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Stay Safe When Spring Planting

Spring is here, and we’re eager to get out in our yards to garden. But before you plant that cute little vine, shrub, or tree, remember to avoid planting it too close to utility poles or near overhead power lines. Look up and look around before planting, and be sure to call 8-1-1 before you dig.

Electric pole with vegetation overgrowth

Don’t plant too close

Vines, shrubs, and trees planted too close to utility poles and overhead power lines can create a dangerous environment. If they grow into power lines and transformers, they may become energized. This potentially causes a dangerous situation for anyone who touches that vegetation. Vines, shrubs, and trees contacting electrical infrastructure can cause power outages and create fire hazards. These are significant safety risks.

Maintain access to utility poles

Utility workers must have access to utility poles for safety inspection and for emergency or maintenance work. For these reasons, City Light requires three feet of clearance around utility poles.

Help us keep our power system safe

If you discover vegetation closer than three feet from a pole near your residence, connect with City Light at or call (206) 386-1733 to have the vegetation inspected. This way, you can make sure it’s not too close to electrical infrastructure so you or your arborist can safely prune.

Thank you for your help keeping our electrical system safe and reliable! More information about required clearance distances between vegetation and electrical infrastructure may be found on City Light’s Vegetation Management webpage.