When trees grow into or near power lines, they can cause power interruptions to you and your neighborhood. FPL’s strategy to maintain power lines free of tree growth is based on a consistent, planned trimming cycle. Trimming the entire length of a power line on a regular basis – instead of trimming individual locations – ensures the integrity of the power line. If a tree condition needs attention outside of regular maintenance, FPL will let you know by leaving an inspection notice card with a scheduled work date.
How FPL trims trees
Once a line is selected for maintenance as part of the scheduled program:
- The entire length of the power line is checked for vegetation issues.
- Trees and any other vegetation that are in the direct path of the power line are identified for maintenance. FPL will not trim every tree in close proximity to the line. It is the customer’s responsibility to have the other trees trimmed.
- FPL’s qualified tree-trimming contractors perform the work using “directional pruning.” This method is a professional technique of pruning trees away from power lines, removing entire branches and limbs up to the main trunk of the tree, where trees normally shed them. Future tree growth is then directed away from the power lines and re-growth is reduced. Directional pruning does not interfere with the tree’s natural defense system that protects it from decay and is supported by years of experience and research.
- Trees that interfere with FPL facilities and cannot be pruned without dramatically affecting the shape or health of the tree are completely removed. Trees with high growth rates, exotic weed trees and trees in poor health are prime targets for removal. The customer is notified in advance of the tree’s removal and, as a courtesy, consent is obtained before removing the tree.
- After a tree is trimmed or removed, the remaining debris is collected before the end of the next day except during any restoration efforts immediately following a storm.
While only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines, you can always do your part in making sure that trees and other vegetation do not become an issue by:
- Routinely trimming the trees on your property that are away from power lines. Do not wait for a hurricane or any other major event as the debris from the trimming may become dangerous with storm-force winds. Never attempt to trim any vegetation growing near or on any overhead power lines.
- When selecting which trees to plant in your yard, always be sure to plant the “right tree” in the “right place.” FPL offers information on recommended trees to plant in your area along with help in considering where to plant them with our “Right Tree, Right Place” program.
When our line-clearing contractors are trimming trees in your area, you may be eligible for free mulch.
Once FPL’s line-clearing professionals have completed work in your area, they will use a wood chipper to grind the tree limbs and branches into mulch. This type of mulch is different from store-bought mulch, which is treated and made from one kind of tree. The quality and consistency of this mulch varies considerably, depending on the types of trees and leaves removed during the tree work.
FPL does not recommend this mulch for aesthetic use in formal landscape beds, but rather for use around trees and other plants to:
- Maintain moisture
- Maintain soil temperature
- Reduce weeds and grasses
- Provide nutrients to the soil, and
- Reduce wind erosion from uncovered soils.
Orders for mulch are filled based on a minimum of one truckload. This is equal to 14 cubic yards of mulch, which is approximately 130 bags from a retail store or 25 wheelbarrow loads.
To order free mulch, call the phone number on the letter or door card you received to request an application.