Hydro One and close to ninety other electrical distributors are responsible to municipalities and the province for ensuring the uninterrupted supply of electrical services to its customers. Tree trimming and pruning is one of the tools used to keep the area closest to powerlines clear of obstructions. Trees and shrubs found growing directly under power lines are removed.
Overhead and Underground powerlines exist in rural and urban environments and can be compromised when excavating holes to plant trees if these powerlines have not been located prior to excavation. When preparing a planting plan, consider where electrical and other services may be.
Extra caution is required when working near overhead powerlines, excavating at the planting locations and unloading large trees at the planting location.
Hydro One classifies Canada’s Native Maples as Tall Zone species that require more than 8 metres of setback from either side of a powerline to provide unobstructed space for their growth to maturity. Maple Leaves Forever recommends that you consider a 10 metre setback.
Maple Leaves Forever shares the following information taken from Hydro One and Safety Authority websites to assist you in the selection of the right trees and planting locations to avoid later conflicts and/or severe tree trimming or pruning by electrical services providers.
Before starting a Planting Plan:
- Contact your local Municipality, Region and/or Township offices to determine if PERMITS are required before planting trees on your property. They may have By-Laws that specify preferred tree species and locations for planting.*
- Contact your local electrical services provider to determine their REQUIREMENTS when planting trees and/or shrubs around the overhead or underground powerlines.*
- Check for EASEMENTS that may be on the property. The electrical services provider may be allowed legal right to access properties to install and maintain electrical services to the property and/or neighbourhood. A land title search will identify if there are existing easements.*
- Contact other utilities such as natural gas, water, cable and telephone, to ensure you are aware of their underground equipment and clearance requirements.*
* Note: This information was copied directly from Electrical Safety Authority’s booklet called PLANTING UNDER OR AROUND POWERLINES & ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT [PDF] – available at www.esasafe.com
- Electrical Safety Association (ESA) (No date) Planting Under or Around Powerlines and Electrical Equipment : PDF booklet [Online] Ontario, ESA. Available: www.esasafe.com/powerlinesafety/at-home-and-play/landscaping-and-trimming [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]
- Hydro One (May 1, 2015) Right Tree, Right Place: Featured Article [Online] Ontario, Ontario Hydro. Available: www.hydroone.com/OurCompany/News/Pages/RightTreeRightPlace-2015.aspx [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]
- International Society of Arboriculture (No date) Avoiding Tree and Utility Conflicts: Brochure [Online] Available for sale: http://www.isa-arbor.com/store/product.aspx?ProductID=276 [Accessed 1 Feb 2017]