Right of Way
In order for CREC to deliver safe and reliable power, our Right of Way Department trims trees and maintains vegetation around our equipment and rights of way. Our goal is to cut and trim only the trees necessary to maintain reliable service for all our members and to use methods that preserve the health of the trees.
CREC is a "Tree Line USA Utility" as named by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Line USA is a national program that recognizes public and private utilities for pursuing practices that protect and enhance America's urban trees. As a partnership between the Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, Tree Line USA promotes delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community forests.
CREC achieved the designation by meeting five core requirements: (1) following industry standards for quality tree care, (2) providing annual employee training in the best tree-care practices, (3) sponsoring a tree-planting and public education program, (4) maintaining a tree-based energy conservation program, and (5) participating in an Arbor Day Celebration.
Our Right of Way Standards
Many species of trees can grow 15 ft. or more in just a few years. CREC strives to remove or prune trees in a timely manner to obtain a 30 ft. wide right-of-way path below nearly 3,000 miles of overhead power lines.
To maintain tree health, CREC uses specialists trained in up-to-date tree care standards. To reduce the risk of insect or disease damage and minimize branch regrowth into power lines, pruning cuts are made at a branch that allows cuts to callus over quickly with new bark.
Right-of-way tree removal is a critical component of safety and reliability. During extreme weather events, trees may fall on power lines, causing outages and very hazardous conditions. Tree limbs close to power lines can even be hazardous on days with modest winds. When branches touch power lines, the tree can carry potentially fatal electric current to people and animals that contact the tree.
To maintain electric safety and reliability, permission to prune is not required. However, during routine maintenance, a courtesy postcard will be mailed to your home, or a CREC representative will leave a door card. Large trees growing near or under power lines should be removed. Trees and bushes which restrict access to utility poles should also be removed. Unless we encounter a dangerous or emergency situation, a representative will notify you when possible before removing a yard tree or previously trimmed tree.
We value our community partnerships and work to communicate our tree management practices to schools, homeowners' groups, and individuals, and support school and community Arbor Day projects and events.
Planting tips and safety
Never trim trees near power lines. Trimming trees near electrical equipment is dangerous - it's never a do-it-yourself job. Electricity can jump from the lines to your body, your tools, or nearby branches, causing injury or even death.
If you see trees growing near our lines and facilities, please call our offices at 800-392-3709, x4398, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Avoid the Big Green Box. Stay away from pad-mounted transformers (the big green box). While safe, they are not meant for touching, climbing, or playing. Pad-mounted transformers carry high voltages of electricity that service many homes in our communities.
Right tree, right place
Every tree species has a different height, width, and spacing needs. When you plant a tree, choose the right tree for the right place and purpose. Carefully match your tree choice with site conditions and desired functions. Consider its proximity to other trees, buildings, and utilities (above and below ground), shade, screen, wildlife cover, etc.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) suggests there are no "perfect" or "universal" trees. Problems can result from improper tree location or unwise tree species selection for the site. A tree desirable for one location could be unsuitable for another.
The Arbor Day Foundation and MDC can recommend tree species to fit your needs. Trees are a long-term investment. Finding the correct tree for any given spot will help avoid electric hazards and future problems.
The tree planting guide can help you determine appropriate tree sizes and placement for electric safety and reliability, plant viability, and long-term environmental benefits. Plan ahead and "plant the right tree in the right place."
To learn more about tree care practices and species visit arborday.org
Energy-Saving Trees, a program of the Arbor Day Foundation, is designed to provide homeowners with trees to plan in the right place for maximum impact on energy use. Ready to plant some trees in your yard? Click here to use the Arbor Day Foundations' free Community Canopy tool to see how you can save energy and money by strategically planting trees to maximize their environmental benefits.