Having trees in your backyard is good and it can help provide protection, shade, and just make the whole place look better. However, if the vegetation is not properly placed, it can easily get to the power lines.
When this happens, there is a serious fire hazard, and chances are, the whole neighborhood is going to lose power in case the lines get damaged. In addition to all these things, you will probably get sued for not planning your property, and you risk paying tens of thousands for court fees, and maybe even six digits depending on how big the damage is. Here, we are going to help you prevent that, and we will tell you how far should trees be from power lines.
How far should they be?
There is no exact answer to this question and it all depends on the rules in your state, as well as the type of tree that you want to plant, or that you already have. Some trees can be planted closer to the transmission cables, while others need to be put as far as possible.
Know that it is not just about the height of the vegetation, but it is also about the roots because in some cases, the roots can damage the lines and they can cause the foundations to get loose and even fall if there are high winds.
In most cases, if the vegetation is under 20 feet tall, then it should be planted about 20 feet away. When it comes to plants that are no more than 50 feet tall, then the distance should be between 20 and 50 feet away.
If you want to be able to not worry about the height of the trees, and if you want to plant vegetation that can grow extremely high, then you should plant them more than 50 meters away from any transmission lines.
Nevertheless, you should always talk to the authorities in your location, especially if you cannot find exact information and see what they recommend depending on your specific case.
Salvaging the tree in case it gets too close to the lines
Now that you know what the rules and regulations are, let’s see what you can do in case you already have vegetation that is decades old, and that is getting a bit too close to the cords. Well, the first thing that you can do is pay attention to the pruning. As you already know, with pruning you can easily get rid of all the small branches, or even big ones that are getting out of control.
In case there is no option to remove the high branches just with pruning, you can think about other solutions. If you talk to a tree removal company, they can come and help access the situation, help you learn more about the current state of your vegetation, and let you know if you need to fully get rid of the plants, or if they can be salvaged.
In some cases, you will be able to just cut some part of the crown and remove the high branches that may come in constant with the lines soon. Note that this is only a temporary solution since you will need to do this every year, to make sure that the branches don’t go too far up or on the sides. If you are okay with this, and if the service you’ve been in contact with says that this is an option for you, then you should choose it and make a contract to get this thing done annually.
What to do if you have to get rid of it
There are going to be those times when you won’t be able to salvage the vegetation, and the only thing that you can do is fully get rid of it. Know that even though this is not the best-case scenario, especially if that tree has been in your home for decades and generations, it is better to stay safe and remove the vegetation than to risk fire, property damage, and lawsuits.
This part is easier said than done, and you need to do it properly so that you don’t risk damaging your home. Some individuals choose to do it on their own, and even though this is an option, it may take you a lot more time and resources than to have it professionally removed.
You would need to get the proper equipment that can help you get rid of the branches, the trunk, and the stump. The most common tools that we have in our homes cannot usually get the job done, especially when it comes to finishing fast and getting things done safely.
There are a lot of tutorials that will show you how to finish this project, but note that investing in the equipment may turn out to be thousands of dollars and you will probably never use those tools in your life again. So, the best thing you can do is collaborate with a tree removal service and let them get everything done in just a few hours. Know that these services will cost you a lot less compared to the time and finances you would have to invest in case you want to do it on your own.
Having the tree too close to the power lines is one of the worst things that could happen, and if you notice that it is getting close, no matter the rules and regulations in your area, you have to react right away. Know that the potential issues with your municipality or city that can occur if you don’t pay attention to the rules are the least of your problems. A lot bigger problems will happen in case you don’t choose to get rid of the plant, and it gets in contact with the cords.
Be smart about this and make sure you act as soon as possible. If you are planting new vegetation in your yard, learn everything you can about the size of it, expected growth, and things you need to know when it comes to pruning and potentially cutting it. This information will save you time and money in the long run, and you will never have to worry about getting yourself or your family in danger.