Kids, Trees, and Power Lines
Here are the top 10 tips for staying safe around trees and power lines.
1. Never climb in or play in trees that are growing next to power lines.
2. Never touch a power line with your hand or with any other object.
3. Don't build a tree house or anything else in a tree that is next to power lines.
4. Never climb power poles or steel towers that have electric wires attached to them.
5. Fly kites in open areas, far from overhead power lines.
6. Tell an adult if you see trees growing close to high-voltage power lines or contacting these lines.
7. If you see a fallen power line, stay away and tell an adult immediately. Even if they are not sparking or humming, fallen lines can kill you if you touch them or the ground nearby.
8. Never trim a tree next to a high-voltage power line. Certified professional tree trimmers are the only ones allowed to trim trees near high-voltage lines.
9. Plant trees that will not grow tall or wide enough to contact nearby power lines.
10. Before planting a tree, call 1-800-227-2600 to make sure you won't contact underground power lines.
Click here for more coloring activities.
This is a glossary of words that relate to electricity and trees.
Amperage, amps A measurement of the amount of electric current.
Atom The smallest unit of matter. Scientists so far have found 112 different kinds of atoms. Everything in the world is made of different combinations of these atoms.
Bark The outer covering of a tree that protects it from bad weather, fire, insects, and fungi.
Cambium A thin layer of cells inside a tree that produce phloem on one side and sapwood on the other.
Circuit A closed loop of conductors that allows current to flow from a power source and back.
Conductor Something that allows electricity to flow through it easily. Water and most metals are good conductors. The reason conductors allow electricity to flow through them is because the electrons in their atoms move between atoms very easily.
Current The movement or flow of electricity.
Dendochronology The science of tree rings.
Distribution lines Power lines that carry electricity through neighborhoods to homes and businesses. Distribution lines can run overhead or underground.
Electricity The flow of electrons.
Electron The basic particle that orbits the nucleus of an atom. The flow of electrons produces electricity.
Energy The ability to do work. People get energy from food. Your toaster and your washing machine get their energy from electricity.
Environment Everything that surrounds and affects living beings.
Generator A machine that converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
Heartwood Old cells inside a tree that give it strength.
Insulator Something that does not allow electricity to flow through it easily. Glass and special rubber are good insulators. The reason insulators do not allow electricity to flow through them easily is because the electrons in their atoms do not move from atom to atom very easily.
Phloem The inner bark of a tree that moves sap down from the leaves to all the parts of a tree.
Photosynthesis The process by which trees and green plants capture the sun's energy and turn it into glucose, the fuel the tree or plant needs to grow. In the process, carbon dioxide is absorbed from the air and oxygen is given off.
Pith The central core of a tree.
Power plant A place where electricity is generated.
Power line A wire used to carry electricity. Power lines are located high overhead or buried underground.
Sapwood The younger wood of a tree through which the raw sap rises from the roots to the leaves.
Service drop The wire that carries electricity from a power pole to a building.
Substation A facility where transformers lower electricity's voltage.
Transformer A device used to increase or decrease electricity's voltage.
Transmission lines Power lines that carry high-voltage electricity long distances.
Underground lines Power lines that are buried beneath the ground.
Utility A company or other organization that provides a public service, such as supplying electricity, natural gas, or water.
Voltage, volts A measure of the pressure under which electricity flows.
Wattage, watts A measure of the amount of work done by a certain amount or amperage of electric current at a certain pressure or voltage.
Xylem The part of a tree that carries water from the roots up to the leaves and forms the wood of the tree.