We all know that trees are one of the top reasons for utility service interruptions. Utility pruning programs are necessary to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of vital services, such as electricity and other utility services, as well as protect roads, highways, sidewalks, buildings, and more.
Clearly the best way to deal with trees and utilities is to plant smaller-growing tree species whenever near (or under) power lines. But since this isn’t always the case, utility pruning is undertaken on potentially dangerous trees to maintain an acceptable level of safety, prevent the loss of critical services, and ensure the intended use of the facility.
Utility pruning is often perceived differently from other types of pruning because the objectives are different. But the tools and methods are similar and utility arborists are expected to adhere to the same professional standards as other arborists.
An increasing number of utilities follow the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A300 pruning standards, which promote directional pruning methods to minimize pruning stress and focus on tree health while obtaining necessary clearance from power lines.