Clearing a Path for Power
JACKSON EMC’S DEDICATION TO DELIVERING SAFE, RELIABLE AND UNINTERRUPTED ELECTRICITY IS MANIFESTED DAILY IN MULTIPLE WAYS. ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT—AND VISIBLE— IS THROUGH OUR TREE MAINTENANCE PROGRAM.
When trees or their heavy branches grow too close to power lines, the inevitable winter ice storm or strong winds and thunderstorms can cause them to fall on overhead lines, resulting in power outages and damage to the electric system.
Not only do trees and undergrowth in the path of power lines threaten disruption of electric service to your home or business, they can create safety hazards, too. Trees are beautiful and beneficial, but when they grow into electric power lines, they can be deadly.
Water, sap and chemicals in trees are electricity conductors that can wreak havoc. If a tree has grown into a power line, power can travel through the tree to the ground and create an electrocution hazard. Trees touching power lines also can cause fires.
The likelihood of power loss and electricity-related accidents can be decreased— and is—through an aggressive tree maintenance program like ours at Jackson EMC.
Our crews work year-round to clear the path for dependable power for our members. By trimming back tree branches and removing trees and vegetation that threaten to damage our 6,500-plus miles of overhead power lines, our crews reduce the risks of power loss. And fewer tree-related outages means improved service reliability to all Jackson EMC members.
HERE'S HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS
Right-of-way clearing crews maintain areas clear of all vegetation directly under the power line and 15 feet on either side. Keeping this maintenance corridor open decreases the risk of damage and allows visual inspection of the line.
How much trimming or cutting back we do depends on how fast a particular species regrows new branches, how much those branches might sway in the wind and the voltage carried by the line.
We consider multiple factors when pruning a tree for line clearance, in priority order: public and right-of-way worker safety, service reliability, correct arboriculture pruning techniques, and, finally, aesthetics.
Jackson EMC trims and mows around all our system’s overhead lines every four years because we know that trimming the entire length of a power line on a regular basis—instead of trimming individual locations—ensures the integrity of the electric system.
Jackson EMC employs independent, tree-trimming contractors to maintain the right-of-way. Supervised by Jackson EMC personnel, these contractors are professionals in the field of utility arboriculture and use proven industry-standard pruning techniques, proper tools and safety practices.
For more info, visit jacksonemc.com/tree.