Hydro Ottawa employee trimming a tree in proximity of an overhead wire

Tree Trimming

When trees are close to overhead power lines, public safety and the uninterrupted supply of electricity can be compromised.

While respecting the contribution that trees make to our quality of life, Hydro Ottawa trims more than 40,000 trees per year as part of a regular maintenance program. Tree contact with overhead power lines can cause fires, equipment damage or cause power outages. 

Additional measures must be taken, from time to time, to ensure that our equipment is safe from extreme weather conditions such as high winds and heavy snowfall and ice. This extra effort is known as storm hardening. Storm hardening focuses on trees or branches overhanging overhead power lines.

A storm hardening project is currently underway across our service territory in order to ensure adequate tree clearance from overhead power lines.

The schedule and tree trimming locations depend on a number of factors including weather, scheduling, equipment availability and property access.

You will receive advance notification of any tree trimming work occurring on your property or in your neighbourhood. Notifications will also be distributed if a power interruption is required to complete the work.

Keeping a close eye on tree and vegetation growth is everyone’s responsibility.

Our forestry inspectors monitor and gather data about trees in proximity to overhead power lines on a regular basis. They will trim trees that are directly in contact with a power line, or within 3 meters of a power line. 

However, it is your responsibility to monitor the service wire that feeds electricity directly to your home, and trim the vegetation around it. In such cases, we can arrange a temporary planned outage on your property to create a safe work environment for you or a licensed contrator. 

If you notice a tree near an overhead power line, or you need a temporary outage to trim or remove trees on your property, submit a non-electrical service request online or contact our Forestry Team at 613-738-6400 option 4. They are available weekdays between 8 am and 5 pm (excluding statutory holidays).

To learn more about the trimming program and practices, read our Frequently Asked Questions and our Tree Planting Advice brochure.

If you have further questions, contact us for assistance.

Learn about how we handle tree trimming.

 

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Overhead powerline contact is still the leading cause of electrical-related deaths in Ontario.

Make sure to be safe and stay clear of all overhead and underground powerlines when working outside or doing household chores.

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