BARC ROW Maintenance
In the interest of public safety, the safety of line workers, and to help limit weather-related interruptions or outages, BARC Electric Cooperative regularly trims trees that could come into contact with power lines.
When a tree touches a power line the tree becomes energized and short circuits the power line to the ground. When this happens your lights will blink, maybe several times, and then may go out completely. Computers and digital clocks will have to be restarted or reset. Trees that are too close to the power line can be blown down by wind or knocked down by the weight of ice into the power line. If this happens the lines can be torn down and poles can be broken, resulting in prolonged, expensive outage repairs.
There is another good reason for trimming trees: public safety. If a tree is too close to a power line, then a child or pet climbing the tree could reach out and touch the wire.
We trim trees along primary transmission and distribution lines on an eight year cycle. We are granted permission to trim trees by both written and prescriptive easements.
The use of herbicide to prevent regrowth of woody plant species is an integral part of BARC’s right-of-way maintenance program. One or two years after the floor of the right-of-way has been cut, an herbicide mixture is applied using a low volume selective foliar method to prevent regrowth of woody plant species that could grow up into the power lines later. High volume herbicide application will only be used if the brush density is such that the selective method would be impractical. Only woody plant species that could grow to a height that would touch the power lines are targeted for herbicide. The selective low volume foliar application method allows grasses, low broad leaf plants, berry bushes, rhododendron, and other laurel species to remain.