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Vegetation Management

Trees and Powerlines

We know trees are an essential part of the charm of Texas. Trees are also vital to our economy, but trees are dangerous when they contact power lines. Regular trimming to direct growth away from lines helps prevent the outages and damage trees can cause. Mowing right-of-ways keeps brush, vines and saplings from developing and clears a path for line persons performing maintenance and repair work.

The skilled contractors working for SBEC are committed to establishing the clearance required to bring you years of dependable electric service, while retaining the beauty and value of your trees.

The following information will help answer your questions about our right-of-way clearing policies and procedures. If you need more information, please call us at the appropriate number for your area:


Tree TrimmingHow do the contractors decide which trees need trimming and how much to cut?

Re-clearing the right-of-way means that we are preparing to remove all vegetation and trees within SBEC's 20' (twenty foot) easement, which is 10' (ten feet) either side of the center line of our distribution power line.


Right of waysHow often will right-of-ways be cleared?

Tree-trimming contractors rotate throughout our service area on a ten-year clearing cycle. The contractors plan to trim enough at each site to prevent interference by re-growth for the next ten years, until they come around again.

Because underbrush develops faster, it must be cleared more often than side trimming. We try to clear under brush with our tractor crew every 2 ½ years to 5 years.

The ten-year tree-trimming cycle and 2 ½ year to 5 year underbrush cycle strike a balance to keep maintenance costs down and service reliability up.


Chemical SpraysAre chemical sprays used to control trees or underbrush?

Yes. We use several herbicides and growth inhibitors to help maintain the vegetation in our right-of-ways. The most common method we use is the cut stump treatment in which the herbicide is applied directly to the stump. This method has the best results and helps insure that there is no off site damage to any other vegetation.


Equipment UsedWhat types of equipment are used to clear the right-of-ways?

The most common pieces of equipment used are bucket trucks, chain saws, tree saws and pruning tools. SBEC also utilizes a tractor equipped with a brush hog to mow undergrowth.


Debris CleaningWhat happens to the debris?

Our contractors strive to leave right-of-ways as neat as they were before the work started. Debris produced by the trimming will be shredded with a tractor on-site where appropriate, or chipped and hauled away for disposal.

Your cooperation will help us in our efforts to prevent tree-related outages and keep right-of-way maintenance costs down.

  • Don't store items in right-of-way areas, even for short periods. Right-of-ways must be kept unobstructed at all times to allow access for trimming, maintenance, and repair crews. Personal property in right-of-way areas should be removed.
  • When planting trees or shrubs, remember to stay far enough from right-of-ways to ensure that future growth will not interfere with power lines.
  • Keep landscaping elements out of designated right-of-ways.
  • Report dead, weak or damaged trees near power lines to SBEC promptly so we can remove them before they cause an outage. SBEC or it's contractors will not remove the debris left from these dead, weak or damaged trees.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during our right-of-way trimming.


If you need more information, please call or email:

San Bernard Electric Cooperative
Vegetation Control Superintendent / Greg Giebel
P.O. Box 1208
Bellville, Texas 77418

979-865-3171  or  800-364-3171


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