Trees are the primary cause of power outages in HED’s service area. In fact they account for just under 50% of all HED outages annually. Trees can cause major extended outages by breaking wires or even power poles, which ultimately cause many issues. HED’s Mission includes the provision of reliable services to our customers, and with this focus HED must have an effective Vegetation Management program to minimize negative system impacts from trees. In order to do so, HED needs to create fifteen feet of clearance between trees/vegetation alongside power lines, and must remove woody brush and small trees from beneath power lines. These clearances are standard in the industry, and allow utilities to run their respective Vegetation Management programs on a seven year cycle. As a result, you can expect to see HED Vegetation Management efforts going on in your area about every seven years, and HED will strive to work collaboratively with our customer’s in these efforts.
When line clearance work is complete, our crews leave all substantial wood for the landowner – as it is their property. Small branches and brush next to a roadway will be chipped and removed. The same material away from a roadway will be wind rowed to the edge of the Right of Way consistent with environmental stewardship, as well as good utility practices.
Thoughtful planting of new trees can help HED minimize tree-related outages and contribute to the beauty of your landscape. Before planting trees on your property, the location of utility lines should be considered. Are lines overhead or underground? Not only should spreading tree branches be a concern but also spreading tree roots, and be sure to never dig near underground utility lines. Trees planted along your property's border should either be low growing shrubs or tall narrow trees, and should be at least 30 feet from power lines. Spreading trees (such as maples) should be planted at least 50 feet away from power lines to allow them to fully mature before they need to be managed.