TLC teaming up with customers to prevent overgrown trees
12 July 2021
Last year tree-related damage to power equipment caused 93 unplanned outages in the King Country, Ruapehu, and Central Plateau.
The main cause of those unplanned outages were trees touching power lines due to a lack of tree maintenance – an issue which TLC is tackling safely alongside its customers.
Vegetation encroaching on power lines can be a real danger to the public and cause interruptions to customers’ power supply, especially during high winds and storms. Branches meeting lines can cause power outages, fires and can even electrocute people or livestock. In some cases, overgrown trees prevented TLC’s line mechanics from repairing equipment safely and quickly, ultimately delaying the process of restoring power.
Last year TLC spent $1.2 million on pruning and felling trees that obstructed lines and infrastructure. They continue to work alongside customers to control vegetation on the network and educate people on planting and trimming trees near power lines.
Vegetation Manager, Jason Gaukrodger says, “to be able to supply a reliable network to TLC customers our lines need to be free from interference. Supply to our customers is often interrupted by trees encountering the company’s lines and assets.’’
“The safety of our customers is our top priority; if you have a tree near power lines that needs trimming or felling, it is best to contact us and we will come out and discuss the options to sort out the tree options. In certain situations we may cover the cost of the first cut or trim.’’
“The best advice we can give people on our network is prevention is the best solution. Plan where you plant your trees in relation to power lines and trim your trees regularly before they encroach close to power lines”, said Gaukrodger.
With the tree owner responsible for keeping their trees pruned and away from overhead lines – TLC will issue a Cut or Trim Notice if a tree is encroaching the growth limit and require the tree owner to have the tree trimmed.
The company is actively working with tree owners to ensure safety is maintained and power outages are minimised. TLC encourage customers to get in touch if they have a tree related inquiry.
For more information about safe planting and trimming of trees visit: thelinescompany.co.nz/tree