Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to trim trees in 60 municipalities during March to help maintain proper clearances around electrical equipment and help prevent tree-related damage. The work is part of JCP&L's about $24 million tree trimming program that will be performed in 2015 along more than 3,300 miles of lines across its 13-county service area in northern and central New Jersey.
"Our tree trimming program is one of the proactive steps we take to help reduce the number of outages our customers might experience," said Anthony Hurley, JCP&L vice president of operations. "Tree trimming work makes a difference. In 2014, we saw a 22 percent decrease in tree-related outages compared to the previous year, which we attribute mainly to the tree maintenance work we have done in the past."
JCP&L's tree trimming program is conducted by certified forestry contractors including: Aspen Tree Expert Co., Asplundh Tree Expert Co., Davey Tree Expert Co., Jaflo Inc., Lewis Tree Service, and Nelson Tree Service Inc.
The program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may also be removed.
JCP&L also works with municipalities to inform them of vegetation management schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company right-of-ways are notified prior to work being done. To further decrease tree-related outages, JCP&L's foresters also are working to educate residents who live near company equipment about the importance of properly maintaining the trees on their own property.
JCP&L, a FirstEnergy Corp. unit, serves 1.1 million New Jersey customers.