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North Star Electric Cooperative strives to maintain and improve the safety and reliability of your electric service. An essential part of providing safe, reliable service at a reasonable cost is the establishment and maintenance of a clear power line corridor. Proper vegetation management consists of removing trees, mowing underbrush, controlling vegetation growth, trimming limbs that extend into the right of way and cutting what is classified as danger trees. A danger tree is a tree that, if it fell, would hit the main power line.

When tree limbs grow too close to power lines they can cause damage or interrupt your service, causing a blink or an outage. Trees located in a utility right-of-way can also increase the time it takes to restore power after a major storm that may have damaged power poles and lines. When a tree limb comes into contact with a power line, it can also pose a safety hazard, due to the possibility of shock injury or fatal electrocution to a person touching or climbing a tree.

Trees can add tremendous value to our homes and communities. Besides being a source of beauty in our landscapes they provide food and shelter for wildlife, cooling for our homes, cleansing of our air and a multitude of other benefits. However, trees growing near power lines present some real challenges. Each year, North Star crews do a visual inspection of our power lines to identify areas where tree clearing or trimming may be needed.


What is the right-of-way corridor for an electric line?
A right-of-way (ROW) corridor for an electric line is a strip of land that an electric utility uses to construct, maintain, repair or replace an overhead or underground power line. The corridor allows the utility to provide clearance from trees, buildings and other structures that could interfere with line installation, maintenance and operation. North Star Electric Cooperative requires a 15-foot clearance on each side of the poles.
Will my trees and brush need to be cut?
In most cases, yes. Our experienced line crew can visit with you about any concerns you may have. Call your local office with questions.
What can I plant and where?
The cooperative believes trees are an important part of our environment and community. To avoid dangerous situations and threats to our system, North Star planting trees in the right place. As you landscape your property, remember to "look up," and use the guide above for planting near overhead power lines. For underground lines on your property, maintain a clearance of 10 feet on either side of the line. This provides room for utility maintenance equipment to access and repair lines when necessary.
What can be done to reduce tree-related outages?
We can't prevent bad weather, but we can reduce outages caused by falling limbs and trees. Our line crew works year-round to maintain the right-of-way. How much they trim depends on the tree. If it's fast growing, the crew will trim branches more than they would for slow-growing trees.
What happens to the trees and limbs they remove?
Please understand that you own the byproducts. Upon your request, the cooperative is willing to assist in clean-up and wood chipping but cannot cost-effectively haul away the remains. All byproducts will be left on your property.
What should I do if I think I have a tree threatening a co-op line?
If you have a tree on your property that could cause a power outage, contact your local office. We recommend marking the tree with a flag or paint. Our line crew will visit your property for an evaluation.