Look Up and Live

Your life is on the line, be aware of overhead power lines when trimming trees.

look up and live tree trimming

Never trim trees near electric lines! For your protection, and to prevent power outages, we routinely trim tree limbs and remove vines that grow on utility poles and into power lines.

If your tree(s) need to be trimmed away from electric lines, call us at 210-353-2222 or use our Residential Service Request Form

  • At this time, our crews are only responding to emergency requests. For example, a limb or tree that has an obvious structural defect that is threatening a power line.
  • Information on which lines are managed by CPS Energy can be seen in this English or Spanish infographic.
  • Maintaining tree clearances from our infrastructure can greatly reduce an inconvenient power outage during storms.
  • CPS Energy follows a rigorous vegetation management schedule. Unfortunately, there are several factors that can result in schedule delays. These include severe weather, customer requests for off schedule tree trimming.
  • CPS Energy contractors follow proper tree trimming procedures. The intent is to maintain sufficient clearance from our infrastructure while at the same time not damaging the tree.
  • Who can trim high voltage power lines: only tree trimming companies that have met OSHA qualifications may trim trees away from high voltage power lines. These tree trimming professionals should comply with all applicable safety regulations and take appropriate precautions.
  • In 2016, tree limbs falling on power lines resulted in 1,448 power outages affecting 50,000 customers.
  • A customer can trim their own trees if they interfere with the service line, the electric line from a utility pole to the home. We ask that the customer call us 5 business days before the work is to begin so that we can temporarily remove the service line which will allow the customer to safety trim back the tree.

Our crews will make a visual inspection first for each request to determine if tree trimming is warranted.

Planting a tree?

Before you plant a tree, we recommend you check to see if power lines are above or near the location. If your tree is a broadly spreading or a tall-growing variety, we encourage you to select another location.

Follow these tree-planting guidelines to ensure your tree and nearby power lines will be safe:

Small Zone - Within 20 feet of power lines

  • Plant trees with a mature height of 15 to 20 feet

Medium Zone - Between 20 feet and 30 feet of power lines

  • Plant trees with a mature height of 20 to 40 feet

Tall Zone - 30 feet or more from power lines

  • Plant trees growing 40 or taller, or with a broadly spreading crown
  • Right tree, right place: Learn which trees are acceptable to be planted underneath power lines.


Here are some helpful tips for working near electric lines.


  • Check for overhead electric lines, keep yourself and any equipment at least 10 feet between you and the line.
  • Use only a dry fiberglass or wooden ladder, never a metal ladder.
  • Be sure to use double-insulated or properly grounded electrical tools.
  • Verify that your ladder complies with specifications of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and that it is listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • For safety programs call 210-353-3939