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Posted Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

Ash Trees Infested by Emerald Ash Borer

Jersey Central Power & Light is conducting a tree trimming and removal project across Morris County, as part of major North Jersey initiative to prevent future tree-related power outages. The project is part of a much larger program that is targeting tree growth along 4,900 miles of power lines in 13 counties.

Aerial view of man in cherry picker trimming trees around power lines

Photo courtesy of FirstEnergy

The effort is part of a $57 million commitment in New Jersey to enhance electric service reliability and especially prepare for summer storms and the upcoming an Atlantic hurricane season, which is predicted to be more severe than normal this year.

The company also continues to focus on identifying and removing deteriorated ash trees located near electric distribution lines. Ash trees in Morris County are being devastated by the infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that originated in Asia. First confirmed in the U.S. in 2002, the infestation has spread to New Jersey and more than 35 states.

Morris County also has initiated an ash tree removal program along county rights of ways for safety reasons.

“Tree trimming remains vitally important to our efforts to enhance reliability for customers by reducing the frequency and duration of power outages,” said Alex Patton, JCP&L vice president of operations.

Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors for JCP&L have trimmed vegetation from more than 1,800 circuit miles of electric lines. The company expects to complete an additional 3,100 miles of work by the end of this year.

Conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company’s direction, tree trimming is done on a four-year cycle as part of JCP&L’s ongoing vegetation management program.

The 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.

JCP&L is working 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.

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