Trees need to be trimmed or even removed near power lines to prevent power outages caused by falling limbs, particularly as we prepare for winter weather. When trimming your trees near power lines, the most important thing to keep in mind is safety. This intricate work needs to be approached with extreme care, caution, and planning. If you find yourself in a situation where limbs need to be removed, you might be tempted to try to cut the tree or even just trim a few branches yourself. You might not think this is a big deal. The reality is that removing trees or even just a few branches near a utility line is extremely dangerous. It requires precise work, knowledge, and experience.
Amateurs should not attempt tree work involving climbing of any kind, work around high-voltage power lines, work from a ladder or the cutting down of trees. Most deaths and injuries of people working on trees are caused by electric shock, not from touching a wire itself but from a tree branch or pruning tool touching the wire. Whether the wire is higher voltage, at the top of a utility pole, a smaller distribution line, or running directly to your house, the dangers are present and can be fatal. Pruning or removing trees near a power line is illegal in some states because of the inherent dangers, the potential for power loss and the costs of repairs.
Common incidents include pole pruners slipping and touching the lines. You may not even see the line because of the tree’s canopy until it is too late. If you’re on a ladder or have climbed the tree, which is never a good idea, the risk is much worse. The shock, or the fall caused by it, could be fatal. Primary lines range from 2,300 to 39,000 volts while secondary lines can range from 120 to 480 volts and service lines run from 120 or 240 volts. Even these lower voltage lines can be extremely dangerous.
Don’t forget, trees that are not in direct contact with an electric line can also be dangerous to handle. Electricity can arc from the power line to the tree. If the tree, or limb, falls during removal it could fall onto the lines as well and conduct electricity.
Electric lines are not the only utility to avoid. Whether above ground, or below in the case of tree and stump removal, gas lines, ethernet and fiber optic cables, and telephone or communication lines should also be avoided. If you have a tree that is located close to any of these utilities that needs attention, call in the experts. Don’t wait for limbs or roots to become entangled in utility lines before you call for help.
The professionals at Hentges Tree Service are well equipped and trained on how to work in these potentially dangerous conditions using safe and secure methods. If you have a tree on your property that needs to be safely pruned or removed near a power line, contact Hentges today! We will send an arborist to survey the area and give you a free quote. Remember that due to the dangers we have reviewed, removing any tree near a power line can take significantly longer than other tree removals. Visit hentgestree.com to learn more about our services.