In recognition of California Arbor Day on March 7, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds customers to plant the “right tree, in the right place.” Even trees that are small when planted may grow to heights that can interfere with overhead distribution power lines and planting any type of tree near larger, higher-voltage transmission power lines should be avoided all together. Calling 811 before digging will also help customers plant trees in a location where roots won’t interfere with underground electric and gas lines.
There are many benefits to planting trees: they keep homes cool by providing shade, enhance property values and clean the air. However, if the right tree is not planted in the right place, it can potentially damage electric and gas lines, causing power outages, gas leaks and other serious public safety concerns. In fact, more than 90 percent of tree-caused power outages come from healthy trees and branches that fall or grow into power lines.
During this traditional tree planter’s holiday, PG&E offers the following tips for planting the right tree in the right place, especially if you are planting trees near distribution power lines:
Only plant a tree near distribution power lines if it will grow to less than 25 feet at maturity. (This information is available at your local nursery)
Avoid planting any type of tree near larger and higher voltage transmission power lines, only use low-growing plants.
Whenever homeowners or contractors are grading, installing sprinklers or planting a tree, PG&E urges them to call 811 at least two days before starting a project, to have underground gas and electric lines marked. For more information about USA visit www.call811.com.
Keep all trees, equipment and people at least 10 feet away from power lines.
Notify PG&E if a tree grows closer than 10 feet to a power line by calling 1-800-743-5000.
Each spring, PG&E participates in hundreds of community events including Arbor Day festivals and elementary school tree plantings where it encourages the planting of low-growing trees that won’t interfere with power lines. PG&E’s ongoing work to educate its customers about planting the “right tree in the right place” has been recognized by the National Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Line USA award-winning utility for the past 18 years in a row.
For a free copy of PG&E’s “A Selection and Planting Guide to Small Trees Near Distribution Lines,” email a request to: RightTreeRightPlace@pge.com and select one of the three climate zones within our service area: Northern California, Central California and Bay Area/Inland. ■