Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Power Lines & Your Trees: 5 Ways To Protect Your Property Value!

NAPA, CA: Sidewalk tree shows a butchering by PG&E
We know that power companies have a job to do, not only in supplying power but also in protecting the public from dangerous wires. Why is it, though, that these power companies, despite years of regular practice, seems to continuously get more careless with the lives of the trees they prune? 

Forget for a minute that some of these trees are older than our grandmothers. As the picture to the right shows, power companies like PG&E here in Northern California appear to be concerned with only one thing: Keep those pesky trees out of the way of our important power lines!

The Napa Valley Register recently published an article about the controversy of this practice. And Northern California isn't unique in this way! The arborists here at Signature Tree Service have seen some pretty unappetizing pictures of power company tree slaughterings all over the U.S. and Europe. Perhaps this is happening in your town? Comment and let us know! 

In order to empower you (and the trees!) as best we can, Signature Tree Service has developed a short list of 5 ways to protect your property and its value from power company butcherings.

1.  Plant Wisely. This is probably the single-most important thing you can do if you are designing your own landscape. Even though many people are drawn to taller trees around the perimeter of their property, small to medium trees are much more appropriate under power lines. Don’t forget to look up, and to think ahead 10 years when you are planning!

2.  Proactive Care. Maybe you don’t have control over the design of your current landscape (many of us are in this boat), in which case you will want to beat the power company to the punch. Hire a certified aborist to help you maintain your trees. An arborist can also assess the overall health of your trees and advise you about where to plant or transplant different types of trees.

3.  Easy On The DIY. Since trees are living creatures, the importance of a professional hand is crucial to preserving the tree’s life and your property’s value. Chopping a tree at the top (called “topping”), for instance, can remove 50 to 100 percent of a tree’s leaf-bearing crown, which is how the tree generates “food” for itself. Improper tree care can open doors for disease, decay and death. Your trees are an investment and HOLD VALUE for your home. They can increase property value when properly maintained. (The other obvious factor here is safety of doing it yourself and/or liability in hiring a handyman to do this job.)

4.  Evaluate & Transplant, if needed. Consider your current landscape. How do you expect it to grow in the next 10 or 20 years? A Sycamore tree can reach 20 feet tall in 20 years! They provide great shade…until the power company gets a hold of them. If you have a situation where you think a healthy tree may pose a future problem, consider having it moved to a different area in order to preserve property value, shade and tree life.

5.  Research & Communicate. Contact your power company or check out their website (PG&E offers info here). They can advise you as to their regulations and protocol, which will give you a head start on any pruning action they are planning to take in your area.

We love trees! We hope this blog article has been interesting and/or useful for you. Signature Tree Service strives hard to provide the best professional tree service in Northern California. Curtis Fosnaugh, CEO, is a reputable Certified Arborist and Certified Tree Risk Assessor. Signature Tree Service has proudly served Northern California for over 10 years with offices in St. Helena, Benicia, Vacaville and Santa Rosa.

Call us if your trees need work! We are here to help, 24/7.