Vegetation Management Advisory

Nov 29, 2021

Please be advised that for the next six weeks we will be working in the vicinity of Berry Hill, South Road (near the Botanical Gardens) and Tee Street, as part of our ongoing island-wide Vegetation Management Programme, which identifies and responds to vegetation (i.e. trees, brush, etc.) that threatens the reliability of our distribution system (i.e. power lines, etc). Our Vegetation Management Programme is one of our most important and largest preventative maintenance initiatives that are undertaken to increase system reliability and reduce outages.

A major cause of power outages during hurricanes and other storms is trees coming into contact with overhead lines, either directly or as windbourne debris. While 100 percent of our transmission system that carries power from our central plant to 34 substations is underground, approximately 45 percent of our distribution system that delivers power to customers across the island is overhead.

With Bermuda’s lush vegetation, we must launch a Vegetation Management Programme to address the issue year round in two ways:

  1. By asking customers to trim trees on their own property, and;
  2. By managing vegetation along overhead mainline and branch circuits island-wide.

There is a wide variety of methods that can be used to manage vegetation, such as:

Hazardous Tree Removal
Our ongoing Vegetation Management Programme allows us to identify hazardous trees (structurally unsound) and remove them before they come into contact with our power lines, which can cause a short circuit leading to an outage. Removing hazardous trees prevents future outages.

Tree Pruning
Not all trees are structurally unsound and require removal. Through our Vegetation Management Programme we also identify healthy trees that possess the potential to grow close to our power lines. We prune trees according to growth rate and habit of individual species to ensure that the required clearance is maintained. This method of vegetation management prevents potential outages, but also can decrease the need for future pruning.

Herbicides are used to kill off unwanted vegetation while it is still low. Herbicides keep the cost of vegetation management programmes down by preventing the need for larger, more expensive vegetation management methods in the future.

Brush Removal
Our ongoing Vegetation Management Programme, also takes into consideration low-lying brush, which can limit necessary access of line crews to power lines. Our crew must be able to easily access our distribution system in order to maintain the system and respond to any emergency system requirements.

It is important to note that special attention is given to minimising impact to Bermuda’s endemic plant species, such as the Bermuda Cedar, as well as taking the opportunity to remove invasive species, such as Mexican Pepper and Chinese Fan Palm.

The primary objectives of our Vegetation Management Programme are to maximise availability of the overhead distribution system and reduce tree-related power interruptions, while also minimising the environmental impact of pruning and removing trees. We aim to create a sustainable land management procedure with long-term benefits. Our Vegetation Management Programme is more than just trimming trees, it’s making our power lines safer for everyone.


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