Trees and power lines each play a significant role in our lives. These two can happily coexist. However, if neglected, they risk everyone’s safety.

Pruning trees near electric utility lines is vital because of the potential dangers a live wire can cause to a tree. When a tree branch touches a power line, who do you call? If you live in the Alpharetta, GA, area, call on our team at SoutheastTree for comprehensive arborist services.

Keep reading to learn more about the importance of pruning trees near utility lines from our team at Alpharetta’s most reliable tree services.

Trees on Public Property

Trees standing on public property include those on the roadsides, in parks, on town squares, and on grounds of public buildings. If such trees are near an overhead electric utility, they pose a potential threat to the public.

If you see trees on public property that are exposed to electrical lines, be sure to let the local authorities know. You can report the issue to the City of Alpharetta at 678-297-6229, and if it’s an emergency situation, just dial 911.

Trees on Private Property

If a tree on your own property poses the risk of contact with the power line, immediate action is essential. You would not want to have a live wire connecting to a tree in your front or back yard for safety reasons.

If you have a tree near an electric utility line, the best approach is to seek a reliable tree service to examine the risk. Such tree work is delicate, and the power line’s proximity determines the ease of solving the issue.

Tree size is also a significant factor to consider before pruning, trimming, or removal. Therefore, you should contact the City of Alpharetta Arborist at 678-297-6229 or email them at Also, you can request a service interruption from the local power company if necessary.

Possible Outcomes When a Tree Branch Touches a Live Wire

If a tree branch touches a live wire, the following catastrophic outcomes are likely to happen.


When in contact with a power line, the entire tree becomes energized. Some tree species are more flammable than others. The U.S. Department of Agriculture names these tree species as among the most flammable in the Southeastern U.S.:

  • Longleaf pine
  • Loblolly pine
  • Pond pine
  • Shortleaf pine  
  • White oak
  • Turkey oak

Do not attempt to put out the fire if such an incident happens. Since the tree is energized, an attempt to put out the fire using a garden hose directs the charge to the water source, risking your personal safety. Instead, move out of the area and contact the city’s 911 emergency services immediately.

Electric Shock/Electrocution

Tree sap circulates electric charge around the tree, posing a risk to anyone who comes into contact with it. If you witness a person or animal in contact with an energized tree, avoid touching them since you may put yourself in harm’s way in the process. Contact the 911 emergency services as they have the proper facilities to help the individual or animal.

Why Flat-Topping Is Not Recommended

Flat-topping may seem like an excellent option to prune trees near power lines. However, tree services use arboriculture practices to allow easy tree and wire co-existence.

The flat-topping practice aims to take out much of the tree’s foliage, but doing so creates vigorous new shoots and affects the tree’s health. The results are also not aesthetically appealing.

How to Prevent Trees From Interfering with Electric Utility Lines

Mature trees can damage both overhead and underground electric lines. However, you can take the responsibility to avoid such occurrences. When planting a tree, consider its ability to grow and reach the power line’s height. Also, think about the possibility of contact with the power line in case it falls. Lastly, consider underground electric lines, as the tree roots might compromise their effectiveness.

Choose a Reliable Tree Service in Alpharetta, GA: SoutheastTree

Pruning trees near electric utility lines is crucial for everyone’s safety. However, tree-cutting work is delicate and needs extreme caution, so you need to leave it to a licensed arborist service.

At SoutheastTree, we are an International Society of Arboriculture-certified company ready to help with your pruning or tree removal project. Contact us today at (770) 977-8733 (TREE) or (678) 631-7382 to book our services.


SoutheastTree is one of the best, top rated full-service tree removal companies serving the Atlanta, GA area. Our team of trained arborists are experts in the art and science of removing trees.

Contact Us

4710 Lower Roswell Rd. Suite 100
Marietta, GA 30068

Phone : 770-977-8733 (TREE)

24/7 Emergency Tree Removal:
(678) 631-7382

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