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In-the-Field Vegetation Management and Consulting

The client is a large Tier 1 utilities provider to millions across the U.S. Northeast. They are routinely engaged in several new and replacement utility services projects, as well as ongoing vegetation management programs.

Key Challenges

To maintain ongoing safety and compliance, the client regularly manages vegetation growth near their assets and infrastructure. However, there were several organizational and process challenges which hindered the efficacy of their program. 

  • A temporary hiring freeze on arborists, contributing to a workforce shortage in the field
  • Labor shortages resulted in scaled back programs 
  • Leadership and organizational changes, putting many of these programs temporarily on hold

In addition, operating in the densely populated northeast involves multiple stakeholders such as municipalities, government agencies, and private landowners. The sheer number of affected parties quickly complicated the client’s vegetation management procedures. Often the client needed to secure Right-of-Way documents prior to conducting field work, slowing down the process, and jeopardizing compliance. It became clear that the client would need the assistance of a consulting partner to better facilitate and manage these projects.

PFES Solution

To ensure their vegetation management projects remained on schedule, the client put out an RFP for Project Management and on-site consulting services. Having worked with the organization in the past, and being familiar with their expertise in this area, the client selected PFES to assist with their program.  

PFES led a team to conduct routine tree trimming and vegetation management on a variety of engagements. Being a major energy provider with millions of customers throughout the region, this team works in several geographies involving multiple stakeholders, including:

  • Private property owners 
  • Luxury & private golf courses 
  • Municipally owned land critical to state infrastructure (e.g. railroads)

On-site challenges often arise when conducting field work. In many cases, this PFES-led team secures easement documentation, permitting the client to clear overgrowth on the land within a certain distance of the client’s infrastructure. However, sometimes no easement documentation is available. In these instances, the PFES consultant functions as an arbitrator between multiple stakeholders to carry out vegetation management operations.

Though complications sometimes arise, PFES continues to successfully mediate the relationship between the client and landowners, ensuring proper vegetation clearances are maintained and regulations are adhered to.


In all engagements to date, the PFES-led team has maintained the integrity of the client’s transmission lines. This not only ensures ongoing safety and compliance, but reliable energy delivery to millions of customers.

The client has come to rely on the services provided by PFES to ensure conflicts with stakeholders don’t escalate to legal action. PFES enables the client to quickly resolve these conflicts without costly adjudication. To accomplish this, project specifications are often adjusted in the field. These adjustments, such as – tree removal services and landscape design—ensure buy-in and approval from stakeholders, while also enabling the client to carry out proper vegetation clearances.