Tree Trimming and Utility Lines – What You Need to Know

As a property owner, you have control over any tree trimming that takes place. Right?

Not necessarily. Your utility company has the right to trim trees on your northern Utah property – and they can do so without your permission. Actually, they don’t even have to let you know ahead of time.

Why is this? As it turns out, utility companies take on trimming for a very good reason – to help prevent widespread blackouts.

Professional gardener pruning a tree

Tree Trimming Can Prevent Power Outages

In August 2003, a utility line fault in Ohio led to a massive blackout. More than 50 million people throughout the northeast United States and Canada were left without electricity – and in many areas, power wasn’t restored until two days later.

While several factors contributed to the power outage, tree overgrowth was the catalyst. The fault began when tree branches came into contact with the utility lines.

Since then, tree trimming for clearance around power lines is mandated by law. Utility companies are required to manage vegetation growth as a means of preventing future blackouts.

Tree Trimming Near Utility Lines Requires Expert Care

If you have trees growing near power lines, let the utility company take care of the problem – don’t try to trim them yourself.

Tree trimming around utility lines is incredibly dangerous. Plan the job incorrectly, and a falling branch could knock out the electricity in your neighborhood. Worse, you could accidentally come into contact with a high-voltage wire.

If you don’t trust your utility company to trim properly, contact a local certified arborist with expertise in trimming for power line clearance.

Planning to Plant New Trees?

If you’re thinking about adding more trees to your property, taking care in choosing a planting site can help prevent the need for trimming by the utility company.

You don’t want to plant too close to the power lines, as utility companies are required to trim branches within a certain distance. Typically, this is about ten feet, but trimming is often done to a greater degree to account for future growth.

In addition, think carefully before deciding which type of tree to plant. To ensure clearance around power lines, species that grow to reach heights of over 25 feet need to be planted at least 25 feet away. Any that grow taller should be planted at an even further distance.

For expert advice on planting to avoid utility line interference, turn to a local certified arborist – like the professionals at Reliable Tree Care.

As a northern Utah industry leader for more than 20 years, Reliable Tree Care strives to provide effective and affordable arborist services to homeowners and businesses throughout the greater Salt Lake City area and along the Wasatch Front. Contact our Murray office and schedule a free, no-obligation comprehensive yard evaluation to discuss tree trimming and planting around utility lines with one of our expert certified arborists today.