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Best Management Practices


One of the five goals of the UAA is to be an essential part of the professional life of individuals involved in the practice of arboriculture and vegetation management. The UAA accomplishes this through an active role on the ANSI A300 and Z133 committees. These committees produce industry standards that should be incorporated into all specifications for utility vegetation management operations.

The UAA and its members also play an active role in the development of Best Management Practices (BMPs). Working with the International Society of Arboriculture, these publications provide an interpretation of the professional standards and guide work practices based on current science and technology. The BMPs are designed for arborists, tree workers, and their supervisors.

ANSI Standards and Industry BMPs

Managers and practitioners should be aware of all relevant standards and BMPs related to utility arboriculture and utility vegetation management. The UAA encourages employers to make these BMPs available to all field personnel.

Tree Worker Safety

Standard: Z133: Tree worker safety standards

Pruning of Trees

Standard: A300 Pruning Standard (Part 1)

BMP: Utility Pruning of Trees

Integrated Vegetation Management

Standard: A300 Integrated Vegetation Management (Part 7)

BMP: Integrated Vegetation Management

Tree Risk Assessment

Standard: A300 Tree Risk Assessment (Part 9)

BMP: Tree Risk Assessment

BMP: Tree Risk Assessment and Abatement for Fire-prone States and Provinces in the Western Region of North America

Herbicide Use

Closed Chain of Custody for Herbicide Use

Industry-accepted practices – White Papers

Industry leaders gather each year at the System Utility Vegetation Management Summit and discuss best practices. The following white papers provide insight into various issues and current thinking about state-of-the-art utility vegetation management. Please note that these papers have not undergone the type of rigorous review that would qualify them as “Best Management Practices” but reflect the discussion among these industry leaders.

Vegetation Managers Summit Presentations from the April 14-15, 2015 meeting.

On March 21, 2013, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its Final Rule, Order No. 777, approving an updated North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability Standard regarding vegetation management along transmission lines: FAC-003-2. FAC-003-2 becomes effective on July 1, 2014.

A comparison of versions 1 and 2 was developed and is available to current members of the UAA. Members that are logged in can access this information by going to the Laws and Regulations section of the Membership Tab.

Utility Specialist Certification

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) credentials help consumers identify qualified, knowledgeable tree care professionals. Earning a credential is a voluntary activity, but it demonstrates that you have the proper knowledge and skills, as well as a high level of dedication to your profession and your community.

The Utility Specialist Certification demonstrates knowledge and experience in the field of utility vegetation management. An ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist has a minimum of 2,000 hours experience over two years in electric utility vegetation management or has served as a consultant to a utility, with a minimum of 4,000 hours over a maximum 10-year period. The candidate must work in utility vegetation management. They have been tested on topics such as electric utility pruning, program management, integrated vegetation management, electrical knowledge, customer relations, and storm response.

Learn more about ISA credentials and explore your career options.

Tree Line USA

The Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes public and private utilities that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance America's urban forests. Tree Line USA promotes the dual goals of safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees across utility service areas. The UAA encourages all utilities to consider this important program as a means of demonstrating their commitment to the urban forest.

The ROW Stewardship Program

The UAA is pleased to have taken a leadership role in launching the ROW Stewardship Accreditation Program. We were joined by a very broad group of industry organizations, environmental non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies and electric utilities and an independent ROW Stewardship Council was formed in 2012. The mission of this accreditation program is as follows:

  • "To benefit society and the environment by promoting sustainable resource management principles and practices on rights-of-way."

This program recognizes utilities demonstrating excellence in sustainable Integrated Vegetation Management on the North American Transmission Grid.

For more information the ROW Stewardship Accreditation Program, contact Dovetail Partners, Inc. at