When a tree falls on a power line it’s a potential hazard. It’s natural to expect the utility company to come out and cut the tree off the line. That’s just what one Oncor/ AT&T customer expected. The story, however, took a much different road.

During a storm, a large oak tree fell across the utility lines behind one man’s house. It busted 2 power lines and stopped on the high tension steel cables that were attached about half way up the pole. Oncor (the electric company) came out and restrung the electric lines above the tree.

He trimmed back the tree to within a foot of the cables, leaving a 30-foot trunk sticking out of the ground and leaning on the cables at about a 15 degree angle. He then asked that the lines be untangled from the tree so that he (not Oncor or AT&T) could cut the tree down and remove it, thus eliminating the hazard altogether.

Oncor said it wasn’t their problem. So did AT&T. AT&T did send a service repair man out to look at the situation. The repairman informed the man that he should cut the tree himself and allow the lines to snap back into place. According to one lineman, however, doing so could cause the steel lines to snap against the electric lines and break them and could even cause the poles to snap, never mind launching the cut piece of tree to who-knows-where.

The city inspector is now involved. He also said this man shouldn’t cut the tree off the line himself and is helping the man straighten things out between Oncor and AT&T. This is definitely one time when cutting a tree down can truly be a hazard to one’s health.