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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Offers National Arbor Day Tree Planting Tips

Release Date: April 25, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO-National Arbor Day is Friday, April 25, and just in time for weekend celebrations, Pacific Gas and Electric Company offers tips and suggestions to help everyone plant the “right tree in the right place.”

PG&E’s award winning Vegetation Management Program prunes or removes approximately two million trees around power lines to deliver safe and reliable electricity to its 5.2 million electric customers. Customers can help enhance public safety, reduce the potential for electrical outages and lower pruning costs by planting the right tree in the right place.

Whether you’re a property owner, community group or developer, PG&E urges you to plant trees that will stay clear of overhead high voltage power lines. Tall-growing trees should be planted at least 20 feet away from power lines, and 50 feet is better to avoid the need for future pruning. PG&E prefers that no trees are ever planted directly under high-voltage power lines but if one must be planted, select a species that will not grow higher than 25 feet.

“By planting only compatible trees and shrubs under or near energized facilities, customers can help us prevent future vegetation-related power outages and increase our electric reliability,” says Steve Tankersley, manager of vegetation management. “National Arbor Day is the perfect opportunity for residents to learn about various tree options that provide all the scenic and quality-of-life benefits while avoiding electric power lines.”

Local nurseries are a good source of information on appropriate trees for planting near power lines. Species that grow to a mature height of less than 20 feet include:

  • Eastern redbud (Cercis Canadensis)
  • Crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica)
  • Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
  • Smooth sumac (Rhus glabra)


  • Trees and power lines can coexist in our communities—Select the right tree for the right place.
  • Know what’s below. Call Underground Service Alert (USA) at 811 before digging planting holes to avoid underground utilities such as gas, electricity, water and communication lines that may be located there.

Additional information on planting trees and power-line friendly trees can be found at the following web sites:

About Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.

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