BGE tree work

BGE tree work (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun / November 15, 2012)

Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. taking down a tree in your yard because it's snarled up in -- or too close to -- the power lines? You might be eligible for money to replace it.

The utility offers up to $100 per tree removed if you meet certain qualifications, among them that your property is along a portion of the feeder between a substation and the "first protective device." Vegetation in such areas across the region are getting more aggressively trimmed due to state rules that went into effect last May, and in some cases the work goes beyond just trimming.

Other requirements for the BGE Tree Voucher Program:

--The tree has to be more than 12 inches in diameter

--It must be on a maintained (lawn) area of your property

--You have to replace what you lost with a tree or plant on BGE's OK list (the approved trees all top out at less than 25 feet) and make the purchase from a licensed nursery or landscaper

BGE tree suggestions for planting under or near utility lines include dogwood, eastern redbud and Japanese red maple.

Trees are getting a lot more scrutiny these days as utilities, political leaders, regulators and customers alike look for ways to improve reliability in the face of powerful storms. What has your experience been?

Email Jamie at jhopkins@baltsun.com or connect on Twitter @jsmithhopkins.