Trees and power lines = Problems
- Proper selection and placement of trees minimizes the need for utility pruning
- Trees are responsible for nearly two-thirds of our outages each year
- Harrison REMC trims trees on our electric system on a regular cycle
Trees must coexist with a variety of human made structures, both above and below ground. Most commonly they compete for space with overhead power lines, but trees also conflict with communication lines, street lighting, buildings, lines of sight, sidewalks, roads and underground utilities.
By far, the best way to maximize the many benefits provided by trees is to plant them where they will not outgrow their space. However, trees that threaten the integrity of utility or other vital infrastructure must be pruned or removed.
Stormy weather can blow tree limbs into distribution lines, causing outages, and even toppling the trunks entirely, breaking poles and creating hazards. Limbs and leaves in contact with power lines can conduct electricity, creating a potentially dangerous condition for anyone who comes near. Tree-to-line contact also contributes to what electric system professionals call "line loss." The term refers to electricity created at a generating plant that does not reach its destination, an inefficiency that increases costs for everyone.
Harrison REMC spends considerable amounts of money every year to trim trees. It is not uncommon for some homeowners to feel we cut too much, while others feel we have not done enough cutting. The REMC specifies to our contractors that all power lines should be cleared at least 20 feet on each side of the power line and 20 feet underneath the line. Experience has shown us these are the minimum distances we can trim to keep a safe, reliable flow of electricity and be cost effective.
Please contact our office if you have questions or concerns about our tree trimming practices, and if you have trees on your property that could endanger the power lines. Do not tackle this job yourself. Every year amateur tree trimmers are hurt or killed when trying to clear limbs near power lines. Call the professionals at the REMC.