Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 10, 2001

Winsted trees trimmed to solve power outages

By Patrice Waldron

The professional tree trimmers, contracted by Xcel Energy, arrived in Winsted Tuesday to start trimming all the trees within the utility easements.

That same night, the Winsted City Council passed a resolution giving Xcel the authority to remove all trees which have the potential to cause future power outage problems.

The resolution was adopted as a permanent solution to the frequent power outages that have been experienced by the residents in Northgate, Pheasant Run, and Shady Creek Drive. Experts at Xcel feel that the outages have been caused primarily by tree branches hitting the power lines.

In preparation for the trimming procedure, residents were notified by letter of the action being taken.

When trees are trimmed, they may have different appearances.

Fast growing trees will be cut back more severely than those with a slower growth rate, and trees located close to high voltage lines are also given a greater trim than those trees located near power lines of lesser voltage.

If it appears that the tree trimmers have cut more growth away than necessary, part of the reason is finances. Cutting a tree back a little more will save money to all customers, compared to trimming less growth but more frequent trims.

Xcel Energy has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation for its training and tree planting efforts.

A brochure about tree planting is available from Xcel Energy. There are species which are slow growing and low growing, which are appropriate for planting under power lines.

Another tip from Xcel is that whenever planting a new shrub or tree, call for the exact location of both natural gas and electric service, before starting to dig.

The number to call at Xcel Energy to receive a free brochure, or if there are questions about tree trimming is 800-895-4999.

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