For most right-of-way uses, safety remains a major reason for
managing vegetation. Trees, brush and weeds along these
rights-of-way can create hazards.
For driver and passenger safety, vegetation must not be allowed
to block trafﬁ c signs or roadside markers. It also must not conceal
guardrails or overtake road shoulders. Vegetation must not obstruct
driver vision at intersections or block the line of sight around curves.
Excessive vegetation also prevents proper drainage, which can
damage roadbeds by creating potholes and other hazards.
Trees growing into power lines can cause electrical power outages
and make maintenance difﬁ cult and dangerous. In addition, areas
around utility substations and land beneath transmission towers
require a vegetation-free zone to prevent ﬁ re hazards and ensure
the transfer of electricity.
Railroad companies need to control weeds along their rights-of-way
to maintain roadbeds. Weeds hold water around railroad ties. This
causes the ties to rot, increasing chances for derailment accidents.
Sparks from the rails can ignite weeds and brush growing too close
to the roadbed, and can create a ﬁ re hazard. Brush that obstructs
motorists’ views at railroad crossings is especially dangerous.
Controlling it can help avert car/train accidents.
Foresters control vegetation to maximize the amount of timber
they can harvest, resulting in more timber harvested on less land.
Controlling brush also decreases the potential for forest ﬁ res and
allows young stands to get started.
Invasive plants, the ones that affect all of the areas we have talked
about, threaten to create a monoculture