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Tree Pruning

The damage caused by fallen branches and vegetation growing into utility lines can result in outages to numerous customers. City Utilities’ vegetation management program addresses trees and brush encroaching on the utility right of way.


CU Tree Pruning Activities

Curious where CU is pruning trees? We have an interactive map available for you to view.

Typical Electrical Hardware
Typical Electrical Hardware
Why does CU prune trees?

City Utilities prunes trees away from electric lines in order to provide reliable electric service to our customers. Tree limbs & brush growing into the electric lines more commonly cause outages than trees or limbs breaking and striking the line.

Which contractors work for City Utilities, performing authorized vegetation management work?
  • ACRT – Work planning and notification prior to tree pruning or other work
  • Asplundh – Contract tree pruning company
  • Certified Tree Tech – Stump grinding services
  • Hufft Land Service – Pollinator plots
  • Kenny Singer Construction – Tree growth regulator applicator
  • Progressive Solutions – Herbicide applicator
  • Shade Tree – Contract tree pruning company
  • Wright’s – Contract tree pruning company
What determines how much to prune?

Pruning clearance is determined by voltage, with higher voltages requiring more clearance.

Transmission lines require a minimum of 15′ of clearance with no overhanging branches.

Primary voltage distribution lines require a minimum of 10’of clearance with no overhanging branches allowed in some electrical line configurations.

Does CU prune around service lines to a home or business?

Property owners are responsible for keeping tree limbs away from this line. For your safety, consider hiring a professional for major pruning.

If you choose to do the pruning yourself, CU will gladly disconnect the service wire and reconnect it when the pruning has been completed. There is no charge for this service. Allow two days notification for scheduling.

Call (417) 863-9000 to request a service drop.

What if I want to prune my trees that are close to a power line?

​No person or entity may come within 10′ of a primary voltage energized line unless authorized as per the Missouri Overhead Power Line Safety Act.

If an owner wishes to have a tree removed or pruned that is within this range, CU has an assist program to help at no charge to the customer.

A residential tree company or property owner may contact Tree Management at (417) 874-8157 to schedule an assist. A forester will make a visit to the property to confirm that the work being done meets the criteria for an assist and record data for the tree crew.

On the day of the assist a contractor crew will arrive and the tree may be safely pruned or removed by the property owner or their contractor. All debris will be left on site.

Does CU clean up tree debris left after storm-related outages?

CU does not clean up trees or branches that have fallen over or broken out of trees and landed on our utility line. CU may have to cut the tree or branches in order to restore power but will not be responsible for clean up.

CU cleans up pruning that they have initiated to restore power. This brush will normally be cleaned up within a week.

Why does City Utilities prune trees the way they do?

Although utility pruning has different objectives than other types of pruning, CU arborists adhere to professional industry standards recognized by the International Society of Arboriculture.

This type of pruning requires that cuts occur at locations causing the least damage to a tree, enabling the tree to properly recover and heal from the pruning.

The natural structure of the tree, the growth pattern, and the tree’s mature size and shape are all considered before pruning begins. The intent is to remove branches back to lateral branches or parent stems that will grow away from utility facilities.

CU arborists do not top or round over the tree’s canopy.  This practice severely damages trees and encourages rapid re-growth back into facilities. When these cuts are repeated over time trees are weakened, their food stores are depleted, and their ability to resist insects, diseases, and failure is decreased.

What happens to the chips and wood left over after CU pruning?

CU will remove the chips and leave the wood for owner use.

Wood chips are available to the public for pickup anytime at 740 N. Belcrest. 

Contact Tree Management

Our staff is available to assist you with questions concerning CU tree-pruning efforts. Please contact your forester if you have their door card.

  • (417) 874-8157
  • 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Send Tree Management an online message.

Please Note: This form is not intended for use in reporting emergencies requiring immediate attention, such as natural gas leaks and downed electrical lines. For utility emergencies, call CU at (417) 863-9000, or dial 911.

If you require additional assistance using this form, call City Utilities at (417) 863-9000.