Electric Distribution Forestry

Trees, Plants, and Power Lines

Our mission is to provide safe, reliable, and economic electric service. One fallen tree can cut power to an entire neighborhood. That’s why we work hard to keep our power lines and poles clear and in good condition.

The links below will provide you with helpful information about what you and Dominion can do to maintain reliable electric service.

Why does Dominion trim trees and manage plant growth?

Trees and limbs are the leading cause of power outages. One fallen tree or limb can knock out power to an entire neighborhood. That’s why we must manage the trees and vegetation that grow near our lines. This involves pruning and removing trees along our lines on a scheduled cycle.

Additionally, Dominion works with regulators regarding vegetation management. Dominion is regulated by the State Corporation Commission in Virginia and by the North Carolina Utilities Commission in North Carolina. They have guidelines related to managing vegetation and trees near our lines.

  • Here's more detailed information about specific SCC guidelines in the State of Virginia.
  • In North Carolina, Dominion is regulated by the North  Carolina Utilities Commission, and our forestry plans are reviewed by them.
Who removes debris?
  • Dominion removes limb debris and brush associated with our routine tree trimming and line clearing in residential areas.
  • When we cut diseased, dead, dying, or leaning trees or limbs near power lines, we will often remove smaller limbs or debris and leave the larger trunks at the property.
  • During outage events, such as storms, Dominion is focused on restoring power quickly and safely.  Therefore, we do not remove debris that is created during these events.
  • When, at your request, we remove trees that are close to the line, the debris remains the responsibility of the individual requesting the removal.
Is it safe for me to trim my own trees?

When in doubt, give us a call. For your safety, you should never attempt to trim any plants or trees that are touching or growing near power lines. If you wish to trim trees or limbs that are near a line or may contact a power line when trimmed, call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357)

Work near power lines. If you or a contractor are doing work at your home and need to get near lines, the High Voltage Safety Act requires you to contact Dominion.  In the state of Virginia, non-certified workers must maintain a minimum distance of 10 feet from power lines. In North Carolina, manual work may be done at least 6 feet from power lines; work with mechanical equipment (chainsaws, cranes, trucks, etc.) must be done at least 10 feet from power lines.

Trees on lines. If a tree or limb is touching a power line, call Dominion to evaluate whether it should be removed. If a limb has fallen onto a line, call Dominion to remove it. For safety, do not attempt to remove any trees or tree limbs yourself.  What can a 7,200-volt power line do?

IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: Always assume downed lines and any nearby objects are energized and dangerous. If you see fallen lines on your property or in roadways, stay away and contact Dominion immediately at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

What and where can I plant near power lines?

Prevent future problems by planting the right trees in the right place.  In order to provide you with reliable electric service, Dominion keeps the areas near our power lines clear of trees and plants.

How and Why We Use Herbicides

In order to provide you with safe and reliable electric service, Dominion uses herbicides to manage tree and plant growth in the areas near our power lines.  Keeping these areas clear allows us to restore outages quickly, maintain our lines, and keep the lights on in your community. These herbicides are EPA-approved and non-restricted use, similar to products available in retail stores.

>> Herbicide FAQs
More Frequently Asked Questions
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