🌳 JCP&L is investing $34 million trees to trim trees along 3,400 miles or power lines

🌳 Trees are being trimmed in its 13-county service area

🌳 Trees are the leading cause of power outages

JCP&L has announced it invested about $34 million this year to trim trees along more than 3,400 miles of power lines across its 13-county service area in North and Central Jersey.

The project has been underway since January.

“So far, we’re sitting just about 1000 miles completed, so we have about 2,400 miles to go. We’re getting into the peak times time for trimming right now. Summer months are really some of the busiest for our tree contractors. So, they’ll be out and about and get this wrapped up by the end of the year,” JCP&L spokesman Chris Hoenig said.

Why the need for tree trimming?

Trees are a leading cause of power outages in New Jersey, Hoenig said. The JCP&L service area encompasses some of the densely forested areas in the state.

It mostly happens during a severe weather hit. So, anything they can do to get ahead of that and remove branches away from power lines, JCP&L is committed to doing that during the year, Hoenig said.

Last year, 84% of tree-related power outages were caused by trees outside of JCP&L’s trimming corridor.

“That’s why it’s so important for us to make sure we are keeping up with our tree trimming because it proves how important trimming these trees is to reducing the impact of power outages,” he said.

Crews are also continuing a multi-year effort to identify and remove deteriorated ash trees that have been affected by the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that feeds on these trees. These dead ash trees can easily come down in storms.

Since 2017, nearly 20,000 dead and diseased ash trees have been removed by JCP&L crews as part of its mitigation efforts, Hoenig said.

Last year, nearly 40% of tree-related power outages in JCP&L’s service territory were caused by ash trees, he added.

How can the public minimize the impact of power outages?

“If you see power lines by trees give us a call. Let our tree experts come out and take a look at it. They can advise you the best way to handle things,” Hoenig said.

The number to report a problem is 1-800-662-3115.

It is important to work with certified forestry contractors. Not every forestry company is certified to work around power lines, he said.

JCP&L is also donating and planting nearly 3,200 trees this year themselves with employees volunteering their own time.

So, if residents want to plant vegetation on their property, be sure to plant safely away from power lines. Hoenig said. Make sure there is plenty of distance between where you’re planting and where overhead or underground service, as those roots grow, come into your house.

Here is a list of counties and municipalities where JCP&L will be doing tree trimming over the next two months only:

Burlington - Fort Dix

Essex - Short Hills (Millburn)

Hunterdon - Alexandria, Bethlehem, Bloomsbury, Califon, Delaware, East Amwell, Flemington, Holland, Lebanon, Milford, Raritan, Tewksbury, Union, and West Amwell

Mercer - Hightstown, Hopewell, and West Windsor

Middlesex - Cranbury, East Brunswick, Helmetta, Jamesburg, Monroe, Old Bridge, and Spotswood

Monmouth - Aberdeen, Colts Neck, Englishtown, Farmingdale, Freehold, Freehold Borough, Holmdel, Howell, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro, Middletown, Millstone, Sea Girt, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights, Tinton Falls, Upper Freehold, and Wall

Morris - Chatham, Chester, Chester Borough, Denville, Morris Plains, Morristown, Mount Tabor (Parsippany-Troy Hills), Mount Olive, Parsippany-Troy Hills, Randolph, Roxbury, and Washington

Ocean - Bayville (Berkeley), Forked River (Lacey), Jackson, Lanoka Harbor (Lacey), Manchester, Plumsted, South Toms River, and Toms River

Somerset - Bedminster and Warren

Sussex - Franklin, Glenwood (Vernon), Hamburg, Lafayette, McAfee (Vernon), Newton, Sparta, Sussex, and Vernon

Union - Berkeley Heights, Murray Hill (Berkeley Heights-New Providence), New Providence, and Summit

Warren - Alpha Borough, Changewater (Washington), Greenwich, Hackettstown, Oxford, Pohatcong, Port Murray (Mansfield), and Washington

JCP&L serves 1.1 million customers.

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