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Tree Trimming FAQs

Q: Why is tree trimming necessary?
A: New Hampshire is the second most forested state in the country, and trees are responsible for 25 percent of all of our power interruptions each year—and about 90 percent of power outages during a major storm. Eversource has an aggressive, regularly scheduled tree trimming/vegetation management program to help ensure reliable electric service to you and our other customers.

Q: How does tree trimming help reduce outages before storms occur?
A: Regular trimming helps Eversource to locate and address potential trouble spots that could be impacted by high winds, heavy snow, or ice. It’s also a proactive approach to preventing damage by trees to valuable equipment that could be time-consuming to repair or replace during an outage.

Q: How often does Eversource trim trees?
A: Our scheduled tree maintenance involves about 2,500 of Eversource’s 13,000 miles of electric lines each year—a cycle that’s repeated every 4 to 5 years. 

Q: When is tree work performed?
A: Tree work can occur at any time during the year in order to meet the goals of our various vegetation management programs.

Q: Who performs Eversource’s tree work?
A: Eversource’s certified arborists oversee contractor crews who trim trees to improve electric service reliability and, in some cases, for public safety. During a major power outage, the number of contractors increases substantially in order to restore power to everyone as quickly as possible.

Q: How can I be sure that my trees will be professionally trimmed?
A: Eversource’s professional contractor crews follow proper tree pruning techniques recommended by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI A300 – Utility Pruning Standards) and the International Society of Arboriculture, which ensure correct, healthy pruning practices.

Q: If trees on my property haven’t caused a problem recently, why do you need to trim them?
A: They are either encroaching on Eversource’s wire clearance specifications, or may be weak or diseased. Eversource’s proactive, systematic approach to vegetation management is designed to reduce the frequency and duration of tree-related outages by addressing potential trouble areas before they happen.

Q: Why do you need to prune my trees but not my neighbor’s trees?
A: Most likely, it’s because your neighbor’s trees meet our wire clearance specifications, which are trees having no limbs that are within 8 feet to the side, 10 feet below, and 15 feet above the wires.

Q: What are my rights when you need to trim trees that are on my property?
A: Before we begin any work on trees located on your property, Eversource’s tree trimming contractors will contact you in person or in writing, and will be glad to meet with you ahead of time to discuss the work to be done.

Q: Once I agree to a tree trimming request, when should I expect tree crews to arrive?
A: Generally, within 30 days. Schedules are based on when crews will be located in your area.

Q: How will I know that the tree trimming contractors at my house are working for Eversource?
A: All supervisors for Eversource’s contractors have a Eversource vendor badge (individual contractor employees, however, do not). If you have any concerns, call us at 1–800–362–7764.

Q: What preparations should I make before the tree trimming work begins?
A: If they are in the area in which the work will take place, please mark locations of wells and any sprinkler, irrigation or septic systems. In addition, please move any vehicles and lawn or garden equipment from the work area, keep young children at a safe distance, and make sure dogs and other animals are leashed or secured.

Q: While you’re trimming on my property, can I ask you to do additional work, such as branches that hang dangerously over my house or driveway?
A: Since the services provided by our contractor crews are paid by all Eversource customers, any specially requested work on your property must be done by a private contractor. For a list of certified contractors/arborists in your area, visit the New Hampshire Arborists Association.

Q: Can I keep the wood left behind by the tree trimming crews?
A: Yes. Our contractors shred and haul away brush and branches, but any wood that’s left behind belongs to the property owner/abutter.

Q: Can you leave behind the wood chips for me to use?
A: Absolutely. Just let us know when you request tree trimming service, or when you respond to our contractors’ request for trimming trees on your property.

Q: What are Eversource’s guidelines for trimming trees located on a designated scenic road in my town?
A: Eversource will not cut or remove any tree located on a designated scenic road without first getting the approval of your community’s planning board and following a public notice and hearing.

Q: What should I do if tree limbs seem too close to the electric line that runs from the pole to my house?
A: If the trees or branches are directly rubbing against the electric service wires, Eversource may remove them for you at no charge. You can also hire professional tree contractors to do the work; in that case, Eversource will temporarily remove the pole-to-house lines so that the work can proceed safely. For more information, call us at 1–800–362–7764.

Q: What can I do to help keep trees from interfering with electric lines?
A: In general, the rule of thumb is to plant low-growing trees and shrubs near power lines, and plant larger trees at a distance. 

Q: What are the guidelines for placing trees, shrubs, or other landscaping near underground facilities that may be on my property?
A: Make sure that no object is located within 10 feet in front and 3 feet on the sides and back of any underground facility. (Because these facilities are critical to service reliability, Eversource has the right to remove without notice any planting or object not meeting the guidelines.)