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Vegetation Management

Welcome to WMECo's Vegetation Management Home Page. This site is designed to give you an understanding of how and why we prune and remove trees.

The western Massachusetts landscape is covered with an abundance and wide variety of trees. When properly planted and maintained, trees not only add beauty but can also improve energy conservation and attract wildlife. Unfortunately, trees and electric facilities are not always compatible. Reasons for tree pruning and removal include:

  • To reduce the effect of major storms - trees can cause significant damage and destruction when they are not maintained, especially when Mother Nature unleashes a hurricane or heavy wet snow storm.
  • To reduce the number of other tree-caused outages
  • To reduce the number of "momentary" tree-caused interruptions (the ones that make clocks blink)
  • To enable visual and physical access to electrical equipment (making all interruptions easier to find and fix)
  • To prevent damage to equipment (and save everyone money)
  • To promote public safety, and the safety of utility employees and contractors (contact with energized lines can damage property and kill people)

To ensure that trees are properly maintained along power lines, WMECo has a full-time arborist and many contractor employees dedicated to tree work. You can't travel too far on the roads of WMECo's service territory without coming across our contractor tree crews hard at work clearing limbs away from our 3,500 miles of overhead power lines. If you would like to learn more about how WMECo Vegetation Management Team ensures safe and reliable electric service, visit our Vegetation Management FAQ's page or visit our Tree Trimming Request page to request tree work or comment about work performed on your property.

WMECo submits a Yearly Operational Plan (YOP) (PDF:4432KB) annually and a Vegetation Management Plan (VMP) (PDF:4407KB) every five years for vegetation management on rights-of-way to the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, in compliance with 333 CMR 11.00: Rights-of-Way Management Regulations. Additionally, the YOP is submitted to the chief elected officials, Boards of Health, and Conservation Commissions of involved municipalities and to local municipal water suppliers.

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