Rights-of-Way and Clearing

Providing safe and reliable power begins with a comprehensive right-of-way program. Learn about our trimming methods and how we're promoting sustainable, native, low-growth wildlife habitats in our area:

Have questions or concerns? We're here to help! Here are some of the common items members ask about:

Removing Trees vs. Topping

Topping trees under a line is only a temporary solution. Topping or “rounding over” a tree is not a professionally recognized method of pruning trees. Topping promotes starvation, shock, stress, insects, disease, weak branch attachments and rot resulting in an undesirable or dead tree. Blue Ridge Energy removes trees in our rights-of-way when at all possible for the all the reasons mentioned above.

Does Blue Ridge Energy offer a tree voucher?

Blue Ridge Energy offers a voucher program for replacement of trees directly in our rights-of-way. Blue Ridge will offer a voucher to a local nursery to replace a large tree under our power lines with a low-growing species. We may also offer a voucher for a large tree if that tree is planted away from the line well outside of the right-of-way.

Why use a helicopter for trimming?

Blue Ridge Energy is beginning to utilize more aerial tree pruning, a safe and environmentally friendly vegetation management practice approved by the ANSI (see video). With this method, helicopter pilots carefully conduct pruning along rights of ways. Trained employee “spotters” located on ground level of the right of way are in constant communication with the pilot. Used by utilities across the nation, this process is more cost effective, faster and less intrusive to homeowner’s property and the environment than traditional methods. As with our traditional right of way trimming method, property owners are notified in advance of pruning and debris is removed from maintained areas while in non-maintained areas, debris is chipped or bush hogged to the ground.

What is considered a "maintained" area?

A maintained area is any area regularly mowed such as your yard. It must be accessible with a chipper. “Natural Areas” are not considered maintained.

Does Blue Ridge Energy chip brush?

Blue Ridge Energy will chip brush within 15 feet of any areas maintained by the property owner. 

Will Blue Ridge Energy cut a dead tree?

Blue Ridge Energy will cut down dead trees that endanger our lines even if they are outside of our cleared right-of-way. We do not, however, remove or cut these trees into smaller lengths or chip debris.

Why do you use herbicide?

The use of herbicide is cost effective and less invasive than mechanical trimming. It is selectively applied to tall woody species leaving behind weeds and grasses that will not interfere with lines. This selective clearing is also more useful to wildlife. 

The chemicals used leave no soil residual (meaning it doesn’t hinder the soil nor stay active in the soil) and only affects the plant it is applied to by entering through the leaves. The caution label applied to the chemicals we use indicates lower toxicity than most household cleaners (the same level as Pledge®) and is approved for use up to any water’s edge (though we chose to leave a buffer zone.) It also does not require a license to purchase which means it is safe for anyone to use.

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