Utility Tree Trimming Program
Estes Park's location and environment make it a beautiful place to live and work. Trees are a critical part of the environment and play a vital role in the community, shaping the way people think of the area. However, when allowed to grow freely, especially in and along utility right-of-ways, trees can become a major cause of power and communications outages. These outages can occur at any time but become especially prevalent during high winds, ice and snow, and thunderstorms. The vegetation management program enables Power and Communications to protect the environment, provide for the public's safety, and ensure economical and reliable electric utility services that are compliant with proven and innovative industry best practices. Power and Communications updated the Vegetation Management Procedures in 2018.
Power and Communications' goal is to provide safe and reliable electric and broadband service to its customers. The tree trimming program helps the department meet this goal. In order to do so, tree crews execute proper clearing and trimming techniques by placing emphasis on "natural trimming" to laterals (side trim, drop crotch, overhang). The lateral branch trimming technique is a recommended best practice of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).
The basic trimming criteria are as follows:
- Side Trim: Trees growing along the side, into, or toward electric power lines or utility space shall be trimmed.
- Trim Drop Crotch: Trees directly under and growing into electric power lines should be removed or trimmed.
Power and Communications strives to have an open communication policy with customers in regard to any tree trimming work on their property. Trimming schedules and areas are dynamic and are determined in response to power outages, visual inspections, and customer reports.
A member of the tree trimming crew will leave a door hanger or flyer notifying residents of tree trimming work to be done in the near future.
The customer tree replacement program has been discontinued.