Keeping Overhead Power Lines Clear

Wasco Electric Cooperative works hard to provide safe and reliable service to its members. One of our most challenging and expensive maintenance items includes keeping overhead lines clear of vegetation.

Through the years, WEC has maintained an intense tree- trimming program of our distribution system’s right-of- way. However, in recent years an increase in the number of hazardous trees near our power lines has become more prevalent within WEC’s service territory.

“On regular line inspections, pine trees are looking healthy and not posing a threat,” says Operations Manager Casey McCleary. “Then the next inspection, they become a hazard and need to be addressed.”

A hazardous tree is identified as a visibly dead, diseased, dying or unstable tree near power lines. Bark beetles are one of the leading causes of hazardous trees throughout WEC’s service territory. Bark beetles can detect when a tree is stressed from drought, root disease and storm damage. That is when they attack, burrowing through the bark to lay their eggs and killing the tree.

Suggested guidelines to properly eliminate a hazardous tree are to delimb the tree of all branches, cut the tree into sections to allow for safe falling, and leave the tree on site to eliminate the transportation of infested trees.

Trees LLC, our licensed tree-trimming contractor, is eliminating hazardous trees by addressing them as they are brought to management’s attention through regular line inspections or when members notify the office.

If you suspect there is a hazardous tree on your property near power lines, contact the cooperative office at 541-296-2740 and let us know the location of the tree.