Trees and power lines don’t mix

Trees and vegetation can interfere with our network and even interrupt electricity supply. That’s why it’s important to manage them so that they don’t get too close to power lines.

Network Tasman’s vegetation team takes a proactive approach by surveying all of our lines on a regular basis. Information from the surveys is stored in a database that includes a full record of the history of each site along with which trees have already had their one free trim allowed under the regulations.

If trees are found to be growing too close to power lines we let the property owner know by sending them what is known as a cut and trim notice (CT Notice) as required by The Electricity (Hazard from Trees) Regulations. Network Tasman issues more than 1500 CT Notices each year.

When our vegetation team is doing their surveying work they also look for high-risk issues posed by trees that could fall onto the lines, such as trees that are diseased, damaged, or have branches splitting out. All of these factors have the potential to damage the network and cause power outages. To help mitigate this risk, we negotiate felling or reducing these trees with the tree owner.

Once all of the notices for an area have been returned and a course of action has been agreed with the property owner, a schedule of tree cutting work is assigned to our vegetation contractor Treescape. 

Last year, Treescape trimmed more than 1500 trees and felled more than 2000 trees that were posing a risk to power lines. 

Surveying our lines and notifying tree owners in this way has dramatically reduced the number of power outages attributed to line damage caused by trees. With the cooperation of tree owners, our electricity supply has been more resilient and storm response costs have been lowered to the benefit of all consumers.

If you’re a landowner you may have been contacted by one of our surveyors for permission to access your land and undertake a vegetation survey on your property. 

Our surveyors are always happy to answer your questions about clearances required, the safe cutting and disposal of trees, and issues with vegetation close to power lines.

It’s important for all of us to keep an eye on trees and vegetation and make sure that power lines are out of harm’s way.

If you have any questions please contact our vegetation team on 0800 508 098 or email trees@networktasman.co.nz