Right of Way Maintenance

Habersham EMC must maintain right-of-way easements to ensure dependable service. No one likes a power outage. The major cause of outages is stormy weather. Strong winds, rain and especially ice can cause surrounding trees and limbs to fall onto electric lines and disrupt service. The only way to combat this is to keep the undergrowth and trees cut away from the power lines.

To further ensure reliable service to our members, HEMC cut 350 miles of right of way along primary overhead lines in 2018. This is one measure that will be taken by HEMC to promote improved reliability to our membership. Learn more about the Ground-to-Sky Right of Way Initiative.

Often times, when trees are planted or allowed to grow on right-of-way easements, we don’t think that someday they will be large and become a problem. When planting trees, if they are put 30 to 50 feet away from the power line, they may never have to be trimmed. Habersham EMC maintains 15 feet on each side of an electric line.

HEMC has over 3,200 miles of line throughout our service area. With this large amount of right-of-way to maintain, your continued cooperation in proper placement of trees and allowing us to remove or cut back the trees that have grown into the lines is greatly appreciated. This will save both inconvenience and expense in the future.

Planting Tips

If you’re planning to plant, you can assist HEMC in their efforts to maintain the right-of-way as well as help keep the power on and everyone else safe by following some simple guidelines.

Evaluate Your Landscaping

Trees and shrubs are enticing to children, who like to play in hedges, climb trees, etc. Before you plant, make sure that accidental contact with power lines cannot be made.

Keep Electrical Devices Accessible

Don’t allow shrubs and other landscaping to obstruct transformers, switch cabinets, pedestals and other electrical-related devices. Habersham EMC needs access to these things to maintain them.

Don’t plant over an underground utility facility, because the cable or pipe may require maintenance, which in turn, requires digging (thereby ruining plant roots). Plant 10–15 feet from these devices.

Keep Your Distance

Plant large trees at least 35–40 feet from the center of the pole line. This permits 10–15 feet of clearance for mature trees with a branch spread of 40 feet in diameter. New small trees and large shrubs can be planted within 35 feet of power lines, but they should not exceed 15 feet in height.

Trees that should not be planted near power lines are tall or fast-growing varieties such as pine, poplar, oak, maple, sweet gum, wild cherry, privy hedge, Leyland cyprus, Bradford pears, cedar or hemlock.

Call Before You Dig

Georgia law requires that you call the Utilities Protection Center at 811 to have underground lines located before you start any digging.