Diseased, Dying & Dead Trees Cause Power Outages & Pose Safety Risk

Throughout the Miami Valley, there are an increasing number of dead and dying trees outside of DP&L's "trim zone" that threaten to damage power lines when they fall.

Besides the inconvenience to customers caused by these trees falling on power lines and causing preventable outages, there is also the potential for injury or death to customers in the vicinity of a fallen line.

Ash trees that have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer are particularly a problem. The ash tree-killing insects have spread to 63 Ohio counties since first being identified in 2003 in Ohio. The infestation threatens 3.8 billion ash trees in the state.

Ash trees damaged by the insects become unstable and may fall at any time, posing a danger to people, property and power lines. The trees can grow to be 60 feet tall and even if they are 10 feet away from power lines, as required, they can fall on a line and take out power to customers.

While there may be an expense for property owners to remove the damaged trees, the potential for injuries, death and damage to property is far worse. DP&L is encouraging property owners to do their part to protect family and neighbors from injury and to help keep the power supply from being interrupted: remove dead and dying trees and dispose of the debris properly. And, be alert to the early signs of an infestation to see if you can save your tree or at least trees nearby, such as the very top of your ash tree beginning to die. Sprouts along the trunk are a sign your tree is in late stages of an infestation and needs safely removed. See more examples and symptoms.

Because the Ash Borer has been found throughout most of Ohio, there are no longer quarantine regulations in place within the state. But it is still recommended that Ohioans exercise caution when moving firewood. Additional information about the Emerald Ash Borer can be found at the Ohio Department of Agriculture website.

DP&L trims tree limbs in its “right of way” year-round to prevent power outages. There is an easement around power lines where the company has the right of way to clear vegetation and trim trees. Tree trimming improves the reliability of the electrical system, especially during storms that bring high winds and ice.