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PG&E Celebrates California Arbor Week by Encouraging Safe Planting and Emphasizing Importance of Dialing 8-1-1

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As California celebrates Arbor Week from March 7-14, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is hosting a series of events across its service area to help educate residents on safe planting practices, gas and electric energy line clearance guidelines, and the importance of calling 8-1-1 before you dig.

“Trees are a vital part of California’s natural beauty and PG&E appreciates the many benefits they offer to communities. In addition to beautifying property, cooling homes and cleaning the air, the right tree-planted in the right place-can help improve public safety by keeping areas above pipelines clear for first responders and our crews and reducing the likelihood that branches or limbs will contact an energized power line, causing electrocution or worse. We encourage everyone to attend PG&E’s Arbor Week events to learn more,” stated Patrick Hogan, PG&E’s vice president of Asset Management.

Additionally, PG&E is encouraging residents to call 8-1-1 at least two business days before planting a tree to mark and locate underground power and gas lines to avoid hitting them. This is a free service that notifies the appropriate utility companies of the caller’s intent to dig. Once all lines have been properly marked, planting can begin.

To celebrate Arbor Week, PG&E will be partnering with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to plant more than 33,000 trees in the wildfire-stricken Los Padres National Forest – one for each customer who enrolled in paperless billing since January 1, 2015. These Arbor Week events are part of the Company’s larger safety campaign encouraging residents to “mind the lines.” PG&E wants to remind residents that all wires bringing energy to homes and businesses are energized, and any contact may be harmful. To learn more about these safety initiatives, please visit www.pge.com/electricsafety.

In keeping with this spirit, PG&E offers the following tips to ensure that the right tree is safely planted in the right place. If you are planting trees near high-voltage power lines please remember:

  • When planting near gas or electric lines, only use the appropriate plants. You can learn more about planting the right tree in the right place by visiting here: http://selectree.calpoly.edu/.
  • 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 away from electric power lines, including the lines from the pole to your home.
  • If hiring a specialist to assist with tree care-whether that be trimming, removal or planting-do not have them work on trees within 10 feet of high voltage lines. Only PG&E’s OSHA certified contractors can work on trees within 10 feet of high voltage lines.
  • Customers may email RightTreeRightPlace@pge.com for a free copy of PG&E’s A Selection and Planting Guide to Small Trees Near Distribution Lines.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) , is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/.

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