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Tree safety and responsibilities

Trees near power lines are dangerous. Touching fallen lines or while climbing or pruning trees can mean serious injury or death.

Trees and branches too close to power lines are dangerous to people and livestock. They also cause interruptions to our power supply, especially during high winds and storms.

If you have a tree related inquiry please complete the form below and we will be in touch.

Poor tree maintenance also costs our customers millions of dollars each year.

Responsibilities

If you own the land the tree is growing on, then generally you’re responsible for keeping trees trimmed and away from the lines. In some cases, it may be too dangerous for you to do the work yourself and you’ll need to arrange for us or an approved contractor to do it.

In certain situations, for example, a self-sown tree, you can declare ‘no interest’ in the tree and we’ll take responsibility for keeping it clear of the lines. Usually, we’ll fell the tree to save further maintenance costs.

We do regular tree surveys and line inspections and do our best to let you know if your tree is getting too close to the lines. However, we also need you to keep an eye out.

Download our brochure on Trees and Safety for more information.

Regulations

The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 outline legal minimum distances trees should be kept from power lines. Tree owners can be fined up to $10,000 for not complying with these regulations.

Choosing & planting trees

The right tree in the right place goes a long way to avoiding problems with power lines and cables. Here’s a handy species selection and planting guide to help.

Tree safe distance zones

Electrcity safety near trees diagram

The Growth Limit Zone

This extends 2.5 metres out from power lines and conductors. This is the legal minimum space that must be kept clear of trees, and may vary depending on the voltage of the power lines.

No person or piece of equipment is permitted within 4 metres of our lines.

For safety reasons, trees and vegetation in the Growth Limit Zone can only be trimmed by us or one of our approved contractors. We’ll provide the first tree trimming free of charge but after that there’s a charge.

It’s important you don’t trim the trees in the Growth Limit Zone yourself due to the risk of electrocution.

The Notice Zone

This extends 3.5 metres out from power lines and conductors.

You can trim any trees in the Notice Zone provided we’ve given you written permission.

For safety reasons please contact us about the tree’s location and when the work will be done – at least three working days before you want to carry out the work as we may need to switch the power off.

If your tree is growing in the Notice Zone, we may send you a Hazard Warning Notice advising that the tree needs trimming.