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Topic # 146682 26-May-2014 09:20 Send private message

Situation is this.....  

30+ year old protected (or weve been told it is but council say its not on their records as ever being there) tree near roadside. 

Now, I'm going to assume that some smart cookie in council/utility planning somewhere figured years ago "oh look a tree growing under where we want to run our lines and put a street light, that will never be a problem." and had the lines and street light installed....

Today, said tree has grown up and in the middle of it is the following :

* street light
* Powerlines
* Telephone lines for all the neighbors

In high winds, the branches of the tree move/rub the lines, and now I've seen theres a branch thats broken off lying across some of the (pretty sure its phone) lines.

Called the council and theyve said to contact the utility companies.....  the issue I can see forthcoming tho is this... who pays ?

"Officially" I'm the land owner so therefore its my responsibility, yet this has been an issue long before I bought the property (3 yrs ago).
Some people have said that the utility company will generally sort it out the first time and I keep on top of it from there which is fair and fine with me.

And who do I contact considering theres 3 different services involved ? Can see if I contact one, they'll argue for the other two to help with costs (if they're nice and will cover it) and Ill sit there with a tree dropping more branches onto their lines and eventually bringing one/all the lines down.....

Home ownership...  never ending battles.... :)





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  Reply # 1053290 26-May-2014 09:27 Send private message

Hi, I believe it is the property owner who must take all care and attention to avoid the power lines ... as ugly and horrible as those lines might be embarassed

We often get electricity line's company putting adverts in the paper showing the safe distances for self pruning or getting an arborist to do it.

I also think you can "sign away" the rights to trim trees to the power lines company (not the electricity supplier) and they will maintain the pruning ... usually a 'slash and burn' action that might not suit all property owners though.

R.


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  Reply # 1053291 26-May-2014 09:31 Send private message


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  Reply # 1053293 26-May-2014 09:35 Send private message

The lines company will own the poles, other services will just have rights to use them. The lines company is who I'd call, and I'd just ask them if theres going to be a cost. 

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  Reply # 1053305 26-May-2014 09:40 Send private message

Rickles: http://www.cab.org.nz/vat/consumer/energy/Pages/Powerlinesandtrees.aspx




Thanks for that :) Will chase up Vector and see what they can do.






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  Reply # 1053306 26-May-2014 09:41 Send private message

The basic rule is, your tree, you pay,

But it certainly appears that some lines companies operate a "we cut once, you get to trim it policy"
http://www.welectricity.co.nz/safety/Pages/Overhead%20Power%20Lines/Power%20lines%20near%20trees.aspx

I would call you local lines company and get them on to the case,
The street light is actually maintained by them also, ( the council just pay the bill), Don't worry about the phone company, let the power company sort it out

The actual regs are here, but
http://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2003/0375/latest/whole.html


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  Reply # 1053313 26-May-2014 09:47 Send private message

Funnily enough we have just had aborists trimming the trees on the road verge in Christchurch in the last few weeks for the council and had a notice in our letter box to say they may come on to our property. Lol and behold I come home to find the tree under the power couplings on the side of the house has been neatly trimmed ( I was going to do it Queens b'day weekend). No mention of a bill or anything :)

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  Reply # 1053319 26-May-2014 09:56

I had a nondescript Banksia approaching the power lines at Foxton Beach. Electra said they would trim it once then it would be my responsibility to keep it trimmed. Their advice was to let them trim it at ground level. They took the rubbishand left the rest trimmed into firewood size.

Edit Once the tree gets within a certain distance of power lines only approved aborists can do the work.

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  Reply # 1053352 26-May-2014 10:36 Send private message

I saw major issues looming for our power supply - which is intermittent at best.
Trees growing up to the lines or overhanging in several places.
Not just on our place, but for miles around.

Contacted our lines company (Top Energy) and ended up speaking with their Vegetation Advisor.
There's the 4m rule regarding trimming, but owners not felling stuff near lines at all is their preference.
Was prepared for all sorts of issue regarding the costs, however the 'first trim is free' deal worked in our favour.

We signed off the paperwork allowing them to fell trees on our property, and had all the trees trimmed to ground level.
They chipped all the foliage, cut all the logs into usable lengths. No cost to us. And they did weeks more work around the area.

Don't know if your lines company will be as helpful, just was surprised at how well this went for us (as Top Energy isn't known for being easy to get along with)

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  Reply # 1053355 26-May-2014 10:38 Send private message

Well, hopefully with me making the first move, theyll do it no questions asked - however, they may have approached previous owners at some point and already done the trimming once before.... so then does it count as a "first trim" with me ? :)

Guess Ill find out... ;)

Thanks all :)





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  Reply # 1053359 26-May-2014 10:39 Send private message

In Hawke's Bay we had this issue.  I rang Unison and they told me they'll do the first one for free, but after that it's up to me to manage it.

FYI.

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  Reply # 1053364 26-May-2014 10:42 Send private message

Sidestep:

We signed off the paperwork allowing them to fell trees on our property, and had all the trees trimmed to ground level.
They chipped all the foliage, cut all the logs into usable lengths. No cost to us. And they did weeks more work around the area.



We'd be more than happy for them to fell this tree, but its a NZ native so you enter another mass of tape and laws etc...but when we did approach the council about the tree 18 months ago, they had nothing on their books about it, so in theory it dosent exist so we could get rid of it no hassles. But in practice, the second we touch it, there will be a local greenie who will raise hell about it and some magical bit paper will appear barring us having it felled... 






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  Reply # 1053382 26-May-2014 10:52 One person supports this post Send private message

You say it is roadside - so is it actually on your property (would be very unusual to have a streetlight on your property).

Generally, the poles will not be on your property - they will be on the council berm. Not your problem. You may have to mow the berm, but you don't have to trim the trees on that berm.

About this time last year I got home from work and noticed sparks from the powerline hitting the trees outside my place. I called Vector and someone was there within about 15 minutes to check it out (they must have done something, because the sparking stopped). The tree was trimmed back the following day. The pole is on the edge of our property, but according to the plans, is actually on the berm/road reserve.

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  Reply # 1053386 26-May-2014 10:59 Send private message

Not that it matters where we live (cables are all underground) but surely it depends on where the tree is? ie if its in your yard they do the first trim and you maintain the trim.

What happens if the tree is on the verge/berm which is "council land".

Case in point the trees you see on this link below. The trees are clearly on the road side of the side walk.

https://www.google.co.nz/maps/place/17+Longitude+Pl/@-41.118824,174.891292,3a,90y,178.16h,88.03t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1s9sJsuERds_rsKNuVvKpH-A!2e0!4m2!3m1!1s0x6d3f5451b6f970b1:0x7fc46ab37c599d4e!6m1!1e1

S
orry wrong link (although the one above does show trees on the road side). The one below probably demonstrates it better since the trees are in front of a house/postbox.

https://www.google.co.nz/maps/@-41.119361,174.890235,3a,75y,35.35h,67.64t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sNCVcbfhrWLlFosfqoVImOQ!2e0!6m1!1e1

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  Reply # 1053419 26-May-2014 11:09 Send private message

I think the OP means trees on his property.

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  Reply # 1053425 26-May-2014 11:15

It does depend on the Council. Around Wellington it has to be on the Heritage list to be protected. On the Kapiti Coast their District Plan appears to work on size and type but after the slapping they got recently for taking residents to Court they may be more cautious.

If it's not on a list I'd expect your Council should be able to advise whether they would interfere.

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