PG&E Encourages Safe Planting During California Arbor Week and Beyond

San Francisco, Calif.—To kick off the celebration of California Arbor Week, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds customers of the importance of planting power-line friendly trees.

When the right tree is planted in the right place the benefits are many, including keeping homes cool by providing shade, enhancing property values and cleaning the air. If the right tree is not planted in the right place, however, it is subject to removal and it can cause public safety issues and power outages.

“Safety around power lines is always important, especially when it comes to planting trees. Both above and below the ground there are hazards to avoid. Trees that are small when planted may grow to heights that can interfere with overhead power lines requiring pruning or removal and can lead to outages. Arbor Day is the perfect opportunity for residents to learn about safe tree planting and the various tree options that provide all the scenic and quality-of-life benefits while avoiding power lines and other utilities,” said Becky Johnson, senior manager of PG&E’s Vegetation Management.

Trees need space to grow both above and below ground. Planting the right tree in the right place will promote fire safety, reduce power outages and ensure beauty and pleasure for years to come. In keeping with the spirit of California’s Arbor Week, PG&E would like to offer the following tips to ensure that the right tree is safely planted in the right place. If you are planting trees near power lines please:

• Visit to learn about up-to-date planting guidelines near power lines.
• When planting new trees near power lines outside of High Fire Threat Districts, leave space for it to remain at least 10 feet clear of all power lines throughout its lifespan, including crown expansion and ensure it is no taller than 25 feet at maturity.
• In High Fire Threat Districts plant only low-growing, fire resistant shrubs near power lines. This can extend the defensible space around your property. For more information regarding defensible space visit
• When planting near transmission power lines, only use low-growing plants.
• Call 8-1-1 at least two days before planting trees or landscaping to have underground power lines and other utilities marked.
• Keep all trees, people and equipment at least 10 feet away from high-voltage electric power lines. Performing any work near power lines can be dangerous.

California’s Arbor Day is celebrated on March 7, in honor of famed horticulturist Luther Burbank’s birthday – and because this date is typically ideal for planting trees in most areas of the state. In 2011, the California Legislature designated the week of March 7 to March 14 of each year as California Arbor Week, and to urge California residents to observe the week with appropriate tree planting activities and programs.

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