When we identify trees growing close to our power lines, for safety reasons we must do something about it.
Under the Electricity (Hazards From Trees) Regulations 2003, we are required to issue notices to tree owners if we identify any vegetation growing within set distances from our power lines. One of our Approved Contractors will issue you a notice to let you know what needs to happen. You will receive either:
If your tree is outside the Growth Limit Zone, but it presents a risk of damaging our power lines.
If your tree is inside the Growth Limit Zone, we will send you a trim notice.
You may also receive further the notices:
For safety reasons, we may need to perform emergency work to trim trees on your property if they pose an immediate danger to people, property or power lines.
We are permitted and required to perform this emergency work under the Electricity (Hazard from Trees) Regulations 2003.
We will send you reminder notices if we do not hear back from you.
If there is still no progress by a certain date, we will need to commence legal proceedings under Regulation 26 of the Electricity (Hazard from Trees) Regulations 2003.
If you've received a notice, for your safety you must not attempt to perform maintenance on the tree, please leave this to the professionals. Once our approved contractor has completed the work, you’ll receive a completion notice so that you know the work has been completed.
Here are some handy things to know:
The first cut or trim is on us
Generally, the cost of keeping your trees clear of our power equipment is yours. But if we have no record of trimming the tree, then we will trim or remove the tree at no cost to you.
The first free cut or trim does not apply to:
- Private service lines (usually the power line connecting your house to the street).
- Shelter belts or plantation forests
Subsequent trimming is your responsibility
If you have declared an interest in the tree, then you are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of that tree, including the cost, after the first trim.
Declaring no interest
You can declare an interest or no interest in the trees on your property:
Declaring 'no interest' in the trees on your property means we'll take responsibility for the tree's maintenance, including paying for all future cuts and trims. To prevent future damage, our approved contractor will either remove the tree or trim it so that it can grow safely away from power lines.
Declaring an interest
Declaring an interest in the trees on your property means you are responsible for the ongoing maintenance of that tree, including the cost, after the first trim.
A reminder: if you receive a trim notice from us, then you must:
- Arrange for the tree to be trimmed within the prescribed timeframe specified in the notice
- Employ an approved utility arborist to carry out the work
- Provide our approved contractor with at least three working days' notice of the work
- Advise our approved contractor of the time and location of the work so we can ensure it's adequately monitored and safe
Where trees have been removed, you can stop regrowth or sprouting by applying environmentally friendly herbicides to the stumps. It may then be possible to plant other power line-friendly shrubs in their place.
More detail is available in our letters.
Want to understand more about the regulations and responsibilities? Find out more here.