hylton trees worst poles

Cross bars ugly and unnecessary

Utility poles usually carry three or four sets of wires.  The highest wires are “primary” wires carrying thousands of volts of electricity.  Tree limbs must be trimmed to avoid contact with these wires.  Below the primary wires are cylindrical “transformers” which reduce the voltage to  “secondary” electric wires, below, which provide electric service directly to buildings along the route.  PECO will not trim branches for secondary lines, which usually carry 240 volts of electricity, unless they are located under primary wires.  Below the electric lines, the two wires closest to the ground provide electric and cable service.  These lines rarely need any clearance from tree branches.The worst utility poles are those with crossbars forming a "T". These poles need an enormous amount of clearance. Crossbars are not needed and should be eliminated. There is a better alternative.


Short trees diminish aesthetics and reduce environmental benefit

E lectric companies promote the planting of very low growing trees like these Kwanson cherries under their wires.  However, low-growing trees provide much less shade, storm water absorption, and other environmental benefit than large canopy trees.  Also, short trees do nothing to mitigate the visual blight created by long line of poles and wires.


Utilities routinely butcher trees under their wires

If a tree potentially grows high enough to reach its wires, electric companies trims tree branches a set distance away from their wires, depending on the species of tree and the voltage running through the wires.  Above, the linden trees on the left have been given a “flat top” cut more than 15 feet below the closest energized lines.  Note the contrast with the appearance of the uncut linden trees on the right side of the street.


Crossbars require hollowed out tree

A plane tree has been hollowed out to provide clearance for widely separated energized wires running from a crossarm perpendicular to the utility poles.  Far less clearance would have been needed if PECO had used a tree-friendly “bundled wire” system.

Here are "tree-friendly" power lines: