Potomac Edison's 2018 Tree Trimming Program Underway

Work Includes Special Program to Remove Trees Damaged by Emerald Ash Borer
Maintaining vegetation under power lines is one of the most important steps taken by FirstEnergy utilities each year to enhance service reliability for customers.

WILLIAMSPORT, Md., May 10, 2018 -- Potomac Edison, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE), continues to conduct tree trimming work in communities across its service area in western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as part of its ongoing efforts to help enhance service reliability. 

The work helps to maintain proper clearances around electrical equipment, which can reduce the frequency and duration of power outages, especially those associated with severe weather such as the numerous storms experienced this past winter.

Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have trimmed more than 700 miles of distribution and transmission lines in the Potomac Edison area as part of the company's approximately $33.7 million vegetation management program for 2018, with an additional 1,790 miles expected to be completed by year end.

The 2018 budgeted amount includes about $750,000 to continue a special program in the Maryland service area to remove dead and dying ash trees damaged by the Emerald Ash Borer, targeting approximately 5,000 trees.

"The tree trimming we have done over the last five years has helped cut by nearly half the number of outages from trees and limbs falling into our lines and interrupting electrical service to our Potomac Edison customers," said James A. Sears, Jr., president of FirstEnergy's Maryland Operations and vice president of Potomac Edison.  "Between 2011 and 2018, our trimming program helped reduce both the number of tree-related outages by about 43 percent and the number of Potomac Edison customers impacted by a tree-related service interruption by 36 percent.  We expect our special program targeting damaged ash trees for removal will further enhance service reliability for our customers."

The vegetation management work is conducted by certified forestry experts under the company's direction, including: Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Lewis Tree, N.G. Gilbert, Nelson Tree Service, Trees Inc. and Wright Tree Service.

As part of its notification process, Potomac Edison works with municipalities to inform them of tree trimming schedules.  In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way also are notified prior to vegetation management work being done. 

During the upcoming months, Potomac Edison will be conducting tree trimming work in the following counties and communities:

  • Allegany – Barton, Bloomington, Flintstone, Oldtown, Westernport
  • Berkeley (WV) – Bunker Hill, Falling Waters, Glengary, Hedgesville, Inwood, Martinsburg
  • Carroll – Taneytown, Union Bridge
  • Frederick – Frederick, Myersville, New Market, Thurmont, Woodsboro, Yellow Springs,
  • Garrett – Friendsville, Gorman, Kitzmiller, McHenry, Oakland, Oakpark, Redhouse, Swanton
  • Grant (WV)– Maysville
  • Hampshire (WV) – Capon Bridge, Sunrise Summit, Vanderlip
  • Hardy (WV) – Perry, Yellow Springs
  • Jefferson (WV) – Harpers Ferry
  • Mineral (WV) – Bloomington, Keyser, New Creek, Piedmont, Short Gap
  • Montgomery – Damascus
  • Morgan (WV) – Berkeley Springs, Hedgesville
  • Washington – Big Pool, Cascade, Clear Spring, Foxville, Hancock, Sabillasville, Smithsburg, Williamsport

Tree trimming is done on a five-year cycle in Maryland and West Virginia.  Vegetation is inspected and trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities.  In some cases, trees that are considered to present a danger or are diseased may be removed.

Potomac Edison serves about 270,000 customers in seven Maryland counties and 137,000 customers in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia.  Follow Potomac Edison at www.potomacedison.com, on Twitter @PotomacEdison, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PotomacEdison.

FirstEnergy is dedicated to safety, reliability and operational excellence.  Its 10 electric distribution companies form one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, serving customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York.  The company's transmission subsidiaries operate more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Follow FirstEnergy on Twitter @FirstEnergyCorp or online at www.firstenergycorp.com.

CONTACT:  News Media Contact: Todd Meyers, (724) 838-6650

Last Modified: May 10, 2018