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Reducing Tree Damage from Trimming Along ROW's

I have agreed to speak to the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Vegetation Management group in several sessions.  They are interested in more tree-healthy alternatives than the method currently used by contactors for mechanical trimming” and also in the use of “herbicide trimming”.  Any information or contacts on these topics would be appreciated.   

 I don’t know if this is southeast wide, but was told that Homeland Security Rules have increased fines for outages and blockages creating pressure to more severely thin along power lines and roads.  The constraints are tough, but we are working on ways to minimize the damage. 

Dale Dickens

Urban Forestry Coordinator

Alabama Forestry Commission

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  • Hi Dale-- It seems that directional pruning (ie. vee-ing out the center of the crown) is the most structurally sound solution. The Penn State publication at the folloeing site may be helpful to you:
    • Ellen, I'm not sure I ever thanked you, but THANKS!  Happy new year, 2020 too.

  • I know of federal rules affecting power lines but have not heard anything influencing roads that say trees must be removed. chemical thinning is just using herbicide to kill trees with a delayed reaction or by slowing growth rate. I have tried this talk with DOT as well and as much as they talk about it... all options keep coming back to "we are required to have XX clearance" and so I fell back to just remove and replace with shrubs/flowers. Hasn't been an issue in NM or now in MO so I may not be up to speed on recent developments.
  • HI Dale,
    This sounds like a question for the coordinators group. I will post there.
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