Price Electric Cooperative (PEC) developed a vegetation management program to ensure the safety, reliability, and affordability of electric service. Guidelines were adopted allowing for uniform clearing based on established specifications. Consideration is given according to urban or rural specifications.
What is Vegetation Management?
Vegetation management techniques allow PEC to keep the area around overhead and underground lines clear of trees and other vegetation. This requires a seven year cycle consisting of mechanical clearing followed by herbicide application. Since trees are the leading cause of outages, an effective vegetation management program is vital.
Key Metrics for ROW Clearing
- Right-of-Way: Defined as the strip of land over which the power line extends.
- PEC’s overhead right-of-way widths are 40 feet (both single and multiphase overhead lines), measured perpendicularly from the centerline of the power line outward 20 feet in both directions. Exceptions to the above, as designated by an authorized PEC representative.
- PEC’s underground right-of-way widths are 20 feet (both single and multiphase underground lines), measured perpendicularly from the centerline of the power line outward 10 feet in both directions. Exceptions to the above, as designated by an authorized PEC representative.
- Maintained Yard Area: Defined as a plot of land where a landowner has dedicated time and incurred expense to landscape, consistently tend to, and mow grass to an even height to establish a yard or yard like area.
- PEC reserves the right to make the final determination of the above areas.
- Rural: Defined as any primary lines not within a maintained lawn area near approved lakeshore, dwelling, or business including the primary maintained driveway entrance that have been initially cleared to the 40 foot rural specification.
- Urban: Defined as any primary lines within a maintained lawn area near approved lakeshore, dwelling, business excluding the primary maintained driveway entrance that have been initially cleared to the 10 foot, single phase, or 15 foot, three phase, urban specification.
- Danger or hazardous tree: Defined as a tree having one or more of the following characteristics, which may conflict with the conductors or structures (poles and hardware) if such tree(s) fell in the direction or otherwise endangers the PEC line.
- Dead or dying - all dead or dying trees along or outside the PEC right-of-way. Removal depends on height of tree and direction of the lean.
- Leaning trees - trees that have such a lean toward the right-of-way that they cannot be trimmed without removing the tops and slanting the tree back. Removal depends on height and species of the tree and direction of the lean.
- Cankers and canker-rots - present as a localized area of dead bark and cambium on trees on the bark of trunk around the circumference of the tree and often are visible on the canker face. In some cases, canker-rots are internal and not visible.
- Animal and mechanical damage - present in the main trunk and broken branches, and must show visible signs of decay with evidence of wounds.
Refer to Table 1 and Table 2 Hazard Tree defect categories (Exhibit B) provided by Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources, Lancaster & Associates and by the USDA Forest Service.
Before ROW Clearing
After ROW Clearing
Primary Lines Rights-of-Way for Urban/Residential and Rural Sites
The Contractor shall meet the required right-of-way width in designated areas by removing and/or trimming trees and other woody vegetation all diameter breasts height (dbh) classes. The work shall meet the authorized PEC representative’s approval. Refer to Urban Diagram #2 and Rural Diagram #1.
As designated by the authorized PEC representative. Large mature trees and fruit bearing trees (i.e., apple trees) within the urban defined right-of-way may not require removal. The aforementioned, fruit bearing trees or yard trees that remain within the right-of-way shall be trimmed in accordance to the PEC right-of-way clearing specifications per Diagram #3.
- Clear within a 20 foot radius around all primary poles for a rural right-of-way and a 15-foot radius for an urban right-of-way. Other vegetation (shrubs, etc.) shall be cleared within a 5-foot radius including maintained yard areas.
Overhead Guy Stubs
- Clear within a 5-foot radius of a stub guy pole(s).
- Clear within a 5-foot radius of an anchor(s).
Single Phase Line:
- Rural: 30 feet (15 feet either side of the center line). Ground-to-sky cutting, trimming, mowing, and herbicide application.
- Urban: 20 feet (10 feet either side of the center line). Ground-to-sky cutting, trimming, mowing, and herbicide application.
Three Phase or Multiphase Line:
- Rural: 40 feet (20 feet either side of the center line). Ground-to-sky cutting, trimming, mowing, and herbicide application.
- Urban: 30 feet (15 feet either side of the center line). Ground-to-sky cutting, trimming, mowing, and herbicide application.
Note: All of PEC’s right-of-way classifications, urban or rural for either single-phase or multi-phase lines, consists of a total 40 foot wide easement width regardless of vegetation width established in clearing activities. Right-of-ways identified by contractor as rural but were originally cleared to urban specification should be reported to an authorized PEC representative. These areas will be addressed individually and cleared at the discretion of PEC.