Right-of-way clearing helps deliver safe, reliable power

Posted on Apr 27 2020 in Harrison REMC

There are many ways that Harrison REMC provides you with safe, reliable electrical service. One of the most common, and crucial ways is referred to as right-of-way clearing (or vegetation management).

A right-of-way (ROW) refers to a strip of land underneath or around power lines that Harrison REMC has the right and responsibility to maintain and clear.

Trees must grow at a distance far enough from the conductors that they will not cause harm to individuals or disruption to electrical service. Harrison REMC’s specifications can vary, but a general guideline for maintaining safe ROW clearance is 15 feet of a single-phased line and 20 feet for a multiple-phased on either side of the primary conductors, cut ground to sky. Maintaining these clearances allows Harrison REMC easy and safe access to our poles and equipment in the event of a power outage which also speeds up power restoration.


Clearing of ROW is critical to keeping our members’ lights on. A large percentage of our power interruptions occur because trees, shrubs or bushes grew too close to power lines. If a tree intrudes on this safe working distance, our vegetation management team will trim back branches and brush using chainsaws, bucket trucks, tree climbers, brush chippers, mowers and sky trimmers. Herbicide is also used to combat the growth of low-growing plant species that will compete with the tall trees growing beneath the power lines.


ROW clearing also keeps your family safe by ensuring that tree branches do not become energized due to contact with a power line. Harrison REMC’s power lines can carry up to 12,470/7,200 volts, and an energized tree branch can be very dangerous or even deadly. Be mindful when around trees close to power lines, and make sure your children know that climbing trees near power lines is extremely dangerous. Staying ahead of the game helps us avoid coming out after a storm to restore power due to fallen trees and broken branches. 

During 2020, Harrison REMC will follow up on right-of-way and targeted herbicide application out of our Ramsey and Dogwood substations (Figure A).

Harrison REMC will also be performing routine trimming, mowing and the removal of dangerous trees out of our New Salisbury, Georgetown, Greenville and Floyds Knobs substations (Figure B).

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact our office during the normal business hours of 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 812-738-4115 or 812-951-2323.