How we identify and manage trees threatening your electric reliability
Our forestry team is committed to balancing the importance of trees with keeping your lights on.
While many species of trees cause outages, nearly one in four tree-related power outages is caused by an Ash tree. Since 2003, the Ash tree population in Ohio has decreased at an alarming rate because of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). Native to northeastern Asia, EAB is a small beetle that feeds on ash trees, leaving them susceptible to failure.
Because of the invasive nature of this tiny bug and the damage they’re causing to trees, we knew we had to tackle this problem head on — and fast.
What We’re Doing
While we regularly trim and remove trees that are too close to our lines and equipment as part of our normal maintenance program, the AEP Ohio Forestry Team is taking extra steps to remove hazardous trees outside of our right of way that pose a threat to your electric service.
In 2018, we launched our Hazardous Tree Program to address dying and diseased trees that might cause a problem with your electric service. Many of these trees fall outside of our established boundaries to trim, but we’re working closely with landowners to get permission to proactively remove those that could pose a threat.
In 2019, we removed more than 150,000 hazardous trees — and our team is on track to do the same this year. We’re actively tracking EAB migration through Ohio and treating every Ash tree as though it’s infected because of the invasive nature of the beetle.
How You Can Help