Starting at a very young age, people are always warned to stay away from power lines because of the dangers of electrocution, which can cause serious injury or even death. However, trees and plants will simply grow wherever they’re planted, so it’s up to property owners to make sure their growing trees do not interfere with power lines or utility poles. Power lines can impact tree owners in several significant ways.
First, power lines can impact tree owners because of their proximity to power lines. In the greater Houston area, CenterPoint Energy customers are responsible for clearing trees and their branches from their service drops, which are the lines that run from utility poles to their home. Trees planted near power lines result in much more tree maintenance for the property owner since they have to be vigilant about keeping tree limbs and branches from contacting or interfering with power lines or utility poles. Trees planted too close to power lines must be frequently trimmed and shaped to prevent interference, but owners are often left with unattractive or uneven trees. This diminished both the value and benefit of mature trees since owners will have less shade and unsightly trees.
In addition, trees planted too close to service drop lines can cause damage to the power lines or even utility poles, resulting in power outages to homeowners and nearby businesses. Owners can be severely impacted by the loss of electricity, which can last anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks. The major impact of Hurricane Ike in 2008 was not flooding but falling trees and limbs that caused widespread power outages, leaving over 2 million Houstonians without power during crippling Houston heat. Trees growing too close to power lines also pose a major threat to the safety of nearby people and structures as they are much more likely to come into contact with the high voltage wires. The tree itself can also suffer damage because of power lines, such as charring or damaged limbs, leading to tree death and removal.
Tree owners can also be impacted because of the high risk of danger, injury or death when trees are too close to power lines. Some property owners foolishly attempt to trim their own trees away from power lines, which is a huge danger and will likely result in serious injury or death. Homeowners and commercial property owners do not have the skills, specialized safety equipment or authorization to perform work near power lines at any time. Although the voltage running through service drops is much lower than pole-to-pole wires, CenterPoint Energy always recommends hiring a professional tree service to complete this dangerous tree trimming.
Thankfully, homeowners and commercial property owners have a reliable, safe and efficient option when tree work is needed near power lines. LMC has a team of skilled tree professionals specially trained for utility line clearance work. LMC’s arbor department completes OSHA-required training each year to provide service drop clearance services for homeowners and businesses owners. LMC performs all tree trimming and tree removal projects utilizing state-of-the-art equipment as well as industry-leading and award-winning safety techniques. LMC also offers tree planting services to help property owners identify the best locations for tree planting, select ideal tree varieties for owner needs, and perform safe and efficient tree planting on site. Contact LMC for more information regarding their tree trimming or tree removal services, or go online to request a free consultation.