Tree trimming a necessity

Posted on Jan 11 2022 in Bartholomew County REMC
Courtney Metzger

One of the things that makes our community special is the beautiful nature that surrounds us. We are fortunate to have so many trees that offer beauty, shade and a habitat for wildlife. We know that you appreciate our community for many of the same reasons. 

At BCREMC we strive to balance maintaining beautiful surroundings and ensuring a reliable power supply by keeping power lines clear in rights of way (ROW). 

While we recognize and appreciate the beauty of trees, we must maintain our ROW areas. Rights of way enable the co-op to provide clearance from trees and other obstructions that could hinder the power line installation, maintenance, or operation. The overall goal of our vegetation management program is to provide reliable power to our members while maintaining the beauty of our community. Proactive vegetation management benefits co-op members in three tangible ways.

Safety First and foremost, we care about our members and put their safety and that of our lineworkers above all else. Overgrown vegetation and trees pose a risk to power lines and you. For example, if trees are touching power lines in our members’ yards, they can pose grave danger to families. If children can access those trees, they can potentially climb into a danger zone. Electricity can arc, or jump, from a power line to a nearby conductor like a tree. A proactive approach also diminishes the chances of fallen branches or trees during severe weather events that make it more complicated and dangerous for lineworkers to restore power.  

Reliability Of course, one of the biggest benefits of a smart vegetation management program is reliability. Strategic tree trimming reduces the frequency of downed lines causing power outages. Generally speaking, healthy trees don’t fall on power lines, and clear lines don’t cause problems. Proactive trimming and pruning keeps lines clear to promote reliability. Currently, our system is on a five-year trimming cycle. In 2022, we will trim the circuits on our Columbus West and German substations. If tree trimming is to be done on your property, a bright green door tag will be put on your door.

Affordability As you know, we are a not-for-profit cooperative, and that means we strive to keep our costs in check to keep our rates affordable. This extends to our approach to vegetation management. If trees grow too close to power lines, the potential for expensive repairs also increases. Effective tree trimming and other vegetation management efforts keep costs down for everyone. 

Our community is a special place. We appreciate the beauty trees afford, but we also know our community depends on us to provide reliable energy. Through vegetation management, we are able to keep the power lines clear, prepare for future weather events and secure the reliability of the grid.