BOONTON TOWNSHIP — Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to trim trees along more than 3,300 miles of power lines in 2019 across JCP&L’s 13-county northern and central New Jersey service areas, which includes Boonton Township. This work helps keep power flowing to customers around the clock by preventing tree-related outages.
Conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company’s direction, JCP&L’s tree trimming program includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may also be removed. Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed more than 1,010 circuit miles of electric lines in the JCP&L service area, with an additional 2,320 miles expected to be completed by year end. The company plans to spend nearly $31 million in 2019 on its tree-trimming program.
“Our foresters and certified tree experts work year-round to properly maintain trees and vegetation, helping reduce both the frequency and duration of power outages,” said Alex Patton, vice president, Operations, JCP&L. “This work is making a positive difference in keeping the lights on for our customers and more quickly restoring service in the wake of severe weather, which can cause tremendous damage to trees that then damage our equipment.”
This year’s tree trimming program has a special focus on identifying and proactively removing deteriorated ash trees near JCP&L electric distribution lines that have been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that originated in Asia and was first confirmed in the U.S. in 2002. The infestation has spread to New Jersey and more than 35 states. As of late March, more than 3,440 dead and dying ash trees have been removed, primarily along distribution lines in JCP&L’s northern service territory.
JCP&L works with municipalities to inform them of vegetation management schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to work being performed. To further decrease tree-related outages, JCP&L’s foresters also are working to educate residents who live near company equipment about the importance of properly maintaining the trees on their own property.
FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence. Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The company’s transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,500 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Visit FirstEnergy online by clicking here.