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Safety and trees

Safety and trees

Did you know that trees cause around 20% of our unplanned outages?
Vegetation, such as trees, vines or plants touching the lines can also pose a safety risk to you, so ensuring trees on our network are kept clear of power lines is an important part of our job.

We manage trees and vegetation on our network in accordance with the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003, which outline the responsibility of both the electricity distributor (Unison) and tree owner (you) in managing trees near power lines.

Ensure your trees don’t become a problem!

Managing vegetation, such as trees, vines or plants near power lines is an important part of being a vegetation owner. Take some time to learn more about the danger of vegetation near power lines, and what your responsibilities are as an owner.

Our top safety tips:
  • Before planting trees look up and make sure there are no overhead power lines. If there are, make sure you know the maximum height your tree could grow to, and if that height is within four meters of the overhead lines, choose a different variety, or an alternative planting location.

  • Check your existing trees are at least four meters from any overhead power lines. If they are within four meters, you’ll need to contact us to have them trimmed.

  • Before felling a tree, check there is a distance of at least twice the height of the tree between the tree and any nearby power lines. If it is within this distance, you will need to use a Unison-approved person, or you could be liable for the cost of any damage to our network if the tree lands on our lines, not to mention the potential safety risk of coming into contact with live lines!

  • Call before you cut! Electricity can travel through trees, so if you put a chainsaw or other piece of equipment through a tree touching a power line, you put yourself in the direct path which electricity could use to travel to the ground. 

  • If you spot a tree touching the lines, call us immediately. Public safety could be at risk!
Need our help?

If your trees, vines or plants are growing close to or, even worse, through power lines, you must use a professional arborist, certified to work in close proximity to power lines, to work on your trees.

Attempting this work yourself puts you in serious danger of major electric shock or electrocution.

Trimming vegetation near power lines is also a danger to your bank balance! The cost of repairing power lines and other equipment damaged by felling trees on to power lines is significant – and could be passed on to you!

Unison Contracting’s team of arborists are certified to work safely around power lines, find out more about obtaining a quote.