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

Posted on Jan 31 2023 in Harrison REMC

At Harrison REMC, our primary goal is to provide safe and reliable power to the membership. To help us succeed in reaching our goal, we maintain a comprehensive right-of-way program, designed to help us fulfill our purpose while remaining environmentally responsible.

We proudly serve 23,000+ meters with 2,400+ miles of electric line across five counties. We’re dedicated to ensuring a high level of service reliability. We clear rights-of-way using the safest and most efficient methods to ensure adequate and safe distance from trees or other vegetation. Our subject matter experts are always involved in right-of-way related projects, to help ensure we maintain a high level of environmental responsibility.

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 you’re around trees growing 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 2023, Harrison REMC will be performing follow-up ROW and targeted herbicide application out of the Mauckport and Elizabeth substations (Figure A).

Harrison REMC will also be performing routine tree trimming, mowing and removal of dangerous trees out of the Corydon and Bradford 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.

Our 2023 tree crews will be Integrity Tree Service and H & L Tree Service.