Trees Hard Pruned to Clear Power Lines? What to do now.
August 23, 2016
Most of us living in the city have run into the conundrum of wanting both large shade trees, but not necessarily having a lot of space to grow them. As we’ve tried to squeeze in large trees wherever we think they’ll fit, we’ve ended up with many trees outgrowing their space, and running into power lines.
With all the heavy storms we experience here in North Texas, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll experience a power outage - which are often due to broken tree branches pulling down power lines. Not only is the outage an inconvenience, but it’s also a dangerous situation. A fallen tree on a power line should be handled with care and the tree nor the power line ever touched by anyone other than professionals. The only way to keep the power on is to keep the power lines clear of the trees. Sometimes, that means an existing tree has to be pruned in an extreme way, or even removed altogether.
Power lines and tree limbs don’t mix
Do you know what to do if a tree limb falls on a power line or if it is too close to one? You first need to contact your Electric Service Provider at the number on your current bill. They will contact Oncor if you are here in North Texas. Tree care companies such as ours are not permitted to prune limbs that grow too close to a power line. That work must first be done by the “vegetative management” contractor hired by the electric provider. If you are unsure if your trees are too close to a power line, consult with an arborist before you call your electric provider to help you decide if a call is necessary or not.
After the storm...and the pruning
Once a tree is pruned a safe distance from a power line by the vegetation management contractor, the results could be very concerning to you. Often, a large section of your tree’s canopy is removed in this process. But, this doesn’t have to mean your tree is a gonner. After pruning you should have your tree inspected by a certified arborist for a professional prognosis. Over time, an overly pruned tree could end up going into decline and eventually dying, causing a further danger to the property and the power lines if it topples over completely. However, the arborist may determine that with the right ongoing care it could be saved.
Different species of trees can tolerate heavy pruning better than others. Some trees won’t tolerate it at all. Either way, an arborist can assess the tree and decide if it could benefit from a restructuring plan pruning over the next few seasons to improve not only its appearance but also its health. With restructuring, the tree is slowly pruned and allowed to grow over time until it reaches the desired shape or size. It is then pruned regularly to keep its shape.
In some instances, the tree might need to be removed completely. While tree removal is always a difficult decision, it may be the only way to ensure your safety. it’s also a great opportunity to may work better in that space overall.
If your tree has been severely pruned by your electric provider, give us a call to schedule a professional consultation.