Here’s Why Tree Branches Near Power Lines Are Dangerous

You may not have experienced this yourself, but you’ve likely heard about people suffering injuries or electrocution while trimming tree branches near power lines. This even happens without touching the electric wires themselves. 

In most cases, the electric shock comes from a secondary source, like when a tree branch comes into contact with the wire. In this post, we delve deeper into why tree branches near power lines are a safety hazard, as advised by reputable experts in tree trimming and pruning in Gardena, CA

The Dangers of Tree Branches Touching Power Lines

You should be wary of trees growing too close to utility lines. The branches can lead to outages or short-lived power interruptions upon touching overhead cables. Furthermore, fire may result from electrical arcing and sparking of electric wires to nearby branches. 

You’re also not safe if you’re too close to the tree. You risk severe injuries or even worse if the electricity jumps from the tree to you. 

To be safe from electrocution risk, avoid climbing or pruning a tree touching any electrical wire. Also, warn children against climbing or playing around trees near power lines. 

When climbing or playing around a tree, you can accidentally touch electrical wires, and this can cost your life. Don’t even let branches that aren’t in contact with a power line fool you. A branch can easily bend under a child’s weight and touch the line!

Do Trees Conduct Electricity?

When told to stay away from tree branches near power lines because they’re dangerous, you might have asked yourself, “Can electricity really travel through a tree?”

Electricity can pass through a live tree but not a dead one. However, wet dead trees can conduct electricity, making them an exception to this rule. 

Living trees contain water, which is a good conductor of electricity. This allows electric current to travel from the tree branches to the ground.

It’s worth noting that various power lines can hold between 2,300 and 39,000 volts. Conversely, ordinary secondary voltages range from 120 volts to 480 volts. This doesn’t mean that you’re any safer when working on a tree near your home’s service line than near a high-voltage secondary distribution line on the pole across the street. 

The truth is that the 240 volts on a common service wire is more than enough to render you lifeless if you touch the line. Regardless of the tree removal methods you use, working within ten feet of any power line types can be fatal; you don’t have to come into contact with the wire. 

It pays to be conscious of relevant legal regulations and conduct a thorough tree assessment when it comes to removing branches near power lines.  

Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance

If you need help removing tree branches near power lines, Gutierrez & Sons Tree Service and Landscaping Inc. is your go-to local arborist. We provide a wide range of services, including:

  • Tree planting
  • Tree removal
  • Stump grinding and removal

Call us at (310) 324-6593 for a free estimate or to learn about factors that affect tree trimming cost

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