Exploring Vegetation Management and Infrastructure Maintenance
by Renee Baur, Chief Executive Officer
When you marvel at a tunnel of trees framing a country road, or peer into forest and are overtaken by a dense mass of foliage, you see beauty. But do you ever fix upon the tree that is leaning, diseased, or a possible hazard? I never noticed any of that until I worked in Vegetation Management. It quickly became clear how critical it is to ensure that the area around trees remains safe and clear. Whether you are talking about a road right of way, a house, a utility pole, or a gas line, trees and other encroaching vegetation must be maintained and inspected frequently.
This type of risk assessment and abatement helps keep our communities safe.
Inspecting a tree from all angles, although challenging, is necessary. A tree can appear healthy at one angle, but then, upon closer inspection, it might have decay, large conks, or another defect that should be monitored. The act of performing a thorough inspection is the only way to truly know If you have captured all trees that should be trimmed, removed, or further monitored.
There are many methods of vegetation management that can be used to ensure safety after a thorough inspection.
- Hazardous or unhealthy trees can be removed to protect infrastructure.
- Trees in good health may be pruned to safeguard their health and monitor their growth.
- Frequent brush and fuel removal also helps avert risk and controls the growth in and around infrastructure.
All these methods are critical in vegetation management as they help keep our communities maintained, protected, and connected.
Whether you are a homeowner, utility, city, county, or government agency it is important to have trees inspected thoroughly and often as they are always changing. It takes a village to ensure the safety of our planet and the lives of the people living in and around our critical infrastructure.
If you have questions or need assistance with tree work safety, contact Cal/OSHA's Consultation Services Branch. Statewide toll-free number: (800) 963-9424.