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Aerial tree trimming planned for southwest Wisconsin area

Helicopter, air saw to be used along electric transmission line

MADISON, Wis. – Crews are planning to use a helicopter and heavy-duty air saw beginning this week to trim trees along an existing 69,000-volt transmission line from the Boscobel to the Wauzeka, Wis., area.

American Transmission Co. has contracted with Aerial Solutions, Inc. to manage vegetation growth along its transmission line corridors. The helicopters used by Aerial Solutions are equipped with heavy-duty air saws and rotary blades suspended on a 90- to 100-foot vertical boom.

When compared to the work of ground-based crews, the aerial saw has been highly efficient. “Typically it takes ground crews several days to accomplish what an aerial saw crew can in a few hours,” said Joe Benzschawel, ATC vegetation management specialist. “Since the work is weather-dependent, it could take one week for the aerial saw to complete the vegetation maintenance in this area.”

Managing the growth of trees and other vegetation near high-voltage transmission lines is important to help ensure public safety and electric system reliability. ATC performs routine vegetation management on its 9,540 miles of transmission lines in five-year cycles.

Note to editors: A map of the planned aerial saw work is available here. Video footage of similar vegetation management work is on our YouTube page.


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Formed in 2001 as the nation’s first multi-state transmission-only utility, American Transmission Co. is a Wisconsin-based company that owns and operates more than 10,000 miles of electric transmission lines and approximately 580 substations in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Our transmission network enables the movement of electricity produced from all forms of generation resources to areas where it is needed. Visit our website at

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