More than half of all electricity outages in B.C. are caused by trees. Over the next several months, BC Hydro will be carefully pruning and removing trees near power lines in an effort to prevent power outages and keep the lights on.
In addition to causing power outages, trees contacting or growing too close to power lines create safety hazards, such as a risk of fire. Falling branches and toppling trees can be prevented with regular maintenance. The work is done by professionals who are skilled at maintaining healthy trees and plants and are able to identify hazards created by vegetation.
While BC Hydro prunes trees posing a hazard year-round, most trees benefit from pruning in the early spring – just before the seasonal growth begins.
BC Hydro reminds customers to never approach a downed power line. If you see one, call BC Hydro immediately at 1.888.POWERON.
B.C. has three times more trees per kilometre of power line than any utility in North America.
BC Hydro spends more than $50 million each year on vegetation maintenance to prevent outages along 74,000 kilometres of overhead power lines.
Trees can be conductive, that is, they can carry an electrical charge. A tree touching a power line can become energized and injury could result from touching the tree.
There are two very important reasons why BC Hydro conducts pruning and removes trees: public safety, and to ensure reliable electrical service for our customers.
BC Hydro vegetation and access manager Chris Smith explains more about spring tree pruning in a new video available online to the public: http://www.bchydro.com/news/press_centre/news_releases/2013/spring-tree-pruning-tips-video.html