Southeast

“I was watching one of those tree companies that go around the country trimming trees for power companies. This guy was in a bucket; the truck was in the road. He went way up and over a ‘hot’ power line, and came down on the other side and trimmed limbs off a tree. Not much room between the line that could easily kill him. I thought that was taking a huge chance for a paycheck. Very skillful maneuvering, just looked too risky.”

New Jersey

“You gotta do what you gotta do. Bucket truck is the best way to take down or trim a tree over ‘hot’ wires. I’ve done it myself quite a few times. A crane makes it easier, but then your overhead goes up. Also, the cranes on trim jobs for power line companies would be insanely overkill, not to mention way too much money considering the amount they would need.”

Southeast

“Well, I sure hope they get paid better than most. I bet it’s hard to get any kind of insurance for that kind of work. I wonder if insurance companies ask if you will be trimming near power lines.”

Ohio

“Insurance is not as difficult to get as it used to be. I think if you are certified and quite experienced, it helps. I think insurance companies have historically found that although this job is quite dangerous, good tree companies are up to the challenge.

“Years ago, I cleared lines for an entire township in New Jersey without a bucket, just rope and saddle. Never stepped foot into a bucket until about 15 years ago; now I own two of them. Got dinged a couple of memorable times. It was right after the Three Mile Island nuclear incident and they shut down all the line clearance crews because of budget.

“Most aerial trucks around power lines are/should be dialect tested to prevent electrocution of the operator.”

Southeast

“We got contractors from Texas clearing power line rights-of-way all over South Carolina right now at a huge expense to the power companies. They started about a couple of years ago and are still at it. Not just limbs, but trees that pose any present and/or future danger.”

Ohio

“They literally started clear-cutting under wires, including mature, beautiful trees around Cincinnati. They got so much flack, they quickly discontinued.”

Florida

“We do line clearance all the time, rope and saddle and in lifts, you do what you know is safe. Also, it pays very well. A three-man crew with a chipper can make $2,200 a day in my area.”

Ohio

“Nobody ever did anything beneficial for a tree while clearing lines. It’s all about the lines. As far as the tree goes, hopefully the encounter is not too bad because one knows something about treating trees correctly. If all one does is clear lines, they are not an arborist.”

Florida

“As an arborist, I have to take exception to that statement. Not only does my work provide the needed clearance, we do so with all the morals and principals of an arborist. We have helped cities get lines moved and even put underground.”

Ohio

“When you got the lines put underground something was done that was beneficial to the tree in that it was not wounded to make room for lines. If a tree is wounded, it is infected. Of course, if the roots were injured to make room for the underground wires, again, beneficial actions were in favor of the wires, not the tree. You may be an arborist in some of your capacities, but in my opinion, again, not in your profitable (in your words) injuring of trees to not conflict and degrade wires. This is why I stated that if you do line clearance full time, you are not an arborist.”

Florida

“A lot of the work I do is to thin and also to reduce the size of the wind load on a tree. We have some trees that will grow out of the scale that will survive here (hurricanes). This line thing may be a joke up there; down here it’s a public safety and environmental issue.”

Pennsylvania

“Might want to think about this: How many of us remove limbs that rub or are on someone’s roof? This is the same thing (in a way). You are injuring the tree as to not have a conflict and degrade the roof, to preserve property. The power line debate is the same thing. You are just injuring the tree to preserve property (the lines).”

“In Your Own Words” is contributed from www.TreeServicesSite.com. Visit the forum, and join in the discussions.