Arbor Day Free Tree Giveaway
The co-op gives members a free tree each May in conjunction with Arbor Day. This year (2016) marks GVEA's 26th Annual Tree Giveaway. Since 1991, a total of 77,300 trees and shrubs have been given away.
Do you have a story about a tree or shrub that you received via our tree giveaway program? We'd love to hear it and perhaps see pictures. To share your story, submit our Contact Form.
Here are the details tied to this year's event:
- Saturday, May 13, 2017
- This year's plant will be a bare-root Siberian Crab Apple
- The event will begin at 9am and end at noon (unless we run out of trees sooner)
- Plants are given away on a first-come, first-served basis
- Only one plant per family ... sorry, no exceptions
- Location: GVEA's Fairbanks parking lot ... 758 Illinois Street
Note: a limited supply of plants was also available at our Delta Junction and Nenana offices after 10am on Friday, May 12.
Quick Links for Planting
Don't worry; your power should not be affected when our right-of-way crews clear the area around nearby power lines.
The areas to be worked in 2017 will be posted in early spring.
Frequently Asked Questions about our tree clearing program.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does GVEA clear right of ways?
GVEA maintains more than 3,000 miles of power line. This is done seasonally, April through October, but power outages happen year-round. We clear for these three basic reasons:
- A clear right of way enables our line crews to quickly access power lines, identify outage causes and make repairs. Maintaining cleared rights of way has helped shorten the length of outages considerably.
- To prevent danger trees from falling into the lines. Trees falling into power lines are one of the leading causes of power outages. As clearing progresses through our power grid, danger trees are identified and removed.
- To prevent trees from growing into the line. Trees growing into power lines become energized and are hazardous to people, pets and equipment. Also, electricity going into the ground costs us all money, similar to leaving your water running while no body is using it.
How much area will be cleared?
Most right-of-way easements are 30-feet wide. We normally cut all brush to the ground.
What is a hazard tree?
Hazard trees are trees with severe defects, which may cause the tree or part of the tree, to fail and damage our equipment, such as a high-voltage power line. Examples include:
- Dead trees
- Decayed trunks or root systems
- Severely leaning or overhanging trees
- Trees with high potential to fall into a line due to snow load
GVEA has certified tree risk assessors who can evaluate hazardous trees to determine if there's potential danger. If it is determined that a tree poses an unacceptable risk to our equipment, we may remove it.
Please note: Due to limited resources, we do not remove trees that are not in danger of damaging our equipment. If you are clearing around your service drop and suspect you may fall a tree into the power line, we recommend you hire a contractor.
To report a tree you suspect may be a danger tree, phone our operations office at 451-5692.
- Never attempt to trim or remove danger trees yourself. The result could be damage to GVEA's facilities and you will be held responsible for any repairs. Worse, you could be injured or killed. When in doubt, please call 451-5692.
- Never touch a tree in contact with a power line. Trees do conduct electricity and can cause serious injury or death.
How are members notified of GVEA's ROW clearing plans?
Golden Valley Electric attempts to notify residents well in advance. Even if we will not be working on your property, we may have to access our work area through your right of way. Members are usually notified by mail of work being done in your area, but someone may talk to you in person or leave a door hanger. This gives you the opportunity to contact us before work begins. For more information, call our Right-of-Way Maintenance Department at 458-5717.
What kind of equipment does GVEA use to clear?
You will see us clearing with machines, as well as hand clearing. Mechanical clearing is done by a Kershaw brush mower, BobCat forestry mower and a Sky Trim. The mowers cut and mulch the brush. The Sky Trim, which has a 75-foot boom with a rotating saw blade, cuts tree branches growing towards the power lines. Care should be taken to stay well away from the machines as they can throw pieces of wood or other debris that could cause injury.
Our hand crews clear where the Kershaw mower can't go, due to restrictive terrain, lawns or close proximity to buildings. They cut and stack brush along the side of the right of way, trim tree branches that the Kershaw Sky Trim cannot reach and remove danger trees system-wide.
Will you clear around my electrical service drop?
Service drops are the lines that connect your house or business to GVEA's high-voltage lines. Since the service drop is owned by the homeowner, it is the homeowner's responsibility to maintain it. The service drop should be kept clear of trees and brush. Note that small twigs and leaves brushing against the line should not cause any problems with your electric service.
Golden Valley Electric may evaluate danger trees threatening a service drop, but we are not obligated to cut them. If you have trees you wish to remove that are not classified as danger trees, GVEA recommends hiring a contractor.
We can also disconnect your service for you in some instances to make felling of the trees easier and reconnect it when you are done. There is not a charge for this service during business hours, but please try to provide at least 5 days notice.
If you would like to report a suspected danger tree or schedule a temporary disconnect, call our operations department at 451-5692.
Links to Arboricultural Sites
General Information on trees, planting and care:
Do you know that where you plant trees can save you energy? Learn where to plant your trees:http://forestry.alaska.gov/images/treetools/alaska_landscaping_house.jpg
Links to defend your home against forest fires