Are these power lines a concern being next to a tree?


Old 02-06-16, 06:49 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,466
Are these power lines a concern being next to a tree?

OK so Florida Power and Light came through and put up new power lines.

The old power lines were about 5' outside of the property line and are round wood poles and all the lines (Comcast cable, AT&T, FPL etc...)

Now they came and used a giant machine and dug a big hole at the property line (5' back from where it used to be) and put in a much taller concrete pole.

A week later big trucks came and moved the power lines to the higher pole.

I guess cable TV, AT&T etc...will eventually move theirs to the new poles and the old poles will be cut down.

Meanwhile, when they put up the new poles, and lines come very close to my palm tree that was a good 10' away from the old lines, and now I can see the new lines will be touching the palm as it gets taller, and with the hurricanes we get who knows.

Unlike other trees, palms can't be cut, truncated in a traditional sense.

I called FPL and asked if they could come and "whack" off the palm fronds close to the lines since it was them who created this situation. They said no. Now I have to pay every few months for some landscape company to come with a bucket truck to trim fronds and pray that they won't hurt themselves when the fronds accidentally fall on a line and snap something?
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Old 02-06-16, 07:02 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 3,096
As far as I know, you can do nothing if you so chose.

By the time the tree grows enough for the fronds to be a problem, whacking them off at that time will make the tree very lopsided where you might as well let the power company take the tree down at a time they choose.
Old 02-06-16, 07:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,196
Our local POCO has a written tree trimming policy. I would assume Fla P&L has the same. If you can find out exactly what that policy says you'll know where you stand.
Old 02-06-16, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: North East Kingdom of Vermont
Posts: 2,497
Those Rights of Way, Utility Easements, and Property Lines appear fairly complicated, looking up along the side of the road.

I'm surprised that some of your Neighbors have been allowed to place their fences within the Utility Easement while others park their cars out there, adjacent to the traveled portion of the road.

Is there also a public sidewalk under all of that ?
Old 02-06-16, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Any tree that is within distance of coming in contact with power lines is a danger, whether by wind or falling down. Most power companies have policies to trim trees risky of this. Of course they rely on customers like you notifying them and if you feel it is a risk which you do by posting your concern they will almost certainly take care of it as it will only become a bigger liability as the tree branches grow ever closer.
Old 02-06-16, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,174
I feel your pain, as both a past FL resident for 50 years, a palm tree lover, but also an FPL contractor. That string of old wooden pole appears to just a foot from the roadway, and 50 year old poles do tend to come down due to rot at the ground line. The pole crew won't zig zag to avoid individual trees on these small lots, that's for sure.

That tree may become a constant issue for you. I know some developers will remove hi-demand palms for you for free, since they have clients that want instant big trees at their condos, etc. Try that first. Long term, you will spend less time/aggravation to cave on this one. There are lots of other palm varieties that won't grow as high.
Old 02-06-16, 07:12 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 9,385
Now I have to pay every few months for some landscape company to come with a bucket truck to trim fronds and pray that they won't hurt themselves when the fronds accidentally fall on a line and snap something?
I wouldn't worry about it. If the palm becomes a problem the power company will either trim it, top it or destroy it with their trimming. If the tree is inside the utility easement, they may just cut it down. Regardless, you won't be happy with anything they do. When they come to trim it's usually a real butchering.
Old 02-07-16, 06:04 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,941
If you do decide to hire your own person, make sure they have the correct arborist qualification for trimming around utilities.

CasualJoe is right. Let the power company worry about, unless you want to save your tree. I would then try to have it moved back.

If you decide to remove it entirely, I would sell it to a landscaper. Mature palms can be worth several thousands of dollars. I heard a story in CA where someone was mature palm trees off one of the highways.
Old 02-07-16, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Louisville KY
Posts: 571
Another option depending on your financial resources would be to have the tree relocated elsewhere on your property. Have you verified that the new poll that FP&L put up is actually in the right-of-way and not on your property?

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