PECO is investing $2.2 million in preventative tree pruning and selective tree removal along 362 miles of aerial electric lines in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties to improve electric service reliability for more than 83,000 customers. Work is scheduled to begin in early this month and continue through September 2011. Vegetation causes about one-third of all electric outages. Preventative pruning around aerial power lines is vital to providing reliable electric service.

Pruning will be performed in the following Philadelphia neighborhoods: Chestnut Hill; Mount Airy; West Oak Lane; East Oak Lane; Germantown; Roxborough; Manayunk; and Wynnefield. Work also will occur in Lower Merion Township and Narberth Borough in Montgomery County.

“Tree pruning and other vegetation management is a key part of PECO’s overall preventive maintenance program,” said Frank Moffa, manager of Vegetation Management. “Our goal is to reduce the frequency of tree-related outages and improve electric service reliability for our customers.”

This year, PECO will invest $33 million in its vegetation management program, which includes tree pruning around approximately 14,000 miles of aerial power lines on the electric distribution and transmission system across the service territory. The program also includes patrols of the system and pruning or clearing on a cyclical basis.

PECO’s vegetation management crews are trained in proper arboricultural pruning techniques, which meet the standards set by the National Arborist Association and the International Society of Arboriculture. These standards take into account the type and location of the tree in relation to the overhead wires and the health of the tree. PECO notifies property owners prior to work beginning in each community. Areas where line clearance work is completed experience fewer outages and a significant improvement in electric reliability.