Right-of-way the right way

Posted on Apr 07 2020 in Noble REMC
Tree trimming crew

Ron Raypole

We love trees. They beautify our landscape, provide shade and are an essential part of nature.

When you see a Noble REMC crew out trimming trees, know that we are doing so to keep you safe and prevent service issues.

Too close for comfort

Although most trees do not present a problem, some of them grow into or crowd power lines or other utility equipment. When greenery becomes too close for comfort, we have to address it because overgrowth can interfere with power distribution and create a fire hazard.

The majority of power outages are caused by tree-related issues. It is our job to ensure trees, branches and limbs are a safe distance from power lines.

Clear power lines make it easier and safer for lineworkers to access and fix problems that may occur. When clearing around lines, we make sure proper pruning techniques are used to preserve tree health as much as possible. Pruning is the first line of defense against unruly trees, although sometimes a tree must be removed. This is a last resort for certain scenarios: when a fast-growing tree is located directly under a power line or for trees that are leaning, in decline or cracked or split.

Spraying for safety

While we focus a lot on what’s above, we also care about what’s below. Keeping power lines safe means controlling nearly 1,250 miles of lines and poles from high-growth vegetation to assure safe access to the equipment for service work, to reduce power outages and to enhance the natural habitat. 

You’ll soon see us at work to keep these areas safe for our workers. Here’s what you need to know:

  • This year, the Noble REMC right-of-way crew will be spraying in the northern one-third of our service territory, which includes the area north of U.S. 6, from Ligonier to Ashley.
  • We use non-restricted chemicals approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in our herbicide spraying application. They are scientifically designed to work on plants, not people or animals.
  • If you would like to maintain the right-of-way that crosses your property in some other way, “Do Not Spray” signs are available at the Noble REMC office, but you must make sure the signs are visible and legible from the roadway and notify us of your location.