Trees Vs. Power Lines

power linesHave you ever seen a tree that looks like this?

Trees and power lines tend to mix like oil and water. They coexist, constantly bumping each other. The lines burn the trees, making them susceptible to insects and diseases. And during storms, the trees can tear down the power lines inconveniencing you with power outages and a large bill. In some senses, talking about power lines and trees almost sounds like a description of a bad relationship. But unlike a bad relationship, RTEC can help to fix your tree problems.

Most of us have seen trees hacked up and butchered around our neighborhood power lines. Leaving cuts like this is very harmful to a tree and can ultimately lead to its demise. And to a certain degree, it’s almost impressive that cutting trees this severely, and in all the wrong places doesn’t kill trees even faster than it already does. The harsh truth is that power companies generally only give consideration to the law-mandated clearance of 10 feet. Very little regard is given to where the correct cut should be made to ensure the tree’s health and recovery. BUT there is a catch 22! Tree companies, such as RTEC Treecare, are forbidden by law to get within 10 feet of the lines. So the people who have the knowledge to make the correct cuts, and care to make the right cuts can’t get close enough to make the cuts. And the power companies can get close enough to make the cuts, yet make all the wrong ones. Great!…now what?

Fortunately, you have a couple options. And none of them involve YOU out under your tree with a giant saw on the end of a stick trying to make the right cut next to a power line. If you have us come out to trim your tree away from the power lines and they are already mixed up together, we will have to call the power company to get the clearance first, because of the law. BUT! We will then be able to come in and clean up their mess and fix their cuts, to ensure that your tree recovers as safely as possible. This option is not the best choice, even though sometimes it is the only choice available.

The more attractive option for all parties involved (including your trees), goes along with the old saying, prevention is the best medicine. Even if your tree is not growing into the power lines yet, if it is in the vicinity of the lines it should be inspected by a Certified Arborist yearly, they can provide you with a pruning solution. We can prune branches that appear to be growing toward the lines in a manner that would redirect them away from the lines. Thus, alleviating the need for the power company to come out and butcher your trees, AND making life so much easier for you and your trees.

UPDATE: RTEC has worked tirelessly to put together line drop protocol where we work with power companies to disconnect the power lines or drop the power to them when we are working on trees near electrical lines. This allows our customers to get quality tree work without breaking the law or risking the safety of workers.

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