Tree Management


The following counties are scheduled for vegetation management in May 2020:

Tree: Edgefield and Aiken

Vegetation management operations and locations are contingent upon weather and ground conditions

For additional information please submit any questions to treemanagement@santeecooper.com.

Tree Management is a vital tool that is used by Santee Cooper's Right of Way Management department to ensure public and employee safety and reliability of the transmission lines. Santee Cooper must maintain the full boundary widths of the rights of way from “ground to sky” and must ensure that trees, limbs and wooded encroachment maintain appropriate clearances from the transmission lines which are regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Additionally, Santee Cooper is responsible for the removal of “hazard trees” at a greater distance which can be characterized as dead, dying, diseased, leaning or damaged trees and “danger trees” which is any tree that has the potential to cause damage to the power line which would result in a power interruption. Our Tree Management practices include:

  • Aerial operations – topping of trees or trimming of limbs and trees growing into the rights of way that may endanger the transmission line with a helicopter.
  • Ground operations – trimming of limbs, removal of trees and removal of wooded encroachment along the rights of way boundaries, or hazard trees at a greater distance that may potentially endanger the transmission line with bucket trucks, Jarraff, shinn cutter, etc.

Santee Cooper uses contracted tree specialists which have years of experience in the business of utility arboriculture. These activities can be very dangerous and only qualified personnel that has been trained to operate within the Minimum Vegetation Clearance Distance (MVCD) should perform any work near the transmission line. The MVCD differentiates by the operating voltage of the transmission line, so if you are unsure please contact a Tree Management employee within Santee Cooper Right of Way Management to discuss. 

So, before you plant any forest vegetation, be certain to review Permissible/Non-Permissible Guidelines and contact a Tree Management employee in Santee Cooper Right of Way Management to discuss locations. 

For additional information please submit any questions to treemanagement@santeecooper.com.


Frequently Asked Questions

Ground Floor Management is typically on a 30-36-month schedule which allows Santee Cooper to stay in compliance with all federal regulations and provides the ability to create a cost-effective schedule. Tree Management is generally conducted every 6-10 years except on certain lines with off-set positioning which also allows us to maintain compliance with federal regulation and create a cost-effective schedule.

Unlike some utilities that have direct billing with each property owner’s information that a line come into contact with, Santee Cooper’s rights of way are comprised of a multitude of easements. These easements are perpetual in that they change hands from property owner to property owner over numerous years. Additionally, some Tree Management operations are emergency responses that must be addressed immediately to ensure safety and reliability of the transmission lines.