Why trimming doesn't work
We're often asked why we remove problem trees instead of trimming them.
Trimming is more costly, more dangerous and more time-consuming than removal.
It has to be done repeatedly.
It can encourage more rapid re-growth.
And it’s not always healthy for the trees.
Remember, too, that TVA has thousands of miles of right of way to maintain, and some fast-growing trees can outpace our ability to keep up with them.
Even with the latest technology, there aren’t enough hours in the day or enough people and equipment to continually monitor and repeatedly trim all 260,000 acres of TVA right of way every season.
In the past, in some specific instances, TVA allowed property owners the option of trimming their own trees to maintain compliance. But despite good intentions, many property owners just never get around to it.
That can be a problem with species that grow very quickly. A stand of Leyland Cyprus saplings could easily grow to 15 feet or more by the time we return to that part of the right of way.
This, along with the increase safety and reliability risk, is why we do not trim trees, nor accept trimming by property owners in lieu of removal. If a tree has the potential to grow 15 feet or higher, we remove it outright, knowing how tall it could get before we see it again.
When we have to cut down trees in residential areas, we take care to leave the area in the same condition as we found it. We remove downed limbs, trunks, and the top layers of the stump. Then we clean the area and, if necessary, re-seed and hay the area to leave it the way it was before the trees were removed.
More about how TVA manages vegetation for safe, reliable power