Trees near power lines

If you see a tree touching a power line, or any other hazardous tree condition, please contact us immediately on 03 307 9800 or 0800 430 460.

DO NOT try to remove an item caught in power lines or a tree near power lines – trees and objects can become electrically live while touching a power line. 

Be safe – tree trimming can be extremely hazardous and should not be underestimated. We recommend you hire professionals with the necessary expertise to safely carry out tree trimming.

If you have a tree that could impact on power lines, please remember that a power outage caused by your tree may not just affect you – it may have an impact on many people.

For all of these reasons, if you have trees that are a safety risk:
  • Trim early – keep branches at least 2.5 metres from low voltage lines or at least 4 metres from high voltage lines.
  • Cut down – consider removing tall trees that could fall through power lines.

The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 sets out the responsibilities of electricity lines companies and tree owners. The purpose of the regulations is to protect the safety of the public and help ensure a secure supply of electricity. 

Electrical Code of Practice (ECP) 34:2001 sets the requirement for a Close Approach Consent to be obtained from EA Networks if working within four metres of a power line.

Click here to request a Close Approach Consent.

For more information about working with qualified tree professionals, please contact us on 03 307 9800 or 0800 430 460

How we manage trees near lines

EA Networks’ tree management programme is largely governed by the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003. Our programme involves monitoring and the pruning or removal of trees that threaten to come into contact with overhead power lines. Through this programme we work with tree owners to minimise the risk of their trees touching power lines.

EA Networks is responsible for the first cut of trees near power lines, where the first cut is on a property basis, not owner basis. We have met this obligation by completing a first cut of vegetation on all our lines.

Your responsibilities

A tree owner, like a dog-owner, is responsible for looking after their trees. The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 provides guidance on the tree owner’s responsibility. Owners are liable for the damage to the electricity network if their trees damage any lines or equipment. The word “trees” includes all types of vegetation including shrubs, hedges and climbing vines.

We undertake periodic pruning of vegetation within the notice zone – around two years for high voltage lines (11kV to 66kV) and five years for low voltage lines (400V/230V). The intent of this pruning is to support safety and reduce the risk of power outages. The pruning by us does not remove the tree owner’s responsibilities and in the case of fast-growing species may not be sufficient to ensure that trees remain outside of the growth limit zone.

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