Distribution Vegetation Management | About Energy | Mississippi Power | A Southern Company

Distribution Vegetation Management

Neighborhood vegetation management prevents outages


Power lines that carry electricity into your home or business are called distribution lines. Tree limbs that come in contact with power lines are a major cause of electrical outages, and limbs that touch electric power lines can become energized or even break and fall, bringing the lines down with them. To reduce outages caused by tree contact, Mississippi Power prunes trees away from its power lines on a planned cycle.

Keeping power lines clear of limbs and brush also provides easier access to our lines, which means quicker restoration of power during storms or other times of trouble.

When pruning trees, we complete the entire line and do not schedule individual pruning requests

Cyclical integrated vegetation management

Mississippi Power prunes trees to industry standards that were developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). These methods involve pruning to lateral branches and directional trimming to remove limbs at strong branches or at the tree trunk. By making the proper cuts, we do not interfere with the tree's natural defense mechanisms that protect it from decay. Also, this method of pruning removes branches at their natural shedding points, which reduces re-growth.

Mississippi Power uses only qualified line clearance companies that hire qualified workers to prune trees near our power lines. Mississippi Power is committed to managing its electric facilities in a manner that promotes the safety of employees, the community and our customers. For this reason, Mississippi Power discourages the pruning of trees in close proximity of power lines by any customers or untrained personnel. In some cases it actually may be illegal to prune trees without the services of a certified line-clearance professional. Mississippi State Law outlines rules and regulations regarding work near high voltage lines. This law also mirrors the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act requirements for work performed in close proximity to such lines. The Mississippi law is found in Section 45-15 of Mississippi State Law. Please contact Mississippi Power before working near power lines & 1-800-532-1502. MS High Voltage act


A major factor in restoring power quickly during emergency situations is clear access to our rights-of-way. To keep these areas accessible, we keep weeds and brush below a height that would hamper visibility or hinder access along the right-of-way. Maintenance involves selectively applying commonly used herbicides to non-desirable species on the right-of-way, making way for the growth of grasses and other herbaceous plants. We use products that are approved by the EPA. These products are applied under the direction of licensed herbicide applicators. In addition, the use of herbicides encourages the growth of plants that have more nutritional value for wildlife, and herbicides minimize the use of heavy equipment such as mechanical mowers, reducing rutting, hydrocarbons and oil.

Safety Tip

Trees near power lines can be dangerous. If a snapped or trimmed limb falls onto a power line, do not touch the limb with your hands, a pole or other object. Call Mississippi Power.

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