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Transmission Vegetation Management

Learn about vegetation safety regulations

Federal reliability requirements state that electrical utilities must establish a vegetation management program to ensure safety and reliability. Ameren Transmission supervisors oversee the Vegetation Management Program and are certified arborists through the International Society of Arboriculture. 
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In 2007 the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) began mandating legally enforceable reliability requirements necessary to protect the transmission grid from disturbances. In response to these requirements, Ameren has adopted a proactive approach to right-of-way management.

This involves:

  • Establishing greater clearances between trees and transmission lines.
  • Cutting incompatible trees down where the same trees had been trimmed in the past.
  • Asking landowners to move newly planted trees inappropriate for the location.

Why control vegetation on transmission rights-of-way?

  • Safety
  • Reliability
  • Federal regulations

Maintaining Adequate Clearance And Accessibility

Because transmission lines are extremely important to the power grid, they are inspected on an annual basis. Dense stands of trees, shrubs or hedges can limit access to the right-of-way needed to perform necessary inspections or maintenance.

Easements typically give Ameren the right to build, operate and maintain a transmission line. Tree trimming and brush removal are an important part of transmission maintenance. Compensation is made to landowners at the time the easement is initially acquired, and the terms of the easement remain in place as property is transferred, or sold, to new owners.

Why Can’t Landowners Prune Trees Within The Right-Of-Way or Easement? 

Under some conditions, trees that grow too close to transmission lines can conduct electricity. Contact is not necessary for electricity to arc or “jump” from transmission lines to trees. If electricity flows through a tree, anyone in the area of the energized tree could experience serious injuries or even  death.

This is why federal requirements specify that only qualified line-clearance tree contractors are allowed to work within 20 feet 8 inches of higher voltage lines. 

Contact Us


For an inspection of your tree and line situation, call:

Illinois: 800.755.5000
Missouri: 800.552.7583


Any permission for plantings (including, but not limited to, maximum heights, clearances, and buffer zones) on this website are subject to change without notice and from time to time by Ameren Corporation or any of its subsidiaries. Current and future rules, regulations and orders of federal and state authorities may restrict or prohibit plantings, or may require changes to plantings, without notice and from time to time. Ameren reserves the right to require trimming or removal, at Ameren’s sole discretion, of any plantings previously permitted, whether under this brochure or otherwise. No rights to maintain any planting will result from reliance on this brochure or any other authorization of Ameren Corporation or its subsidiaries.

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