About tree trimming
Tree trimming is a vital part to ensuring the reliability of CenterPoint Energy's electric system. CenterPoint Energy has permission to trim trees in the communities it serves through franchise and easement agreements. However, CenterPoint Energy and its trimming contractors always make it a point to give proper notification to property owners about our tree trimming activities before the process begins.
The following is a projected list of areas with tree trimming activity scheduled through June 2021. Schedules are subject to change depending on weather or other factors. All routes are approximate. Actual routes may differ from what is shown.
Tree Line USA utility
Since 2009, CenterPoint Energy has annually received the Tree Line USA Utility designation by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to public education about the importance of trees and quality tree care.
CenterPoint Energy is recognized for its tree-friendly efforts, including: training tree trimming crews about proper tree pruning practices; educating the public about appropriate tree species for planting near utility lines; educating customers about energy efficient landscapes to reduce home cooling and heating; sharing proper tree-pruning practices with customers; and sponsoring community tree planting programs and/or participating in Arbor Day events.
Plant trees to conserve energy
Energy costs in the cooling season can be cut by up to 30% if half of the roof is shaded by trees, and shading the air conditioner will also improve its efficiency by up to 10%. Planting the right tree in the right place is key to energy savings and protecting the electric system.
- Consider the seasonal sun angles when planting for sun shade.
Buildings with large south or west exposures need shade mid to late afternoon.
- Plant deciduous trees to the southeast and southwest of the home for shade.
Choose and place trees to cast the maximum amount of summer shade and the minimum of winter shade. Make sure the trees are placed far enough away from the house as to not interfere with the structure as the trees mature
- Shrubs and small trees can be planted to shade air conditioners.
However, be careful not to plant too close to the unit as to block airflow. Keep units free of leaves and needles.
- Medium to large trees provide excellent cooling because they shade both home and yard.
Choose plants whose branches will grow low to the ground. Deciduous trees planted to cool a home in warm weather will lose their leaves to allow the radiation of the sun to help heat the structure during cold weather.
- Properly placed trees and shrubs can help reduce heating costs by blocking winter winds.
Conserve energy by planting a combination of evergreen trees and shrubs on the side of your home that blocks the coldest winter winds.
- What should I consider when planting a new tree?
Please give careful consideration to your tree's growth characteristics to avoid future problems with nearby power lines by making sure you plant the right tree in the right place. Don't forget to Call Before You Dig by calling 811 to have underground utility lines marked to avoid striking them.
Plant trees or shrubs at these minimum distances from electric distribution lines:10 feet for trees or shrubs maturing to 15 feet20 feet for trees maturing to 25 feet30 feet for trees maturing to 35 feet
Never plant the following trees within 50 feet of power lines:MapleOakAshSycamoreWhite Pine
View our tree planting guide (PDF) to learn more about planting the right tree in the right place and to find species that can be planted near power lines.
- Why does CenterPoint Energy clear vegetation away from power lines?
To protect our power lines, prevent outages and ultimately keep you safe, we must trim and maintain the foliage in and around these lines. Our goal is to increase reliability of service by properly pruning and maintaining trees. Training them to grow away from power lines ultimately leads to fewer downed lines during storms.
- Who do I contact if I notice there are trees near my power lines?
To avoid serious injury, do not attempt to remove limbs or trim trees that are on or near power lines. Contact us to report a tree problem near your home or business. If you feel the condition is urgent, please call 800-227-1376.
- How will I know when and which trees are going to be trimmed?
After the contracted tree trimming company determines which trees are causes for concern, they will inform you of the work that needs to be done. The contractor will go door-to-door in the area to be worked to notify residents and discuss details. If the property owner is not there, a door hanger with details and a number to call with questions will be left at the residence. You will receive notice at least two weeks before the tree trimming is scheduled to be performed. Quarterly maps will also be posted on our website of the areas where tree trimming is taking place.
- Who performs the tree trimming?
CenterPoint Energy uses three main tree trimming contractors, Halter, and ShadeTree. Our tree trimming crews follow approved trimming standards that were established by the Arbor Day Foundation and are designed to preserve the health of the trees. Read more about CenterPoint Energy's tree trimming standards through the Tree Line USA program at www.arborday.org/treelineusa.
- How often does CenterPoint Energy trim trees from its circuits?
CenterPoint Energy prioritizes areas based on the frequency of tree-related outages and their effect on customers. On average, tree trimming is typically done on a four-year cycle, but in some cases, certain areas might need additional trimming before the four-year period is over. Unless it is a matter of public safety, emergency or an imminent threat of a power outage, we always make it a point to give proper notification to property owners about our tree trimming activities before the process begins.
- What is Right-of-Way?
Right-of-way (ROW) is a strip of land where some of the property owner's legal rights have been granted to a utility company. A right-of-way agreement between a company and a property owner is also called an easement and is usually filed in public records with property deeds. The right-of-way enables a utility company to operate, inspect, repair, maintain or replace power lines, transformers or other equipment on property owned by others.
Rights-of-way must always be kept free of structures and other physical obstructions, including trees. Anything that is placed into a right-of-way contrary to the terms of the easement is called an encroachment. CenterPoint Energy allows the property owner to use the easement area within certain guidelines which generally allow the property owner to continue with any agricultural, recreational or other activities that pose no problem or threat to the long-term integrity of the electric system.
- What guidelines does CenterPoint Energy follow when clearing limbs and trees away from electrical equipment?
CenterPoint Energy performs tree trimming in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and its administrative rule on the subject. CenterPoint Energy uses pruning practices that are recommended by the National Arbor Day Foundation. These practices avoid topping, tipping, removing branch collars and leaving long stubs. Proper tree care ultimately increases reliability of service by maintaining healthy trees with less decay and structural weakness, resulting in fewer downed power lines during storms.
- How do I identify and protect ash trees?
Learn about how to identify an Ash tree.
An Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a non-native pest that is killing Ash trees across America. If you have an Ash tree and you want to save it, it is important to begin the treatment process now to protect it. To protect Ash trees worth saving, it is recommended they be treated before an area is infested. Once trees are infested, it may be too late to save them.
Download a helpful guide on what options are available for treating trees.