In most cities and urban areas trees aren’t the only things that occupy the sky above. Many areas have overhead utility lines for power, phone, internet and TV that are often found near or even running through the canopies of city and residential trees. When working nearby, the Arborist needs to treat these lines with varying degrees of caution by keeping himself and his tools an appropriate distance away. As the voltage increases so to does the distance that must be kept from the lines. These distances vary from “do not contact” for many communications and lower voltage lines to 10 or more feet for higher voltage lines.
A type of overhead line that we often encounter and need to work around is the line supplying power from the power pole to an individual home or business, often referred to as a ‘service drop.’ When work needs to be done in close proximity to or above these lines often times it’s safest for us to have the line disconnected for the day by Duke Energy. Heartwood will coordinate with both our client and Duke Energy to arrange a time for the line to be disconnected from the home or business and also a time to be reconnected again by Duke. Generally our crews will call Duke while onsite as the work is nearing completion to arrange for reconnection of the line. Once we’ve reached out to have the line reconnected things are basically out of our hands. Most times Duke is very responsive and reconnects the line in a short period of time (an hour or two), but occasionally it might take a bit longer or even get lost in the shuffle. Guess that’s one of the benefits of being a monopoly. Customer service doesn’t really have to be priority #1.
We only request that these lines be dropped when we need it for safety. We realize that it is an inconvenience to be without power and do our best to limit the amount of time the line is down. If you have lines running near trees on your property please treat them with the caution they deserve. In addition please ask any company working near lines on your property how they plan work safely around them and mitigate any potential risk.