Print Posted on 21/04/2017

Trees and power lines

Trees and power lines

The weather in Perth is slowly beginning to change, bringing with it the threat of storms as we inch closer to winter. Now is the time to ensure that any trees on your property are trimmed back and kept clear of power lines, minimising the likelihood of them coming into contact which can cause power outages, fires or serious accidents.

Thanks to Western Power, here’s some tips on ensuring trees on your property are adequately trimmed and kept clear of power lines:

  • It is the responsibility of the home owner or occupier to ensure trees are kept clear of power lines year round. If you are renting, check your lease to see if tree maintenance is your responsibility or that of your landlord.
  • Local councils are responsible to trimming trees on street verges. If you see that a tree on the verge is coming close to a power line, contact your local council immediately.
  • Clearance zones may vary in your area depending on the type of conductor used to transport electricity, the fire risk of the area and the distance between two poles. Allow for reasonable regrowth when trimming your trees, so they can be maintained outside the clearance zones all year round. In urban areas, the minimum clearances are typically 2.5m to the side and 2m below, while in semi-rural and rural areas the minimum clearances are typically 4m to the side and 2.5m below. For properties with an overhead service connection, the minimum clearance distance required around the insulated low voltage service line is 300mm.
  • Branches must not overhang power lines at all – the lines should be clear to the sky.
  • If you need to remove branches near a power line, you must hire a qualified arborist that is accredited to work near the Western Power network. Click here for a list of arborists in Perth.
  • During a storm, power outages are mostly caused by strong winds blowing debris and vegetation into powerlines and lightning striking network equipment. In addition to keeping trees clear of powerlines all year round, you can make your home ‘storm ready’ by clearing debris and securing loose objects around your home.