Vegetation Management Solutions You Can Trust

Our coexistence with Mother Nature is essential, and it’s vital that we always work to strike a clear balance between protecting the environment and ensuring that it isn’t creating a safety hazard or other potential problem. Vegetation management is a fundamental part of planning, maintaining, and overseeing properties, roadways, electrical lines, and more. And using the right kind of vegetation management solutions for rights of way and property management is vital.

What Is Vegetation Management?

Vegetation management refers to any type of process that helps to minimize the establishment and overgrowth of species of plants in and around a particular area. There are numerous goals that vegetation management may be focused on including:

• Avoiding utility service interruption

• Reducing the risk of wildfires

• Improving soil erosion prevention

• Maintaining high water quality

• Reducing property damage risk

• Improving native plant and songbird habitats

• Controlling and management of invasive species

• Creating wildlife habitats

• Better visibility on roads

• Meeting all regulatory compliance requirements

• Lowering insurance costs

• Reducing repair costs

By managing vegetation in an area properly, it is possible to improve the land for humans as well as plants and animals that live there. Vegetation management can involve a wide range of steps including pruning, tree trimming, use of chemical treatments, and even planting of certain species of plants.

Vegetation Management Solutions for Rights of Way

One of the most important aspects of vegetation management is the use of it for maintaining safe rights of way, particular around utility lines like power lines and pipelines. In fact, ineffective vegetation management is continually identified as a significant cause of large-scale power outages in North America. The cost of these outages can reach the hundreds of billions of dollars, and simple, regular maintenance of vegetation along rights of ways could potentially prevent the majority of the problems before they occur.

In many instances, frequent pruning and tree trimming will be the primary focus of any vegetation management strategy and will usually be sufficient, but in other cases, it may be that additional plans and strategies must be developed to ensure the protection of utilities along rights of ways.

Integrated Vegetation Management

Individual blackouts alone are enough to cause significant costs — a blackout in August of 2003 impacted more than 50 million people and cost between 7 and 10 billion to repair. In New York alone, the cost of the blackout was more than $500 million. And over the years, outages continue to occur and to cost billions to repair. In most cases — and in the case of the 2003 blackout — the cause is nothing more than poor vegetation management.

Integrated vegetation management solutions are the most effective way to solve the problem of difficult vegetation management. IVM is the practice of using stable, low growing plant communities that resist the growth of taller species by using chemical, biological, mechanical, and other treatments.

The use of IVM on rights of ways could help reduce the enormous costs of power outages, and the entire process is straightforward with the right tools, knowledge, and technology on your side. It can also help provide not only safe and reliable power but also create wildlife habitats. Good IVM can develop habitats that are being lost as development across the US continues. Additionally, establishing wildlife habitats can allow native plants and animals to thrive.

How Can Integrated Vegetation Management Software Help?

It may seem easy enough to spot a problem branch or tree when you’re looking at it. But the US roadway, pipeline, and power line infrastructures cover thousands of miles of land. Integrated Vegetation Management Software allows users to generate images and models of areas quickly, often using drones and UAV images. Then, using those images, plans can be created to maintain the area effectively.

It’s important to note that while the images generated by SolSpec Viewer and Analytics will show what areas may need to be trimmed or might need lines cleared, the images and their ability to show detailed measurements and densities can also allow for plans that include planting integrated vegetation, using weed control solutions, herbicides, and more. In this way, the software can reduce the need for pruning and significant trimming and make it easier to reduce costs while keeping areas clear.

Professional Vegetation Management Services

Here at SolSpec, our UAV imaging solutions (link to services page) combined with IVM software allows us to provide detailed imagery that can be analyzed to spot problem areas and develop long-term management plans for rights of ways as well as other locations that require integrated vegetation management solutions. Measurements, locations, and surrounding areas can be charted and factored into any management plan with ease. Additionally, subsequent imaging allows you to continue monitoring areas for the best management results. The clearly defined images and analytic tools of our software let you reduce overall costs and prevent outages and other problems in the future.