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JCP&L Trimming Trees in Bernardsville, Somerset Hills

Tree trimming under way in some of the municipalities hard-hit by Sandy storm damage last fall.

After inspecting and trimming trees along nearly 4,000 miles of lines across its system in 2012, Jersey Central Power & Light is back in the Somerset Hills conducting tree trimming near power lines, JCP&L announced this week.

Bernardsville and Peapack-Gladstone will be included in February's work as part of JCP&L's $24 million 2013 vegetation management program, according to JCP&L. Tree and foliage trimming this month will take place along more than 300 miles of power lines in 10 counties and multiple municipalities, the company said.

JCP&L conducted but a portion of the township is included in this year's tree trimming, said JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano.

Morano said that as part of the tree-trimming, workers will examine trees along JCP&L's power line easements and within right of ways.

"If a tree is considered a danger tree we can ask to remove it," Morano said on Wednesday. "All of our trimming is done for reliability and safety."

“The vegetation management program is an important component of our annual
investment in infrastructure to deliver reliable service to customers,” said Don Lynch, JCP&L president.

Lynch added, “The severe weather events that our region has experienced over the past few years have heightened everyone’s awareness about how trees impact electric infrastructure and the potential dangerous conditions that can result when trees and power lines touch.”

JCP&L said the company maintains safe and reliable electric service regularly trims trees and conducts vegetation management work along its electric distribution lines on a four-year cycle.

The company’s certified forestry experts inspect vegetation near the lines and
make every effort to prune trees in a manner that preserves the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities, JCP&L's announcement said. "When necessary, trees that present a danger or are diseased will be removed," according to JCP&L's announcement.

In January, 410 circuit miles serving Berkeley Township, and Lakewood in Ocean County; Long Branch in Monmouth County; and Parsippany and Dover in Morris County were completed, JCP&L said.

All vegetation management work is conducted by JCP&L’s certified forestry contractors, including Aspen Tree Service, Asplundh Tree Expert Company, Jaflo Inc., Lewis Tree Service Inc., and Nelson Tree Service Inc., JCP&L said.

JCP&L said the company works with municipalities to inform them of vegetation management schedules. Customers living in areas along company right-of-ways are also notified prior to work being done, the company said.

Bedminster Township Administrator Judy Sullivan said at Tuesday's township committee meeting that they received a letter about Nelson Tree Service coming to Bedminster soon.

"It is part of the procedure to come around and touch base with municipal people," she said. "They are currently working on trees and side streets in Peapack."

But, Sullivan said, they will be coming to Bedminster soon to do the tree trimming work.

Bedminster Mayor Steve Parker said he would like to ask residents to be mindful of the work, and understand that it needs to be done.

"I know we all love trees and open space in Bedminster, but we also love power," he said. "People need to be charitable when we are looking at trimming trees."

JCP&L is a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. (NYSE: FE). JCP&L serves 1.1-million customers in the counties of Burlington, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex,
Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren.

Follow JCP&L on Twitter @JCP_L and on Facebook.

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