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Trees and Right-of-Way

Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative understands that trees play a big part in how we each enjoy our properties. However, planting the right tree in the right place means safe, reliable electric for all members. Image of the trees in Guernsey Muskingum's right-of-wayIn a time where costs are soaring in every market, the right tree in the right place can also help to keep your energy costs down by reducing our tree maintenance costs.

Guernsey-Muskingum Electric is committed to balancing the importance of trees with the equally important need to provide you safe, reliable electricity. To do this, we must control the growth of vegetation around power lines and other energized equipment. Tree limbs that come in contact with power lines are the most common cause of brief and prolonged outages, especially during storms. Just one tree limb can knock out electric service to dozens of families up to several miles away. Interfering trees and brush can delay the efforts to restore service that has been interrupted.

Guernsey-Muskingum Electric, in an effort to reduce costs and provide adequate clearance, seeks right-of-way easements of forty feet, twenty feet on either side of the wires. This allows Guernsey-Muskingum Electric to perform regular tree maintenance on a five year cycle and comply with NESC requirements. It also provides necessary access for men and equipment to safely and efficiently restore power during outages and perform line maintenance.

Our Concerns

On top of the cost and hassle, a tree that has grown too close to a power line can be deadly. Contact caused by growth, wind or broken branches can leave a tree energized making it an electrical shock hazard and creating serious danger for any person or animal that would come into contact with it. If you have concerns or questions about trees or right-of-way issues. Please contact our ROW Projects Superintendent or call:

New Concord     740-826-7661

Ohio Toll Free    1-800-521-9879


Our Mission

Guernsey-Muskingum Electric utilizes an aggressive, system-wide process in an effort to provide maximum benefit and protection to members and their property by establishing safe and manageable right-of-ways. Providing our members with safe and reliable power is one of our top priorities. That’s why our right-of-way maintenance crews put considerable time and energy into clearing and maintaining the Cooperative’s right-of-ways – particularly during the summer, when trees are in full bloom and brush is at its highest level. Simply put, our Right-of-Way Maintenance Program is designed to prevent trees from coming into contact with power lines.

Our Methods

Guernsey-Muskingum's vegetation management activities include the following four components:

  • Tree pruning.
  • The removal of hazard trees and other trees that require excessive pruning.
  • The mowing or cutting of brush and small trees on the right-of-way.
  • Herbicide application to small trees on the right-of-way.


Select the Right Tree

When planting a new tree look up and take note of the location of the power lines. Choose trees that will grow no higher than 25 feet at maturity. Power-friendly trees give you options for spring and fall color, tree shape and size, and fruit. Ask your local nursery or garden center for help in selecting trees. They may have further suggestions for your particular climate and landscaping.

Plant in the Right Place

When planting trees or shrubs, find out where underground wires are before you dig. Call Guernsey-Muskingum Electric and contact OUPS to have utility lines marked - the service is free.

  • Low Zone - Utility Easement Area - Easement Area is 20 feet on each side of the utility power lines. A total of 40 feet. Avoid planting directly under power lines. If you do, plant shrubs only or small low-growing ornamental trees with a maximum mature height of under 10 feet.
  • Medium Zone - Plant medium trees with a maximum mature height of under 30 feet. Must be planted over 20 feet away from utility power lines. Look at the service lines to your house as well.
  • Tall Zone - Tall or large trees with a mature height of over 30 feet. Must be planted over 60 feet away from utility power lines. 
  • Plant leaf-bearing trees to the east and west of your home to reduce summer cooling costs, while allowing winter sunlight. Position evergreens and shrubs where they will block cold winter winds. 

Click for a Right Tree Drawing


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