Trees and Power Lines – How close is Too close?

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Trees and Power Lines – How close is Too close?

The Ohio Tree Care Conference, sponsored by the Ohio International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) was held in Cleveland, Ohio on February 8-10, 2022. At the conference, I saw a presentation on trimming trees and power lines by Joe Jimmo from Pennline Tree Service.


joe jimmo




I got to thinking how many homeowners try to trim trees close to power lines. Maybe to save money? The homeowner may feel they have the experience to tackle the job. And they own a chainsaw!

The point of the presentation is this: “Power lines are dangerous AND they can kill you!”

Below are charts of how close an ARBORIST with EXPERIENCE safely trim trees in proximity of lines can based on voltage.









The take home message is: “If you have any doubt, CALL an International Society of Arboriculture Utility Specialist:







Below is a video the presenter showed during his presentation:

On August 23, 1985, a tree trimmer dropped a limb on a 34KV line owned by Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. The following scenes are from the resulting fault:


The video was provided as a courtesy by Pennline Tree Service.