Tree trimming nips hazards in the bud

The effect of adverse weather on trees causes many of the service interruptions customers experience throughout the year, especially during stormy months. Wind brings down branches and unhealthy trees, and heavy snow causes branches and trees to sag and fall into power lines.

To combat vegetation’s interference with power lines, IREA has taken a proactive approach to vegetation hazard mitigation. Part of this approach is a highly planned, six-year vegetation management cycle that identifies and addresses areas of concern inside IREA’s 5,000-square-mile service territory.

Each year IREA scouts the lines scheduled for clearance the following year, identifying areas within rights of way needing work and noting potentially hazardous, unhealthy trees outside rights of way that should be removed.

We seek landowner permission to remove hazardous trees outside the rights of way and clear vegetation within rights of way to established specifications. At any time during the year we assess and address customer-reported hazards, regardless of the location on our system.

IREA is nearing the end of year four of the first six-year cycle. So far this year, crews have cleared nearly 500 miles of IREA’s lines: 168 miles of lines in IREA’s Sedalia operating district, 112 miles of lines in and around Woodland Park, nearly 100 miles of line in the Conifer operating district, and 110 miles of lines in the Strasburg area.

IREA encourages customers to call (800) 332-9540 to report any potential hazards presented by trees. We also urge customers to read our Guidelines for Plant Materials in or Near Rights-of-Way and Utility Facilities for information on how to properly landscape in and around our lines, poles and other facilities. Those guidelines can be found here.