$500 OFF All Tree Work! Our Biggest Savings Ever! Call for more details.

Who Is Responsible for Trimming Trees Near Power Lines?

Do you see a tree growing dangerously close to a power line and wonder who you should call? Establishing who is responsible for trimming trees near power lines isn’t always as difficult as you think. As Lexington’s top-rated tree service, Tree Care Inc. provides high-quality tree care and can safely and efficiently trim trees growing close to the power lines.

The Danger of Trees Growing Near Power Lines

Why should you trim a tree growing too close to power lines? While some dangers seem obvious, you might not immediately think of others. The risks of a tree growing too close to power lines include:

  • If a tree damages the power line, it can catch fire, which could then spread to nearby structures.
  • If a tree has a high enough moisture content, it can conduct electricity and give a deadly shock to anyone who touches the tree.
  • The tree can short-circuit the power line and cause a widespread power outage.

Everyone agrees that you should trim a tree when it creates a public safety risk, but deciding who should pay for it can cause disputes among people who don’t understand the legal requirements of the situation.

What’s the Difference Between Pruning and Trimming?

Many people think professional tree trimming and pruning are the same thing. While they both involve removing branches and foliage from a tree, they have a few important distinctions.

The basics of pruning outline the goal of pruning as maintaining the tree’s health. While it can help the tree look great, aesthetics is only the secondary intent. Pruning removes specific branches that put the tree at risk of disease, structural instability, or an altered growth pattern.

The primary goal of trimming a tree is either to shape it to create a certain aesthetic or to remove branches encroaching on power lines, a structure, or another tree. Experts select branches based on the tree’s desired form rather than branches that will keep the tree healthy.

Both processes require special equipment and training and put an amateur at risk of injury or causing collateral damage. Whether you need pruning or trimming, always have a professional do the work.

Determining Responsibility for Tree Trimming

Who is responsible for trimming trees near power lines? If you understand the local laws, determining who should pay for the work doesn’t seem so difficult. 

Utility Company Responsibilities

When a tree encroaches on a power line, the utility company always bears some responsibility for removing it. This may mean they only oversee the project while contracting the work out to a qualified tree company. Other utility companies may have the training and tools they need to effectively remove the tree.

Either way, they must oversee the project to prevent damage to powerlines or injured workers. However, this doesn’t mean they’ll pay for the process.

Municipal Responsibilities

When a tree sits on public land and encroaches on power lines, the city bears responsibility for paying for the work. If you notice a tree causing problems on public land, call the utility company, and they’ll reach out to the city to schedule service.

Homeowner Responsibilities

If the tree causing the problems rests on your land, you’re responsible for paying for the removal. If the tree straddles the property line, your neighbor shares the responsibility for the tree. 

Consider tree trimming an investment. If you don’t regularly trim the tree and it causes damage to the power lines, the authorities may find you liable, and you’ll pay significantly more money than if you’d hired tree trimming services.

Even though you bear responsibility for trimming the tree, the utility company can’t just come onto your property, perform the job, and send you a bill. They first must gain an easement or permission to enter and work on your land. You can deny this but remember the potential consequences of doing so.

The same principles apply to business owners or any land you own, even if it’s not zoned residentially.

Preparing for Tree Trimming

If you notice a tree needs trimming because it’s growing near power lines, what should you do?

1. Call the Utility Company

Tree branches should remain at least three feet from the powerlines. If you notice the growing closer than that, reach out to the utility company and make them aware of the problem. They may either schedule service with a tree company on your behalf or ask you to choose a company to work with.

Different utility companies or municipalities may have stricter guidelines for how far the tree must remain from the power lines.

2. Obtain a Consult

The tree company or utility company will come inspect the tree to determine how much they should trim the tree and any specific factors they must consider. For example, accessing a tree near the road requires a different approach than trimming a tree in your backyard.

Once they assess the situation, they should give you an accurate estimate of the cost.

3. Prepare Your Property

Before we arrive to trim your tree, prepare your yard in the following way:

  • If you’re doing any construction or landscaping projects in your yard, remove any piles of debris or supplies.
  • Remove any furniture, appliances, and outdoor items not fastened in place to a safe distance.
  • If you have a backyard fence, consider removing gates to provide the company with easier access.
  • Notify your neighbors that the tree company is coming so they know they should expect noise and increased traffic on your street.
who is responsible for trimming trees near power lines

After your initial consult, the tree company may give you additional tasks they need to adequately prepare your property for their service. 

Tree Care Inc. Can Trim Your Trees

Who is responsible for trimming trees near power lines? That mostly depends on the location of the tree. 

At Tree Care Inc., we always provide quality results. Whether you need emergency tree services or routine tree trimming, we work hard to complete the work promptly and for a competitive price. You can ask for a free estimate online or by calling (859) 347-2237.


More Posts

Send Us A Message

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

We keep your yard hazard-free. Call Tree Care Inc.!

Scroll to Top