• News
  • Sam Houston EC Steps Up Dead Tree Removal

Sam Houston EC Steps Up Dead Tree Removal

Sam Houston EC Steps Up Dead Tree Removal

Two hurricanes and a severe drought over the last six years have resulted in thousands of dead trees that threaten to fall on electric power lines. To supplement Sam Houston Electric Cooperative’s established maintenance program, the Cooperative has added more crews to cut dead and danger trees and reduce the risk of power outages and fires along the utility’s rights-of-way.

Beginning in early October, additional tree cutting crews will patrol Sam Houston EC’s 10-county service area and will take down dead and danger trees that threaten power lines.

In a typical year, Sam Houston EC must take down 17,000 dead trees along its 6,000 miles of electric distribution lines. This year, that number is expected to double.

According to Bill Townley, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative construction manager, “Dead trees are the number one cause of power outages in our heavily wooded part of Texas. Our normal right-of-way maintenance program keeps the number of dead tree outages down, but due to the extreme conditions of the last six years, we are using additional resources to address the large number of dead trees that have the potential to cause power outages for our members.”

Only the trees that are alongside the Cooperative’s right-of-way will be taken down. The fallen trees will not be removed, but crews will clear trees so that they do not block roads, driveways or ditches.

“We are hopeful rains will come soon and provide some relief to the already stressed trees,” Townley said. “In the meantime, crews will continue taking down dead trees, to reduce the likelihood of power outages and other potentially dangerous situations.”