Maintaining trees and hedges on your property

In recent years there have been a number of incidents involving landowners and private tree cutters where overhead power lines have been accidentally damaged, putting those involved at risk of electric shock.

Anyone making contact with, or coming close to live overhead power lines and associated equipment, can risk serious injury or death. 

Safety guidelines

If you are planning to carry out any tree or hedge cutting, please make sure to follow this important safety advice:

  • Do not cut trees or hedges which are directly below live overhead power lines and associated equipment if they are within 5 metres (16 ft 4 inches) of the power lines and associated electricity equipment.
  • Do not cut down trees which are within two times the length of the tree, or less, on either side of live overhead power lines and equipment.
  • Plan ahead - If you are unsure about how close your cutting work will come to overhead power lines, contact NIE Networks for advice. If cutting is within 10m of our equipment or has any potential to come within 10m of our equipment during your work, we may need to have our equipment made safe before your work starts. This will be free of charge provided;
    • Adequate notice is given
    • Traffic control is not required
    • Your work is planned for normal working hours (9:00 to 16:30)
  • It is not safe to complete tree or hedge cutting in close proximity to the overhead power line without first contacting NIE Networks on 03457 643 643.

Look up and look out

View our short safety video on the dangers of cutting trees close to overhead lines.


Further HSE safety guidelines

For further information on tree cutting safety, follow the links below [links open in a new window]:

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