Tree trimming (also known as vegetation management) is a statewide issue involving safety, reliability, and aesthetics. We understand that you may have questions about your rights and responsibilities. To help guide the conversation about this important issue, we've highlighted the requirements on this webpage that set standards for how investor-owned utilities may conduct their tree-trimming practices.
Status of the Order and Rule
The Order in Cause Number 43663 took effect on November 30, 2010.
The Order on Reconsideration, further clarifying the Order, took effect on July 7, 2011. These Orders provide the standards by which all jurisdictional utilities must trim trees.
The IURC also worked with stakeholders, including the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and the public, to craft an administrative rule to further define trimming requirements for investor-owned utilities. This rule, Title 170 Ind. Administrative Code 4-9, was adopted in 2012 and readopted in 2019.
The IURC's rules and regulations only apply to investor-owned electric utilities (i.e., Duke Energy, Indiana Michigan Power, Indianapolis Power and Light, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, and Vectren). Prior to the IURC's investigation and subsequent rulemaking process, there were inconsistent practices among the utilities. After holding numerous public field hearings and reviewing testimony provided by the utilities and the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, the IURC determined that rules and regulations were needed to ensure adequate notice and consistent procedures.
What to Expect
- If your property is affected, your utility company will provide notice at least two weeks prior to when the trimming is set to occur.
- If you have questions or concerns, you have the right to discuss them with your utility company.
- Utilities are prohibited from removing more than 25% of your tree or topping it without your permission, unless there is an emergency or safe and reliable service cannot be achieved.
- Utilities are required to remove all debris related to the trimming within three days, unless there is an emergency.
- Your existing property rights are not affected by the rules. In fact, the IURC's ruling reminds utilities that they cannot trim outside an easement or right of way without the customer's consent.
- If you are unable to reach an agreement with your utility company about the trimming of your trees, you may contact the IURC's Consumer Affairs Division for assistance. Please note the best time to resolve a dispute is before any trimming actually occurs.
Each utility has information specific to tree trimming on its website. Here you can find helpful information about planting the right tree in the right place. After all, prevention is key. To access your investor-owned utility's webpage on tree trimming, please select from the following list.