January 20, 2021
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PG&E encourages safe planting during California Arbor Week and beyond

March 20, 2020

To kick off the celebration of California Arbor Week (March 7-14), 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 and too near power lines, 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. There are hazards to avoid both above and below the ground. Trees that are small when planted may grow to heights that can interfere with overhead power lines and lead to outages. They will require pruning or even removal. California Arbor Week 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 Joe Horak, Senior Manager for PG&E’s Sonoma Division.

PG&E offers free downloadable planting guides specific to different regions across its service area, including high fire-threat areas. These guides offer information on what to do before planting, how to plant and care for a tree, characteristics of recommended small trees and more. 

If you are planting trees near power lines please:


Visit to learn about up-to-date planting guidelines near power lines and download a free guide for planting in your area. 

When planting a new tree 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

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.