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Diatribe: Power Lines And Trees Just Don’t Mix.


Many years ago, we bought our house in December.  It was a nice, older home on a good-sized lot away from the hustle of the city.  Still close enough to work in town but far enough to be considered “in the country”.  It had lots of curb appeal with a row of mature trees along the street that we expected to provide even more privacy.

The first spring in our new home, just months after moving in, the local electric supply company informed us that the trees along the roadside were going to be removed because it had been determined that they were interfering with power lines.  In our area of the country, winter ice storms can cause far more damage and power outages than snow storms.  The utility company was going to remove eight of our new trees!

They had agreed to reimburse each affected homeowner with one sapling for every six trees that were to be removed.  After several telephone calls, I was able to negotiate one replacement tree for every four that they removed and the project began.  The slow-growing trees that they planted in exchange for our mature trees were planted away from the power lines and in locations where trees weren’t necessarily wanted or needed.

Yet, today, I find it particularly frustrating to see new trees planted directly beneath power lines.  I see this quite frequently.  Not necessarily in residential neighborhoods but, more so, in commercial areas.  As these trees mature, they will, undoubtedly, but trimmed and “topped” to accommodate the power lines above them.  Consequently, most will become unattractive and unhealthy specimens.

Power lines and trees just don’t mix.  One can invest in a sapling and years of growth only to see the tree topped or removed by an electric utility crew when the limbs touch their electric wires.  Don’t expect any sympathy but expect a fight when the electric company is asked to spare a beautiful tree.

Do you see many trees under power lines in your community?

Copyright © 2012

From → Diatribes

  1. We have over 200 trees on our lot and many are under power lines, but most are kept trimmed–nicely trimmed–so as not to interfere.

    The next town over, on their “Main Street” the trees under the power lines have been butchered into ‘V’ shapes so the power lines run through the trees!

    Looks ridiculous!


  2. justajeepguy permalink

    What I really hate is when the trees are on the side of the street with the power lines and not on the other.

    Trees do such a wonderful job keeping the air cooler around them but on LI they can dwarf the homes and that’s not good in hurricane areas.

    I planted crape myrtles and some other slow/low growing trees.


    • The power company planted two slow-growing flowering trees in our yard when they cut down all the mature trees by the street. I didn’t want them there but, by crackey, they planted them. Unfortunately, only one is still living.


  3. mary i permalink

    I have no trees as the The 4/27/11 tornado took them all away…I have replanted a few, away from power lines …


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