VEGETATION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
In order to provide safe and reliable service, trees must not be allowed to come in contact with power lines. Jackson Energy inspects our rights-of-way throughout the entire service area to be certain all lines are clear of encroaching trees and are accessible for regular maintenance and emergency repair work. Jackson Energy inspectors and contractors are trained in the clearance requirements of specific lines. Through experience, they are knowledgeable in the growth patterns of various tree species. Potential hazards, such as a young tree that will grow into the power lines, are addressed before they become a problem.
Why We Prune Trees
Trees are one of the leading causes of electrical power outages. Pruning trees is a key part of providing safe and reliable electric service. A single limb that comes into contact with a power line can blink lights or cause an outage. A dangerous and sometimes deadly situation arises when trees grow too close to power lines. A child or someone in a tree that comes in contact with a power line could be seriously injured or even killed. Pruning methods Jackson Energy only hires professional tree trimming contractors trained in using 'directional' pruning techniques developed by the National Arborist Association. These techniques are published by the American National Standard Institute (ANSI) and are the accepted industry standard promoted by the National Arbor Day Foundation and the International Society of Arboriculture. These methods remove only the parts of the tree necessary and encourage growth away from the lines. Trees are pruned in a way that will leave them healthy even though it may sometimes change the natural appearance of the tree.
Unfortunately, diseases, poor soil support, or storms may damage a tree enough to warrant removal. When trees are a threat to fall across power lines a representative will contact you about removing the tree. If trees are removed in a maintained area, like a residential yard, crews will chip brush and leave large wood chunks, such as logs, for the homeowner. Clean up is usually complete in a maintained area within one or two days of the tree removal. With mechanized removal, clean up crews may be more than two days behind the removal crews. If the removal area is an unmaintained right-of-way area, for instance through the woods, the trees will be cut and left at the site.
Service drops are the lines that run from the transformer to your meter. They carry a lower voltage than primary lines and have an insulated coating. During regular maintenance cycles crews will only need to trim limbs that are lying on or pushing against the line.
Why we use herbicides
Jackson Energy uses herbicides for improved efficiency and reliability. After the initial application, we only need to reenter the area every 5-7 years to selectively touch-up areas of dense or fast growing brush. Areas that were dense brush will be converted to grass and wildflowers. Once converted, these areas will require minimum work to keep a clear ground floor.
Are herbicides safe?
Yes. Jackson Energy only uses EPA approved products that have undergone years of testing. The herbicides are designed to work through enzymes found only in plants. They have the same active ingredients as herbicides you may be using yourself. All applicators are required to have a KY pesticide applicators license and must abide by the product label.
Why we just can't mow
Although heavy growth sometimes requires mowing, there are several drawbacks. Mowing is an expensive and short-term solution to brush control. Rapid regrowth will often result in larger stem densities than present before mowing. Mowing also cuts good plants along with the undesirable brush. Applicators can target individual species with herbicides. Once herbicides are applied, future mowing usually isn't necessary since low growing grasses will be established on the ground floor.
When severe weather strikes, Jackson Energy crews move swiftly to restore power. Trees are often the cause of downed power lines. If you see a downed power line, stay away from it and report the situation to Jackson Energy. We will do what is necessary to clear our facilities from downed trees. Since downed trees are an act of nature, the consumer will be responsible for the cleanup and removal of the tree(s) once Jackson Energy has removed any electrical hazard.
Jackson Energy ’s Integrated Vegetation Management Program is designed to reduce outages and provide access to electric lines. At the same time, we want to be good stewards of the environment. That is why we use only environmentally friendly herbicides. Our rights-of-way provide excellent habitat for wildlife. In fact, organizations such as the National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, Butterfly Lovers International and Buckmasters have teamed up with our herbicide manufactures to provide improved wildlife habitat in the rights-of-way.
Current Work Schedule
Jackson Energy has contracted with Townsend Tree Service, Phillips Tree Service, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, W.A. Kendall and Nelson Tree Service to perform mechanical line clearance in the co-op service area. You may contact us if you have any questions regarding our schedule or to find out when crews will be in your area. Professional Herbicide Applicators will perform herbicide spray service from May to September.
Right Tree, Right Place
Landowners should also take into consideration which trees are best suited for planting near power lines.
Landowner Rights and Responsibilities
Kentucky law requires public utility companies to provide adequate service to our customers. To meet this obligation we must maintain our lines and keep them free from obstructions. When possible Jackson Energy will contact the landowners and notify them of our intentions. If there is an immediate threat to safety or electrical service we may enter the property and take corrective actions immediately. Notification and tree aesthetics are important to Jackson Energy and landowners; however, public welfare is our first priority.
Contact Jackson Energy's Right-of-Way Department
Your comments are important to us. If you have any comments or questions concerning our right-of-way program, please contact:
800-262-7480, ext. 7039