Transmission Vegetation Management

The electric highway that transmits electricity across long distances is comprised of transmission lines. Through an integrated vegetation management program, we maintain vegetation on more than 12,500 miles and 150,000 acres of transmission easements across the state. Our maintenance activities are necessary to provide reliable and economical service to all customers. 

Mowing

We clear vegetation and redefine the easement width 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 six years. A combination of mowing and herbicide is used to manage fast-growing, tall, woody species. This cycle is a best practice and also the most economical method to ensure a safe and reliable electric system. Our 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 may mow the right-of-way more often if you wish. However, if you wish to mow the right-of-way more often but do not own the property, you must first obtain permission from the landowner.

Dangerous Tree Cutting

"Dangerous trees" are trees off the easement that are dead, dying, diseased or severely leaning that could damage the transmission facilities when falling. At least once a year, all transmission lines are patrolled by air and by ground to locate dangerous trees so that they may be removed safely.

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. Sometimes these incompatible trees were planted by property owners. Unfortunately, they must be removed along with any incompatible trees which may have seeded in naturally.

Generally, shrubs, vegetable gardens, grasses and low-growing trees with a mature height of less than 15 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 threaten the continued safe, reliable operation of the transmission line.

 

Download a map for information on Georgia Power’s transmission distribution arborists and their contact information.

Download Map

Planting Within an Easement

Georgia Power has determined specific trees and ornamentals acceptable for planting within the easement. In order to qualify for consideration, these trees must be planted in a landscaped area. This area shall be maintained by the property owner in such a fashion that it is obvious to all that it is a landscaped area. If any trees are planted in an area where right-of-way crews could mistake it for "brush," it will likely be cut down.

Generally, shrubs, vegetable gardens, grasses and low-growing trees with a mature height of less than 15 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 threaten the continued safe, reliable operation of the transmission line.

Herbicide Application

Crews using low-volume backpack sprayers apply herbicides to selectively remove incompatible tall-growing species. Only non-restricted 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.

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 fifteen years.

Trees & Right-of-Way FAQs

Find answers to common questions about how we keep vegetation from interruping your power service in the cleared areas where our transmission lines are located.

See FAQ