PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — PECO has an aggressive tree trimming program underway which is designed to prevent outages before they happen.

PECO has contracted with ASPLUNDH to thin out and trim branches from around power lines for years. But this year, crews are not just trimming branches, but cutting trees to the ground in many areas. Recently in Bucks County, eleven cherry pickers with tree trimmers lined Elm Avenue. PECO’s Kristina Pappas says, however, this is not new.

“We trim in all counties in our service territory, so we don’t focus in particular in one county,” she said. “It is all over the territory. Our tree trimming is done on about a five year cycle. So every five years, for the most part, you’ll see some routine tree trimming going on.”

Pappas says trimming branches and trees reduces outages by 20-to-30 percent in each year.

Last year, PECO spent $41 million in vegetation management, covering 3,400 miles of electric lines.