Customer Brochure (text)

safeguarding our system.
securing your service.
protecting the public.

At UI, our customers are our partners. Help us prevent tree-related power outages and promote public safety.

As part of its expanded vegetation management program, UI and its contractors will visit neighborhoods to identify trees that could threaten reliable electric service.

Here’s What You Can Do:

• PROVIDE SUPPORT. If UI contractors identify trees on or near your property that require trimming or removal to protect reliable service and/or public safety, we will contact you about the work. Privately owned trees will not be trimmed or removed without the owner’s consent, except when they are in direct contact with an energized conductor or show signs of burning.
• YOUR HELP in the process will allow us to remove the threat to the electric system that is installed from pole to pole.
• PLAN BEFORE YOU PLANT. We encourage customers to plant trees to beautify their neighborhoods. See the rear panel for “Right Tree, Right Place” guidelines to avoid creating future threats to nearby power lines.

Utility Protection Zone

Vegetation is maintained to obtain an 8-foot “Utility Protection Zone” extending horizontally from the electrical conductor or wire installed from pole to pole, from ground to sky.

All tree limbs encroaching on the Utility Protection Zone will be removed at a main branching point or at the trunk, if necessary. All tall-growing trees or limbs growing from within or encroaching on this zone will be removed following applicable notification, permitting and consent laws.

We will evaluate the pruning or removal of trees that potentially pose a risk to our wires and equipment. Requests for tree removal will be indicated on the form that will be provided to you.

OUR PROCESS: All UI personnel and contractors always carry identification. Ask for it.

NEIGHBORHOOD SURVEY: UI contractors visit neighborhoods to inspect and identify trees that must be pruned or removed to reduce the threat to reliable electric service and public safety.

NOTIFICATION: If there’s a tree on your property or in an abutting public space or right-of-way
that requires pruning, we’ll contact you. If trees on your property need to be addressed, we’ll visit you at home. If you’re away, we’ll leave a door hanger with information and a response form. You’ll also receive follow-up visits and phone calls, if necessary. If you have questions, call the contractor at the number on the response form.

DOOR HANGERS: If we need to contact you but can’t reach you, we may leave a packet hanging on your door. Please fill out the form and return it to the door where we left it. You have the right to object to the proposed work. Note your response on the form and return the top white copies to us, keep the pink copy yourself, and send the yellow copy to your local tree warden within 10 business days, if necessary. A follow-up consultation will be scheduled.

TREE MAINTENANCE: UI hires only professional, qualified tree contractors who work safely to maintain trees in accordance with our state-approved guidelines, as well as national standards established by the American National Standards Institute and the International Society of Arboriculture.

Tropical Storm Irene, August 2011
October Snowstorm, October 2011
Hurricane Sandy, October 2012

FACT: Trees near power lines caused 90% of power outages after Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

We’ve all seen the devastation that can result when trees grow close to power lines. If they fall, they can snap power lines, smash transformers, topple utility poles and present a danger to our customers and employees. They can even cause outages during fair weather, when limbs grow into nearby wires and equipment or get blown by the wind.

That’s why UI has revised its vegetation management program to reduce threats to the electric system. By trimming or removing trees that are too close to power lines, we can reduce outages during future storms and speed restoration efforts!

PLAN BEFORE YOU PLANT: We work year-round to keep trees in our service area from growing too close to power lines, which could disrupt your electric service. You can help. Avoid planting tall-growing trees directly beneath or immediately next to utility lines.

Right Tree. Right Place.
LOW-GROWING TREES (up to 25 feet in height when mature) may be planted near roadside power lines. Crabapple, dogwood, hawthorn, plum and Japanese maple.

MEDIUM-SIZE TREES (20-45 feet in height) should be planted 15-30 feet from power lines. Arborvitae,
flowering cherry, magnolia, hornbeam and shadblow.

LARGE-GROWING TREES (45+ feet in height) should be planted at least 30 feet from power lines. Oak, maple, locust, spruce and pines.

811: Know What’s Below
Call Before You Dig
REMEMBER: Before planting, consider what’s above and what’s below. For your personal safety, always check for overhead lines when working outdoors, and keep yourself and your equipment at least 10 feet away. And before putting the shovel in the ground, find out about underground gas pipes and other utility equipment. Dial 811 to Call Before You Dig!

For program information and frequently asked questions, visit

The United Illuminating Company


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