Special to 1812Blockhouse
Ohio Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is conducting tree trimming and other vegetation management work in communities across its 34-county service area in Ohio to help enhance service reliability for customers. This year’s $22 million tree-trimming program will help keep power flowing to customers around the clock by preventing tree-related outages, such as those that can occur during the spring and summer storm season.
That work will take place in several Richland County and area communities.
On the ground, contractors have trimmed trees along nearly 1,200 miles of electric lines across the Ohio Edison service area. The company’s program remains on track to complete an additional 3,850 miles of tree-trimming work by the end of the year. As part of this process, helicopter aerial saws will be used in April to trim trees along hard-to-access transmission corridors in northeast Ohio.
Tree trimming is done on a four-year cycle. The program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure the trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may be removed.
“Proactive tree trimming is some of the most important and effective work we do every year to maintain our power system and minimize the impact of damage caused by severe weather,” said Edward Shuttleworth, regional president of Ohio Edison and Penn Power. “In order to keep electricity flowing safely and reliably during all types of weather conditions, we have a responsibility to protect the lines that deliver it to homes and businesses across our region.”
Tree trimming is being conducted in the following Richland County and area communities throughout the year: Crestline, Galion, Johnsville, Mansfield, Olivesburg, Pavonia, Shenandoah, and Steam Corners
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 also 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 will trim trees and maintain 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.
Ohio Edison has contracted with Aerial Solutions, which owns and operates the helicopter and saw, to perform the work.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate approximately 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.