Vegetation Management Program

A comprehensive program to maintain our service territory's right of way.


Roseau Electric Cooperative strives to maintain and improve the safety and reliability of your electric service. To accomplish this, Roseau Electric maintains a three-step right-of-way corridor maintenance cycle. Proper vegetation management consists of removing trees, mowing underbrush, controlling vegetation growth, trimming limbs that extend into the right of way and cutting what is classified as danger trees. A danger tree is a tree that, if it fell, would hit the main power line.

Larger trees that are planted in utility right of ways create a dangerous safety hazard by providing children an opportunity to play near power lines. When a tree limb comes in contact with a power line, there is a definite possibility of shock injury or fatal electrocution to a child or adult touching or climbing the tree. Trees located in a utility right of way increase the chance of an outage (or blinking lights). They will also increase the time it takes to restore power after any major storm that may have damaged power lines and poles from higher winds or lightning.
Tree trimming for right of wayRight of way corridor on side of road

Three-Step Right-of-Way Corridor Maintenance Cycle

Plant trees safely diagram

Right-of-Way Maintenance FAQs

What is the right-of-way corridor for an electric line?

A right-of-way (ROW) corridor for an electric line is a strip of land that an electric utility uses to construct, maintain, repair or replace an overhead or underground power line. The corridor allows the utility to provide clearance from trees, buildings and other structures that could interfere with line installation, maintenance and operation. Roseau Electric Cooperative requires a 30-foot clearance on each side of the poles and 15-foot minimum on each side of the poles when approaching a residence.

Will my trees and brush need to be cut?

In most cases, yes. Our experienced forestry crew can visit with you about any concerns members may have. Call the cooperative at 218-463-1543 or 888-847-8840.

What can be done to reduce tree-related outages?

We can't prevent bad weather, but we can reduce outages caused by falling limbs and trees. Our forestry team works year-round to maintain the right of way. How much they trim depends on the tree. If it's fast growing, the crew will trim branches more than they would for slow-growing trees.

Additionally, Roseau Electric Cooperative contracts with qualified, independent contractors to apply a spot-treatment of an EPA-approved biodegradable herbicide where there are unwanted trees, brush and noxious weeds. This includes poison ivy around the utility poles and trees and brush that will eventually interfere with electrical service, reliability or accessibility (this does not include areas near gardens or mowed areas).

What happens to the trees and limbs they remove?

Please understand that you own the byproducts. Upon your request, the cooperative is willing to assist in clean-up and wood chipping but cannot cost-effectively haul away the remains. All byproducts will be left on your property unless you contact Roseau Electric Cooperative to make clean-up arrangements.

Contact Roseau Electric Cooperative at 218-463-1543 or 888-847-8840.

What can I plant and where?

The cooperative believes trees are an important part of our environment and community. To avoid dangerous situations and threats to its system, Roseau Electric supports the philosophy of "the right tree in the right place."

As you landscape your property, remember to "look up," and use the guide above for planting near overhead power lines.

For underground lines on your property, maintain a clearance of 10 feet on either side of the line. This provides room for utility maintenance equipment to access and repair lines when necessary.

How will I know if the cooperative has planned vegetation management in my area?

Roseau Electric Cooperative publishes the upcoming year's ROW clearing areas in the Volts & Views newsletter. In addition, members will receive a postcard in the mail and an automated phone notification to the contact number on their account. For property owners without an active service on the property, they will receive a postcard mailed to their last known mailing address.

I don't want my trees cut. What can I do?

Members may contact our office if you have any questions or would like clarification on our right-of-way clearing process at 218-463-1543 or 888-847-8840. Our forestry team can meet with you at your location to discuss potential options.

What should I do if I think I have a tree threatening a co-op line?

If you have a tree on your property that could cause a power outage, contact Roseau Electric Cooperative. We recommend marking the tree with a flag or paint. Our forestry crew will visit your property for an evaluation.