Tag Archives: electricity

What happens if you plant the wrong tree in the wrong place? It could become a big problem!

Plant Smart is a vegetation management partnership with Greening Australia and Ergon Energy providing basic tree planting guidelines for around powerlines and other potential problematic structures.

Trees enhance our homes and provide shade and privacy. However, trees making contact with powerlines can disrupt power supply, bring down lines and cause fires, especially in storms and high winds. To help prevent this happening and to ensure the safety and reliability of power supply, it pays to Plant Smart. As a program, Plant Smart educates the community about planting appropriate trees under and around powerlines and other structures.

Always plant smart near powerlines. Before planting trees, consider how high and wide they will grow, and if planting near powerlines, choose lower growing species. Nurseries and plant suppliers will be able to recommend appropriate species of shrubs and trees to choose from. A council list of recommended powerline friendly trees is available to download from www.ergon.com.au

Before you plant:

  1. Check with your council for local planting guidelines, especially if planting on a council footpath or verge.
  2. Consider the location of overhead and underground services, including your phone/internet line into your home. Always phone 'Dial before you dig' on 1100 to request information on underground cables on, near or over your property.
  3. Consider carefully which type of tree you should plant. Choose a powerline friendly tree that will grow less than 4 metres high.
  4. Plan where you are going to plant - refer to the diagram provided by Greening Australia and Ergon Energy for general planting instructions.

When planting trees, you need to consider the following:

  • Plants and trees must be at least 3 metres from energy poles
  • Shrubs and small trees must be planted 1 metre inside kerbsides where council footpaths are minimum 4 metres wide
  • Allow for at least a 2 metre gap between service wires to your house and the heights of mature trees

It is recommended to check with your council's policy for street planting, as they may differ from suburb to suburb, city to city, or from recommended guidelines. Residents wishing to plant trees on council controlled land usually need to obtain written permission.

For more information:

Search for 'Plant Smart' on www.ergon.com.au for participating nurseries and your local council info.

Contact www.greeningaustralia.org.au or email plantsmart@greeningaustralia.org.au for more info.


Summer storms are as Aussie as meat pies and blow flies, and they are upon us again, nation wide. Along with our usual summer storms, most of Australia is now also experiencing some kind of extreme weather changes. Most of Qld and a lot of Victoria are on the tail end of massive floods. Some states have had bushfires, not helped by the rise in temperatures recently. Perth was recently threatened by a cyclone, and as I type this, north Qld braces for a massive category 5 cyclone, stronger than Australia has experienced before.

This is an important time for all Aussies across Australia to prepare for adverse weather conditions to avoid and minimize danger and damage to homes and businesses. Please read and follow the info and advice below.

Before storms and natural disasters:

  • Have an emergency kit ready with a torch, battery-operated radio, spare batteries, first-aid kit, waterproof bags, important documents, bottled of fresh water and possibly some waterproof food supplies.
  • Clear your gutters and drainpipes of leaf litter and debris.
  • Trim overhanging tree branches. NEVER attempt to trim trees near powerlines.
  • Put away and secure loose items such as outdoor furniture, tools and toys.
  • Move vehicles under cover and away from trees.
  • Have access to a phone that doesn’t require mains electricity.
  • Secure and protect your pets inside and preferably with you or a family member.
  • Always follow the directions of professional rescue and other services.
  • Find out support info and advice specific to your street, suburb, town, city, state or particular emergency.

During and after storms and natural disasters:

  • Seek shelter indoors. NEVER under trees.
  • Secure pets indoors.
  • If power is out, turn off and unplug all electrical items.
  • Listen to your battery-powered radio for info, advice and updates.
  • Do not use wet or damp electrical items for any reason.
  • Stay away from fallen powerlines, trees and potential falling things.
  • Always follow the directions of professional rescue and other services.
  • Find out support info and advice specific to your street, suburb, town, city, state or particular emergency.

Recovery efforts:

  • If your home or business was affected by flood or water, always have an electrician check before turning your power back on.
  • Keep some canned food and fresh bottled water in your home or business.
  • Donate canned food to recommended centres for families and animals affected by disasters.
  • Register with recommended organizations if you need help or rescue.
  • Register with recommended organizations to help those in need.
  • Register with recommended organization to help or foster pets and animals affected by disasters. DO NOT handle wildlife, but do contact appropriate services for rescue and recovery.
  • If you still have sandbags, HANG ON TO THEM, as storms and disasters may not be over.
  • Visit www.brisbane.qld.gov.au or free call 07 3403 8888 for fact sheets on floods and natural disasters.