Contact Us

  • Contact Us Page 
  • For homes: 
  • 860-947-2000 | 800-286-2000
  • For businesses: 
  • 888-783-6617

    Tree Trimming

    • Simply put, please plan before you plant, because trees and power lines don’t mix. When they touch, it can cause everything from power outages, fires and downed lines to safety hazards for people, wildlife and even the trees themselves. Read more.

      You might also find our list of trees compatible with utility lines useful.

    • Roadside
      CL&P undertakes two types of roadside tree work:

      Scheduled Maintenance Trimming (SMT) is performed on a regular basis by electrical circuit, with a goal of trimming roughly 20 percent of CL&P’s circuits every year. The clearance required for SMT is eight feet to the sides, 10 below, and 15 feet above the line. Additionally, all brush and trees with trunks of 6-inches diameter or less that are 12 feet tall are typically removed. In certain instances above main lines, all limbs above the wire may be removed.

      For work on public property, permission must be granted by the appropriate DOT official or municipal tree warden.

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      When trees on your property have grown too close to energized power lines, CL&P will notify you by letter of our intention to trim or remove trees.  If you have any questions regarding the proposed work, you must call the number in the letter within 15 days of receiving the notice.  If you do not respond within 15 days, CL&P will proceed with the work.

      Enhanced Tree Trimming (ETT) requires clearances of eight feet. Enhanced tree work will be performed in areas where there have been electrical circuits with poor performance during the past three years, major segments of circuits with a large number of customers, and sections of circuits where enhanced tree trimming has not been conducted before.

      For work on public property, permission must be granted by the appropriate DOT official or municipal tree warden.


      Trees that are decayed, insect-infested, damaged or structurally weak may be removed.

      Small trees and saplings that are capable of growing into the conductors are normally removed before they grow tall enough to interfere with the lines.

      Before ETT work can be performed on private property, our company contractors will obtain consent from the tree owners.  Consent may be requested in person if the tree owner is at home.  Door hanger requests are provided when tree owners are not home.  For work on public property, permission must be obtained from the appropriate DOT official or municipal tree warden.

      Limbs are pruned using a tree-care industry technique known as target pruning. Each limb is pruned back to a point where it meets the branch collar so that the pruning cut will callous over and prevent decay.

      Off Road Right-of-way
      CL&P either owns the land within the right-of-way in fee or holds an easement on these areas. Ownership or easement gives CL&P the right to maintain the vegetation that is hazardous to its facilities or restricts access along the right-of-way.

      To keep the lines, access roads and facilities clear of interfering vegetation, all tree species capable of growing tall enough to contact the overhead conductors and shrub species that may restrict access to the facilities are removed manually, mechanically or controlled through the use of herbicides.

      The company contractor shall inform property owners and right-of-way abutters with homes or buildings located within 200 feet of the right-of-way or with maintained property to the edge of the right-of-way or within the right-of-way area, of the proposed work at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of work. Notification may be made by personal visit, phone contact or use of a Company approved door hanger.

    • Our company licensed Arborists will oversee contractor crews that are working on trees to improve reliability for our customers. In the event of severe weather or widespread outages the number of contractors will increase substantially.

      Every year our company invests in proactive vegetation management programs identifying tree trimming and woody vine removal on and around utility poles. All of this work is performed by contractor tree crews who are trained in safe work practices necessary for working near energized electric lines.

      Crews complete the work in accordance with professional standards established by the American National Standards Institute and the International Society of Arboriculture. These guidelines ensure that pruning cuts minimize injury to the tree and consider the individual characteristics (size, shape, form and condition) of each tree.

    • No. Service wires, located between a utility pole and the house, are insulated for leaf and occasional branch contact. If you would like CL&P to cover up or drop the service wire so that you can have the trees trimmed, please call CL&P at 1-800-286-2000 (860-947-2000 in Hartford/Meriden) for more information.
    • Line clearance tree work is performed year round. Crews prune, approximately on a five year cycle.
    • Homeowners can hire professional tree pruning contractors for pruning work near these lines. We may temporarily remove pole-to-house lines for professional tree contractors so they can prune or remove trees safely. Please call CL&P's Clearing Desk at 1-888-544-4826 for more information on temporarily "dropping" your service wire.
    • Obstructions can cause delays when restoring electric service. Unobstructed access to your meter box and pad-mounted transformers is essential for safety. Please keep shrubs, fences, debris or other objects away from meters and pad-mounted transformers. For meters, a clearance of four feet wide by three feet deep by six feet high is required. For pad-mounted transformers, no shrubs, fences or permanent structures can be placed within ten feet of the front or within three feet of the sides and back.

      Clearance - Meter Clearance - transformer 

    • To maintain electric service to our customers.

      To assure visual and physical access to our equipment.

      To find trouble sooner and fix it.

      To prevent equipment damage - replacing and repairing equipment is very time-consuming and expensive.

      During the course of a year, trees are responsible for approximately 25 percent of all service interruptions. When a storm with high winds or heavy, wet snow comes through New England, more than 90 percent of the outages on our system are caused by trees and tree limbs.

      By working strategically and proactively, our tree-trimming activities reduce both the number and duration of outages for customers. Tree trimming is the most effective means of improving reliability for customers, our tree work also benefits the communities we serve by removing dead or diseased trees that not only threaten the lines and rights-of-way but also public roads.