Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,668
Registered: ‎06-24-2011

Trees and Power Lines

[ Edited ]

I live where there are a lot of trees in Pennsylvania. Way too often electric power goes out because a tree has fallen on the power line during a storm or wind.

And the electric company sends out a repair crew to get it up & running again,


The repair crew weaves a new electric line through the remaining trees!

I don't get it.

The next trees down the road will fall in the next wind or storm and pull down another power line. The whole cycle just starts again.


I don't understand why so much time & $ is put back into a design that fails over and over.

To me, it would make more sense to bury power lines underground or use the tall strong metal towers with all the $ they waste with sticking power lines back up into the trees. That electricity infrastructure is old & feeble and should be updated to prevent people from losing power.


Is it greed with utility companies that they won't upgrade rather than putting a band-aid on a system that repeatedly fails people?


Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over & over and expecting different results?





Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 7,111
Registered: ‎05-09-2010
Yes it is insanity. But I think it is way too expensive to put all the power lines underground. I wish they would though. Old utility poles are an eyesore in my opinion.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. Margaret Mead
Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,479
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

Above-ground power lines...aka 'job security'. Woman Wink

Honored Contributor
Posts: 33,192
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Sometimes they just have to cut or prune the trees.  Gotta keep the power going. 

Honored Contributor
Posts: 70,645
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

@Desert Lily.  You're probably aware, being a former Southwesterner, that there have been numerous bad forest fires in the mountains caused by old power poles falling over, sparking and igniting fires.

New Mexico☀️Land Of Enchantment
Respected Contributor
Posts: 3,917
Registered: ‎01-04-2014

Perhaps not all topographies are suited to a massive underground wire system.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 9,950
Registered: ‎06-10-2015

@Desert Lily ............Good question.  Maybe write to the customer service of your power company with your question.  Their answer would be interesting.

Respected Contributor
Posts: 2,615
Registered: ‎03-02-2016

I also wish they would put underground the utility lines. In some areas in our town they are now requiring it.  With new developments by the ocean they must do it.  But the expense to do it with the old lines is astronomical.

Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,431
Registered: ‎03-19-2010

Around here, once a year, a crew goes around cutting the tree limbs away from the power lines.  Makes for some ugly trees.  It won't help if a whole tree falls onto the lines, but it's just to keep random limbs from falling on them.  


It seems that as new neighborhoods are put in, they add in underground utilities.  My 1980's neighborhood has underground utilities, but the main street that was there before the neighborhood was added still has above-ground utilities.  It's more than likely a major expense to change over, plus it could be more difficult to do with houses all around since they would probably have to turn the power off for long periods of time to do it.  


One problem with underground utilites, though, is when they decide to add something new, your yard gets dug up.  We've been going through different Fiber companies coming through the neighborhood and each new company digs up the yards.  And it's not a shallow dig.  The latest was ATT and when they tried to cross the street at my driveway, they were unable to do so even after cutting out a section of the street which had recently been re-paved for the first time in the over 20 years we've lived here.  They gave up, and my side of the street won't get ATT fiber unless one of the neighbors request it.  I'm not telling them.  


Of course, they also recently came around telling us they are transitioning their phone service to Fiber, so I'm sure they'll be back soon to finish the job.  I had to explain that to the people going door to door.  They were confused when I told them I didn't have ATT VOIP because I was on their "list".  Nope, I've got good old copper wire phone service.  Yeah, they're getting rid of that too.  Bye bye ATT bill.  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 36,479
Registered: ‎05-22-2016

I live in a fairly older neighborhood and all of the power lines are on poles. Not only the power lines but also everyone's internet cables are attached to the poles making the poles carry even more weight and stress. You can see some of the poles are leaning and some are starting to show signs of splitting. Just a matter of time when something will break.