Middle Tennessee Electric wants to use chemical to control tree branch growth


Middle Tennessee Electric customers could soon be getting a notice on their front doors. 

The electric provider wants to apply a tree growth regulator to the trees to slow down the growth of branches. This would keep branches away from electrical lines. 

But, many question how safe the chemical is for kids, pets, and adults playing or working in the yards. 

“I grew up in agricultural areas, and I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood.  It’s thought to have been caused by chemicals either sprayed on trees or residences,” says Steve Anderson, an MTEMC customer, and Wilson County resident. 

So just how safe is the chemical? 

“This is EPA approved and it is not a spray.  This is something that is sub-surface. And it’s put into the ground. So it is not something that is put out into the air. And so it’s really designed to treat the specific tree the way the tree needs to be treated,” says Brad Gibson with MTEMC. “What we found is, that if we look at vegetation management, and making sure that we maintain that right away properly, that people want choices. And the choices we are giving them is, ‘do you want to have it trimmed?  Do you want something removed?  Or would you like to look at this tree growth management option?”

Before the company does the chemical application, they will knock on your door and get your permission first. Otherwise, they won’t be doing it. 

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