Every time a storm causes widespread power outages, there arises a hue and cry against the power companies, a call for investigations and the suggestion that the distribution system be buried…

Why are we condemned to this recurring experience? Do we lack understanding how severe weather interrupts electric service? No. We know that whether it’s a wind or ice storm, the primary cause of service interruptions is large branches and/or trees falling onto electrical equipment, breaking the continuity of the circuit or causing phase faults….

If we are to avoid storm damage to the electric system, we need to decrease the exposure of power lines to trees.

This article takes a serious look at how to decrease the damage caused by trees, seeks to expose the myths associated with undergrounding and the merits of increased pruning, and compares the costs to the cost of undergrounding...