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ITC transmission lines in a beautiful rural setting

Vegetation Management

Why We Manage Vegetation

Just like you, we love the trees in our communities. They are a beautiful and beneficial part of the environment.

Unfortunately, trees and overhead power lines make a hazardous combination in a couple of ways:

  • Falling trees and limbs can cause power outages when they strike overhead power lines, or pull down live wires that create a public safety issue.
  • Trees growing too close to power lines can carry electricity through their trunks or catch on fire, threatening nearby people and plants.


Because power outages and safety issues caused by trees can bring daily life to a halt, managing the vegetation around power lines is essential to keeping your lights on (and refrigerators, game systems and EV chargers).

3 Pillars of Vegetation Management

At ITC, we make managing vegetation a priority, proactively preventing service interruptions and protecting people in the communities we serve.

We do this in three ways: Communicate, Educate and Inspect.


1. Communicate

We communicate robustly and transparently with residents and communities about planned maintenance activity, sending notices and making personal contact to review the work.

Commonly Asked Questions:

We recognize that performing vegetation work is inconvenient for landowners. So, ITC takes a long-term approach to managing vegetation by ensuring we’re on landowners’ property as little as possible. Removing nearby trees is the most effective, and least intrusive way, to safeguard power lines. Trimming trees promotes new growth, which means more frequent maintenance is required.

ITC needs access to your property, with rights granted through utility easements, to perform necessary maintenance work and other activities to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of power to your community.

Recorded easement information can be obtained from the county register of deeds or county clerk offices. This information also can be found in the title work associated with your property.

ITC communicates its vegetation management plans to landowners and communities through placement of door tag hangers, personal contacts, printed notices and other methods about individual sites where vegetation maintenance is needed.

Existing and potential new vegetation and their growth rates vary across locations. Our routine monitoring allows us to schedule appropriate work as needed to maintain electric reliability and public safety.

Call ITC’s customer service like at 877.ITC.ITC9 (877.482.2829).


2. Educate

We help people, trees and power transmission lines live safely together. As part of our Right Tree, Right Place program, we hold educational events in our communities on compatible plantings in all types of settings, and we work with residents to help them identify the right places for trees.

Learn how to plant trees to conserve energy (Arbor Day Foundation).

Find more information on compatible plantings near transmission lines here:

Compatible Plantings List with Photos

Suburban Compatible Planting Yard Illustrations

Residential Compatible Plantings Yard Illustration

Commercial Compatible Plantings Yard Illustration

Rural Compatible Plantings Yard Illustration


3. Inspect

Foresters and trained field staff regularly inspect our power transmission corridors to identify both appropriate and incompatible plant species, site by site. We also inspect our transmission lines and structures twice a year—generally in the spring and fall—with the use of aerial patrols.

Aerial patrols are a North American Electrical Reliability Corporation (NERC) requirement for ITC’s vegetation management program; they also support proactive maintenance of the power grid and align with ITC’s standard for maintaining energy reliability.

Aerial patrols are conducted at low altitudes. Our experts check for damaged or worn equipment and vegetation hazards. This is normal procedure, so there is no cause for alarm if a low-flying helicopter is sighted near transmission lines during inspection season.


Creating a Greener Future

ITC crews using heavy equipment for vegetation management

The work we do to manage the vegetation in our corridors helps promote stable, diverse greenways for people and wildlife.

ITC has been recognized by The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Line USA program, and we’re proud to work with the Michigan Arbor Day Alliance to promote planting the right trees in the right place so that we can all enjoy the many benefits of trees and safe, reliable electricity.

Have questions about vegetation management at ITC or our activities in your community?

Call ITC’s customer service line at (877) ITC.ITC9 (877.482.4829).