At Xcel Energy, safety is our number one goal. As a part of our transmission line clearance program, we are required to keep transmission facilities and transmission right of ways (ROWs) clear of all vegetation that could grow too close to conductors. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, which could include tree removal. Learn more by reading our guidelines below.
We strive to keep electrical transmission facilities and transmission right of ways (ROWs) clear of all tall-growing trees, brush, and other vegetation that could grow too close to conductors. This is accomplished by routine maintenance on each transmission circuit, including tree removal, pruning, mowing and herbicide application. Each ROW has an established maintenance cycle depending on work required.
Maintenance objectives include:
Where feasible, the Bramble and Byrnes wire zone/border zone concept is integrated into the vegetation management program to allow for different types and heights of vegetation in the ROW. The International Society of Arboriculture’s booklet "Best Management Practices – Integrated Vegetation Management" provides a good working summary of this concept. This concept differentiates between the wire zone directly under the conductors and the remaining border zone.
Generally, this concept allows for different yet compatible vegetation types in these separate zones.
In addition, minimum clearance guidelines have been established that are to be maintained at all times. Crews performing the work must consider the tree or plant species, growing environment, regrowth rate, maintenance cycle length, etc. to determine the amount of clearance required at the time of the work.
Bramble and Byrnes Wire Zone Diagram
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