If you've ever seen a tree that was trimmed in a completely ludicrous way so that the branches didn't interfere with power lines, you may have wondered why on Earth it had to be trimmed like that instead of being cut into a better shape. Those odd wedges and missing sections you see are the results of a property owner not taking care to make sure the tree didn't interfere with the lines. At that point, the utility company takes over, and if you care about your trees and yard at all, you'll take care of the tree trimming first, before the utility company can get to it.
If You Don't, the Utility Company Will
The utility company can't let the tree branches interfere with the power lines because that could result in fire, along with a power outage. If the company can't find the property owner whose land the tree is on, or if the property owner simply won't trim the tree, the utility company will take over. They will hire an arborist who is certified to cut trees near power lines (you really do need special training for that), but the arborist will be tasked only with creating clearance around the lines. The health of the tree and the way the trimmed tree looks are not concerns for that arborist.
In the past, there have been attempts to pass laws to force arborists hired by utility companies to take the tree's health and appearance into account, but those have not been widespread — if you have a tree growing into power lines, and the utility company tells you to trim the tree, you should assume any arborist the utility company hires will only clear the area around the power lines. If you want to keep that tree looking reasonably good, you need to hire an arborist yourself so you can direct them to take tree health into consideration.
The Utility Company Might Not Know About It Yet (but That Tree Still Grows)
Another reason to trim that tree now instead of waiting for the utility company to say something is that they may simply not know about the tree yet. And that tree is going to keep growing (or the branches will, even if the tree is at its maximum height), which means it will only interfere more and more with the power lines. Don't wait; if you know the tree branches will be a problem, get them trimmed now.
Once the Utility Company Takes Over, They Can Take the Tree Out
If the utility company takes over managing the tree trimming because you wouldn't, be aware that the company can actually remove the whole tree. That will leave you with a stump to deal with, so you're not really saving yourself any work by leaving the tree to the utility company.
If you have a tree on your property that is interfering with power lines, be proactive and arrange for trimming yourself. You'll need to contact an arborist or tree service that is certified for working around power lines, but you'll be able to have them trim the tree in a way that leaves the tree looking good.
For more information, contact a local tree trimming company in your area like Git-R-Down Tree Service LLC.