Tree Maintenance

Tree maintenance keeps you safe and our power reliable.

Let’s work together

In Oregon, we love our trees. Trees connect us to the natural world in urbans settings in ways few other things can, but downed trees can interfere with the reliability of our system and the safety of our community. Luckily. there are things that we — and you — can do to minimize this risk.

Tree Planting Guide

You can help prevent tree-related outages and reduce fire risk, and reduce maintenance hassles, by following the “right tree, right place” guidelines when selecting and planting trees, and by properly caring for your trees.

Managing trees near power lines

Trees grow slowly but they still need regular attention, especially in urban settings. PGE's tree-trimming program is staffed with arborists and forestry experts who work tirelessly to keep you safe and reduce the chance of power outages.

Free wood chips

Our crews generate a lot of tree chips each year. We want to recycle all of them as efficiently as possible. That’s why we offer free wood chips in neighborhoods where we’re actively working!

What are those PGE tree crews doing in my neighborhood?

PGE often works with local tree contractors to assist us in our on-going tree trimming efforts. Our contract tree crews will visit your area every two to three years to inspect and prune trees along power line rights of way. We follow precise standards and practices in maintaining trees. Our experienced contract crews are directed by PGE foresters who have extensive education and training in both urban forestry and electrical safety. The Oregon Public Utility Commission regulations require us to do this work, because trees cause the majority of power outages in our area during storms. Pruning helps prevent outages and downed lines and maintain a high level of safety and reliability.

Which trees will PGE prune?

As we rotate through our service territory, our foresters examine trees for trouble spots. We look for branches that are close to power lines as well as branches that could fall during a storm and hit a line. We also search for diseased or dying trees.

Our crews will work on any trees determined to be a possible threat to power lines. Usually, these are trees that are planted directly below the lines in a parking strip and have grown too tall. But we sometimes will prune the branches from a tree outside this right-of-way tree if it is getting too close to the power line. The general rule is 10 feet of clearance.

How we prune

Our top priorities are to ensure safe, reliable power while also guarding the health of the tree. That’s why we won’t just arbitrarily cut a tree.

If, for example, the branches of a large elm or oak completely surround the power lines, we often prune out a u-section in the middle of the tree to provide plenty of clearance for the lines. This is much healthier for a tree than reducing its entire tree canopy.

How our crews are trained

Our tree crews are highly trained and must meet a stringent qualification process. They undergo a two-year apprenticeship during which they study tree biology and tree pathology, as well as how to work safely around power lines. Each year they safely prune thousands of trees.

Tree work schedules and notification

We’ll send you a letter when we’re planning to work in your neighborhood. Or, you can email us if you would like to know when we’re planning on working in your area.

Trimming trees near PGE power lines?

Call before you trim

Trimming trees, especially near power lines, can be dangerous work. This is especially true if you're working near high-voltage lines. Call the PGE Tree Hotline at 800-544-1794 before you start work so that we can help you do it safely.

Stay safe! Remember these tree safety tips

Call before you dig. Dial 811 to have underground utilities marked. Call at least two business days prior to digging.

Call the PGE Tree Hotline at 503-736-5460 for advice or assistance before working on trees near power lines.

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Employee spotlight

Learn how our foresters are continuing to maintain trees safely during Covid-19.


“We’re regularly trimming trees and vegetation around our lines and equipment to insure the safe and reliable delivery of electricity.”

- Izzy Weaver, Associate Forester

Wildfire Safety

Even in historically wet, mild Oregon, summers are getting hotter and dryer with longer wildfire seasons, and the overall risk of wildfires is increasing. Because the electrical grid has the potential to cause wildfires, we’re doing more now to reduce the risk later, and keep you – and Oregon – safe.

Outdoor Safety

When you’re doing yardwork or DIY projects, remember:

  1. Electricity can jump. Pay attention to where lines are and what you’re doing that might provide a path for electricity to travel through you to the ground.

  2. Call 811 before you dig. If you don’t call and you hit an underground line, you could be injured or killed. You may be held liable for damages.

Contractors & landscapers

Keep your crew safe, whether they’re digging, building, landscaping or performing routine maintenance outdoors.