NEW JERSEY – Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., is conducting tree trimming work along more than 3,700 miles of power lines across its 13-county service territory as part of its annual vegetation management program. This work helps keep power flowing to customers around the clock by preventing tree-related outages.
So far this year, tree contractors have trimmed along approximately 400 miles of electric lines in the JCP&L service area, with an additional 3,300 miles expected to be completed by year end. Overall, JCP&L expects to spend approximately $41 million on its vegetation management program in 2021.
“Our company foresters and certified tree experts work year-round to properly maintain trees and vegetation, helping reduce both the frequency and duration of power outages,” said Alex Patton, vice president of Operations for JCP&L. “This work is making a positive difference in keeping the lights on for our customers, especially during severe weather when trees have the potential to damage our equipment.”
Conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company’s direction, JCP&L’s tree trimming program is done on a four-year cycle and includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining proper clearances around electrical equipment.
This year’s program continues to focus on identifying and proactively removing deteriorated ash trees near electric distribution lines, primarily in JCP&L’s northern service territory, that have been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive beetle that originated in Asia. First confirmed in the U.S. in 2002, the infestation has spread to New Jersey and more than 35 states. More than 980 dead and dying ash trees have been removed this year in the JCP&L footprint and nearly 18,500 since the initiative began in New Jersey in 2017.
As part of the 2021 tree trimming program, forestry contractors are performing tree work in municipalities in the following counties in April:
- Essex – Short Hills
- Hunterdon – Readington, Tewksbury, Califon, Pottersville, Kingwood
- Middlesex – Old Bridge, Parlin, Sayreville, Sayreville Borough, South Amboy, East Brunswick, South Brunswick, Spotswood Borough
- Monmouth – Manalapan, Morganville, Matawan, Atlantic Highlands, Highlands Borough, Middletown, Rumson Borough, Sea Bright Borough, Fair Haven Borough, Belmar, Lake Como Borough, Wall, Neptune, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Neptune City, Avon by the Sea,
- Morris – Long Hill, Chatham Borough, Harding, Morris, Morristown, Chester, Chester Borough, Mendham Borough, Mendham, Pottersville, Jefferson, Randolph, Rockaway, Mine Hill, Roxbury, Mount Olive, Kinnelon Borough, Boonton, Montville, Denville, Lincoln Park Borough, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Dover, Wharton Borough, Pequannock
- Ocean – Lakewood, Toms River, Bayville, Ocean Gate, Island Heights, Forked River, Lanoka Harbor, Brick, Point Pleasant Borough, Ocean
- Passaic – West Milford, Wayne
- Somerset – Somerville, Bernardsville Borough, Bernardsville, Peapack-Gladstone Borough, Bedminster, Far Hills Borough, Bernards
- Sussex – Hardyston, Vernon, Walpack, Franklin
- Union – Berkeley Heights, New Providence Borough, Summit, Springfield
- Warren – Blairstown, Hardwick, Pahaquarry, Harmony, Washington Borough, Washington, Hope, Liberty, Mansfield, Oxford, White, Delaware
JCP&L works with municipalities to proactively inform them of vegetation management schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to work being performed. To further decrease tree-related outages, JCP&L’s foresters also are working to educate residents who live near company equipment about the importance of properly maintaining the trees on their own property.