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Right-of-Way Guidelines

Trees planted too close to the power lines can significantly impact Southwest Iowa REC's ability to deliver safe and reliable electricity. A clear right-of-way is essential.

Trees growing in or around the power lines are the number one cause of blinks and outages on our system. For our member-owners, this means inconvenient interruption in service. For us, it means a trouble call for our line crews and an added expense.

Both the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) require electric cooperatives to have effective Tree Trimming, Right-of-Way (ROW) Clearing and Maintenance Programs in place.

Southwest Iowa REC will maintain ROW clearance over, along, and across the premises where the power lines are located. Cycles and methods are determined using best judgement, knowledge of local factors, and industry standards. The Cooperative uses contractors and employees to perform ROW work.

ROW Program consists of a combination of:

  • Tree and brush pruning
  • Removal of hazardous trees
  • Chemical treatment on smaller trees in ROW or to impede future growth

How You Can Help

Member-owners can help by trimming trees and underbrush that could grow to interfere with ROW guidelines. For safety reasons, don't attempt to remove or trim trees already near or touching the lines. Call the Cooperative office and we will ensure that a crew takes action and prevents possible power loss. When crews are on your property, please allow them to remove trees and underbrush near power lines.

When planning future landscaping, consider the mature size of trees and shrubs to determine a proper planting distance. The planting guideline below can help you choose the best vegetation for you and your Cooperative. Together, we can find solutions that allow trees to flourish while maintaining a clear ROW for power lines.

Click here to download Authorization Form.


Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place

Trees beautify our neighborhoods, and when planted in the right spot, can even help lower energy bills. But the wrong tree in the wrong place can be a hazard… especially to power lines.

Always remember before you dig to call Iowa One Call (811) to locate underground utilities - It's the law! 

Guideline on how close different sizes of trees can be planted near powerlines.


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