One of the primary ways Lake Region Electric Cooperative (LREC) ensures reliable electric service to members is by following a vegetation management plan. The Cooperative uses a proactive, rotational system to control vegetation throughout its heavily wooded service territory. With the current cycle wrapping up, 2023 will mark the start of a new four-year cycle.
Lake Region’s vegetation management process includes planned maintenance (including tree pruning or felling), reactive pruning, felling trees, mowing, and herbicide application. The Cooperative maintains an easement of 20 feet (10 feet on either side of the power line) to keep lines free from trees and brush. This helps prevent outages and creates a safer environment for line crews working to restore power.
“Trims are favored for trees outside our easement, while removals are preferred for those within,” explains Abraham Nebgen, system arborist at LREC. “Reactive trimming and removal are performed for trees that pose a hazard to overhead line.”
Mechanical trimming and mowing are also utilized. In areas with high trimming density, crews deploy a mechanical trimmer in conjunction with a mower. Mowing is used to address areas of high-density small diameter trees. Herbicide is applied to stumps and used following mowing to help control vegetation.
With all vegetation management measures utilized by LREC, we are committed to keeping our members informed. Mailers, phone calls, and in-person communication are all used to notify people about work plans affecting their property. Please allow crews to trim what’s necessary to keep the power flowing for you and your neighbors.
If you notice a tree interfering with power lines, please notify the Cooperative at (800) 552-7658.