Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place is your Key to a Safe Arbor Month

Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place is your Key to a Safe Arbor Month

With trees, beauty is more than branch deep. Trees help clean the air, prevent erosion and conserve watersheds. They can add shade, greenery, fresh fruit or flowers – even value to your property. When branches or roots touch overhead or underground electric equipment, however, it can cause problems with safety and reliability.

Pair the right tree in the right place. By knowing how trees grow, and where to plant them, you can help prevent electric shock hazards, power outages and fires. You’ll find five types of trees that are popular locally and compatible with overhead power lines in SDG&E’s Tree Care for Power Safety brochure at Browse SDG&E’s tree planting selection guide to learn more about trees you’re considering.

Know what’s below. Before you break ground, contact DigAlert at 811 or DigAlert’s free service will locate and mark underground utility-owned gas lines so you can avoid dangerous and costly damage.

Never prune trees near electric equipment. It can cause severe shock or death if you touch an electric line or any object that’s in contact with an electric line. State law requires any tree pruning within 10 feet of power lines must be done by a line clearance-qualified arborist. 

Report concerns. Call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343 to request an inspection if you’re concerned about vegetation growing close to a power line or transformer. If a tree poses a hazard, SDG&E will prune it on a priority basis. For regularly scheduled vegetation management work in your area, visit