Section 4: Trees and Utility LinesAnchor: #i1002586
Locating Utility Lines
Utility lines should be located so they will cause the least possible interference with major plantings and individual plants of ornamental value.Anchor: #i1002596
Texas Administrative Code
See Section 5, Texas Administrative Code for Utility Accommodation. This rule applies to all utility companies performing construction and pruning maintenance of trees and bushes on state rights of way.Anchor: #i1002610
When Trees Are Not Pruned on the Right of Way
Trees are one of the major causes of power outages in areas of overhead utility lines due to direct tree contact with lines, or to trees or tree limbs falling on the lines. When trees contact live wires, they become conductors of electricity, causing power outages or creating dangerous situations for anyone coming into contact with the trees. Figure 5-17 shows what can happen when tree limbs and utility lines meet.
Figure 5-17. Tree limb in contact with high-voltage utility conductor line.Anchor: #i1002629
Examples of Severe, But Acceptable Tree Modifications by Utilities
Acceptable tree modifications preserving aesthetic quality and health of tree:
Figure 5-18. Severe, but acceptable pruning practices.
Figure 5-19. Severe, but acceptable pruning practices.Anchor: #i1002658
Examples of Unacceptable Tree Modifications
Unacceptable tree modifications damage trees, are not aesthetic to the right of way landscape and may be unsafe if unbalanced. Trees which remain unsightly because of repeated pruning for clearance should be removed.
Unacceptable tree pruning performed by utility companies will not be tolerated on state rights of way. Utility companies will correct pruning issues within a predetermined time agreed upon during the reconciliation process. The following figures show unacceptable pruning practices.
Figure 5-20. Unbalanced, unsafe and unsightly tree pruning by utility company. Trees should have been removed by utility company for safety and aesthetic reasons.
Figure 5-21. Unsightly tree pruning by utility company. Sycamore tree on property line serving no purpose, but a constant eyesore and maintenance issue. Tree should be removed by utility company for safety and aesthetic reasons.
Figure 5-22. Unacceptable pruning by utility. Limb stubs left unpruned.
Figure 5-23. Unacceptable pruning by utility. Sycamore trees pollarded to prevent contact with utility lines. Trees should be removed and shorter-growing trees or large shrubs should be planted in their place.
Figure 5-24. Pruning debris not removed and right of way damage by utility.