View AEC ‘s Vegetation Management work procedure
Appalachian Electric Cooperative is a Certified:
Lateral Pruning Lateral, or natural trimming is the method used by line crews in most utilities, including AEC and its contracted crews. The name “lateral” is derived from the method of cutting branches back to natural strong points on the tree, such as the juncture of the trunk and major limbs.
The old method of tree topping or “rounding over” is no longer recommended by horticulturists and other professionals in the field. This action led to decay, disease, insects, fungi, and threatened the life of the tree. Although consumers often prefer this practice, because it seems more visually appealing; This method of pruning actually weakens the tree, making it more likely to break during wind, ice, and snow storms. The old method also meant that trimming would have to occur more often and this resulted in more cost. All AEC contract crews use the lateral pruning methods, recommended by the Arbor Day Foundation. Lateral pruning is healthier for the tree because it helps ensure that the tree’s natural defenses can seal the pruning cut and prevent the spread of disease or decay. Cutting a branch in the middle of its length – and not back lateral – means the risk of disease and insect infestation will increase. With lateral trimming, cuts are made to the nearest lateral branch. Re-growth occurs; however, lateral pruning promotes branches to grow away from energized lines and sprouting of new limbs into power lines is avoided. Sometimes branches need to be cut back beyond minimum clearance requirements to reach a lateral limb and protect the health of the tree.
To inhibit the growth of underbrush and vines around poles and lines, our certified contractors sometimes use a selective herbicide to control re-growth and re-sprouting of stumps. The EPA-approved herbicide is used according to manufacturer’s directions and in strict accordance with federal, state and local regulations. It does not pose a health risk to humans, pets, wildlife or the environment.
Tree Removal and Replacement Guidelines
Appalachian Electric will only trim or remove a tree if it interferes with power lines. In that case, tree trimming or the removal of trees from your property may be necessary. Every year, some neighborhoods in the Appalachian Electric service area experience power outages caused by trees, branches, or limbs falling on or growing into electric utility wires. It is not uncommon for damaged wires to fall to the ground, causing power outages and threatening the safety of people and animals.
Reliable service, public safety, and cost control are all important to AEC. That is why a program of tree trimming and removal is maintained. AEC contracts with only qualified tree trimming companies meeting strict guidelines and specifications.
The removal of trees that are endangering power lines is to everyone’s advantage. These situations are handled on a case-by-case basis and decisions made to remove a tree are based on economic factors and service reliability.
Please help us keep power line areas free from tree hazards. If you discover limbs or trees perilously close to power lines, please notify us at ext. 1449.
Information on where to locate your trees, tree trimming, and replacement of removed trees is available at our main office. If it is necessary to remove a landscape quality tree, AEC will replace that tree with a choice of the following:
White Flowering Dogwood Pink Flowering Dogwood Flowering Crabapple Purple Leaf Plum