Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association

Vegetation Management

Tree Trim & Removal Request | Tree Planting Guidelines | “Trade-a-Tree” Program | Mulch Delivery & Online Request

Trees growing under or near power lines are the most common cause of power outages. To ensure reliable and safe power FKEC implements a comprehensive vegetation management program.

FKEC trims vegetation around approximately 200 miles of power lines a year on a three-year cycle. The cooperative is required by law to maintain certain clearances and varies the amount of pruning by tree and location within the requirements. FKEC’s specially trained Tree Crews also use natural tree trimming techniques and arborist cuts to maintain the trees health and encourage growth away from lines. When pruning is performed, all resulting tree debris is removed.

Remember, never attempt to trim or prune any vegetation near power lines. If you see vegetation that is or potentially could interfere with power lines or equipment fill out an online Tree Trim Request, call 305-852-2431, or visit an FKEC office.

If you are currently without power or see a tree touching power lines causing sparking or a hazardous conditions call FKEC immediately at 305-852-2431 or in an emergency 911.

Tree Trim & Removal Requests

If a tree or vegetation is interfering or posing a potential threat to power lines or electrical equipment you may submit a Tree Trim Request.

Remember, FKEC is only responsible for trimming vegetation around Co-op electrical lines and equipment. The Cooperative will not trim vegetation that does not pose threats to electrical lines and equipment.

Submit Online Tree Trim Request
or call 305.852.2431 / 800.858-8845

Tree Planting Guidelines

Trees growing under or near power lines are the most common cause of power outages. FKEC implements a comprehensive Vegetation Management Program that not only minimizes power outages and ensure public safety, but is also environmentally sensitive.

Download FKEC's Comprehensive Planting Guide

Be a Part Of The Solution…

Home and business owners can help keep our community’s lines clear by following these planting tips:

FKEC Green Plan

Before Planting Consider:

  • Rate of growth: Slow growing plants are easier to groom and maintain.
  • Mature size: Small, immature trees planted today can grow into problem trees in the future so please consider the ultimate mature size of a tree before planting.
  • Canopy size: Large canopy trees grow up and out. Plant these trees away from power equipment.
  • Root system: When planting near underground power equipment, use only vegetation with a shallow root system.
  • Air Flow: Power equipment needs ventilation to operate properly. Do not plant trees or other vegetation that will obstruct natural airflow around overhead and underground power equipment.

General Planting Guidelines:

  • Shrubs & Small Trees (20’ mature height or less): Plant these under or adjacent to overhead
    power lines.
  • Medium Trees (20’-30’ mature height): Plant at least 20 horizontal feet from overhead power lines.
  • Large Trees (30’ mature height or taller): Plant at least 30 horizontal feet from overhead power lines.
  • Palm Trees: Plant one mature frond length (coconut palms have 15’ long mature fronds) plus ten horizontal feet from overhead power lines.

Problem Trees:

The following non-native trees can cause conflicts when planted near both overhead and under-ground power equipment:

  • Ficus
  • Schefflera
  • Tree bamboo
  • Australian pine
  • Brazilian pepper
  • Melaleuca
  • Chinese tallow
  • Camphor

Underground Power Equipment:

Even areas served by underground power have some aboveground equipment that requires clearance. Utility workers must have proper clearances (10 feet in front and 3 feet on all other sides) to use a “hot stick” to work on padmount transformers (equipment necessary for underground power). See diagram below:

FKEC Green Plan

Remember before planting or digging around electric lines or equipment call “Sunshine State” at 811, visit www.call811.com or call FKEC directly at 305-852-2431.

“Trade-a-Tree” Program

In some cases, problem trees must be removed. When there is no other choice then to remove a tree FKEC offers the homeowner the choice to “Trade-a-Tree”. FKEC removes the problem-tree and then plants a suitable native species on the property where it will not interfere with power equipment.


  • Removes the problem tree
  • Maintains existing surrounding landscape
  • Replaces problem tree with Suitable Native Species away from power lines
  • Is of no cost to Member

Mulch Delivery Requests

FKEC sorts and mulches tree trimmings after clearing power lines and will deliver it for free at any Co-op member’s request.

This type of mulch is different from store-bought mulch, which is treated and made from one kind of tree. The quality and consistency of the mulch offered by FKEC varies considerably depending on the types of trees and leaves removed during the tree work. This mulch is not recommended for aesthetic use.

FKEC recommends this mulch for:

  • Maintain moisture around trees
  • Maintain soil temperature
  • Reduce weeds and grasses
  • Provide nutrients to the soil
  • Reduce wind erosion from uncovered soils.

Important facts for Requesting Mulch:

  • Only FKEC Members may submit a request
  • Each truck load is approximately 15 cubic yards of loose un-bagged mulch (equivalent to about 25 wheelbarrows or 130 bags of store-bought mulch)
  • If requesting delivery to a vacant lot (with no meter) proof of ownership must be provided.
  • FKEC cannot provide a specific “delivery date”. If you have an immediate need for mulch, we suggest contacting a local tree contractor who may be able to accommodate you sooner.
  • FKEC cannot guarantee loads do not contain palm fronds or poisonwood, although our crews do their best to keep the loads “clean”.
  • FKEC is not responsible for any insects that may appear after delivery. (Fleas and ticks do not live in trees. If they appear after delivery they were most likely stirred up by the mulch not brought in with it)
  • FKEC will not remove or relocate a load of mulch once it has been delivered.

To request a mulch delivery you must provide the following information:

  • Member’s name (as it appears on your FKEC billing statement)
  • FKEC Account Number
  • FKEC Service Address
  • Email address (not required if ordering by phone)
  • Member’s daytime phone number(s)
  • Provide a brief description of the desired location on the property you would like our crews to drop the load of mulch
  • Note : In addition, the desired “drop spot” must be clearly marked (i.e.: a flag, stick, paint, tarp, etc.)

Submit Online Mulch Delivery Request
or call 305.852.2431 / 800.858-8845

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative Association