How to Resolve Tree on Power Line Dilemmas in Chapel Hill, NC

Many people wonder how to deal with a tree on power lines, and it’s important to note the potential risk involved in this situation.

J&D Tree Pros, Chapel Hill’s best tree service, explains what you need to know about power lines and trees below.

tree on power line

Be Safe

Firstly, you should always contact your local power company if you see tree branches encroaching upon a line or utility pole. Normally, the service will send a team to ensure proper line clearance. 

If you’re willing to pay for it, you can also hire a tree service to prune trees and avoid this situation. What you shouldn’t do is try to do this tree work yourself; it’s dangerous to prune or remove trees near live power lines! An experienced team like J&D Tree Pros can ensure the work is completed safely.

Directional Pruning

The best way to avoid issues like branches touching power lines is to carefully plan where to plant trees. However, where the plant’s already getting in the way, directional pruning could ensure proper line clearance by removing all the branches growing toward the conductors. You use this technique to train the tree to grow in another direction.

Experienced arborists will use reduction cuts to trim the branch back to a lateral point so that it is easy for the tree to heal itself and the apical sprout remains intact. This reduces the chances of water sprouting—where the tree sprouts vigorously in an attempt to replenish its canopy. Directional pruning might be less aesthetically pleasing, but it’s better for the tree to have an unusual shape than to lose too many limbs or need removal because of a power line problem.

Won’t Directional Cutting Cause the Tree to Split? 

When considering the tree-on-power-line dilemma, people do worry that their tree might split in two with directional pruning. However, as long as a professional handles the job, a tree that appears to be split down the center will just be an optical illusion. 

Never Top Trees

Lastly, your trees have a lot to celebrate because topping, an old-fashioned pruning technique, has fallen out of favor! This method entailed removing much of the canopy, cutting the tree right back. Utility companies used this as a go-to method for solving the tree-on-power-line issue, but while it doesn’t kill the tree outright, it certainly leaves it vulnerable to infection.

Additionally, this technique doesn’t solve the power line issue because it has a detrimental side effect—the tree tries to save itself by sending out several shoots, which grow quickly. In all likelihood, the tree might be even taller than it was just a few months later. However, with weaker branches, it is even more prone to storm damage and still a problem for the power line.

Contact Our Team for the Right Advice 

Do you have a tree on power lines or that needs some help? Would you like advice on other issues like tree cabling?

Call J&D Tree Pros at (919) 467-7997 to schedule a professional consultation today!

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