Trees, Safety and Electric Reliability

Everyone likes trees. They give us shade, save energy, clean the air we breathe and look nice.

But when it comes to trees and power lines, proper planning and care are necessary for everyone’s safety and to have electric service you can count on.

For years, Idaho Power has trimmed trees to keep power lines clear. This practice enables us to help maintain safe, reliable service for our customers.

Since 1997, Idaho Power has been recognized annually for this work and community involvement as a “Tree Line USA Utility” by the National Arbor Day Foundation. This award commends the company for caring for the health of trees while removing branches and limbs growing too near power lines.

We Clear Our Lines to Protect You

a power pole covered in vines

Falling trees and tree limbs can cause high-voltage wires to break or sag to the ground, in some cases causing life-threatening situations for motorists and pedestrians.

Vines growing on power poles are dangerous and illegal.

Overgrown tree limbs near power lines can pose a danger to children. A child climbing an overgrown tree may touch a live power line.

We also want to protect our line crews, who often are exposed to dangerous situations when they are called out to repair a tree-related outage during stormy weather.

We Clear Our Lines to Protect Electrical Service

When tree branches touch power lines, they often cause outages. That happens most often in windy, stormy weather.

We estimate that a large amount of our outages are caused by trees that fall onto power lines or limbs that touch power lines. Some outages last only a second, causing digital clocks to blink or computers to lose data; other outages can last much longer.

Many people are not aware there are laws against attaching material, including plants or signs, to utility poles without authorization from the utility (Idaho Code 18-7029 and 18-7031; Oregon Code 164-365). These materials make it hard for us to access poles and power lines if there’s a problem, and they can interfere with electrical service.

Related Information

Tree Information

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