Emerald Ash Borer Information
Millions of green and white ash trees in our region are falling victim to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). This non-native insect, with no natural enemies, is steadily killing ash trees as it works its way across the eastern United States.
Property owners, forestry services, communities, and electric utilities throughout the mid Atlantic region are trying to manage affected ash trees because dead and dying trees could fall on power lines and equipment, homes, property, and people.
To prevent damage to NOVEC’s system, tree contractors are cutting down trees within the Co-op’s right-of-way corridors that pose a significant risk to service reliability. Contractor crews are either “dropping” and leaving dead trees or cutting them short enough to keep them from falling on power facilities.
“Although NOVEC doesn’t own trees surrounding its overhead utility lines, our Vegetation Management crews evaluate trees near our system and determine if a dead or dying tree must be cut down to mitigate outage risks,” explains Rick Carpenter, manager of Vegetation Management. “In wooded or unmaintained areas, we will drop trees and allow them to decay in a natural manner.”
Carpenter says crews will also “top” dead trees in yards maintained by members if they could potentially damage NOVEC equipment or cause an outage: “We’ll cut them low enough for members to have them removed safely. Brush removal from these trees will be determined on a case by case basis, based on the location of the trees and property owner preference. NOVEC will not remove heavy branches and trunk pieces from a customer’s property since we don’t own the trees and don’t want to spread diseased wood.”
Carpenter encourages property owners to use qualified contractors to safely remove dead trees beyond NOVEC’s right-of-way corridors to prevent damage to houses, vehicles, or people.