tree crewA right-of-way agreement gives access to a strip of land so that utilities (electric, telephone, cable, water, and gas) may build, operate, and maintain service lines. This right-of-way helps us deliver reliable electricity. Tree-related outages account for 15 percent of service disruption. The clearing of lines increases service reliability. 

FreeState employs one dedicated tree crew at each district location. Every tree that grows too close to lines is a source of loss, and that means wasted energy.

Members do have a few responsibilities when it comes to vegetation management on their property.

Members are asked to call the cooperative if they observe a problem along the lines. Our crew can only address issues that they are aware of. We rely on our members to help identify problem areas. 

Providing Access
We work with members as much as we can when it comes to logistics, and planning tree work. However, it is important for all members to update and maintain contact information. 

The tree crew can be called in to clear the right-of-way after an outage, but the crew is dedicated full time to the system. This means a lot of jobs are done to take precautionary or proactive measures. 

When pruning or doing clearing work we: 

  • Mark trees with a red ribbon to indicate removal. 

  • Remove trees rather than just trimming them to the point they appear “butchered.”

  • Work with members who have trees they want to keep because our priority is not only clearing lines but being considerate of members’ property. 

  • Prune to keep tree health in mind. 

  • They are always willing to help a member choose an appropriate tree to plant in the right location. 

  • Trim trees up to the meter. Any lines or infrastructure beyond the meter is the responsibility of the member. 

  • Leave your property as clean as possible.

We can deliver wood chips to members directly. If a member is interested in chips, contact the office to be put on the list. We make an effort to accommodate any requests. 

Why is clearing is necessary?
Trees make our communities beautiful, but tree limbs and power lines are not a good combination. FreeState Electric Cooperative’s distribution lines carry our members’ electricity and must be kept clear to protect their safety and keep their electric service reliable. By trimming trees, FEC reduces safety hazards and electrical outages.

FreeState employees crews at each office location that are trained professionals. In fact, the cooperative employees both certified arborists and certified chemical applicators. 

NEVER attempt to clear the lines yourself.

NEVER climb a tree with branches near lines.

NEVER touch power lines.

Contact with power lines could result in serious injury or death.