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Electric line strike - damage?
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<Dan Quickert>
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I have been looking for information on the types of symptomatic damage that may result from electric lines contacting trees.

I have a case where an electric line came down on a pine tree; part of the line also arced to ground near the base of the tree (and some went through a trailer, setting its wheels on fire).

I was called in a couple months after the incident. The tree seemed a bit thin in parts but I saw no obvious burned areas (viewed from the ground), and inspection of the rootcrown turned up nothing. There was some evidence of insect activity (borers) but not to any great extent. The thin canopy could possibly have resulted from heat from the trailer fire (though that was not apparent).

Since there were no overt signs of electrical damage, my best take on it was "wait and see" - if the thin canopy was mild damage from the heat, and the tree was not otherwise injured, then it should recover. Does anyone have alternative suggestions?
 
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RCA #354
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Wait and see is probably the best course for now. Give the tree until the middle of the growing season to see how it will react. Unless it was a very high powered transmission line, the charge the tree got is probably not enough to seriously damage it. The heat damage is more likely a concern, as you suggest.

If the tree looks good in a few months, standard cultural care is the way to go.


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Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
 
Posts: 287 | Location: Bear, DE USA | Registered: Wednesday June 18, 2003Report This Post
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