How We Trim
We strive to complete a vegetation maintenance cycle for all communities in our service area every five years in order to provide clearance for power lines.
Download Tree Trimming Map
A blue dot on a tree indicates trimming is planned. A planned removal will be indicated by a blue 'X' on the tree(s). PLEASE NOTE: A red dot on a tree indicates it is a City of Lansing tree that is marked for removal. (The City of Lansing Forestry can be reached at 517-483-4218.)
All vegetation maintenance performed by LBWL crews follows pruning standards approved by the American National Standards for Line Clearance. Our goal is to retain the health of trees and other vegetation, as we clear lines to ensure customer safety and system reliability.
If you have questions about the tree trimming work in your neighborhood, please call 517-702-6068.
Tree Trimming Policy and Procedures
The BWL manages tree and vegetation growth along our electric line right of ways to ensure public and crew safety as well as to provide reliable electric service to our customers. Falling trees and broken limbs are one of the major causes of power outages. Our goal is to maintain a 5 year trimming cycle to reduce the occurrence of tree caused power outages. Additionally, the BWL has tree trimming trouble crews who respond to emergent tree concerns that could affect safety and reliability more immediately. Our tree trimming policy is based on the following:
Figure 1 Best Management Practices – Utility Pruning of Trees, International Society of Arboriculture, page 1
- Our trimming is performed based on Best Management Practices for Utility Pruning of Trees.
- Trimming trees and brush in a manner that will provide adequate clearance from our electric lines for a 5 year period of time. Trimming is performed to remove any limbs in close proximity and overhanging the electric lines. Trimming distance can vary and is based on tree growth cycle in our area. In general , we trim around primary and secondary lines for a 5 year clearance schedule, for both primary and secondary lines, remove all over hanging limbs from both primary and secondary distribution, as well as trim 2’ around service lines. For examples on planting the right tree in the right place see Figure 1 below.
- Trimming or removing of trees outside of the cutting zone is the customer’s responsibility.
Tree Clearing, Wood and Stump Treatment Practices
- Trimming crews will remove wood and brush that is 4 inches in diameter or less during maintenance trimming.
- Wood in excess of 4 inches in diameter will be cut into handling lengths and left on site for the property owner. The customer is responsible for removal.
- Herbicides are applied in strict accordance with state and federal regulations by certified trimmers to treat stumps or brush. Areas in which herbicides are of the greatest benefit are un-maintained with the height of the brush being less than 10’. Stump treatment herbicide application shall be performed on a regular basis as untreated stumps rapidly grow shoots covered with foliage.
Can I have my electric underground?
Customers often inquire about having their electric service being converted to underground to eliminate the need for tree trimming. Installing underground facilities may require boring under or near trees, which can damage the root system of the tree. Please keep in mind, if a tree is planted over our underground service and the service fails, the tree may have to be removed to access the UG cable. Underground electric is also more expensive and not always possible to install.
The BWL does not pick up brush or cut wood into handling lengths as a result of storm damage.
Wood Salvage Contacts
The Lansing Board of Water & Light (LBWL) does not engage and is not responsible for removing wood and/or wood debris during and after tree trimming activities. However, individuals have expressed an interest in salvaging wood and/or wood debris resulting from the LBWL’s tree trimming activities.
Below is a list of individuals available and willing to salvage wood from customer properties. The LBWL makes no representations or recommendations concerning the individuals noted below. Customers are permitted to contact the individuals noted below and make arrangements for any wood and/or wood debris removal at their own risk.