetation also causes power outages and limits SCE&G’s access to its lines to make necessary repairs.

SCE&G regularly maintains vegetation along its power lines for safety and service reliability. Serious injury or death can occur if energized lines are touched or if an object is touched that is in contact with a line. If you have concerns about vegetation around the power lines, please contact SCE&G at 1-800-251-7234.

SCE&G trims trees following the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations, ANSI A300. This standard is supported by the International Society of Arboriculture and has been adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

SCE&G has certified arborists on staff to advise its contractors on how best to utilize ANSI A300 trimming.

SCE&G employs trained professionals and contractors who must be OSHA certified to trim trees around power lines. Untrained individuals should not attempt to trim trees near power lines for risk of serious or fatal injury. Approaching power lines is not only deadly, it's against the law.

According to Federal Regulations, you must have a minimum clearance of 10 feet when working near power lines. If you are concerned about trees or vegetation growing too close to power lines, please contact SCE&G for an evaluation 1-800-251-7234.

SCE&G does not clean up debris from dead trees nor debris resulting from storms; such debris is the property owner’s responsibility. SCE&G does clean up tree limbs and brush in yards following routine circuit maintenance. We generally leave tree limbs and brush on the right-of-way in non-yard settings; the debris is often mowed or cut up with saws, but otherwise it is left to deteriorate. We do not leave debris in ditches or water ways.

Tall growing trees or brush in a right-of-way that does not cross the yards of property owners is often cut or mowed and allowed to re-grow to a height of 3 to 6 feet. After one growing season, the brush is typically treated with herbicides to eliminate it from the right-of-way and convert the right-of-way to a grass/forbs/herb cover type.