Our right-of-way team works year-round to help reduce the impact of vegetation on power lines. This process ensures the safety and reliability of electric service provided to the communities we serve. LREMC utilizes a three-year tree-trimming and herbicide treatment cycle to maintain more than 5,900 miles of electrical lines across Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson, and Scotland counties.


Please note that our tree trimming is a two-phase process: (1) a tree trimming crew will perform all necessary trimming, (2) a second crew will be on-site within 24-48 hours to clean up and remove the debris left behind by the tree trimming crew.


It may be necessary for LREMC or its contract crew to take down tree(s) in some instances. Our team will either leave the tree(s) and wood at the site or remove them. The property owner may choose to leave the wood on-site by signing a waiver form. If agreed to and signed, LREMC is no longer responsible for the tree or the wood left at the site. If the member chooses to remove the tree(s) or wood, LREMC will clean up before leaving the property or clear with the member to leave it and come pick it up another day. In addition, LREMC will not remove deadwood from a member’s property; however, we will move it to a different location on the property at the member’s request.



Right-of-Way Crew Locations:


Week of June 7, 2021

Robeson West Lumberton Substation/ NC HWY 72/ CT. 1





Why does LREMC trim trees?

Trees growing in or near power lines can cause outages and can be dangerous. If a tree is touching a power line, it can give the electrical current a path to the ground; this creates a potential hazard to crews restoring power, people, and animals. Trees in or near power lines can also cause power outages by interrupting the flow of electricity or damaging the distribution line.


Which Trees will be trimmed?

LREMC maintains right-of-way easements to provide essential service to members. We maintain a right-of-way of approximately 25 feet on both sides of the power line. We will trim or apply herbicide to any vegetation growing into that space or having the potential to infringe that area.


How will I know if I have trees that need to be trimmed?

Before we start tree trimming, we will notify you by phone to inform you of crews trimming in your area. We will also post current trimming locations, as shown above. If you request a vegetation management representative to come to look at a particular tree on your property, we will leave you a door hanger describing the work and a phone number to reach us.


Who performs the trimming?

LREMC contracts with experienced companies certified in vegetation management. Contractors use bucket trucks, climbing gear, and other equipment to trim trees that encroach in LREMC’s right-of-way. Because of the dangerously high risks involved in trimming trees near power lines, LREMC crews are trained to trim trees that are growing into the right-of-way safely. LREMC strongly discourages anyone other than trained professionals employed by the cooperative from trimming vegetation near power lines or in the right-of-way.


Will LREMC remove trees instead of trimming them?

 Our team will meet with homeowners who wish to have a tree removed to determine whether the tree is endangering the power lines.


Does LREMC use herbicide?

We do use herbicide along some right-of-ways. The herbicides we use are approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and are applied only by licensed contractors. When applying herbicide, contractors stay clear of zones such as water sources, farmland, and fences. You can request that we not use herbicide on your property by calling us at (910) 843-4131 or emailing us with your name and address to support@lumbeeriver.com.


*A complete list of herbicides used on our right-of-way along with labels and material safety data sheets can be reviewed at https://southeastwoodland.com/labels/


Can I plant trees near or under the power lines?

Never plant trees near or under power lines. Always consider the size, rate of growth, and species of the plant before planting any vegetation near the right-of-way. Vegetation that grows into LREMC’s right-of-way will be trimmed or cut. Plant vegetation outside of our right-of-way to eliminate safety risks and the potential for trimming.


Who is responsible for trimming trees that interfere with the service line between the transformer and the member’s home?

Our team typically does not remove trees that affect the service line from the transformer to the home. However, when trees are making contact with the service line, we will disconnect the service so the member can remove the trees. When the removal is complete, we will reconnect the service. To request a disconnection of service for tree removal or if you have questions about trees in power lines, please contact us at (910) 843-4131 or email support@lumbeeriver.com.





Vegetation and Electricity Don’t Mix


(1) Before you plant, know what’s below ground by calling NC811 or by visiting www.nc811.org before you dig. Contacting NC811 notifies your local utility companies, who will locate and mark underground utilities at your planting site.

(2) When planting trees, you can avoid the potential for conflict in the future with overhead power lines by checking the size of the tree you are considering growing as it matures.

(3) Never plant trees under or near power lines.

(4) Never attempt to trim trees or vegetation growing on or near overhead power lines. Call LREMC to report any vegetation that is within the power line right-of-way.

(5) Never dig around or near power equipment.

(6) To help LREMC crews avoid delays during right-of-way maintenance, repairs, or power restoration, do not plant flowers or bushes within five feet of your meter base, pad-mount transformers, or power poles. Pad-mount transformers are green electrical boxes seen in or near the yards of many members with underground electrical service.



Identifying Unhealthy Trees


Changing weather patterns from heavy rains to droughts can make dying trees dangerous, and power outages caused by fallen trees are on the rise. Many of these trees are located outside LREMC’s maintained right-of-way but are large enough to impact power lines.


Different trees respond differently to sickness and damage. For example, hardwood tends to lose limbs starting with the top of the canopy, while a pine tree may fall over due to root failure.


To increase system safety and reliability, LREMC’s Vegetation Management team identifies trees that are hazardous to power lines and will work with property owners to remove them.



LREMC’s Trade A Tree Program


By  participating in Lumbee River Electric’s “Trade a Tree Program.” You can help drive down energy costs by allowing us to remove high maintenance tree(s) from our power lines. Here are the options:


Option 1:     We will buy a quality tree of your choice from an approved list at no cost to you on the conditions that:

(1) The tree cannot be planted inside of our power line right-of-way.

(2) The tree is available from our nursery stock.

(3) You are the owner of the tree that is to be removed.


Option 2:     A $50.00 gift certificate to Lowes Home Improvement will be provided to pick out any type of plant you would like on the condition that you are the owner of the tree that is to be removed.


Please note that it is the property owner’s responsibility to plant; provide proper care and protection of the supplied tree.



Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place


A healthy landscape begins with careful planning. With a bit of research and a simple layout, you can produce a landscape that will cool your home in summer and calm the winter winds. A well-planned yard will contain trees that grow well in the soil and moisture of your neighborhood. Your trees will be placed appropriately to avoid collisions with power lines and buildings, and the aesthetics will increase your property value.



A proper landscape plan will consider each tree:



(1) Height. Will the tree bump into anything when it is fully grown? [sizing guide]

(2) Canopy spread. How wide will the tree grow?

(3) Is the tree deciduous or coniferous? (Will it lose its leaves in the winter?)

(4) Form or shape. A columnar tree will grow in less space. Round and V-Shaped species provide the most shade. [shape guide]

(5) Growth rate. How long will it take for your tree to reach its full height? Slow-growing species typically live longer than fast-growing species.

(6) Soil, sun, and moisture requirements.

(7) Fruit. Fruit trees are beautiful, but they are messy, too. Consider where their droppings will fall.

(8) Hardiness Zone. The Plant Hardiness Zones divide the United States based on the lowest average temperature. Suitable hardiness means a plant is expected to grow in the zone’s temperature extremes. Contact your community’s tree board, forestry department, or a local county cooperative extension agent for a list of trees suitable for planting in specific hardiness zones. (Arborday.org hardiness zones lookup.)



Helpful Resources


NC 811: Know What’s Below. Call Before You Dig.

Proper Tree Planting

Tree Care Information

Tree Resources for Teachers