Union Power Cooperative employees regularly inspect our system for trees that seriously threaten our power lines and, thus, our ability to provide safe and reliable service. We occasionally find diseased, weak, dying, leaning, damaged or dead trees. These risk trees outside the Cooperative’s rights-of-way have the potential to cause outages if they fall onto our system. When found, they are marked and then cut down to eliminate the threat to power lines.
Common Risk Tree Problems
In our area, the pine tree is the biggest concern. Browning needles beginning at the tips and moving inward, shedding of bark and bark beetles are potential problem signs for these pine trees.
Drought compounded with a mild winter stresses the trees where they cannot defend themselves against these beetles.
Fungus is another common ailment of trees. When any type of fungus plagues a tree, it is often a sign that the tree is not very healthy and is dealing with a previous disease or stress. If you have a tree with fungus on its trunk, discuss the situation with a certified arborist, who can determine how to treat it.
How You Can Help
Members can help by identifying and reporting risk trees. If removed before they are fully dead, this helps ensure safety for members and our workers. This also helps maintain power reliability. There is no cost to members to have risk trees cut down; however, removal of the debris is the member’s responsibility.
If you see a risk tree near power lines, please do not attempt to cut it down yourself. Call us at 704-289-3145 and speak to one of our certified arborists, Wil Ortiz (ext. 3323) or Carrie Lorenz-Efird (ext. 3291).