Detroit Edison Announces Tree-Trimming Schedule

Line clearance program improves electric service reliability

Jan 04, 2010, 15:32 ET from Detroit Edison

DETROIT, Jan. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit Edison line-clearance crews will be working in 46 Southeastern Michigan communities in January and February, continuing their year-round effort to maintain service reliability by keeping trees and branches away from power lines.

"We trim trees for two very important reasons - to ensure our customers have dependable electric service and to prevent safety hazards," said Vince Dow, DTE Energy vice president of Distribution Operations. "By maintaining a 10-foot clearance between tree branches and our power lines, we can significantly reduce tree-related power outages."

Tree interference is responsible for about two-thirds of the power outages that occur during storms. That's why Detroit Edison employs more than 500 professional tree trimmers to maintain the estimated 3.5 million trees in its service territory.

The company's tree-trimming crews follow International Society of Arboriculture standards to maintain the health of trees. The company has received the National Tree Line USA Award for quality tree care for 15 consecutive years.

"Our goals are to keep customers' trees alive, healthy and out of harm's way," explained Dow. "The directional pruning method we use removes only the branches that pose a threat to power lines, and helps ensure that future growth is directed away from power lines. After we trim, trees are less susceptible to disease and insect problems, and because they're stronger, they're more resistant to high winds and heavy ice."

Detroit Edison removes from customer property the small branches and debris that result from its tree trimming work. Larger trimmed branches are cut into firewood length and left behind for customer use or disposal. Detroit Edison will not, however, remove diseased tree debris.

Debris caused by a severe storm also is not removed. In the aftermath of a storm, Detroit Edison crews must work quickly to remove downed wire hazards and restore power to thousands of customers. They will cut broken and uprooted trees in order to reach locations that need repair. In such emergency situations, customers are advised to contact their local Department of Public Works, trash collector or a professional tree-removal company for advice on disposing of debris.

Customers are responsible for keeping tree branches away from their service drops, the lines that run from utility poles to their homes. Although the voltage running through the service drop is significantly lower than that of pole-to-pole wires, Detroit Edison recommends that customers hire a professional tree service to do this trimming. Visit to find more information about line clearance and proper tree planting.

In January and February, line-clearance crews will continue or begin work in the following communities:

    Huron County
    Bloomfield Township
    Gore Township
    Huron Township
    Port Hope
    Rubicon Township

    Lapeer County
    Arcadia Township
    Burnside Township
    Elba Township
    Goodland Township
    North Branch Township
    Oregon Township

    Livingston County
    Howell Township
    Oceola Township

    Macomb County
    St. Clair Shores
    Shelby Township

    Monroe County
    Ash Township
    Frenchtown Township

    Oakland County
    Beverly Hills
    Bingham Farms
    Bloomfield Hills
    Commerce Lake
    Farmington Hills
    Orion Township

    St. Clair County
    Emmett Township
    Kenockee Township
    Riley Township
    Wales Township

    Washtenaw County
    Ann Arbor Township
    Ypsilanti Township

    Wayne County
    Dearborn Heights
    Garden City
    Grosse Pointe
    Grosse Pointe Farms
    Grosse Pointe Park
    Grosse Pointe Shores
    Grosse Pointe Woods
    Redford Township

SOURCE Detroit Edison