BGE’s Tree and Vegetation Management Program helps provide safe and reliable electric service to you and your neighbors. Our strategy to protect power lines from coming into conflict with the tress and branches is based on a four-to-five-year trimming cycle, routine inspections by foresters and technicians and reliability performance data. For preventive maintenance, BGE follows accepted utility clearance standards, the best management practices outlined in Maryland’s Tree Expert License Law and the A300 standards for pruning established by the American National Standards Institute.
BGE uses only licensed utility-qualified professional tree-trimming contractors to manage the trees and plants around our power lines and equipment.
In response to the 2011 Maryland Electricity Service Quality and Reliability Act, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) has developed new regulations (RM 43) to govern how Maryland utilities manage their reliability efforts. BGE will be implementing these regulations and customers can expect the following enhancements to our Tree and Vegetation Management Program:
- Additional pruning or removal of trees that BGE may have previously allowed to coexist with distribution power lines.
- More comprehensive tree and vegetation management along overhead lines located close to the company’s electrical substations – important facilities that manage the delivery of power from generating plants to customer homes and neighborhoods.
- Because of our past efforts in tree and vegetation management along transmission power lines, BGE will not need to greatly alter its tree and vegetation management practices along its transmission system.
To learn more about how these new standards may affect tree and vegetation management in your community, check out our common questions
BGE employees and contractors are committed to working closely with customers in order to address concerns and promote safe and reliable electric service. When a neighborhood is scheduled for tree and vegetation management work, our contractors place door hangers to let property owners know when to expect our crews. If heavy tree pruning or removal is required, you will be contacted directly. If you have questions about the proposed tree work, call our contractor directly, using the phone number on the door hanger.
- The clearance required for a power line depends on the voltage and construction of the line, the growth rate and species of the tree, and the tree’s proximity to the line.
- Our contractors try to leave as much of the remaining tree crown growing away from the lines as possible, which helps to maintain tree health.
- If a large portion of the tree crown is removed, removal of a tree may be recommended.
- If a hazardous tree is identified during routine tree maintenance, we work with the property owner to ensure that the tree is managed appropriately to minimize the risk to the BGE lines.
Final cuts are determined by the structure of the individual tree limb, not by distance. Final cuts are made at lateral branches large enough to maintain the health of the remaining limb, or to the trunk of the tree.
- In urban/residential areas, all cut branches less than eight inches in diameter are removed (typically shredded in wood chippers) and the remaining wood is cut to manageable lengths and left for the property owner’s use.
- In rural wooded areas, the debris is cut close to the ground to encourage natural decay.
- BGE does not take requests for wood chips. If you would like wood chips from tree trimming in your area, please contact the contractor listed on your notification door hanger to check on availability.
- If a tree on your property breaks or falls on our equipment, BGE does not remove the debris.