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The best prevention for electrical tree worker accidents and service interruptions is to keep trees clear of power lines. This starts with choosing the right tree to plant in the right place. This also includes maintaining your property so that trees that voluntarily grow in the area do not reach a height that requires pruning away from power lines.
Always consider space and growth before planting trees in the yard. Trees that are too small may not provide the amount of beauty and shade you are looking for, and trees that are too large can create future problems by conflicting with your home, fences, neighbors’ yards, and yes, power lines.
Making the right decision when selecting a tree or planting site can help maintain electric reliability for you and your neighbors.
Choosing the right type of tree is critical to the long-term success of the tree. The type of tree planted should depend on a number of considerations, like its height and shape at maturity, or a list of its benefits and disadvantages. Tall growing trees or trees with wide canopies will require regular maintenance for utility line clearance if planted too close to power lines. These trees will be altered from their natural growth patterns, and may have stunted growth potential. Palms planted too closely to power lines will have their fronds cut, and utilities will request permission from homeowners to remove them.
Visit the University of Florida’s website for a list of recommended trees in your area or click here to view LCEC’s list of trees common to Southwest Florida.
Trees need space to grow. It is important to study your surroundings when determining if the tree will have vertical or horizontal space to grow. Vegetation that could potentially interfere with power lines or electric facilities at mature height should be planted in a different location. Some trees may appear to be a safe distance from power lines, but can create problems during storms or high-wind events.
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