Trees and Power Lines: A Dangerous Duo Trees and Power Lines: A Dangerous Duo
Trees can provide shade, beauty and fresh air around your home - but they can also be dangerous if planted too close to electrical power lines.
The experts at the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) and the American Public Power Association (APPA) say power outages can occur and dangerous electric shock hazards can develop if tree limbs touch electric wires or if branches fall on the utility line.
"Trees can also hinder utility repair work and recognition of a hazard," warned ESFI executive director Michael G. Clendenin. For that reason, ESFI and APPA recommend that only naturally low-growing trees should be planted under or near overhead utility wires.
To prevent trees from interfering with power lines, ESFI recommends that homeowners call on their electric utility or a tree trimming professional to prune even questionable tree limbs. Trimming trees near power lines can, itself, be very dangerous, and should be handled only by trained professionals.
Also, tell your children not to climb trees that are close to power lines.
"It takes only 10 to 40 milliamps for serious injury and even death to occur. Utility power lines can carry thousands of volts, nearly ensuring death to the victim," added Clendenin.
It's not prudent to try to prune trees growing near power lines by yourself. Get a professional to do it.