By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – PECO tree trimming begins in select Philadelphia neighborhoods next week.

Liz Williamson with PECO says trees will be pruned in various neighborhoods starting January 9th through April, “and we’re going to be trimming trees along about 250 miles of aerial lines in Philadelphia.” The crews will cover several neighborhoods, including Frankford, Hunting Park, Mayfair, Rhawnhurst, Richmond, Juniata, Tacony and Wissinoming.

She says the goal is to protect power lines without harming the trees.

“All of our tree pruning is done in accordance with the American National Standards Institute standard for tree pruning. We have people who are certified arboriculturalists who know all the techniques and have all the education to conduct this work.”

“This standard takes into account the type and location of the tree in relation to the overhead wires and the health of the tree.”

How do they get the trees to look as though they’re splitting to make way for power lines?

“I think as a result of the pruning that is done and the limbs that are removed, the remaining limbs are growing in such a direction that it grows away from the lines.”

She says pruning helps prevent some power outages, “because vegetation causes about one third of all electric outages.”