Orchard Tree Maintenance
Managing vegetation to provide safe, reliable power
Every day, we focus on providing safe and reliable energy to our customers. Sometimes orchard planting and growth can come too close to PGE equipment and affect our ability to safely serve our customers. That’s why PGE’s Forestry department regularly monitors and carefully maintains trees near and around PGE equipment and facilities.
We manage more than 50 contract tree trimming crews who work year-round pruning and removing trees to maintain safe operations and compliance with Oregon Public Utility Commission rules.1 Our crews are looking for situations where vegetation grows too close to PGE equipment, such was when growth comes close to:
- Ten feet away from conductors energized above 200,000 volts
- Seven and one-half feet away from conductors energized at 50,001 through 200,000 volts
- Five feet away from conductors energized at 600 through 50,000 volts
If, during our surveys, we identify trees or vegetation that are too close to PGE high-voltage lines, we will reach out to the orchard manager and work with them to come up with a solution. Options include:
- Pruning the branches affecting PGE facilities/equipment during our regular maintenance cycle (typically every two to three years). NOTE: Our pruning cannot always be performed when the trees are free of nuts or foliage. The trees will be pruned during our regular maintenance schedule and regardless of crop cycle.
- Temporarily deenergizing the line until the trees are safely pruned and brought to compliance by the orchard owner. NOTE: If the line in question is no longer in use, we may remove the lines and poles.
- The orchard owner can permanently remove of all the trees directly underneath and regularly growing too close to the high-voltage power line.
- The orchard owner can request changes to the lines in the affected area to eliminate the need for any current or future vegetation maintenance, this could mean taller poles or locating the lines underground.
We’re proud to provide PGE customers with safe, reliable power. If you have any questions about our tree maintenance process or changes required at your orchard, please contact the PGE Forestry team.
1 Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR’s) Division 24 Safety Standards and Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) chapter 758. Specific Minimum clearances are referenced in OAR’s 860-024-0016 section 5. If you have questions about how terms in the OAR are defined, see the definitions.