Vegetation management: the key to keeping your power on

Posted on May 25 2017 in Harrison REMC

Field Services Manager Perry Fraze works with Townsend Tree Service Trimmer Dale Smith and Foreman Paul Gray.

Summer is approaching, and it seems the glory of southern Indiana’s landscape is now in full bloom. Many people are thinking it’s time to get out into the yard, clear away dead brush and prune your trees and shrubs.

At the cooperative, another growing season also means it’s time to clear rights of way underneath and around Harrison REMC’s power lines.

Dead trees, overgrown weeds or any other vegetation growth threaten to interfere with power lines along Harrison REMC’s distribution network of 2,184 miles. Chances are you’ve spotted our contractors working by the road, trimming tree branches that were growing too close to power lines.

While weather is the leading cause for most power outages coming in at 14 percent, vegetation comes in a close second. Nearly 12 percent of power interruptions in our service area can be traced to vegetation — trees, shrubs, brush — growing too close to power lines and distribution equipment. Small animals are another culprit of outages. Outages that are caused by small animals occur in heavily wooded areas, which are directly linked to vegetation and its management.

The job is never done. Every growing season brings new challenges. Harrison REMC is a on a five-year cycle. This means areas are trimmed every five years. Just as one trim cycle ends, another begins.

You can help us stay ahead of the game so we don’t have to come out after a storm to restore power due to fallen trees.

Let us know if you notice trees or branches that might pose a risk to our power lines. If you plan on planting trees in your yard, think about how tall they may grow and how wide their branches may spread. As a rule of thumb, 30-40 feet of ground-to-sky clearance should be available on each side of our utility poles to give power lines plenty of space. Choose tree varieties with care and plant with power lines in mind.

At Harrison REMC, we are committed to bringing you safe, reliable service at the best value. Our vegetation management program seeks to proactively maintain adequate clearances at all times.

If you have any questions or concerns or wish to report a potentially problem area, please contact us at 812-738-4115.

Thank you for helping your REMC keep the lights on.