The oldest tree at our house isn’t doing so well – it’s been pruned strangely, and is starting to need replacement.
I was told by neighbors that the city has been coming every 4 years or so to prune it back, since it is near a power line – which is strange, since the pruning involved topping the tree, which I know is not recommended at all. I was looking up details, and here’s the story:
Q:Years ago someone planted 2 cedar trees on the strip between the sidewalk and curb in front of my house. These trees are huge and are under power lines. The city at some point topped the trees and continues to cut and butcher them every year. It is a shame but I think these trees are better to be cut down. Is the city able to help me take care of this?
A: Our City Light experts had this to say:
It sounds like the trees are too big for their location and have to be trimmed to maintain a safe clearance around the power lines. Seattle City Light maintains a 10 foot clearance around the high voltage electrical lines by having electrically qualified tree trimmers safely prune the trees (http://www.seattle.gov/light/neighborhoods/nh4_trtr.htm ).
Long term, it makes more sense to replace trees like this with smaller trees that don’t require such extensive pruning to protect electrical safety and reliability. Seattle City Light will replace trees when we are working in a neighborhood so you may have to wait until we come back. When work is upcoming, we leave door hangars for residents whose trees are going to be pruned. Use the contact numbers on the door hangers to discuss opportunities for potential removal and replacement of your trees through the Urban Tree Replacement program (http://www.seattle.gov/light/neighborhoods/treetrim/tt3_replace.htm ).
Planting the right tree in the right place is key to keeping Seattle green.