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Who's responsible for trees growing near powerlines?

If a tree on your property is dangerously close to a power line, or is looking like it will be soon, contact your lines company, who will tell you what to do. You can find out who your lines company is by looking at your Account Review invoice.

“Cut and trim”
Your lines company may issue you with a “cut and trim” notice. If it’s the first one you’ve been issued, then the lines company may either cut the tree itself or pay for it to be done by a third party. You will be responsible for paying for any further cuts unless you provide your lines company with a ‘no interest’ tree notice in accordance with the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003. This gives the lines company the right to remove or trim the tree subject to certain obligations in the regulations.

Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations
If a tree comes into contact or falls onto a power line it can cause power cuts or, worse, put lives at risk. So it’s obviously in everyone’s interest to get it sorted. The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 – which set out tree owners’ obligations for keeping trees free from power lines – define when the lines company must give notices, and the information they need to include.

You can find out more on your lines company’s website. By law, they should have information on:

  • the dangers posed by contact between trees and electricity lines
  • an explanation of the distances trees should be from electricity lines
  • a general description of the dangers of cutting and trimming trees in the vicinity of lines
  • a list of offences that tree owners could commit and the penalties associated with them