Your Energy

Right of Way

In May 2016, Tri-County EMC will work with NaturChem for herbicide application to keep trees, brush and foliage from interfering with the delivery of your electric service. This year’s herbicide application will occur mostly in eastern Putnam County. The map to the right shows the general area where the maintenance will occur. Click here to see a list of addresses that will be affected. 

2016 Spray Area Addresses

Keeping the lights on and providing safe service are two of our most important goals. Managing vegetation growth around power lines is critical to reliable service. Limbs brushing power lines will cause blinks or temporary outages. Failure to maintain our right-of-way will dramatically increase the number and duration of outages resulting from severe weather. And vegetation touching a power line poses a potentially fatal risk to the public.

  • Tri-County EMC maintains a 30 foot wide right-of-way using mowing, trimming, and spraying to control vegetation, particularly fast growing trees, which can grow up into power lines.
  • Because it is less invasive, spraying is utilized where possible using a blend of selective herbicides. Although these herbicides target trees and underbrush, yellowing of grass underneath may occur. 
  • Tri-County EMC does not spray yards or other landscaped areas or ponds, streams or other wetlands.
  • A 100 foot buffer is maintained around these areas. However, trees that grow near primary power lines in yards must be trimmed sufficiently to prevent safety hazards and outages.
  • Tri-County EMC uses a five year right-of-way spraying cycle. A map is published each year prior to the start of any spraying showing the approximate area where spraying will occur.
  • The chemicals utilized by Tri-County EMC for spraying right-of-way are a blend of herbicides commonly used in residential, commercial and agricultural applications and have been used successfully by utilities and homeowners for decades. They have been thoroughly tested and are approved for use by the EPA, OSHA, and other agencies.
  • Anyone having concerns about trimming or spraying of right-of-way is encouraged to contact Tri-County EMC at 478.986.8100.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How often do you trim the trees or spray along the power lines?
Tri-County EMC follows a five-year trimming and spraying cycle with spraying following trimming by about two years. Our goal is to reach every line on our system within five years; then we start again. Tri-County EMC maintains about 2,800 miles of line.

Is it really important that the right-of-way on my property is trimmed or sprayed?
Yes. Your electric reliability and safety, and that of your neighbors, depends on keeping vegetation from growing into power lines. Tri-County EMC works with property owners to ensure satisfaction with our right-of-way program. We do not spray landscaped areas or around any wetlands. Our personnel will gladly meet with you to discuss any concerns.

Do you trim around the line that connects to my home?
We only trim around primary (high voltage) power lines. It is your responsibility to trim around the service drop (often called secondary service) connecting your home to our transformer. However, if a tree threatens your service, we will gladly disconnect your service drop while you or a tree surgeon remove the tree.

I have underground service. Can I landscape around my transformer?
Just as our overhead lines need clearance, so do our underground transformers. Keep shrubs at least ten feet from the sides and backs of our equipment; don’t plant anything directly in front. Doing so hampers our crews making outage repairs if they have to first trim shrubs to gain access to our equipment. It is likely that we will have to destroy your shrubs if we have to replace your transformer.

Are your right-of-way workers Tri-County EMC employees?
No. We utilize Asplundh to conduct right-of-way trimming and NaturChem for spraying. Both contractors have specialized equipment and training ideal for maximizing the efficiency of our right-of-way maintenance.