NB Power trims trees to maintain power line reliability
New Brunswick residents are being asked to take safety into consideration when planting trees or shrubs near power lines.
FREDERICTON, N.B. – As hurricane season approaches, NB Power crews continue to trim low-hanging branches around power lines to ensure safe and reliable delivery of electricity to urban and rural customers throughout the province.
“Maintaining trees around the power lines ensures the reliability of the electrical infrastructure,” said Sherry Thomson, vice-president of Customer Service, Distribution and Transmission. “Certified arborists and forest technicians routinely inspect and maintain trees around the power lines on public and private properties. We only cut and trim trees if they present a potential electrical safety issue or have the potential to affect power lines.”
Trees and branches falling into power lines during storms accounted for 36 per cent of the power outages in New Brunswick last year. Preventative maintenance will help reduce the number of power outages customers may experience during high winds and heavy weather.
“NB Power vegetation management crews have inspected power lines and cleared vegetation in various areas throughout the province based on our preventative maintenance program,” said Thomson.
NB Power follows international science-based directional pruning standards and guidelines for all tree maintenance, which may result in an uneven shape to the tree. If maintenance or removal is required, NB Power follows these standard safe distances:
● If a tree is removed or maintained, all other healthy trees will be left standing and pruned as required to a minimum 2.5 metres (8 feet) of clearance around the power line.
● Hedges will be topped at 1 metre (3 feet) below a service loop or communications line.
● Ornamental trees may be allowed to remain a minimum of 1.5 metres (4 feet) away from power lines, depending on tree and branch size.
NB Power's tree maintenance program is vital to ensure reliable service, in particular during storms and strong winds.
Residents are asked to take precautions when planting shrubs or trees near power lines to ensure they are best-suited to grow in the vicinity of power lines. For those wishing to plant new trees or shrubs, NB Power has tips on planting the right tree in the right place, and which shrubs or trees are best-suited to grow in the vicinity of power lines.
NB Power is working to maintain the balance between environment and infrastructure, to keep the lines clear of tree branches, ensure system reliability and keep the lights on in New Brunswick.
For more information, visit Tree Maintenance and Power Lines on the NB Power website.