For safe and reliable electrical transmission, bushhogging, seeding, and herbicides are used to control weeds. Along high-voltage power line corridors and local distribution systems, a low profile must be implemented so trees and other tall vegetation do not fall onto lines. Tree branches and shrubbery meeting power lines equals interference sparking outages, wildfires, and other issues. Federal and state requirements are in place, which set guidelines for managing vegetation along power line passages.

Utility companies can manage their own power line vegetation issues based on their rights-of-way (ROWs) beyond basic trimming and mowing. By promoting native low-growing vegetative communities, utility companies can offer safe, reliable operation of infrastructure while simultaneously benefiting local wildlife such as songbirds, pollinators, and more. Additionally, adding low-growing, native vegetation can contribute to corporate sustainability goals, lower the site’s carbon footprint, reduce long-term maintenance costs, and beautify the landscape.

Power line ROWs make up substantial property countrywide, meaning implementing these strategies, called Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM), could provide nearly five million acres of habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Some of the benefits for wildlife include food sources, shelter, and nesting areas.

Rick Johnstone, president of IVM Partners Inc., explained, “If you use the right techniques and the right chemistry, you’ll restore the habitat that used to be there but hadn’t been allowed to be there due to routine cutting. If you kill the root systems of unwanted species, the seeds in the soil will have a chance to grow.”

According to Johnstone, the typical methods of constant mowing and tree-cutting generally promote regrowth of negative vegetation such as invasive species (aggressive, non-native plants). The relentless re-growth results in frequent maintenance, leading to elevated labor costs.

Instead, IVM is a more enticing practice, as it can deploy appropriate, environmentally-sound, cost-effective methods to control undesirable vegetation. Techniques include bushhogging, mowing, selective tree cutting, herbicide applications, biological controls, and seeding.

“The vegetation pretty much manages itself,” once you get a compatible plant community which usually takes a couple of years, Johnstone said. After that, only periodic treatments will be needed.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at

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