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6 Fix | Getting to the bottom of who trims trees that lean on power lines

A homeowner in Killeen said he's tired of the trees in his backyard leaning on his power lines and posing as a possible safety hazard.

KILLEEN, Texas — A homeowner in Killeen is worried the trees that're growing through his powerlines are not only an eye sore but a potential hazard.

Tracy Smith wants to figure out who is responsible for cutting these limbs.

There are three parties possibly responsible: the city of Killeen, Oncor or the local telephone company.

I reached out to the City of Killeen:

Q: I've spoken to resident who says the city used to trim these trees, but no one has been out in a while. The limbs are hitting and going through the power lines. They're concerned it will hurt the power lines.

A: Our Department of Public Works confirms that because this concerns trees that are in power lines, the resident’s POC would be Oncor, as the city must take proper safety precautions and does not cut near wires. Residents can contact Oncor at (888) 313-6862 to place a work order with them.

I reached out to Oncor:

Q: Does Oncor handle trimming the trees or does the city?

A: The lower lines are the telephone companies. Oncor was out in the Spring to assess and trim the limbs from the lines they take care of, which are the highest ones.

Now, it's down to figuring out which telephone company services the area in which Smith lives.

I've found both Spectrum and Central Telephone Company of Texas Incorporated operate in Smith's area and I will reach out to hear if they need to trim the trees.

"Being an ex-landscaper I know the danger of rodents and squirrels up there on the power lines," Smith said.

According to Trucker Enterprise Services Incorporated, branches should never get within 10 ft. of power lines at the absolute closest.

The trees near Smith's property are 10 inches if not touching the power lines he's worried about.

"I don't have the access to get up there and cut that," he added.

The Public Utility Commission of Texas recommends no one ever tries to trim trees by power lines themselves.

By Texas law (Health & Safety Code, Chapter 752), only professionals who are authorized by the wires companies are allowed to prune or remove trees closer than 6 feet to high voltage power lines. 

If you or someone you know has similar concerns to Smith's, know who to contact. If the limbs are reaching the top power lines, contact your local utility company, like Oncor.

When limbs are reaching the level at which Smith's are at and have not hit the highest wires, contact the local telephone company.

If you are not able to reach anyone, contact KCEN and we will help find answers to who is responsible.

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