Keeping you, and our network safe is a big part of our role in the community. Our approach to the rules are governed by the Electricity (Hazards from Trees) Regulations 2003.
The Minimum Approach Distance is 4 metres from power lines.
To trim a tree growing within 4 metres of a power line, by law, only qualified utility arborists are permitted to undertake this work.
If all parts of the tree are more than 4 metres away from overhead lines, you can safely trim the tree yourself or hire an arborist to trim the tree for you.
If any part of the tree is within 4 metres of the line or you have received a cut or trim notice from WEL Networks, you must engage the services of a professional arborist who is authorised to work near power lines. This is to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
We offer a free safety disconnection for your service line for your own safety and the safety of our community. Cut the power before you cut trees – book in your free safety disconnection now. Call 0800 800 935 for more information.
Electricity distributors have clear responsibilities for safety and power supply reliability. If a tree poses an immediate threat to safety or to the reliability of power supply, WEL Networks may trim the tree without asking in accordance with Section 14 of the tree regulations.
If a cut or trim notice has been previously issued, the tree owner is liable for the direct costs of the work.
Landowners are legally obliged under the regulations to keep trees on their property from encroaching on the notice zone of a power line. If WEL Networks becomes aware of a tree encroaching on the Growth Limit Zone you will be issued with one of two notices:
A first cut or trim notice may be issued when the following criteria is met and will result in WEL Networks providing a cut at no cost if:
- Our records show the tree has not received a previous cut or trim at WEL Networks expense
- The tree owner grants access to the site
- The tree has not been subject to a prior agreement
The tree owner is responsible for and liable for the costs of any future maintenance of the tree to ensure it does not encroach on a Growth Limit Zone or Notice Zone.
A cut or trim notice will be issued when the tree has previously received a free first cut or trim and the tree is within the growth limit zone of the conductor. Under legislation, the tree owner will be charged if WEL Networks is required to cut or trim the tree back to the notification zone.
Once you've received a first cut or trim notice or a cut or trim notice, please complete a tree trimming consent form. The notice outlines the options available to you as the property owner.
If you receive a 'cut or trim' notice, under the regulations, doing nothing is not an option. A tree owner commits an offence when, if given a hazard notice to trim or fell a tree and without reasonable excuse, fails to take any action to have the hazard removed. If you ignore a notification requiring you to trim or cut a dangerous tree, or you don’t advise WEL of the time and location of the cutting or trimming of the tree, you may be fined up to $10,000.