Logo preload
close Logo

Utility vegetation management: a key player in preventing power outages

February 27, 2024

Utility Vegetation Management (UVM) is the strategic management of tree and vegetation growth around electrical power lines and infrastructure to prevent power outages and ensure the consistent delivery of electricity, playing a vital role in safeguarding the reliability and safety of our power supply.

Statistically, vegetation management typically constitutes the largest portion of a utility’s annual maintenance and operations (O&M) budget. Moreover, data reveals that 23% of energy outages in the US stem from vegetation-related issues. These figures underscore the crucial role of UVM in averting power disruptions and maintaining a consistent power supply. Overgrown trees and shrubs present substantial risks, potentially causing outages, equipment damage, and safety hazards if left unchecked.

In this blog, we explore the critical role of UVM in preventing power outages, the threats posed by overgrown vegetation, effective management strategies, and the benefits of a proactive approach.

The risks of overgrown vegetation and the role of UVM

Effective vegetation management is essential to mitigate risks associated with its interaction with electrical infrastructure. Trees and branches near power lines can trigger outages or wildfires. Overgrown vegetation may block access to essential maintenance areas, delaying repairs. Adopting proactive strategies to control vegetation is critical to ensure power reliability and the public safety.

Strategies for effective utility vegetation management

Effective UVM employs a variety of strategies, including regular monitoring and assessment of vegetation growth. The application of appropriate vegetation control methods, such as pruning, trimming, or the use of herbicides, is essential. The removal of hazardous trees is also a crucial aspect. These activities require collaboration between utility companies, contractors, and regulatory agencies. It ensures they are carried out safely and effectively, with minimal impact on the environment and local communities.

Man performing tree trimming as part of utility vegetation management plan

Benefits of proactive vegetation management

The proactive management of vegetation offers numerous benefits, including the prevention of wildfires and electrical disruptions, reduction in equipment damage, and the minimization of safety hazards. Moreover, it ensures a consistent and reliable power supply, which is essential for consumer satisfaction and economic stability. By investing in proactive vegetation management, utility companies can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of power outages.

Using Fulcrum for utility vegetation management

Incorporating Fulcrum’s data collection and process management platform into UVM programs offers a transformative approach to vegetation management. Additionally, utility companies leverage digital checklists, real-time data collection, and cloud-connected tools to manage vegetation growth proactively. They identify potential hazards before escalation and ensure all team members have access to up-to-date information. Moreover, Fulcrum facilitates efficient routing for field teams, enhances decision-making capabilities, and supports a more effective, responsive UVM program. Consequently, this digital solution represents a significant step forward in optimizing vegetation management efforts. It reduces risks associated with overgrowth and maintains the reliability of power supply systems.

And if you’re looking to see Fulcrum in action, check out the video below where Fulcrum’s Jake Freivald demonstrates how advanced geospatial features can revolutionize field-based data collection. By utilizing ArcGIS’s public Feature Service Layer, including critical data like the California Fire Perimeters, Jake showcases the importance of giving field teams comprehensive access to geospatial data, both online and offline. This approach enhances inspection efficiency and accuracy. It seamlessly integrates field data with backend management, showing geospatial technology’s UVM process improvement.


In conclusion, utility vegetation management emerges as a cornerstone in safeguarding against power disruptions and upholding the dependability of electricity provision. Through vigilant monitoring, strategic control, and proactive maintenance of vegetation, utility companies can effectively mitigate risks, ensuring consumer safety and satisfaction. Prioritizing vegetation management within operational frameworks is paramount for fortifying electrical infrastructure and guaranteeing uninterrupted power supply.

As we’ve explored, embracing innovative solutions such as Fulcrum’s data collection and process management platform offers a transformative approach to vegetation management. By harnessing digital tools and real-time data, utility companies can optimize their UVM programs, identify potential hazards proactively, and enhance overall operational efficiency.

Let’s chat

To explore how Fulcrum can revolutionize your utility vegetation management and enhance your utility’s reliability, why not get in touch with a Fulcrum expert today? Let us show you how our advanced geospatial features and seamless integration can empower your team to breeze through field-based data collection and ensure the reliability of your power supply systems.