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Why should my trees be trimmed

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					Why should
my trees
be trimmed?
Why should my trees be
trimmed?
One of the main causes of power failures is trees or
branches coming into contact with power lines.
Horizon Power recognises the value of trees in the
environment and actively encourages a policy of
growing the right tree in the right place. Unfortunately,
as many trees have not been planted in the right place,
or have naturally grown too close to power lines, they
need to be trimmed.
Horizon Power realises that often, people are reluctant
to trim them.
If trees are not trimmed this can lead to accidents,
which happen in many ways such as when:
• children, and others, climb trees and touch live
  wires;
• trees touch power lines, become ‘alive’, and cause
  danger to anybody touching the tree;
• tree branches break wires which then fall to the
  ground ‘alive’; or
• trees contact power lines and cause damage to
  household equipment and appliances.
There is also a risk of fire. Trees clashing with power
lines can cause sparks or molten metal droplets to fall
to the ground and start fires.




                              2
When do they need trimming?
Horizon Power needs you to ensure a safe space is
created between the trees and the power lines on your
property.
If you have trees, palms or any other vegetation
growing closer than 3 meters to overhead wires they
should be trimmed. If trees are trimmed in line with
your boundary fence, this will generally be a safe
distance from power lines.
Remember, some trees can move a long way in a strong
wind. Trees need to be trimmed so that during storms
and high winds they will not be able to hit power lines.
The diagram below shows the minimum clearance
zone.
Horizon Power usually recommends a clearance of
more than 3 metres, particularly if you cannot get the
trees trimmed frequently.
It is also a good idea to check other branches and trees
that may be nearby. Remove any branches or trees in
this area if they are unsafe.




                            3
Who should trim your trees?
Trimming or lopping your own tree close to power lines
can be extremely dangerous. If a branch comes into
contact with lines anyone touching the tree, even if
they’re climbing it or trimming trees around it, risks an
electric shock.
Each year people are killed trimming trees around
power lines.
Horizon Power strongly recommends you hire a
professional tree surgeon or contractor to do the job.
They can be found in telephone directories such as the
Yellow Pages or other business directories, under ‘Tree’.
Tree surgeons should be trained to do the job properly
and safely. Make sure they have:
1   current public liability insurance, and
2   a certificate for completing a ‘Pruning Trees Around
    Power Lines’ course, approved by Horizon Power.




                              4
Who’s responsible for
trimming trees?
Occupiers are responsible to make sure trees growing
at their residence are kept clear of all power lines. If you
are renting a property, you are responsible for ensuring
that the work is completed. Check if this is covered in
your rental agreement.
If Horizon Power has to prune a tree, the occupier will
be charged for the service.
Local councils are normally responsible for trimming
trees on street verges. If you see a tree on the street
verge growing too close to power lines, please inform
your local council or your local Horizon Power office as
quickly as possible.
The diagram below shows who is responsible for
pruning the trees.

  The trees coloured orange are the responsibility of the
    occupier of Property A; those coloured blue are the
       responsibility of the occupier of Property B.
   The tree planted on the verge is the responsibility of
                     the local council.




                             5
Tree trimming techniques
If a tree is not pruned properly it can be damaged or
create even greater problems in the long-term.
Lopping is a short-term solution to reduce the height
or spread of a tree. It is a technique in which branches
are removed leaving a stub (diagram 1). In its most
severe form, all of a tree’s canopy is removed leaving
only stubs (diagram 2).


 Diagram 1                   Diagram 2




  Stub




Trees should only be trimmed using natural target
pruning techniques, where branches are removed
close to the trunk.
To remove a branch safely, cut 1, 2, 3 as follows:
1. Undercut the branch by one third to prevent the bark
   from stripping.
2. Cut from above, as
                                         Branch Bark
   shown.                                Ridge
                                                    2
3. Remove the stump,
   following the
   contour of the
   trunk. Cut outside
                                                     1
   the branch bark
   ridgeline and
                                             Branch
   branch collar.                            Collar




                              6
Don’t leave a stump which encourages very fast sucker
growth, and don’t flush cut down the bark line as
the tree will take too long to heal, exposing it to the
possibility of disease.
If trees are diseased, weakened by storms, have poor
roots, are too large for the area, structurally unsound
or attacked by insects, they should be removed and
replaced with more suitable trees.
If you need more information on tree pruning
techniques consult a tree surgeon or tree contractor,
the Arboricultural Association, the Tree Guild, the
Tree Society or a book on tree pruning from your local
library or bookshop.
To select correct replacement trees, consult your local
nursery and your local council, or visit our website
www.horizonpower.com.au




                                    Cut Stump

                                3




                                    Collar




                            7
                   Queries
If you have any questions or concerns about our service,
               please call us on 1800 267 926
          (or 1800 737 036 business customers).
     If you don’t speak English we will arrange an
                   interpreter service.
 If you have hearing or speech difficulties please ring
                  1800 461 499 (TTY).
        Email: service@horizonpower.com.au
        Website: www.horizonpower.com.au
        For faults or emergencies call 13 23 51

				
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