How the Process Works

Tree owners have a legal and financial responsibility for maintaining their trees so they do not interfere with power lines. You should inspect your trees regularly and advise Top Energy of any tree or vegetation that is growing into the Growth Limit Zone. Top Energy, or its nominated contractor, will then usually visit to assess, discuss and agree with you an appropriate course of action. Top Energy conducts regular inspections of its lines and also responds to reports from the public of trees endangering the power lines. When Top Energy identifies problem trees, it follows a process defined in the Regulations which requires the issue of a formal legal notice to the tree owner. The notice informs the tree owner of the situation that has been identified and the action required within the stated time period.

This flowchart summarises the process

Where Top Energy identifies that a tree or vegetation on private property is encroaching into the Notice Zone, the company will issue a written Hazard Warning Notice to the tree owner. A Hazard Warning Notice warns the owner that a tree is encroaching the Notice Zone and must not be allowed to encroach the Growth Limit Zone. If the vegetation has already entered the Growth Limit Zone, a written Cut or Trim Notice will be issued. A tree owner who receives a Cut or Trim Notice must take action, within 45 working days, to ensure the tree is cut or trimmed so as not to encroach the Growth Limit Zone or Notice Zone. Except if the tree owner received a Cut or Trim Notice within 3 months of receiving a Hazard Warning Notice for the same tree, then the owner has 10 working days if the tree is able to grow at least 1 metre per month or otherwise 25 working days. On receiving a Cut or Trim Notice your options are:

  1. Contact Top Energy to arrange for the work to be undertaken. This may include a first cut or trim at no charge.
  2. Arrange for your own competent contractor to perform the work (we recommend you do not attempt the work yourself). You must inform Top Energy if this is your intention.
  3. Declare No-Interest in the tree (only available if wild-sown or other specific criteria are met). In this case, Top Energy will determine, then take appropriate remedial action.
  4. Request dispensation for a reduced Growth Limit Zone (granted in exceptional circumstances only).

If you ignore the Cut or Trim Notice and fail to have your trees cut or trimmed, you will be committing an offence and may be liable to a fine. You will also be liable to Top Energy for any costs of damage arising (directly or indirectly). If you decide to employ your own contractor, or do the work yourself, the Regulations require tree owners to give Top Energy at least 3 working days notice and provide information regarding the time and location of the work, before a tree that has been the subject of a Cut or Trim Notice is cut or trimmed. Safety_Danger2 Growth Limit and Cut or Trim Notice Zones for power line spans of 150 metres or less: Safety_Chart1 Growth Limit and Cut or Trim Notice Zones for power line spans exceeding 150 metres: Safety_Chart2