Safety - First!

Trees and landscaping enhance the beauty of your property but can interfere with the delivery of safe, reliable power and the safety of those who work on the electric service equipment in the right-of-way on your property. 

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative asks that you help us maintain a safe distance between your foliage and power equipment. We contract with Asplundh to ensure these safety measures are met. These experts leave door hangers and attempt to meet with you before performing work on your property, and they will work with you to utilize growth retardant and planned trimming to preserve many of your favorite plants and trees.

If you have any questions about tree trimming or foliage retardant methods, call our office.

To keep lovely landscaping safe, let's plan ahead

Smaller plants will eventually grow into larger ones, so we ask you to think and plan ahead so we can continue to provide you with safe, reliable electric service - our top priority! If you are changing your existing landscape, please do so safely and make sure to leave space around utility equipment - both in the ground and in the air - so that Hancock-Wood employees can easily maintain electric service to your home.

Around power lines

  • Avoid planting trees under power lines. Trees can grow into the lines, creating a safety hazard not only for our maintenance crews but also for the children who climb them. or play near them. Limbs entangled in power lines are a frequent cause of power outages. That affects you AND your neighbors.
  • Remove weak or hazardous trees and call us first about pruning trees near power lines.
  • Trees or shrubs that grow too close to poles may be trimmed or damaged by utility workers who need access to the poles.
  • Be sure the trunk and branches will not reach within 10 feet of overhead electric lines when fully grown.

Around ground equipment

  • Although it’s tempting to landscape next to ground-mounted utility equipment, please avoid doing so. During an outage, we’ll probably need access to your equipment.
  • Keep shrubs and structures at least 12 feet from the “door” of the pad-mount transformer and at least 3 feet from other sides (note the sticker example we place on pad-mount transformers below).

  • If landscaping is placed too close to the transformer, service 
    restoration efforts can be delayed and not enough air circulation can cause equipment failure. In addition, workers must sometimes cut down the plantings to perform the restoration work.
  • Don’t forget the meter -- although your meter is automatically read every month, we still sometimes need access to check it. So, keep shrubs trimmed to allow visibility to your meter and please do not fence in your meter. 

More information about trees and digging - Don’t forget to call 811 

Building a deck? Planting a tree? Installing a mailbox? 811 is the number you should call before you begin any digging project.

A federally-mandated national "Call Before You Dig" number, 811 was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines. Think first, please and don't make risky assumptions about whether or not to get utility lines marked before digging. Sometimes this happens because of concerns about project delays, costs or landscaping design disruption. These assumptions can be life-threatening.

Every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees or shrubs. If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you can harm yourself or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially be responsible for fines and repair costs.

You may recall having to call OUPS (Ohio Utilities Protection Service) for this service. Calling 811 automatically routes you to OUPS, or you can call OUPS directly at 800-362-2764. Either way, you must call before you dig.

Facts For You to Know

  • Trees account for more than half of all power interruptions.
  • Tree damage to power lines can create severe public safety hazards such as fires or electrocution.
  • Electricity travels at 186,000 miles per second and can flow through water. Spraying a power line could have the same effect as grabbing the line with your bare hand.
  • Consider all electrical lines and electrical utility equipment dangerous. Keep away from them and keep all objects (ladders, antennas, kites, etc.) away from them.
  • Warning signs are clearly posted at various locations and on utility equipment that may pose a threat of possible electrocution. These signs have been installed as a warning for your safety, so please read and obey.
  • Keeping clear access to utility electric equipment gives line crews the room to perform inspections and repairs -- and keeps everyone safe.
  • Note:  It is Hancock-Wood's policy only to locate the electrical wiring/facilities from the transformer to the meter base.
  • View our right-of-way clearing specifications.


  • Can I trim my own tree?
    Yes, but only if you can maintain a safe distance of at least 10 feet from power lines and other electrical equipment. There is a serious risk for any tree trimmer working close to a high-voltage power line. If you have a tree that is too close to power lines for you to safely prune, call us.
  • My trees aren’t touching the power lines, so why do you have to trim them?
    Hancock-Wood needs to take care of trees that could pose safety or reliability issues before someone is injured or experiences a power outage. This applies to trees with branches that could come into contact with power lines during heavy winds, causing blinking lights or momentary outages.
  • When and how will my trees be pruned?
    Hancock-Wood will prune a tree only when the tree poses the safety and reliability risks of coming into contact with power lines. Tree-trimming crews are very diligent in trimming only what is absolutely necessary. National standards require that a minimum distance of 10 feet from energized or potentially energized electrical equipment must be maintained.
  • Where should I plant trees and shrubs?
    When full-grown, trees and shrubs must be at least 10 feet away from power lines and other utility equipment such as transformers