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

Transmission Vegetation Management

transmission-vegetation-management

Transmission lines make up the electric highway that transmits electricity across long distances. Through an integrated vegetation management program, we maintain vegetation on more than 2,100 miles and 27,000 acres on transmission rights of way. Our maintenance activities are necessary to provide reliable and economical service to all customers. The Mississippi Power vegetation management program involves mowing, cutting dangerous trees, pruning, applying herbicide and removing trees. Find answers to frequently asked questions.

Mowing

We clear vegetation and redefine the easement width within the boundaries of the easement right of way with heavy-duty power equipment. Vegetation near structures, guy wires, fences, streams or other difficult-to-access areas may be cut using hand tools. We typically mow once every seven years. A combination of mowing and herbicide is used to manage fast-growing, tall woody species. This cycle is a best practice to ensure a safe and reliable electric system, as well as the most economical. From an environmental perspective, this integrated vegetation management approach helps to promote and establish a stable, diverse, low-growing plant community on the right-of-way, which reduces the potential for soil erosion and is also extremely beneficial for wildlife.

If you are the property owner, you can mow the right-of-way more often if you wish.

Danger tree cutting

"Danger trees" are trees off the easement that are dead, dying, diseased, severely leaning or growing in a manner/direction that could damage the transmission facilities when falling. All transmission lines are patrolled at least once a year by air or ground to find danger trees so that they may be removed safely.

Pruning

We remove limbs from trees off the easement area that are growing into the easement space. Pruning may be done by crews utilizing mechanical tree trimming equipment, aerial lift trucks, or manually by climbing crews. Pruning cycles can vary from two to 15 years.

Herbicide application

Crews using low-volume backpack sprayers apply herbicides to selectively remove incompatible tall-growing species. Only EPA approved herbicides are used, and the application crews are trained to identify and target the tall and fast-growing incompatible species on the right-of-way.

Tree removal

We remove incompatible trees from the easement area. These are trees or other types of vegetation which grow too tall to remain on the right-of-way, and could threaten the continued safe, reliable operation of the transmission line. Unfortunately, sometimes these trees were planted by property owners. They must be removed along with incompatible trees which may have seeded in naturally.

Generally, shrubs, vegetable gardens, grasses and low-growing trees which have a mature height of less than 10 feet are allowed on the easement area as long as they do not block or restrict access to the area, and are not planted in a location that could cause a threat to the continued safe, reliable operation of the transmission line.

More information

Contact us for more information regarding mowing and tree removal.