One thing remembered by people who have experienced hurricanes is the downed trees. The downed trees or tree limbs can block roads as well as fall on homes and buildings and, at times, even injure or kill people. I had my tree canopies thinned out this week, hoping to decrease the probability of them being blown over and causing damage in case we get a hurricane this year. I’m not comfortable handling a chain saw up in my tall trees, so I hired a professional who came highly recommended.
I also had all the coconuts removed from my coconut palms. I’m sure my neighbors will be thankful for that if a hurricane comes.
Previous blogs have discussed power outages after a hurricane (which are a given) and options for backup power. One of the reasons for power outages is tree growth near power lines. When the strong winds of a hurricane blow, it doesn’t take much imagination to picture what will happen when the trees fall onto the power lines or even when the limbs of a tree whip against the lines.
Florida Power Light (FPL) has some good information on their web page related to trees and power lines. FPL states “its strategy to maintain power lines free of tree growth is based on a consistent, planned trimming cycle.” On average, the main power lines (feeders) are cleared every three years and the neighborhood power lines (laterals) are cleared every six years. Last year, FPL trimmed trees and cleared vegetation along more than 11,000 miles of power lines throughout Florida.
In regard to safety, the FPL web site says the following: “FPL encourages customers to maintain their trees before they interfere with electric lines and equipment. You should never attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near overhead power lines. Only specially trained line-clearing professionals should work around power lines. Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified to trim vegetation around power lines. Before work begins, be sure to verify that the contractor is licensed and insured, and complies with all applicable laws, codes, ordinances and/or permits.” The FPL web site has helpful hints on their Plant the Right Tree in the Right Place program.
If you do have tree trimming that needs to be done, don’t wait until a hurricane is headed our way to do it.