What’s happening to the plants under power lines?

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Weed control and trimming under power lines is very noticeable this time of year. People ask, “Why is Everything Dying?” or “Why Do They Cut So Hard and Make the Trees So Ugly?”









Companies that maintain power lines for the transmission of electricity are permitted to keep vegetation from interfering with the wires.








There are good reasons why they trim trees and kill vegetation near transmission lines.








During peak usage periods, these wires can stretch and sag. If a wire comes in contact with a tree, it can cause a direct ground.


Many remember first-hand when this happened in Eastlake Ohio on August 14th, 2003.


CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - On this day in 2003, the city of Cleveland and surrounding Ohio experienced a massive power outage that impacted 50 million people across the country.


The blackout originated in the afternoon of Aug. 14 when overgrown trees and a damaged line caused a FirstEnergy plant in Northeast Ohio unexpectedly shut down.


The ripple effect made 21 plants across the country to shut down in three minutes.


Parts of the eastern United States, including New York and Detroit, and portions of Canada, like Toronto and Ottawa, experienced the biggest impact.



black out











So, the reason trees are cut, and vegetation sprayed it to maintain power.


Companies do this in a variety of ways.


Vegetation can be sprayed with herbicides.








Right of ways can be sprayed or mowed.








A combination of spraying and clearing may occur.








Helicopters can be used with very sophisticate saws to cut along high-tension lines.







Sometimes trees can be trimmed very severely.








Many times, homeowners can question why trees were cut back so far?








It depends on the voltage flowing through the lines. The higher the voltage, the more clearance is required.










That’s why you rarely see trees under power towers.









Speaking of trimming around your own power lines, you must be extremely careful. In most cases, if branches are closer than 10 feet to the lines, it is best to hire a professional. The following post graphically highlights the dangers of power lines and how to keep safe from electrocution.


Trees and Power Lines: How close is too close?






Be Safe around Power Lines. Leave it to the Professional!