Minnkota Power Cooperative’s integrated approach to vegetation management creates, promotes and conserves sustainable plant communities while discouraging plants that pose safety and security concerns.
We monitor and maintain growth around our power lines tomeet regulatory and environmental compliance requirements.
Minnkota inspects right-of-way corridors each year. In the fall, our lineworkers check growth by helicopter, track tree height and
begin an annual work plan.
Additional patrols are performed throughout the year by crews in the air and on the ground, supported by reports from line-watching landowners.
Vegetation ControlsVegetation Management
Minnkota works with area tree contractors to manage growth in the right of way. Minnkota prefers all incompatible trees and bushes that can grow over 12 feet tall are removed from the area directly under or adjacent to the power line.
Certain plants and trees may be allowed near the edge of the right of way, depending on location-specific factors. Call Minnkota Vegetation Management for options (701-795-4452).
To preserve trees, contractors may trim those that are outside of the right of way, but have branches growing into the corridor. Any diseased or structurally unsound trees that could fall into the line will be removed. Crews apply an EPA-approved herbicide after removal or trimming to prevent further unwanted growth.
As the final step, lineworkers visit work sites to verify contractor work was done correctly and cleanup is complete.
Minnkota will make every reasonable effort to notify property owners before vegetation management work. However, that may not be possible in an emergency. Notices usually come from the tree contractor, but they may come directly from Minnkota.
Power lines move in certain conditions – they sag on hot days and sway in the wind. Nearby plants and trees must be planned and maintained accordingly.
Before planting, consider mature size and crown spread of trees. The clearance distances required for power lines vary depending on line voltage – the higher the voltage, the greater the required clearance distance.
Contact Minnkota Vegetation Management to safely plan your planting!
Program Lead: Brenden LaHaise
Federal Requirements in Response to Blackout
In August 2003, a major Northeast outage left more than 50 million people without power. The central cause – tree contact with a power line. Following the blackout, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) made mandatory national rules to ensure reliable power, including vegetation management practices. Utilities face substantial penalties for noncompliance with these rules, which mandate minimum clearance distances between power lines and trees and large plants.
We need your help!
As a landowner, YOU are most familiar with areas on your property that are 1) near power lines and 2) have large plant growth. Use that knowledge to help Minnkota keep power flowing to your region.
STAY SAFE. Improperly maintained trees and plants that grow into the right of way can spark fires, create power outages and stop crews from making important and timely repairs. Don’t attempt to trim or remove trees yourself. Call Minnkota Vegetation Management (701-795-4452) to coordinate a clearing.
REPORT A PROBLEM AREA. Let Minnkota know if…
• there are trees, shrubs or other woody plants growing near the lines
• a tree is diseased, dying or unstable
DO NOT PLANT TREES THAT ARE…
• in the right of way and have a growth potential of more than 12-15 feet
• near the right of way and could grow into the line