Trees can be beautiful, but they’re also a pain when it comes to keeping the power on. Electric cooperatives use several different vegetation management methods to keep the electric grid in good shape, including tree trimming and clearing, which includes removing brush from around poles. Here’s what you need to know about how electric cooperatives manage vegetation around powerlines in order to keep the lights on:
Trees can be beautiful but can also cause problems for powerlines.
If you’re in the business of trimming trees, it can be tempting to just chop them down. But there are some reasons why this isn’t a good idea:
- Trees can grow into powerlines and cause outages.
- Trees can fall on powerlines and cause outages.
- Trees growing on your property may not be safe for power lines, so they should be removed before you start trimming any other vegetation or building structures around the area where these trees are located.
Electric cooperatives use a variety of vegetation management methods to keep the power on.
Electric cooperatives use a variety of vegetation management methods to keep the power on. Trimming, pruning and topping are all common methods that electric coops use to ensure a healthy tree canopy.
to cutting down entire trees while they’re still alive instead of just trimming them like we did above!
Vegetation management program are not one-size-fits-all.
The most common types of vegetation management are tree trimming and tree removal. Tree trimming involves cutting branches that hang over power lines, while tree removal involves cutting or digging up large trees that are blocking or impeding access to property.
Tree trimming is the cheapest method because it doesn’t require machinery like other methods do. However, it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing! For example: a chainsaw will not cut down a cherry tree easily at all; therefore I recommend using an axe instead when working with these types of trees (you may have heard this before).
Trees should be trimmed once every three to five years.
Trimming trees is important for safety, power lines, fires and outages. It also helps maintain the beauty of the landscape and reduces maintenance costs.
- Trimming ensures that trees are not too tall to pose a hazard to power lines;
- Trimming keeps limbs from falling on vehicles or people;
- Trimming helps prevent fires by keeping duff (dry leaves) from igniting;
- If you have a mature tree in your yard that requires pruning every year or two, then it’s time to consider getting rid of it!
Tree-trimming crews avoid certain trees like oak and red cedar because they are more dangerous to trim around power lines and they grow back faster.
The tree-trimming crews avoid certain trees like oak and red cedar because they are more dangerous to trim around power lines and they grow back faster. They also prefer not to work around the more common ash, maple, and birch trees because they’re harder to trim with the same precision as other species.
Oak trees have a high sap content that makes them very sensitive to chemical treatments used during pruning operations. Oak saps can cause skin irritation if exposed directly on the skin or eyes; however, this is usually only experienced by those who wear protective gear while working with these species (such as gloves).
We hope that you have a better understanding of the limitations of vegetation management programs and how your cooperative can help. If you have any questions about tree-trimming crews or electric cooperatives, please don’t hesitate to reach out!