February 2024

Dustin Tripp

Vegetation Management

One of the many advantages of living in Southern Illinois is the beauty of this area including the Shawnee National Forrest and the great variety of trees and vegetation that grow throughout the region.  Although your Cooperative realizes the significance of this important natural resource and are advocates for retaining as many local trees as possible, we must implement a sound vegetation management program to ensure you with reliable energy solutions.

SouthEastern’s current vegetation management program sets the goal of trimming on a four to five-year cycle.  This means that what is trimmed or cut today will be trimmed again in four to five years.  Your Cooperative feels that if this goal can be achieved, you as Cooperative members will experience less momentary blinks, less outages and faster restoration times which will increase the quality and reliability of your electric service.  In the past, your Cooperative has experienced extreme storms resulting in devastating damages which reminds all of us of the importance of a sound vegetation management program.

In order to achieve this goal, SouthEastern needs to trim and cut trees along approximately 700-900 miles of power line per year.  The maps that are displayed on page 20b and 20c of this issue show the areas where the Cooperative will be trimming trees, removing trees and applying necessary herbicides in 2024.  If you would like additional information regarding your Cooperatives vegetation management activities for 2024, please contact the Cooperative.

As Cooperative members and owners, you can help us maximize the use of your money and improve your electric service by allowing us to achieve proper trim clearance on your trees and participating in other programs.  Your Cooperative initiated a program several years ago known as “Swap a Tree”.  The “Swap a Tree” program has been enhanced to allow members an additional option.  If you allow the Cooperative to remove a lawn tree that is interfering with primary lines and which is being periodically trimmed by the Cooperative, you are eligible to receive one of the following two options:

  1. SouthEastern will cut the tree down, cut it up into firewood-length pieces, chip the small brush and plant a new tree of your choice such as oak, maple, tulip poplar, willow, pear and gum (additional species are also available) in a location that is at least 40 feet from the primary line.
  2. SouthEastern will cut the tree down, cut it up into firewood-length pieces, chip the small brush and allow members a $2.00 per inch in diameter cash credit for lawn tree stump removal and provide a $75 per lawn tree cash credit.

If you are interested in participating in this program which will increase the reliability of electric service to yourself and your neighbors while helping to preserve our environment, please contact the Cooperative at (800)-833-2611.

See you next month and as always, “We’ll keep the lights on for you.”