During severe weather, fallen limbs and tree branches create about two-thirds of power outages.
"By trimming to a 10-foot distance between tree branches and our power lines, we can significantly reduce tree-related power outages," said Vince Dow, DTE Energy vice president of Distribution Engineering and Construction.
For the past 15 years, the company has received the National Tree Line USA Award for quality tree care. Tree trim crews follow International Society of Arboriculture standards to maintain the health of trees.
"Our goal is to keep customers' trees alive, healthy and out of harm's way," explained Dow. "The pruning method we use removes only the branches located too close 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.
Once the tree trim work is completed, DTE Energy removes small branches and debris from customer properties. Larger trimmed branches are cut to firewood length and left behind for customer use of disposal. DTE Energy will not remove diseased tree debris.
Like most other utilities nationwide, DTE Energy also does not remove debris caused by severe storms.
"When severe weather hits, our first priority is working quickly to remove downed wire hazards and restore power to customers," Dow said.
In these emergency situations, crews will cut broken and uproot trees in order to reach locations that need repair. Customers are advised to contact their trash collectors or a professional tree removal company for advice on disposing of debris.
Customers are responsible for keeping tree branches away from their service drops, which are the lines that run from utility poles to their home. Although the voltage running through the service drop is much lower than pole-to-pole wires, DTE Energy recommends hiring a professional tree service to complete this trimming. Visit dteenergy.com/treetrim to find more information about line clearance and proper tree planting.
DTE Energy (NYSE: DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio also includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.