Vegetation Management

Trees are recognized for their tremendous contribution to the environment. Unfortunately, trees growing in the wrong place have the potential to threaten the reliability of electric service and public safety. Most electric utilities recognize trees as the leading cause of unplanned service interruptions, including both sustained duration outages and momentary ones.

When growing in and around electric facilities, trees cause electrical faults and impede access to facilities when emergency or routine repairs are needed. In order to continue serving our membership with reliable electricity, a quality vegetation management program is essential.

Right-of-Way Equipment

We utilize in-house right of way and contractor crews to keep up with the demand for vegetation management.

  • Heavy equipment crews work rural areas of the system
  • Basket crews trim yards, roadsides and more sensitive areas
  • Climbing crews work in backyards and other areas where equipment cannot access the right of way

Each of these crews serves a specific purpose in helping keep the lights on in your neighborhood.

Vegetation Management Cycles

We define a vegetation management cycle as the amount of time allowed between trimming or herbicide activity on a section of line. We attempt to maintain an eight-year trimming cycle in rural areas and a six-year cycle in urban areas.

By maintaining the clearances needed to stay on these cycles, we can greatly reduce the amount of money we spend trimming what we call cycle busters, or hotspot trees, helping keep electricity rates affordable.

Storm-Related Outages

When winter weather or severe thunderstorms move through the area, widespread outages can occur. Even with the best vegetation management program, it is impossible to eliminate all tree-related outages under adverse conditions.

   By staying on strict vegetation management cycles, we can greatly reduce costs, thus helping keep rates affordable.

Rights-of-way that are clear of undergrowth and overhanging limbs are more accessible and require less trimming to restore power. This can mean the difference of a minor storm event that takes hours to restore, or a major weather event that can mean days without power.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you have to trim so much off of my tree?
Trees that have been trimmed will re-sprout and can grow one-to-three feet annually, depending on the species. This type of trimming is cost prohibitive and nearly impossible to manage.

I have a tree on my property that is growing into a power line. How can I get it trimmed?
Contact our office and we will put it on the list to be evaluated.

Will I be notified before any work is done on my property?
We make every attempt to inform the property owner of any work to be done. Personal contact will be attempted first, and if that is not possible a door notification will be left. The property owner will be allowed three days to express any concerns with the work to be done. If there is no response we will proceed with the work as planned.