Clearing the Way for Safety
Have you ever noticed the bucket trucks or machines clearing brush by the power lines? They do the important job of helping keep the lights on long before a storm rolls in. In the battle against power outages, Vegetation Management is the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s most effective weapon.
Below we’ve provided answers to the questions we get most often in an effort to explain New Hampshire Electric Cooperative’s Vegetation Management program.
What is a Vegetation Management Program?
Our Vegetation Management Program (VMP) is the process we use to clear trees/vegetation using chainsaws, bucket trucks, tree climbers, brush chippers and mowers to keep our rights of way clear.
What are Rights of Way?
A right of way is a corridor or pathway of land that NHEC’s electric lines follow. These rights of way provide NHEC an operational safety zone between the wires and trees, buildings, or other objects. When they are kept clear they also provide safe access for line crews to maintain, repair or improve the lines and poles. NHEC uses a Vegetation Management Program to keep the rights of way clear of undesirable vegetation.
What is the Goal of the Vegetation Management Program?
NHEC’s VMP is working all year to maintain a reliable electric grid with fewer and shorter outages. It’s our goal to keep the lights on at your home or business.
Why Do We Clear Rights of Way?
To maintain reliability and shorten the length of outages, and to provide for public safety and the safety of the workers who need to work on the utility lines.
Who Does the Clearing?
Tree contractors that work on NHEC’s electric distribution system are qualified and insured to do this work.
What Is the Hazard Tree Program?
NHEC has a Hazard Tree program that identifies trees outside of the 30 foot right-of-way (15 feet on either side of the line) and removes them if they are deemed a threat to fall on power lines. NHEC Utility Arborists are qualified in hazard tree evaluation.
Where Is Vegetation Management Happening in My Area?
To see where NHEC Vegetation Management operations are happening see our schedule at this link.
How Do I Plant a New Tree Safely?
Right Tree, Right Place
Planning before planting can help ensure that the right tree is planted in the right place. Plant trees that won’t interfere with power lines when fully grown. Before putting a shovel in the ground call Dig Safe at 811 it’s the law. Please see our Acceptable Tree Species Guide.
What if I Have a Question About Vegetation Management?
Contact Member Solutions by calling 1-800-698-2007 during regular business hours. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any concerns about how Vegetation Management practices will impact your property, please contact us. Also available is our Tree Trimming Service Request form, which will be sent directly to the Arborist that manages your area.
What Is an Integrated Vegetation Management Program?
After cutting and trimming, a contractor will survey for possible selective herbicide application. Not all areas that are cut are appropriate for herbicide application. NHEC uses herbicides to control the amount of brush that sprouts from hardwood species that were cut. Once a single stem has been cut, it may sprout into as many as 15 new stems that grow rapidly. The selective herbicide application targets only these species.
We invite you to learn more about our specific treatment process by reviewing this fact sheet. If you are notified about an herbicide application and have concerns, please contact Vegetation Control Service (VCS) at 603-325-3227. VCS will address any issues that you have about an herbicide application on your property. It is your right to refuse herbicide application on your property and we respect that right.