The Balboa Park Conservancy is actively working on a number of fronts to replenish the park’s vital urban forest, with plans to plant hundreds of new trees over the next two years.

The community can also play a role in helping to increase our city’s tree canopy, which helps save energy through the shade they provide, reduces the amount carbon dioxide in the air, prevents erosion, and adds beauty to our neighborhoods.

It’s important to be aware, however, that for all their benefits, trees also pose certain dangers when not properly maintained.

California utilities are required by law to clear brush and debris from primary electrical power lines to

  • Prevent electrocution during a storm or accident
  • Reduce the risk of fire
  • Prevent unnecessary power outages

San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E’s) Tree Safety Program keeps vegetation clear of power lines and certain power poles for safety and compliance with certain rules and regulations. A team of vegetation management professionals work every day to maintain more than 460,000 trees that grow close to power lines. An electronic database keeps track of pruning schedules and specific hazards throughout SDGE’s 4,100-square-mile service area.

For 10 consecutive years, SDG&E has been recognized as a Tree Line USA® Utility. This program recognizes public and private utilities throughout the nation that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests. Qualification for the certification includes industry standard quality tree care, annual worker training and tree planting and public education. SDG&E prunes trees to industry and arboricultural standards in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and the National Arbor Day Foundation.

If you’re concerned about vegetation growing close to an overhead power line or transformer, please call SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343 to request an inspection. For your safety, never attempt to trim trees near high-voltage lines yourself.

You can help prevent power outages and fires by planting the right tree in the right place by visiting www.sdge.com/treeguide!