Tree Trimming and PSE&G

Over the past few weeks a few residents have inquired about the various trimming and removal of trees in the Village primarily in the West End.

Although the Village Tree Department is actively working in the Village every day, the majority of the work in the West End is being done by PSE&G.   In order to ensure trees and their branches do not disrupt power and to be in compliance with Federal and New York State regulations PSE&G must have a vegetation and tree trimming program in place according to American Standards Institute (ANSI 300) regulations. This states that utilities need to clear power right of ways periodically to create a clearance zone. The Federal Regulation (ANSI Standards) requires clearances to the wires at 8-feet on the sides, 12-feet above and 10-feet below. Although this is unfortunate, it cannot be avoided.

Trees and limbs interfering with electrical lines cause power outages and often lengthen the amount of time power is out by preventing crews from reaching equipment until debris is cleared. Many of these trees are also in direct contact with a power line carrying up to 13,000 volts of electricity. Trees can conduct electricity particularly when wet posing a risk of injury to people. Trimming trees away from power lines which is called directional trimming, although at first may look different, keeps the tree healthy and directs new growth away from power lines.  As such our Superintendent and Deputy Superintendent of Public Works, as in the past, met with PSE&G prior to the utility’s most recent work.  At these meetings they discussed each tree that PSE&G decided had to be taken down and in a good number of cases they were able to work with PSE&G to only have the tree trimmed instead of being removed.  In the unfortunate case when a tree had to be removed, our superintendents informed the resident of what was to occur and why. These removals also save our Village the cost of hiring outside contractors to remove them, saving our taxpayers thousands of dollars in removal costs. PSE&G removes these trees at no cost to our Village.

As a proud participant for the past 20 years in the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program, the Village is committed to ensuring our Village maintains its tree canopy which is why we have PSE&G replace trees that need to be removed with wire friendly trees at no cost. PSE&G also donated 15 trees to our Village to be planted in various parks such as Centennial Gardens.  Our Department of Public Works has also almost completed their spring planting program and we are now in the process of establishing a planting list for the fall planting season.

Should you have any questions or comments please call the Department of Public Works at 326-6320 or email us at

Kevin Fitzgerald, Deputy Mayor and Public Works Commissioner