Explore the Different Ways We Manage Vegetation

Many power outages are caused by trees and limbs falling on power lines during bad weather, interrupting the continuous electrical service our members have come to expect.

To reduce the potential for outages, Dakota Electric must remove or prune trees and vegetation growing too close to power lines. Our crews and contractors follow these guidelines when clearing or pruning trees:

  • Members are notified by mail when Dakota Electric is pruning or removing trees in their area.
  • We only trim trees and manage vegetation on our side of the service. Vegetation and trees on the members side of service, between the utility pole and house, will not be trimmed.
  • Trees within the clearance area will be trimmed to allow for a four-to-six-year trimming cycle.
  • Crews do not remove tree stumps or diseased wood, but will remove branches hanging over our power lines.
  • Trees exceeding a mature height of 15 feet and within 15 feet of the power line are subject to removal.
  • Hazardous trees outside this corridor — including dead, diseased or infested vegetation — may also be removed or pruned to a safe height.
  • Large wood is cut into pieces and left on-site.
  • Dakota Electric uses herbicides to prevent stumps from hardwood trees that are cut down from sprouting new stems. Stumps will be cut to a height of 3 inches or less and an EPA-registered and -approved herbicide will be applied to control vegetation.
  • We do not trim oak trees during the infectious period, April through July, except in a storm restoration or emergency situation.
  • Tree crews will comply with all state and local rules concerning diseased trees.

We assign qualified tree-trimming contractors.

  • On lawns, brush is usually chipped. Large wood is cut into pieces and left on-site.
  • If trees are cut down, stumps will be cut to a height of 3 inches or less and an EPA-registered and -approved herbicide will be applied to control vegetation.
  • Following storms, trees and limbs may be cleared so crews can make repairs to electric service. In this case wood, limbs and debris are all left on-site.

Members with dead trees in Dakota Electric’s right-of-way should contact us at 651-460-7500. We will assess whether or not removal is needed. If the dead tree is endangering our lines or equipment, Dakota Electric will cut the tree at no charge to the member. Large wood is cut into pieces and left on-site for disposal by the member.

Member-Owned Equipment

If a storm damages any equipment owned by Dakota Electric, we are responsible for repairs. If a storm damages any member-owned equipment, the member is responsible for repairs. Members should hire a professional tree trimmer or licensed electrician when making repairs to member-owned equipment.

Dakota Electric is not responsible for the following:

  • Trimming or removing trees that endanger members’ equipment located beyond the point of service.
  • Trimming or removing shrubs to gain access to pad-mount equipment. Damages to shrubs caused when accessing the equipment shall be repaired by the member.

If necessary, please call Dakota Electric’s New & Existing Services line at 651-460-7500 to schedule a time for crews to de-energize the service drop before making repairs.