How trees affect your safety & power reliability
Trees and power lines don't mix. It's as simple as that.
When trees or branches get too close to high-voltage transmission lines, electricity can arc through the air like a lightning bolt, seeking the nearest path to ground. When that path is a tree, it can short out the line, severely damage or destroy nearby property and structures, and present a risk to public safety.
Trees or branches don't have to touch the lines for this to happen. At the extremely high voltages that transmission lines carry, electricity can flashover through the air to any branch or tree that gets too close.
Contact and flashovers can occur:
- When a tree or branch grows too close to a line.
- When a tree or branch grows into a line.
- When a tree or branch falls or blows onto a line.
- When power lines sag into trees or branches that normally would be out of reach.
- When lines sway into trees or branches in windy weather.
More about how TVA manages vegetation for safe, reliable power