Tree Trimming Safety Information

Please remember to call your local electric utilities before attempting to trim any trees near high voltage power lines.  When in doubt, call your local utilities. 

Click Here for a brochure explaining our shared vegetation responsibilities.

Electric utility companies trim and remove trees near high voltage power lines
for Public Safety, Fire Prevention, and Electric Reliability

  • To prevent injury to people climbing or working in or around trees adjacent to power lines.
  • Any portion of a tree in contact with high voltage power lines can start wild fires.
  • To reduce electric outages because one of the largest contributors to power outages in California are trees.
  • It’s the LAW.  State law requires utility companies to maintain specific clearances (depending on voltage running through the line) between electric power lines and all vegetation. Scroll down to the bottom for more details.  

What can you do to help limit vegetation safety hazards?

Work together with local utilities when approached with a reasonable request to trim trees in your area.  Keep in mind that a failure to allow a utility company to comply with State laws can result in liability to the landowner for damages or injuries resulting from a vegetation hazard. Many insurance companies do not cover these types of damage if the policy owner refused to allow elimination of hazards.

You can also help prevent electric outages, fire, and public safety hazards by following these simple steps:  

  • Clearing all flammable vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around your home and other structures provides the greatest chance for survival and is also required by law. (California Public Resource Code, Section 4291)
  • Plant the right tree in the right place. If you must plant trees near power lines, make sure the maximum mature tree height is ten (10) feet away from the closest power line.
  • Plant fire resistant plants.
  • Do not climb trees and prevent children from climbing trees near power lines.
  • Do not prune trees near electric lines. Call your local electric utility company first to inspect the trees. In many instances, the utility may perform the tree work at no cost to the homeowner.
  • Inspect the trees on your property annually for hazards. For expert advice on tree health or hazards, consult an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist.

Contact Us

You can make a difference by acting on this information. If you are interested in knowing more, call the CPUC, CDF, or your local utility. We are here to help!


Additional Information

Laws Governing Vegetation Management:

  • California Public Resource Code Sections

    • 4293: Power Line Clearance Required
    • 4292: Power Line Hazard Reduction
    • 4291: Reduction of Fire Hazards Around Buildings
    • 4171: Public Nuisances
     
  • California Code of Regulations, Title 14: Minimum Clearance Provisions, Sections 1250 - 1258
  • General Industry Safety Orders, Title 8: Group 3: Articles 12, 13, 36, 37,38
  • California Penal Code Section 385
  • California Public Utilities Commission, General Order 95: Rule 35