Tree Removal Near Power Lines: Things You Must Know
Trees and power lines are a dangerous combination that should always be avoided.
Tree workers must be particularly vigilant when performing their duties due to the threat of electric shock from an unexpected source. While a primary line at the top of a utility pole, secondary distribution lines and service lines all carry varying levels of voltage that could cause injury or even death, it is not contact with these wires themselves but rather touching them via a tree branch or pruning tool which poses the greatest danger.
When working around power and utility lines, vigilance is of the utmost importance – especially when removing a tree near these lines. Careful planning and precise caution must be taken to ensure safety in such hazardous circumstances.
In this article, you will gain an understanding of the possible risks posed by power lines during tree removal and the implications it has on this process, including:
Working close to power lines can be time consuming, thereby extending the time required for tree removal operations. It is important to consider how proximity to electrical and utility lines may affect the way trees are safely removed
For property owners, the close proximity of power lines can often result in delays to tree removal work. Understanding why is key for combating these issues and ensuring that projects are completed on time.
Tree Removal Near Utility Lines Isn’t a DIY Project
With millions of trees in Rochester, it’s no wonder we’re the sixth most tree-covered city in America. But this dense foliage can put your utility and power lines at risk of being damaged – so if you find yourself dealing with a troublesome nearby tree, don’t be tempted to take matters into your own hands by cutting or trimming just a few branches on your own. After all, what harm could such a small action cause? The answer is plenty!
It is a fact that removing trees, even just isolated branches next to utility lines, calls for extreme caution. Skilled work and expertise are essential as it can be incredibly dangerous if done incorrectly.
Even if you’re a savvy DIY-er, accidents can occur when working close to power lines. Your pole pruner might inadvertently brush against the line (you may not notice the second one until it’s too late), endangering yourself with electrocution. The danger is amplified further if you decide to climb a ladder or tree – while electric shock won’t necessarily be fatal in these cases, any ensuing fall will likely prove catastrophic. It’s always best to err on the side of caution and rope in professional help for such precarious tasks!
Primary lines possess potentials of up to 39,000 volts while secondary ones have considerably lower readings between 120 and 480 volts. Meanwhile, service lines tend to run at either 120 or 240 volts; however, it would be a dire misjudgement to deem that such voltages are safe in comparison with the greatly heightened voltage points on distribution poles situated near roads. It is not uncommon for “house drops” (service wires) which transmit 240 voltage and over 20 amps – certainly enough potency to prove fatal if contact is made with said line.
Working with any type of tree within 10 feet of a power line can be deadly – even indirect contact! In certain circumstances, electricity may arc from the power lines to the trees as far away as 15 feet, which could prove fatal if you’re in or close by. Although it’s rare under normal conditions, an energy surge could cause life-threatening damage if you are near the tree when this occurs. So remember to keep your distance and always take safety precautions before engaging in any kind of arborist activities near electrical wires.
Despite its appearance, a tree can still produce electrical arcs if it is too close to powerlines. Additionally, when the tree is being removed, there’s always a chance that it could make contact with the line or come into contact with any tools utilized during removal such as chainsaws and become electrically charged. This makes it imperative to take extra precautionary measures while removing trees near powerlines for your safety.
Shockingly, from 2009 to 2014 electrocution accounted for 17% of tree care worker fatalities – an alarmingly high percentage considering the knowledge and resources available to these individuals in order to safeguard against such tragedies.
Don’t take the chance of handling this hazardous task yourself – entrust it to an experienced tree care company instead.
When in doubt, hire it out!
Types of Power Lines
It isn’t just electric lines that you need to be careful around. There are other types of power lines that can be potentially dangerous.
These might include:
- Gas lines
- Electric lines
- Ethernet and fiber optic cables
- Telephone or communication cables
Whether found underground or running from the utility pole to your property, all utility lines can be perilous. For example, attempting to remove a tree stump without knowing its proximity with respect of gas and other utilities could lead to an explosion or fire. That is why it is essential that you entrust professionals when clearing trees near any type of power line – it’s just not worth the risk!
Who Should Remove Trees Near Utility Lines?
If you have seen a tree branch near power lines, it is easy to understand why this can cause worry. Even the slightest breeze could move the branch and potentially break power or utility lines if it falls!
Fortunately, when the tree is located on public property, then we rely on our trusted energy companies to trim or remove them as necessary. Homeowners are often asked for consent before they take down any trees that may be too close to electricity wires in order to ensure safety precautions are taken.
