Trimming the Way for Service Reliability
Trees are the leading cause of outages in our county, and 90% of tree-related outages are caused by trees growing within the utility right-of-way.
Trimming and removal of trees and vegetation within distance of utility lines is a challenging task, and Jefferson PUD contracts with professional services capable of working around the utility power space.
Contract crews ended 2022 with trimming work along Sims Way in PT to clear space around transmission lines feeding downtown Port Townsend, and providing much needed clearing services during intense fall and winter storms. 2023 has seen trimming operations along Gise Street and 53rd Street in PT, Tall Tree Lane in Port Ludlow, and Sentinel Firs Rd., also in Port Ludlow, and crews are currently working along Cook Ave in PT.
Cook Ave presented a difficult section of tree and vegetation during the late-2022 storms. Heavy damage to distribution lines, and equipment entanglement, led to longer duration outages for more than 100 residents in the area. Trimming and tree removal along the 1/2-mile stretch of Cook Ave helps improve service reliability and helps reduce the potential for long term outages.
Jefferson PUD has budgeted $800,000 toward tree trimming and noxious weed mitigation efforts in 2023. The PUD manages and maintains more than 350 miles of above ground distribution lines (and approximately 350 mile of underground line), and 22 miles of transmission line. Crews will focus heavily on distribution line right-of-way’s throughout the year, though trimming operations often ease during peak summer months to reduce fire potential. Efforts to removal danger trees around transmission corridors will also be underway in 2023 and 2024.
Tree trimming contractors and flagging crews can be seen throughout the district, and we ask that drivers please use caution and be alert to crews on or near roadways. Trimming mapping and updates are provided via the PUD’s social channels and directly to customers near trimming zones by automated call or mailer.
Homeowners are cautioned against tree trimming near power lines. Professional tree trimming services certified to work within the energized power buffer are to be used and are recommended even beyond the safety buffer when there is a potential for power line contact.
If your planned work may potentially enter the minimum approach distance, please call the PUD to determine safe access. If any object contacts the power line (cut tree branch, fallen ladder, etc.), stay away! Keep yourself and anyone else at least 50 feet from the area and call the PUD customer service line at (360) 385-5800.
See a tree on a line? Please let us know! Jefferson PUD has a tree issues reporting form here where customers can learn more about the PUD’s trimming policy, safety considerations, and report tree contacts with lines.