Trees add beauty, shade and value to our homes but it’s important for homeowners to keep their trees from growing too close to power lines and other electrical equipment.
• Tree limbs that come down during storms or high winds can bring power lines down with them. Not only does this cause a power outage, it creates a severe safety hazard by bringing live power lines to the ground.
• Tree branches that touch power lines can also cause a fire and could electrocute anyone who touches the tree.
Before trimming or removing a tree:
• Check the area for power lines. Keep yourself, your equipment and all parts of the tree at least three metres away from the power line.
• If you have a tree growing into the power lines, don’t attempt to prune or remove it yourself. Trees are conductors of electricity and a shock could be fatal.
• Only qualified tree trimmers are permitted to trim trees that are near power lines. They use special tools and bucket trucks that do not conduct electricity.
• If any part of the tree or hedge is within three metres of a power line, call Manitoba Hydro.
Before planting a tree or shrub:
Tree trimming safety should actually begin during the planning stages of your landscaping. Before you plant, look up. If it appears that your tree will eventually hit an overhead power line, find a location that will not cause problems in the future. See Right Tree – Right Place at hydro.mb.ca for help to plan your yard and make good long-term landscaping decisions.
If you see a tree that is too close to a power line, report it to Manitoba Hydro at 204-480-5900 or toll-free 1-888-624-9376.
Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc