Mike Griffith is a forester with AEP Ohio. Most days, he is in the field ensuring crews are working safely and maintaining the balance of the natural beauty of your neighborhood with the need to keep your power flowing. 

We spoke with Mike to learn more about forestry, his love for the great outdoors and what it’s like working to keep the power on — one tree at a time. 

Q: How long have you been with AEP Ohio?

A: I was hired in April 2001, so 19 years. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. 

Q: Why did you decide to become a forester?

A: I’ve always loved being outside — hiking, backpacking, canoeing and kayaking. After I graduated from The Ohio State University with my Bachelor’s of Science in Forestry, I started looking for jobs that would allow me to work outside. That’s when I came across a “help wanted”  ad in the newspaper for a position with AEP Ohio. Since I met the skill requirements for knowledge of trees and good communications skills, I applied. 

Q: What’s your favorite part of your job?

A: I love helping with storm restoration. After a storm, our team coordinates removing trees off the power lines and getting power back on for customers as quickly as we can. Customers are always so happy to see us and very appreciative of our work. 

Q: What is one thing you want customers to know about foresters?

A: Foresters really love trees! And we are motivated by our love of trees. We want to keep our customers safe and keep the power on. 

Q: Why do you consider the work of foresters to be important?

A: With trees being one of the leading causes of outages, managing vegetation is essential. Our society has never been more dependent on electricity, especially now with needing the internet as we work from home, not to mention power for our food storage and entertainment. We want to ensure our customers’ daily lives are not interrupted and that the power is up and running. 

Mike and our forestry team are committed to working safely and meeting the needs of customers — each and every day. 

Have a question about trees? We’re here to help. Contact our forestry team directly at (614) 883-6987 or visit AEPOhio.com/Trees.

16 responses to “Get to Know a Forester

  1. I appreciate the work Mike and others do to keep our power lines up and free of debris. AEP has always responded in a timely manner.

  2. I live in a small condo community. Last fall we removed 20+ trees diseased and are planning to remove more this fall. Last night we were hit by the severe winds and knocked down and uprooted several trees and ripped branches out of others. Most of our power lines are buried.

    Our landscaping committee needs major advice on how to proceed. We want to plant trees to shade pavement in summer and fewer evergreens.

    1. Hi Catherine. Thanks for writing us. I’d recommend checking out the information on our Plant Before You Plant page: aepohio.com/info/TreeTrimming/TreeClearance.aspx. You can also call our forestry team at (614) 883-6987 for more help.

  3. If we have trees that may bring down powerlines, who should we contact to be proactive? Private companies are leary to come out for trees near powerlines and Im worried if I do get someone, they’ll hack the beautiful trees in half to clear lines. Thanks!

    1. Thanks your note, Latisha. I have passed it on to our forestry team so someone can get in touch with you to talk it over.

  4. Your forester seems to appreciate trees but the “trimmers” you send out from Asplundt go out of their way to mutilate trees. The Asplundt website says that the proper way to trim trees which have power lines going through them is make keyholes through which the lines may pass but the Asplundt workers tell me that AEP will not allow this so instead they top trees resulting in fast growing weak growth that is easily broken in windstorms and which ensure that more trimming will be needed in the future. What can I do to have my trees trimmed in a manner that is aesthetically pleasing and good for the tree?

    1. David, I’m really sorry you aren’t happy with our trimming. I have sent your complaint on to our forestry team so they can review it. You can expect to hear from someone soon. I hope we can resolve this issue for you; thanks for letting us know.

  5. I didn’t know all of this about the forestry team! I think it’s Great!!!, Thank you Mike for the fantastic job you do and have chosen as your career! I love the outdoors and go camping and hiking when the nice weather arrives!!! The or thing I always look at when I arrive at my campsite are the ????!! Than when I’m laying in my tent my son and I use our ???? and point up at the trees and we see faces and animals and make up all kinds of things I the trees! Just like you would with the clouds! It’s awesome and amazing and fun!! Thank you again for your dedication… Sincerely, Lori Hall

    1. Hi Warren! I have passed your message on to our forestry team so you should hear from someone very soon. The best way to submit tree-trimming issues is to call us at (614) 883-6987 or fill out the form at aepohio.com/info/TreeTrimming/Default.aspx#contactform

  6. We regularly encounter Asplundt trimmers around our home. They are the worst screw offs I have ever experienced. They sit in their trucks 90% of the day, rain or shine. You are wasting your/our money on these people.

  7. I have worked with Mike for at least 10 years or more and he has been a pleasure to work with. He’s always a pleasant, professional, and patient to work with. I guess you might want to say the “3P”. He understands we at AEP try to maintain reliable electric service. His job is to clear the trees away from the lines so when we do have strong winds from storm conditions AEP still can provide electric with no outages.

    Great job Mike!

  8. During recent trimming of trees near an AEP easement on our property off of County Road 108 on Dock 2 Road in Morgan County the felling of a dead tree broke a young hemlock tree about 50′ from the power line (and outside the easement). The crew continued by cut the hemlock down. I have requested a replacement tree but have not heard from our AEP representative. Can you help?

    1. Hi Dorothy. I apologize for any delay in getting this resolved. I have passed your note to our forestry team and you should be hearing from someone soon.

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