KEEN gardeners are being encouraged to plan ahead when planting near powerlines.
It comes as people take advantage of warm spring weather to plant near overhead and underground cables, Powercor head of vegetation management Hugh Vickers-Willis said.
"Powerlines and trees, when they are too close together, can cause safety risks such as fires, blackouts and power surges," he said.
Mr Vickers-Willis encouraged gardeners to understand what species they planted and how big trees could grow.
Powercor operates and manages more than 85,000 kilometres of powerlines and over 570,000 power poles across Victoria's central and western regions.
The electricity distributor has specialist year-round program to cut trees back from powerlines and ensure they're a safe distance away, Mr Vickers-Willis said.
Powercor's planting for gardens this spring:
- Height: Choose plants and shrubs that will grow to less than three and half metres if they are being planted near powerlines. Plant low growing species nearest to, or under power lines and tall growing trees further away
- Distance: Make sure plants are placed far enough away from the powerlines so if they do blow over, they won't hit the wires
- . Width: Be mindful of the width of the plant - allow at least three metres between the powerline and the widest part of the plant
- Roots: Tree roots can damage underground cables and cause power outages. Do not plant trees within two and a half meters of underground cables
- Equipment: Do not use metal stakes or gardening tools near underground cables - they can become live and present a risk of electrocution
- Location: Know where overhead or underground power cables are located. Do not plant trees within two and a half metre underground cables. Contact Dial Before You Dig (www.1100.com.au/1100) to find out where underground assets are located
- For more information, visit the Powercor website for more tips on planting near powerlines
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