SWEPCO´s Forestry Program Promotes Tree Care

Trees are part of a community’s greatest assets. But when trees grow into electrical lines, they can be damaged, posing safety hazards and disrupting service. That’s why Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) practices and promotes responsible tree care year-round through its Forestry program. SWEPCO works to manage the growth of trees in neighborhoods, and to protect nearby power lines that provide electric service.
            SWEPCO’s Forestry program was created as a result of the severe ice storm that struck the company’s East Texas and Louisiana service territory in February 1994. “We developed a program which takes tree health into consideration through proper pruning techniques, as well as reducing power outages and improving service reliability,” says Danny Salter, supervisor of SWEPCO forestry.
            It’s important to trim and remove trees near power lines to help prevent power outages during storms. SWEPCO is responsible for trimming trees near its distribution lines (pole-to-pole). AEP employs tree service contractors, who work under the direction of SWEPCO’s professional utility foresters to help provide safe, reliable electricity.
            “The true mission of the program is reducing tree-related outages,” adds Salter. “During severe storms, wind-blown or ice-laden tree limbs that contact power lines are the most common cause of outages. Our Forestry Services trimming and planting education program is designed to significantly reduce outages caused by trees.”
            A direct effect of fewer tree-related outages is an increase in improved service reliability to SWEPCO’s 443, 000 customers in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. Trimming is done systematically by areas of town or major electrical circuits.  Tree removal is encouraged in some cases where potentially hazardous trees grow directly under power lines. If a tree is removed, a SWEPCO utility forester can help property owners select the proper tree to replant.
            SWEPCO tree crews have gained experience through training courses, proper supervision and new methodology, to shorten response time during service restoration efforts after adverse conditions have caused outages.
            The company trims trees using modern arboriculture techniques. Additionally, SWEPCO utilizes environmentally sound practices in its herbicide program. “By selectively applying herbicides approved by the Environmental Protection Agency to stumps and standing brush, we prevent our rights-of-way from becoming overgrown,” says Salter.   
            SWEPCO customers are typically notified of routine trimming through door hangers passed out five days prior to arrival, listing a contractor’s phone number if any customer has a concern about trimming procedures. “Customers are encouraged to plant the right tree in the right place,” says Salter. “We also remind our customers that they are responsible for trimming trees near their service drop (line from pole to the meter), and to make sure tools and equipment are kept at least 10 feet away from power lines.”
          The company’s customer awareness program includes door knockers, civic group presentations, inserts with electric bills, personal visits and brochures. The Tree Tips – A Planning Guide illustrated booklet is available free of charge and offers information on more than 70 trees that grow well in the company’s service area and the best locations to plant them. A copy can be requested by calling toll-free 1-888-216-3523. “SWEPCO is committed to balancing the importance of trees with the equally important need to provide reliable electricity to our customers,” adds Salter.

Scott McCloud
Communications Consultant

More From APCO

Take Charge

Save Money & Energy - Now & Later

Sign Up Now Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Pay Online for Free with Paperless Billing

Learn more

Download our app

How We Restore Power Learn more

How We Restore Power

Visit AEP.com
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the AEP Terms and Conditions. View our Privacy Policy. © 1996-2019 American Electric Power. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for Appalachian Power, a unit of American Electric Power (AEP)


This Privacy Policy applies only to AppalachianPower.com and the Appalachian Power customer mobile app (com.aep.customerapp.apco). Other AEP websites and apps may be governed by their own privacy policies, appropriate to the uses and needs of each. Throughout the site or app, we may provide links to resources and sites that are not part of AppalachianPower.com or the Appalachian Power customer mobile app. This Privacy Policy does not apply to those resources and sites.


By using this site or app, you consent to the terms of this Privacy Policy. Whenever you submit information via this site or app, you agree to the collection, use, and disclosure of that information in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Information Collected

  1. Passively collected information

    During your use of this site or app, we may collect anonymous information about your visit here through the use of server logs, cookies, scripts, tracking pixels and other Web traffic tracking systems. This information is aggregated and used to improve user experience through analysis of user activities. This information is never combined with any of the personally identifiable information you may provide in your use of the features of this site or app.
  2. Personally identifiable information

    On certain forms of this site or app, you may be asked to provide information about yourself or your account with us, either to identify yourself to us or to request a service from us. In each case, we will inform you what information is provided at your option and what information is required to complete the transaction or activity you are engaged in. If you are unwilling to provide this required information, you will be unable to complete the requested transaction.

Use and disclosure of information

The information you provide to us will be used to respond to requests you may make for services. Some or all of this information may be added to your permanent account record and may be used for research purposes.

In addition, we may use elements of this information in the following situations:

  1. We may transfer the information to Appalachian Power’s affiliates and subsidiaries, unless such transfer is prohibited by law;
  2. We may transfer the information as part of a merger, consolidation, acquisition, divestiture or other corporate restructuring (including bankruptcy);
  3. We may make the information available to third parties who are providing the product, service or information that you have requested (but not your password);
  4. We may make such information available to third parties who are providing services to Appalachian Power (for example, providing the information to third parties performing computer-related services for Appalachian Power);
  5. We may use the information to communicate with you about products and services that may be of interest to you.
  6. We may disclose the information if we form a good-faith belief that disclosure of such information is necessary to investigate, prevent, or take action regarding any illegal activities or regarding interference with the operation of our site or violation of its terms of use; or
  7. We may disclose the information if we believe that disclosure is required by law or regulation or in response to a subpoena or other order of a court or other governmental agency.

Appalachian Power uses Flurry Analytics Service (provided by Yahoo) in order to improve its mobile apps. Flurry’s privacy policy governs the use of this information.

Also, Appalachian Power reserves the right to share any aggregated information (i.e., non-personally identifiable information) with any third parties for any reason, unless prohibited by law.

We will not sell, rent or otherwise disclose the information we gather about you or your account to any third party, except as outlined in this Privacy Policy.


Appalachian Power takes reasonable steps to protect your personally identifiable information as it is transferred to us, through the use of Web technologies such as the Secure Sockets Layer and others. However, no Internet transmission of information is ever completely secure or error-free. In particular, e-mail sent to or from Appalachian Power may not be secure.

How to Reach Us

If you would like to update your personally identifiable information or if you have questions about this privacy policy, please contact us.

Changes to This Policy

Appalachian Power reserves the right to change this Privacy Policy at any time. If this Privacy Policy changes, the revised policy will be posted to this site. Please review this Privacy Policy before you provide any personally identifiable information through this site. Use of our web site after the posting of a revised privacy policy constitutes your consent to the revised policy.

This policy was last revised on December 13, 2017.

Close ×

Sign Up For Alerts

Subscribing to APCO alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Win an Xbox One with Alerts!

Enroll in alerts to be eligible to win. Subscribing to I&M alerts gives you instant notification for:

  • Billing & Payments - avoid late payments and disconnection
  • Outage Updates - find out if there's an outage at your address and when power will be back on

Loading video...