The Russellville Electric Plant Board is starting on a tree-trimming project to help make sure its customers have the best reliability possible.
Usually the electricity provider does its tree maintenance from November through April, but is getting an early start this year.
“Because of the extent of the trimming we need to do, we thought it would be best to get it taken care of now,” said Robert White, the director of the EPB. “We don’t know what the winter is going to be like and some of these trees need work now before they become a problem if we get snow and ice.”
In the past, the EPB has had the goal of trimming about a third of the trees in the city each year, but over the past few years it has become necessary to trim year-round in order to keep the primary (uninsulated) lines clear and avoid interruptions.
“We just want to make sure and keep the trees out of the lines,” White said. “And we want our customers to be fully aware of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”
One of the primary areas the EPB will be working on in in the Brookhaven subdivision.
“We’re really concerned about that neighborhood, because there are some trees that, if there was a bad storm, could really cause a lot of damage,” White said.
White said that the Electric Plant Board will do its best to keep customers’ property safe during the tree trimming, but if any damage does occur, the EPB will make it right.
“We’ll do it at our expense, too,” White said.
Where a tree is located beside a primary power line, the EPB will trim only the portion of the tree that creates the possibility of interruption of service. This practice is normally referred to as “side trimming.” The trim will be made to a minimum of 10 feet from the primary line or the main trunk of the tree, which is ever nearer the line.
When a tree is located directly below the primary line, the EPB will trim only the portion of the tree that creates the possibility of interruption of service. This trimming is normally referred to as “V trimming.” The trim will be made as low as possible and at a width that will provide 10 feet of clearance on either side of the primary line.