Identifying the optimum tree maintenance cycle is critical to establishing a cost-effective vegetation management program. Regrowth study data is important to analyzing the relationships among tree/conductor contact, pruning clearance, cycle length, and budget. A variety of matrices and analyses are developed to present these relationships and to help establish and justify the appropriate tree maintenance cycle(s).
A one-year change in cycle can represent thousands to millions of dollars and has a direct influence on electric service reliability. Therefore, ECI normally dedicates an extensive amount of time to the attainment and analysis of accurate, local, system specific regrowth data. The system regrowth data, together with information gathered through a workload survey (percent of trees requiring side pruning and top pruning) are summarized and processed by ECI’s exclusive Tree Growth Simulator.
The data to populate ECI’s Tree Growth Simulator involves obtaining regrowth measurements from the most common species on the system. Sample branches for each of the major tree species representing one, two, three, four, five or six years regrowth are cut and measured. Coupling this information with geospatial analytics and remote sense technology can have powerful results.
The regrowth and tree/conductor contact projections provide empirical data to support vegetation management cycles, clearances, and budgets. ECI's regrowth study data has been successfully used by many utilities for rate case support.