If the tree is on your property and its branches are close to power lines, it’s essential that you don’t try to remove or trim it yourself. Instead, you must arrange for a qualified arborist to take care of this task; you’ll be paying them for their services as well. This responsibility falls solely upon your shoulders!
Don’t wait until the eleventh hour to consider tree removal near utility lines – plan ahead and anticipate potential delays! Tree Service Rochester NY can work with utility companies to make sure the power is shut off, as well as disconnecting any lines that may be in the tree canopy. Furthermore, additional preparations might need to be made prior cutting down a tree; if you leave these steps till later on there’s a chance this could adversely affect your timeline. To avoid inconvenience during such an important job, it pays dividends when you take care of all necessary arrangements beforehand – don’t let branches dangerously close to powerlines put unnecessary pressure on things closer than they should be!
How Trees Near Utility Lines are Removed
Many tree care businesses employ multiple techniques to remove trees near power lines, including crane operation and bucket truck utilization, or by scaling the tree and taking it down in sections. The method used is determined by several factors:
Identifying where your tree is located in relation to power lines (both near it and nearby), what type of power lines are present (primary, secondary, or service lines), examining the overall condition of your tree, assessing access for heavy equipment needed on-site during operations if necessary, and more.
When you make an appointment with Tree Service Rochester NY, our team will assess the condition of your trees and property to come up with a tailored solution that is ideal for your particular situation.
Utilizing a Bucket Truck
Bucket trucks are a more common choice than cranes when it comes to the removal of trees near power lines, as they keep you beneath primary (and in some instances secondary) electricity wires. Nevertheless, bucket trucks aren’t always suitable for every situation.
Tree workers must exercise extreme caution, as one erroneous cut with a chainsaw could have catastrophic consequences if it strikes an active power line. Likewise, the ground crew should always remain vigilant for any electrical hazards that may be present and take care to ensure no contact is made between branches or ropes being lowered towards the ground and live wires. In some cases, bucket trucks cannot access trees in need of trimming; however even if they can reach them operators must always remember these vehicles are at risk of electrocution by coming into contact with an energized wire which can cause serious injury – or worse – to those inside or outside of the vehicle.
Climbing the Tree
When heavy machinery is unable to reach a tree, it can be important for the safety of nearby electrical wires and personnel that an experienced climber ascend the tree in order to cut and drop each piece individually. This process may take longer than with crane or bucket truck use but will guarantee greater protection from potentially hazardous conditions. Afterwards, ground crew members are responsible for efficiently dragging or carrying away these pieces.
Using a Crane
When there are obstacles in the way (like a house) that prevent us from lowering a tree or limb by traditional methods, using a crane is an essential requirement. A climber will usually ascend into the tree and attach it to the crane ball with a cable before carefully making cuts to detach parts of it. This allows them to safely step away as the crane lifts these branches and logs away in controlled fashion, gently depositing them either onto clear land or onto logging trucks.
Although crane utilization can certainly be useful, it may not always be the ideal solution when hazardous pathways exist, such as power lines in close proximity or blocked access from buildings and other structures. Furthermore, there must also be a safe area to park and then stabilize the crane. And of course, one cannot forget that this process is highly dangerous for workers if stringent safety protocols are not closely followed; even with extreme caution taken into account during removal efforts, electrocution remains a legitimate risk–regardless of whether you use a crane or another method altogether.
What To Do if Tree Falls on Power Lines
Following a storm, any downed powerlines are not only an electrocution and fire hazard but also have the possibility of transmitting electricity to the ground nearby. Do NOT approach these hazardous wires; rather stay away from them until you can guarantee that they’re completely cleared! Remember, even if there’s no direct contact with the line itself, it is still possible for someone or something to receive electric shock due to its dangerous range. Be smart – don’t risk your safety by approaching anything entangled in live wires!
Not only are fallen trees and branches unpredictable, but they can also cause sudden shifts or falls without notice. Should you experience a power outage, it is important that you call your local tree service company to remove the downed tree while keeping in mind to check with the utility company first regarding any possible electricity risks. The team of professionals will be able to get rid of both the tree and its stump if needed – all for your peace-of-mind!
When there is a tree that needs to be removed adjacent to power or utility lines, it can be an incredibly dangerous task. That’s why if you’re requiring these services in Rochester NY, then Tree Service Rochester NY should be your first point of call! Contact us at (585) 326-8188 or go online and fill out our request form for a quote today. Because of the perilous nature of this job, removals near power lines take significantly longer than those situated elsewhere – while we understand this may cause some delays and frustrations, appreciate your patience as we safely complete these risky tasks!