|Posted on July 4, 2012 at 1:05 PM|
Common sense can go a long way when it comes to power failures and general survival. One more time residents in the Midwest and East coast of the U.S. are facing massive power outages. The “inland hurricane” that caused severe damage several years ago left hundreds without power for over a week. The difference between that storm and the current “derecho” was the time of year. The storm that occurred in the fall did not leave people in unbearable weather. Unfortunately, this time people without power are also facing a heat wave.
Do not plant trees under power lines:
This may seem like common sense. It should be common sense. If you look at the pictures included in this blog, you will realize that common sense is not common. The power lines were in place for at least 30 years before the trees were planted. There were planted to provide a lovely privacy barrier for a neighbor’s backyard. I do not know exactly what type of tree they are, but they are very fast growing. What is worse is that they grow very tall, very fast, without lower supporting branch limbs.
Why is that a problem? The problem is with the fact that the only way to trim the top of these trees will be to bring in a bucket lift or truck. Professional tree trimmers often climb trees to remove branches. When it comes to a tree with no support in the trunk or lower branches, there is nothing to climb.
I have watched these trees nearly bend in half from strong winds. I wonder just how much longer it will be before they are big enough and heavy enough to come down on the power lines. I wonder how much longer it will be before ice on the branches in winter will take out half of the power in my neighborhood.
If you want beautiful trees that provide privacy, you do not need a tree that will grow to 20 to 30 feet tall. Pick something that you can keep trimmed below and away from power lines. When you are thinking about planting one or more trees, consider everything about the location. How high will the tree grow? How far will the branches spread? How strong will the tree be? What utilities are under the tree? Yes, you also need common sense with underground utilities. Tree roots love to clog sewer lines.
Common sense notes:
I keep my own trees trimmed back. I keep them trimmed well before they get to a height I cannot handle. When it came to the old pine tree that had grown into the power line to my house, I sucked it up and paid a professional to remove it. I used to work as an electrician; I do not want to go there.