SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Downed trees or overgrown limbs can mean big trouble for powerlines or transformers if they are not properly maintained.

During severe weather events fallen trees and large limbs pose a major threat to customers in the form of potential home damage but also damage to power lines and transformers leading to outages.

Proactively monitoring tree overgrowth near or on equipment that powers your home or business is a great step to prevent unexpected outages. If you are concerned about a tree that could cause future outages you can request an inspection.

SWEPCO has a form for customers who are concerned about tree limbs that come dangerously close to powerlines.

According to the website, the power company has a forestry team that will inspect trees to determine what work is needed if any, and who is ultimately responsible for those trees getting cut down.

Once they have made an assessment a member of the forestry team can provide you an assessment either verbally or by leaving a door hanger with their findings.

Michelle Marcotte, a Sr. Communications Consultant for SWEPCO provided an explanation for customers explaining who is responsible for what and how that determination is made.

“SWEPCO only trims trees that are growing too close to power lines that run from power pole to power pole. Trees or overgrowth that runs from our pole to your house is the homeowner’s responsibility,” Marcotte said.

The graphic below from SWEPCO’s website illustrates the difference.

SWEPCO tree line illustration (Source: SWEPCO AEP)

However, the power provider said that homeowners should avoid any attempts to trim or remove trees near power lines. Suggesting that only trained professionals are enlisted to perform such work.

The form to report tree problems and request an inspection from the forestry team can be found on the SWEPCO website. You can also call 888.216.3523 to report immediate risks such as downed poles, trees, or tree limbs that have fallen on a powerline.

SWEPCO asks that anyone who has scheduled tree trimming near power lines call them at least two business days ahead of your appointment so they can send someone out to temporarily disconnect the service line to ensure safe tree removal or trimming.