TEXARKANA, TEX– AEP Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO)’s subcontractor Wright Tree Services will begin tree trimming in Texarkana, Texas on July 2nd and will continue throughout the summer and into the fall, finishing in mid- November.
Assistant City Manager Shirley Jaster emphasizes the importance of tree trimming to ensure power reliability during possible storms.
“In order to keep our residents safe, electricity is important to communications,” Jaster said. “When a big storm comes our way, citizens will appreciate that the power remains on, largely due to trees and debris being cleared from power lines.”
The tree trimming process will include customer notification by a front door hangar, 48 to 72 hours before work is conducted, and an opportunity for customers to meet with trimmers about their property and preferences. Once the work is completed, brush will be chipped or chopped, and the waste will be hauled away. If the customer cannot be reached within the time frame allotted, permission will be assumed and trimming will be completed.
According to SWEPCO Supervisor, Region Forestry Danny Salter, tree trimming is important to prevent tree-related power outages.
“The true mission of the program is reducing tree-related outages,” Salter said. “During severe storms, wind-blown or ice-laden tree limbs that contact power lines are the most common cause of outages. Our Forestry trimming program is designed to significantly reduce outages caused by trees.”
SWEPCO is responsible for trimming trees near its distribution lines (pole-
to-pole). AEP employs tree service contractors, who work under the direction of SWEPCO’s professional utility foresters to help provide safe, reliable electricity.
“Our tree program takes tree health into consideration through proper pruning techniques, as well as reducing power outages and improving service reliability,” Salter said.
A direct effect of fewer tree-related outages is an increase in improved service reliability to SWEPCO’s 526,000 customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Trimming is done systematically by areas of town or major electrical circuits. Tree removal is encouraged in some cases where potentially hazardous trees grow directly under power lines. If a tree is removed, a SWEPCO utility forester can help property owners select the proper tree to replant.
Please see attached map to find areas subject to trimming.