Vegetation Management

AltaLink is dedicated to our environmental responsibilities and we work to ensure all vegetation management work is carried out in an environmentally sensitive manner.

AltaLink’s was recognized in September 2015 through our accreditation as a Right-of-Way Stewardship Utility for Sustainable Integrated Vegetation Management.  This accreditation recognizes AltaLink for committing to the North American Right of Way Council’s stringent standards of excellence for the environmental management of the areas beneath transmission lines. 

AltaLink is the first Canadian utility to receive this accreditation.

Vegetation management along AltaLink rights-of-way ensures the safety of employees, the public and reduces the risk of outages and fires. AltaLink has a long-term vegetation management plan for the area on and adjacent to the right-of-way. Essentially, the plan outlines the types of vegetation that are suitable for the safe operation and maintenance of our transmission facilities. Vegetation control methods used are influenced by environmental, location, seasonal, cost and landowner considerations and comply with environmental legislation.

AltaLink manages the vegetation and right-of-way maintenance activities and relies on contractors to provide qualified and certified personnel. Some of the contractors that we utilize are:

-     Davey Tree
-     Asplundh Canada
-     Arbor-Tech
-     Quad L

AltaLink follows a number of industry standards with regards to vegetation management. The main industrial resources for vegetation management and research which we abide by are:

  • International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)
  • Utility Arborist Association (UAA)
  • Utility Vegetation Management Association (UVMA)
  • Professional Vegetation Management Association (PVMA) 


AltaLink takes steps to help prevent the establishment and spread of weeds along our rights-of-way. Typically herbicides are used to control weeds but weed control may also involve cutting, pulling or mowing.The weed control method is dependent on the area, the weed species and site specific conditions. Herbicides can provide effective weed control for the year of application or multiple years. On native grasslands herbicides would not typically be used but depending on the size of the infestation and for some species may be the only option. 

Weed control on rights-of-way on county and private land generally is the responsibility of the landowner. Note that on newer construction commitments may have been made to monitor and control weeds for a specified period after energization. All these factors influence the selection of herbicides and determine the suitable application. Please see AltaLink's list of approved herbicides for use on our facilities. AltaLink only uses herbicides approved by Health Canada. 


AltaLink also looks after grass mowing around its substations, telecommunications sites and along transmission lines through urban areas. AltaLink will attempt to maintain these corridors with a mind to adjacent properties, but please note these are industrial sites and will not be maintained the same as a residential lawn. In some case they will be naturalized green space with taller grasses and bushes. Transmission facilities within urban areas will typically be cut 2 to 3 times per year.


A hazard tree is a tree or combination of trees that have visible defects, which if they failed would cause the tree to contact or flashover to a live electrical conductor. This poses a definite hazard to the line. AltaLink has the right to remove hazard trees within the right-of-way but cannot remove hazard trees located beyond the right-of-way boundary.

The removal of hazard trees beyond our right-of-way must be approved by the landowner. Please note that refusal to allow the removal of a hazard tree may open the landowner up to some liability in the event of a tree makes contact with a line.

To report a potential hazard tree, please contact us at 1-877-380-0303 or Landowner.Advocate@AltaLink.ca. 


AltaLink has compiled a list of vegetation species which are compatible and non-compatible with our rights-of-way. 

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