NineStar Connect Chat

Tree Trimming FAQ


These questions come directly from other homeowners just like you who are curious about our right-of-way vegetation management program.


Why do you have to trim half of the tree?

Trimming as little as possible causes less stress on the tree. Unfortunately trees that are close to the power lines may need to be side trimmed to safely keep them from interrupting the electrical service. Usually in cases where half of the tree must be trimmed to keep from touching the power lines, removal is highly recommended. Heavily trimmed trees can become dangerous for not only power lines but also surrounding structures and passing traffic.

Does this cost anything to me?

The trimming, removals, herbicide, tree growth regulator application and mowing are all part of NineStar Connect’s right of way maintenance program and is at no cost to the landowner.

Why can’t you top the tree?

Topping is a poor trimming practice that does more harm than good for the tree. It causes decay and creates a gateway for insects, fungus and bacteria to enter and destroy the tree. It can also cause the tree to steadily decline due to stress from drought or nutritional deficiencies.   Branches will start to die and begin to fall potentially causing more of a hazard. For more information:

Can I trim the tree?

No. It is very dangerous to trim around power lines. Our professional tree trimmers are line certified and use proper trimming techniques. Your trees are in good hands.

Why do you have to trim so much?

We aim for a minimum of 3 years of clearance. We look at how fast the tree is growing and how far away from the line it is. For example if a silver maple is 6 ft from the power line and it is growing 2ft a year, in three years it will be touching the line, therefore we would trim, at a minimum, 6ft depending on where the next lateral limb is located.   It is critical that trees are properly trimmed to the next lateral limb and not stubbed because this will cause a potential hazard. Sometimes, especially if the tree is not removed, aggressive trimming may be needed to keep it out of the power lines.

Why do you have to trim or remove trees outside the ROW?

Some tree species grow a lot faster than others. We look at the tree species and growth rates to see when and how fast it will grow into the power lines. For example mulberry trees grow outrageously fast and can be quite a distance away yet still reach the power lines before you know it. Also, if a tree must continually be trimmed year after year, it is better to remove the tree to eliminate future and continual hazards. We also look at the health of the tree. Some trees have a poor root system and can be visible above ground (i.e. girdling). Other times decay has started at the base and the tree could eventually fall into the power lines. It is also very common for trees to have large wounds from old limbs that had broken off.  These trees are very hazardous and should be removed immediately.

If one side of my tree is trimmed, will it become unbalanced and fall?

Sometimes large trees that are close to the power lines and not removed may be aggressively trimmed as needed. Although a tree may look “un-balanced” its roots remain the same. The root system is the supporting foundation of the tree. As long as the roots are not damaged, the tree will not fall at the base. A lot of trees will break at junctures of large limbs especially in the presence of included bark. Fast growing trees (i.e. silver maples, tulips) with large codominant stems are potentially hazardous regardless of how much is trimmed due to weak anchored points.



If you have any questions about your trees near the power lines, give us a call and we will direct you to our managing arborist 317-323-2633. The arborist will get in contact with you and answer any questions you have.