Welcome to the Vegetation Management Resource Center and to the inaugural issue of Vegetation Management Insights.

What are our aspirations? This new project from T&D World magazine will feature developments in the utility vegetation management (VM) industry and the most comprehensive compilation of vegetation management research and information. You will find this in the Vegetation Management Resource Center. The VM Resource Center is a work in progress and will continue to be so. To that end, I invite you to submit research and historical articles of interest and benefit to the utility VM industry to me, for addition to the Vegetation Management Resource Center. These might be articles like Priority Trimming to Improve Reliability that would benefit the VM industry but have not found a public forum because they were rejected by a peer reviewed journal but were too technical or detailed for an industry magazine.

We want to bring VM to the broader utility audience; to bridge the gap between utility executives and the VM group. Which leads us to another function…

The VM Insights will include editorial content with which we intend to stimulate, provoke, educate and sometimes criticize. With that stated, let’s return to the above comment on a gap between utility executives and the VM group. Does such a gap exist? Over 35 years in this business forces me to answer, it does. But you don’t need to take my word for it. Here are some questions to help you make your own determination. At your utility where do trees rank as a cause of uncontrolled outages? Where does VM rank in O & M spending? Is the assignment of company resources commensurate with these rankings? In using company resources I’m extending the question beyond funding, to such things as information technology, public relations, financial and regulatory services. Want to dig deeper into this topic? I would recommend you read The Great American Blackout and Vegetation Management Concepts and Principles.

In future issues of VM Insights I will address such topics as customer contact, communication between utility departments and the VM group, peer-reviewed journals, application of financial and accounting principles, VM and the regulatory process, research vs. demonstration plots, terminology, hazard trees, trees and reliability, reliability expectations, asset management, storm damage and probably much, much more on the assignment of resources to VM.

Send articles to Sig Guggenmoos at Ecosync@interbaun.com.