Short order: Residents urged to plant wisely near powerlines

Ergon vegetation worker carefully trims trees near powerlines using a crane lift (plant)
Image: Ergon Energy

With storm season fast approaching, Ergon Energy’s vegetation management crews have been out in force, trimming plants and tree branches away from powerlines to reduce the risk of outages.

Ergon is urging the community not to plant tall tree species near the electricity network. Trees and branches contacting the power network can be one of the most common causes of outages during severe weather, according to vegetation management officer Tim De Vries.

Related article: No excuse for abuse as power crews cop it from customers

“Severe weather often brings with it high winds that not only snap branches from trees and fire them like missiles into the electricity network, it can also cause large trees to fall over powerlines,” De Vries said.

“This is why our crews continue to prepare the network for storms by trimming branches, and in some cases removing trees altogether, because if they don’t high-risk vegetation could cause significant network damage and prolonged power outages.

“We also work closely with councils when we carry out these tasks and only use very experienced vegetation management teams and qualified arborists when more intricate jobs are undertaken.”

De Vries said the community can also greatly assist in preventing power outages by never planting tall plant species near or under the electricity network.

“Every year our crews have to attend power outages caused by a tall tree or fast-growing species such as bamboo that someone has planted too close to the network,” he said.

Related article: Ergon and Energex finishing upgrades to four substations

“These not only take out power during severe weather, they can also be a community danger if they bring down powerlines or a child climbs the tree and contacts the electricity network.

“Before people plant trees, we encourage them to take a look at our Plant Smart webpage which shows a wide range of safe species that won’t affect the electricity network and won’t require our crews to prune or remove them at a later date.”

Previous articleAusgrid scores 5-star sustainability rating for ESG
Next articleSouth Australia flaunts green hydrogen capabilities in the US