Green Mountain Power (GMP) has informed customers in Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston that the utility will begin right-of-way maintenance work that will include the use of herbicides on stumps the day after Memorial Day.
Jared Wilcox, transmission and distribution utility arborist for GMP, said the utility would have crews working in The Valley, specifically working on stump treatment with the herbicide Garlon 4-Ultra.
“This work is on the distribution system and only on stumps. We’re looking to control growth under the power lines. Typically we’re treating one-, two- and three-inch stumps. Larger 30-inch trees that might have been cut, we don’t use the application on those,” Wilcox said.
He said that the crews carefully monitor the weather and don’t use herbicides when rain is forecast or imminent. The herbicide dries in about an hour and loses its ability to leach into the soil and water table after that.
GMP is using contracted crews to do this work and crews will discuss property boundaries with landowners prior to doing the work. The utility does not use herbicides in wetlands and where water is visibly flowing, Wilcox said.
Wilcox said the stump maintenance was aimed at encouraging compatible tree species – anything that is a mature height of less than 25 feet. The maintenance work encourages the growth of species like blackberry and raspberry bushes that are invasive and compete with less incompatible species that might require more maintenance.
Customers who have already contacted GMP about not using herbicides on their property due to proximity of wells and springs received a letter last month informing them that the work would begin and that their concerns were noted.
Other customers received letters informing them that the work was about to begin. Those who have concerns but have not yet contacted the utility can call (802) 770-3231 to explain their concerns.