Every year, storms and bushfires affect people and their properties in Western Australia. There are steps you can take to minimise the impact they cause to you and your home.
When trees come into contact with powerlines, they can cause power failures, bushfires and serious accidents.
Trees and powerlines
Home owners and occupiers are responsible for ensuring trees on their property stay clear of powerlines all year round. Tenants should check to see if tree maintenance is covered in their rental agreement or if their landlord is responsible.
Local councils are usually responsible for trimming trees on street verges. If you see a tree on the street verge growing too close to powerlines, immediately phone your local council.
The clearance zones may vary in your area depending on the type of conductor used to transport electricity, the fire risk of the area and the distance between two poles. Allow for reasonable regrowth when trimming your trees, so they can be maintained outside the clearance zones all year round. In urban areas, the minimum clearances are typically 2.5m to the side and 2m below, while in semi-rural and rural areas the minimum clearances are typically 4m to the side and 2.5m below.
For properties with an overhead service connection, the minimum clearance distance required around the insulated low voltage service line is 300mm.
Branches must not overhang powerlines at all – the area must be clear to the sky.
Hiring a tree pruner or arborist
If you need to remove vegetation near the network, only engage a qualified arborist that is accredited to work near the Western Power network.
It is very dangerous to trim trees anywhere near powerlines. For further information, contact the Tree Guild of WA.
Recommended tree species
By selecting appropriate plants for your property, you can reduce the need for pruning and save both time and money. You should avoid planting next to powerlines, or choose a low growing species that won’t encroach on the clearance zones for your area. Your local nursery can also help you choose the perfect plant for your environment.
Prepare for storms by putting away or securing loose materials. Wind borne debris can blow into overhead powerlines and disrupt power supply.
During a storm, power outages are mostly caused by strong winds blowing debris and vegetation into powerlines and lightning striking network equipment. In addition to keeping trees clear of powerlines all year round, you can make your home ‘storm ready’ by clearing debris and securing loose objects around your home.
Vegetation clearance zones in urban areas