The vegetation on your property is your responsibility, so if it ever gets in the way of compromising public safety, you might get a letter asking you to intervene. However, if your trees are around a utility line, like a power line, then you certainly can’t take the matter into your own hands. Instead, you’ll have to contact a licensed professional to do it for you, and in the case of power lines, you’ll have to contact an ActewAGL licensed professional.
Trees and power lines make lousy neighbors, especially if the tree is tall and fast-growing. They can carry electricity from the nearby lines down their trunks, and the voltage carried can electrocute people, animals or any other object that is nearby. Moreover, trees that are too close to a power line and grow taller than it, can be blown away by high winds and pull the line down from the supporting poles, even when the line is still energized. This can certainly be a life-threatening hazard for an unaware pedestrian.
For all the aforementioned reasons, having a professional perform tree clearance from power lines is essential. As a general rule, the branches of the tree need to be at a distance of 1.5m from the power line, and 0.5 in bushfire areas. Generally, the tree clearance from power lines process is performed to prevent the tree from branching out close to the power line for at least five years after being cut. Moreover, once the clearing is done, professional clearance services can clean up the mess for you and give you the mulch from it or leave the timber.
That being said, tree clearance is of utmost importance for the public safety, so it’s best to leave it to professionals. This is simply due to the fact that the clearance needs to be done in a completely safe manner, to ensure the power keeps flowing across the transmission system to deliver electricity to the surrounding homes and facilities.
Speaking of safety, you shouldn’t assume that if a tree isn’t in direct contact with the power line – it isn’t dangerous. Electricity arcs from the power line right onto the tree under specific conditions, such as voltage surges from lightning strikes. This can cause a fire and potentially kill anyone near the tree. Moreover, the arcing can cause a power outage. Outages caused by trees are more than just an inconvenience. Not only do they disrupt the service to homes and businesses, but also to the emergency response centers and hospitals.