Friday, January 7, 2011

Tree Trimming Info

Nick Newman, our Vice President of Construction and Maintenance, responds to some recent letters about our tree trimming policy in today's Commercial Appeal...

Letter: Trees trimmed to maintain service

Two recent letters have concerned tree trimming practices by MLGW contractors.

To ensure reliable service for our customers, MLGW maintains an ongoing, year-round tree-trimming program. This policy is in accordance with the 1992 Shelby County Tree Trimming Ordinance #93 and the current National Electric Safety Code. Trees are trimmed an average of once every three to five years.

Our contracted crews regularly trim trees that potentially pose a hazard to a power line or obstruct a street light. The crew must gain enough clearance to accommodate the tree's growth during this time. The amount of clearance needed is determined on-site and depends on several factors, such as how close the tree is to the power line and the type of line involved. Depending on the types of lines affected, MLGW must create a space of either 10 or 15 feet of clearance on either side of the line. This can result in substantial trimming.

In the case of your Dec. 31 letter writer ("MLGW shows no mercy to red maple"), MLGW's contractor investigated and agreed with the customer that their crews did not properly trim the tree. As a result, the contractor has contacted the customer to replace it. We apologize for this situation.

MLGW has a Trade-A-Tree program. If an MLGW representative decides a tree is damaged or unsightly as a result of necessary utility trimming, MLGW will remove that tree with the property owner's permission. In certain cases, the tree can be replaced with another tree with low maturity height.

Customers with questions or concerns about tree trimming can call MLGW at 320-1438.

Nick Newman
Vice president of construction and maintenance, Memphis Light, Gas and Water

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