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Vegetation management keeps power safe, reliable

Vegetation management keeps power safe, reliable

Posted on February 21st, 2020

First Electric works hard to maintain its right-of-way near overhead lines to provide safe and reliable service for our members. Right-of-way refers to a strip of land underneath or around power lines that is maintained and cleared.

Trees are one of the major causes of power outages in areas with overhead utility lines. When trees contact live wires, they may become conductors of electricity and cause outages or create dangerous situations for anyone coming in contact with them.

Trees must grow at a distance far enough from conductors where it will not cause harm to individuals or disruption to electrical service.

In 2019, approximately 15 percent of First Electric’s power interruptions occurred from trees or other vegetation near lines.

“Ideally, the dripline of a mature tree’s canopy should not be within 15 feet on either side of overhead lines or within 10 feet of our underground transformers,” Tim Felty, right-of-way maintenance supervisor said.

All trees along fences, roadways and other unmaintained areas will be removed during regularly scheduled maintenance regardless of size or height.

“Prior to work starting, we try to notify our members with door hanger fliers. Our website is a great way to see where our crews and contractors are working. Clean-up crews follow the right-of-way work three to five days after clearing,” Felty said.

Call 800-489-7405 to report trees near lines or read more about our vegetation management program.

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