Right of Way

Right of Way Procedures

Routine Right of Way Clearing

Routine Right of Way clearing activities will be performed to:

  • Accomplish a 4-year clearing cycle to maximize productivity
  • Maximize benefits from Right of Way funding
  • Minimize power interruptions

During routine Right of Way maintenance:

  • All trees within the Right of Way will be removed wherever possible
  • The right of Way width for:
      • Single-phase lines is 30 feet
      • 3-phase lines is 40 feet

Between trees and energized conductors:

  • 15 feet of clearance will be maintained
  • A minimum clearance of 10 feet must be obtained (In special situations)

Property owners will be notified in advance whenever possible of any Right of Way clearing activities that need to be performed on their property.

Service Lines

Trees around secondary or service lines will be trimmed:

  • To provide only 3 feet of clearance
  • Only during routine maintenance activities

No trimming will be done on service lines between trimming cycles unless:

  • limbs are exerting excessive pressure on the lines

JWEMC will not cut trees, healthy or dead, around service lines.

Property Owners

Property owners will be responsible:

  • For hiring qualified tree removal personnel
  • To safely remove trees adjacent to JWEMC power line Right of Ways

JWEMC will have the line disconnected so that:

  • The property owner may have the tree cut

Trees outside of JWEMC's Right of Way will not be cut unless the:

  • Trees are determined by JWEMC to be endangering primary power lines
  • Removal of these trees will significantly benefit the:
    • Reliability of electrical power
    • Reduce future Right of Way clearance costs

Tree Trimming Requests

Trimming requests submitted by JWEMC personnel and by customers:

  • Will be investigated
  • Work will be done if it is warranted


  • Causing power interruptions will be trimmed before any other tree trimming work is performed
  • Determined not to be an immediate threat to electrical power distribution or public safety will not be trimmed until scheduled routine maintenance
  • Will be trimmed in accordance with the tree trimming methods approved by the:
    • National Arborists Association
    • American National Standards Institute
    • National Arbor Day Foundation

To promote tree health and to reduce re-sprouting, this type of pruning includes:

  • “The Shiago Method”
  • Drop-Crotch Pruning
  • Directional Pruning

Brush, Debris & Trees

Dead brush from herbicide application will not be:

  • Cut down
  • Cleaned up

Brush and debris from tree trimming and Right of Way clearing activities:

  • Will be cleaned up only in actively maintained areas

In non-maintained areas, brush and debris will be:

  • Mowed during routine maintenance
  • Hand-cut into smaller pieces and left on site

Brush and debris will not be cleaned up, if they were due to:

  • Storms
  • Power outages

Stumps of all trees cut by hand will be treated with an approved herbicide to prevent re-sprouting.


What in the world is Right of Way?

Sometimes we have to trim trees around power lines to help ensure that your power and your neighbors’ power will not be interrupted.

Our Right of Way department is more affectionately known to our members as the:

  • Tree Trimming Department

Each JWEMC member agrees:

  • In the membership application to grant us a Right of Way easement
  • Giving us permission to cut and keep clear all trees within an unsafe distance from the power lines

To ensure the health of your trees, Joe Wheeler EMC uses pruning techniques that are recommended by the:

  • International Society of Arboriculture
  • American National Standards Institute
  • National Arbor Day Foundation

View our Right of Way policies, clearing schedule and pruning techniques below.