How we manage trees near lines and your responsibilities
Trees need to be pruned to keep branches and other vegetation from interfering with power lines and equipment. If they aren't managed, it can result in a power outage. In addition, vegetation can become electrically live causing a dangerous situation. Children climb trees and touch power lines and fires can also be started.
Our aim is to work with tree owners to ensure that safety is maintained and power outages are kept to a minimum. See our Trees and power lines brochure for information on tree owners' responsibilities and safe tree management around power lines.
Orion’s tree management programme is largely governed by the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003. Our programme involves monitoring and the pruning or removal of trees that threaten to come into contact with overhead power lines. Through this programme we work with tree owners to minimise the risk of their trees touching power lines.
Orion is responsible for the first cut of trees near power lines, where the first cut is on a property basis, not owner basis. We have met this obligation by completing a first cut of vegetation on all our lines.
A tree owner, like a dog-owner is responsible for looking after their trees. The Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003 provides guidance on the tree owner’s responsibility. Owners are liable for the damage to the electricity network if their trees damage any lines or equipment. The word “trees” includes all types of vegetation including shrubs, hedges and climbing vines.
We undertake periodic pruning of vegetation within the notice zone - around two years for high voltage lines (11kV to 66kV) and five years for low voltage lines (400V/230V). The intent of this pruning is to support safety and reduce the risk of power outages. The pruning by us does not remove the tree owner’s responsibilities and in the case of fast-growing species may not be sufficient to ensure that trees remain outside of the growth limit zone.
If you have a question that isn't covered here, see our frequently asked questions.