All About Utility Line Clearance

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Utility companies need to make sure that they’re providing reliable and safe electric services. For this purpose, these companies must prune branches that are near the high-voltage electric lines or power sources. Local tree removal companies play a big role in utility line clearance as they make sure that the hazardous trees are at a safe distance from the power lines.

Why Is Pruning Near Utility Lines Important?

Utility pruning is a normal thing and it is done to ensure that customers (we) are getting the required service without any trouble. This is called utility line clearance and is practiced by the local tree removal companies only because they have good know-how of recognizing and removing a tree hazard. This is a hazardous work and only a utility arborist or a utility company can do the task effectively.

Wind, snow, rain, and ice can break branches that grow among or above wires and this can cause the wires to break or malfunction. Pruning utility lines thus gets necessary because otherwise it can cause disrupted electric service to the homes and businesses. Thus, trees are pruned so that they are grown in other direction and not cause interference with the wires. Sometimes the property owners raise objections when they feel that their trees are pruned too severely or inappropriately. Pruning is done in accordance with ANSI pruning standards and all the utility companies should follow it. The utility companies should also follow the best practices as suggested by International Society of Arboriculture.

What Is Directional Pruning?

Directional pruning is the best way used to prune trees for utility line clearance as stated by local tree removal companies. Directional pruning removes those branches that are growing towards the electrical lines or conductors. Reduction cuts are used instead of growing them away from the lines and these cuts are for those branches that are to be pruned. Directional pruning protects apical dominance and also provides good wound closure. This method also removes fewer leaves and reduces water sprouting. This reduces the internal decay as the method overall removes fewer branches and also increases wound closure.

The directional pruning method is very useful near roads, buildings, walks, overhead utility wires, and streetlights. However, the directional pruning, just like other tree pruning methods, is a temporary one and the branches can return to the original position when growth starts and the tree receives sunlight.

Pruning Near Power Lines

Trees that grow near power lines can cause a serious threat and the situation should be dealt only by qualified clearance professionals belonging to a utility company or a tree removal company. Plants and other trees should be pruned professionally so that interference is not caused and safety and reliability is maintained. Tree topping is mostly avoided by good and well-reputed companies because this allows the trees to regain their original height quickly. Different types of lines have different pruning requirements because some wires are more resistant to tree contact while others are not. The electricity is turned off temporarily and after the work is completed it is restored.

How Much Pruning is Needed to Get Utility Clearance?

Only a qualified vegetation manager or utility forester can guide regarding the type or amount of pruning is required to get utility clearance. This is because a particular amount of pruning is needed to get proper clearance and that is one of the biggest challenges that the tree removal companies face. Following are the factors that describe the pruning methods and amounts:

  • Tree species
  • Tree growth rate
  • Prevailing wind direction
  • Tree health
  • Line configuration and voltage
  • Proximity of trees to wires
  • Environmental factors affecting the tree growth
  • Pruning cycles

Bottom Line

Utilities and trees get along but the most important thing is the cooperation among the utility providers and the property owners for tree removal potomac md or pruning. Property owners should be careful about placement of trees with sensitivity to public infrastructure whereas the utility providers should ensure a healthy providence of electricity and power. However, when the cooperation fails, the urban forests and trees have to suffer. Directional pruning is one of the best ways of tree pruning as encourages growth of the branches away from the lines which is not harmful for the growth of the tree as compared to tree topping.

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