Clay Electric’s vegetation management pruning methods, both initial and re-pruning, is performed in accordance with the latest recognized and approved principles of modern arboriculture and tree surgery where possible. Lateral or natural tree pruning methods are used according to ANSI A-300 standards. This is the voluntary standard for all tree work in the United States. The National Arbor Day Foundation and the International Society of Arboriculture endorse lateral tree pruning as one of the best methods of line clearance tree pruning for the health of the trees. Although a tree's appearance may be considered unusual after the initial pruning, it quickly improves with time and growing seasons. Branches or limbs should be cut flush with supporting trunk or limb so that the fewest stubs are left whenever possible. The flush cut method is used as defined by Dr. Alex Shigo, U.S. Forest Research Scientist. Branches or limbs are flush to the branch bark line and not necessarily flush with the trunk of the tree. Clay Electric’s Vegetation Management does not recognize topping trees as an acceptable method of tree pruning.
Lateral and side tree pruning are the most acceptable methods for utilities in line clearance vegetation maintenance. Lateral pruning is a technique whereby branches are removed at a parent branch or at a lateral branch large enough to assume the terminal role. Branches growing into the utility line space are removed and those branches growing away from or parallel to the conductors remain. Wherever possible, the trees are allowed to achieve their normal mature height with crown development away from the conductors.