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Vegetation Management

Right Tree in the Right Place

Trees and power lines can coexist and potential problems can be avoided by selecting and planting trees with the appropriate growth characteristics.

If you must plant trees below power lines, choose short varieties that will not reach the lines when they grow to maturity. A good rule of thumb is to select trees with mature heights less than 20 feet.

When planting trees near power lines, choose medium-sized trees with a mature height of 25-35 feet. Plant these trees at a distance away from the power line equal to their maximum crown radius (half the width of the tree at its widest point). Avoid trees with weak wood, such as poplars and willows, because their limbs break easily during storms.

Learn more at: www.arborday.org/trees/righttreeandplace/

Tree Trimming

Trees growing near Corn Belt Energy electric lines occasionally need to be pruned or sometimes cut down in order to minimize outages and to maintain reliable, safe electricity at a low cost. If your area is scheduled to be pruned, you will be notified with a postcard, and phone call, prior to trimming. Tree trimming is a free service that may or may not be required on your property. If tree pruning is required, tree branches will be chipped and the larger wood will be cut up and left for your use or disposal. 

If you request the removal of a tree that could endanger Corn Belt lines, the entire tree will be taken down and left for the property owner’s disposal. In clearing the right-of-way for our electric lines, trees and brush may be removed by the use of mechanical equipment. The ultimate goal of Corn Belt Energy’s vegetation management program is to establish a native grass right-of-way, and minimize future costs related to outages or maintenance to our membership.

If you notice a dead or dying tree near power lines, a tree with branches growing very close to or touching power lines, please contact us immediately and do not attempt to remove the tree branch(es) yourself. Please note that we do not remove stumps nor do we remove the tree debris after it is taken down. We only work with vegetation that compromises the safety of our lines.

Any questions in regard to vegetation management, please contact the Corn Belt Energy at 309-662-5330 or e-mail us for more information.

Planting Around Pad-Mounted Transformers

If you have a three-foot-square metal box in your yard, your instinct may be to conceal it with landscaping or a fence. The box, called a pad-mounted transformer, contains important electrical equipment that supplies your neighborhood with underground electrical service.

Corn Belt crews need safe access to the box for routine maintenance and to restore power during outages. Please maintain a safe zone by keeping any fencing, landscaping, or other obstructions at least 10 feet from the front and 4 feet on the sides and back of the transformer. This will ensure proper air circulation and prevent landscaping from getting damaged by our equipment.  And because of underground high-voltage wiring leading to the box, always call JULIE at 8-1-1 before digging around a pad-mounted transformer.

Call 8-1-1 Before Digging

To avoid personal injury and damage to underground lines, state law requires you to contact Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) before any digging project, regardless of the project size or depth. The call is free, and so are the services.

According to state law, the person doing the digging is required to call JULIE with the locate request information at least 48 hours (two working days, excluding weekends and holidays) in advance of the start of excavation.  You must begin your project within 14 days from the time you call and if you want to start your project over the weekend, remember to contact JULIE by Wednesday at 4:00 PM.

In order to help the utility locator properly identify your project area, JULIE recommends that you mark the area where you will be digging with white paint and/or flags.

Each JULIE utility member is responsible to mark their own underground facilities with paint or flags within the two working day period required by law (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

Learn more: www.illinois1call.com