Transmission lines transport high-voltage electricity and typically serve entire cities and towns. Transmission lines are usually located on large metal towers up to 180 feet tall and sometimes on wood poles. We maintain year-round-tree clearances around transmission lines to reduce the likelihood of power outages across large areas. Only low-growing shrubs are permitted underneath and between the wires on the power line, and trees along the border of the strip of land on either side of the transmission line must be no taller than 10 feet at maturity.
Our work near transmission lines includes:
Notifications: Our tree safety inspectors mark trees that require pruning with paint using a dot at the base of the tree. They also look for trees that present a safety hazard and must be removed. Typically, these trees are marked with an “X”. Numbers on the tree indicate the diameter.
Tree work: Our certified tree contractors typically return within 4 to 6 weeks of the inspections to prude and remove marked trees and brush.
Wood debris: When work is complete, wood greater than 4 inches in diameter is left onsite generally in 4- to 6-foot lengths. Limbs and wood less than 4 inches in diameter are chipped or lopped and scattered on site in accordance with California Forest Practice Rules to avoid excessive vegetation build-up. Stumps are typically treated to prevent re-growth with an Environmental Protection Agency-approved herbicide that is applied directly to the stump. Anyone applying herbicides will be supervised by a person with a Qualified Applicator License (or similar certification) from the Department of Pesticide Regulations, a division of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
Visit our Trees and Power Line Safety page for more information.