This summer, travelers in Ashland and Richland Counties are bound to see crews from Ohio Edison “up in the trees.”
Ohio Edison, a FirstEnergy Corp. electric company, is conducting its annual tree trimming and other vegetation management work throughout its 34 county service area. According to the company, this year’s $21.6 million tree-trimming program will help keep power flowing to customers by helping to prevent tree-related outages, such as those that can occur during the spring and summer storm season.
Already in 2022 some 300 miles of lines have been addressed. There’s still another 4,400 miles to go of tree trimming along high voltage power lines in the company’s service territory.
“Trees are a leading cause of power outages, and we complete proactive tree-trimming work each year to prevent tree-related outages during severe weather,” said Ed Shuttleworth, president of FirstEnergy’s Ohio operations. “This work, paired with the vast upgrades we’re making to our local power system, undoubtedly helps minimize the impact of weather-related outages to keep the power flowing safely and reliably to customers.”
Tree trimming is done on a four-year cycle. The work includes inspecting vegetation near power lines to ensure trees are pruned to preserve the health of the tree while also maintaining safe clearances. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may be removed.
This year, the work is being conducted in and near the following communities in the three county area:
As part of its notification process, Ohio Edison works with municipalities to inform them of tree-trimming schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to vegetation management work being done.
The vegetation management work is conducted by certified forestry experts under the company’s direction, including Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Davey Tree Expert Company, Nelson Tree Service Inc., Penn Line Service, Townsend Tree Service and Wright Tree Service.
In the air, helicopters equipped with aerial saws began trimming trees in April to maintain proper clearances along hard-to-access transmission and distribution corridors throughout Ohio Edison’s service area. The aerial saw is typically deployed along transmission and distribution lines in areas that may be environmentally sensitive or inaccessible to bucket trucks and other vehicles. This method typically covers more area in a day than a ground crew might complete in a week. The saw also eliminates the risk of injury to workers using bucket trucks or climbing trees to cut limbs near high voltage equipment.
Source: Ohio Edison