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Vegetation Management Program


Tree Trimming


Balancing Nature, Safety and Resiliency


At Wahkiakum PUD, we have an appreciation for the role trees play in enhancing the quality of life in both our rural and urban settings. The harmony between nature and our electrical infrastructure can sometimes be disrupted when vegetation comes in contact with power lines, leading to potential dangers and service interruptions. It is a fact that trees are our number one cause of power outages that affect our customers. Whether it is fallen trees, or their limbs entangled in lines, wind-blown branches making contact during their descent, or tree limbs encroaching upon our electrical infrastructure, these factors are major contributors to service interruptions. These interruptions not only inconvenience our customers, but also pose a threat to public safety.

Under this program, we undertake the careful trimming of all trees and vegetation surrounding energized, communication cables, utility poles, and pad mount transformers. Our approach is rooted in obtaining maximum clearance while also considering the current and future health  and

aesthetics of the trees. All our tree trimming is carried out with the utmost care and in compliance with the necessary permissions. When planning on doing landscaping or planting a tree we ask that you keep some things in mind: 

  • Please look up and around to see if there are any power lines, green metal or fiberglass boxes. There are overhead power lines, underground power lines, and underground water lines that could be in conflict with your project. 

  • Please notify the PUD if you have any concerns about the types of vegetation you will be planting or adding or when doing any digging greater than 12-inches deep.

  • Please call 811 before you dig.




  • Wahkiakum PUD will attempt to maintain a seven-year trim cycle.

  • The exact amount of clearance needed in a given area depends on the voltage of the line and type of line construction. Lines sag during temperature and loading conditions, as well as wind movement of power lines and trees also must be taken into consideration.

  • Please reference the drawing below:

    • Trees planted directly under or within 25 feet of the electrical lines should have a mature height less than 15 feet.

    • Trees that mature to 35 feet should be planted 25 to 50 feet away

    • Trees greater than 35 feet should be planted at least 50 feet away

    • Trees and shrubs should be planted at least 10 feet away from any pad mount transformers

    • Trees should not be planted within 5 feet of a water line or within 10 feet of underground cable

  • Any limb within 12 feet of all electrical lines will be cut back. Because proper pruning requires cutting at certain points, branches will be cut at a main branching point, or at the trunk leaving no stub. Sometimes this means the branch is cut back more than 12 feet from the lines, but it helps preserve the health of the tree. 

  • Certain main branches on older trees can remain inside the minimum clearance, but this depends on the health of the tree, direction of growth, and likelihood of its limbs reaching the lines. 

  • Trees with trunk diameters of 10 inches or less at chest height located less than 15 feet from the nearest electrical line may be removed. 

  • All species located directly under the electrical lines that have a maturity height exceeding 25 feet will be removed at ground level.


Planting Guide


To ensure safety and reliable electrical service for the future, special care must be taken in the selection and placement of new trees. Wise tree  planting will also protect street and sidewalk visibility and clearance, and prevent damage to pavement, sewers, and buildings. The care taken
to plant the right tree in the right place is an investment in the future. 


Choosing the right tree and the best place will help provide beautiful, healthy trees that need little maintenance. When planting near a power line, plant trees that are less than 25 feet high when mature. This reduces the chance of power outages and avoids annual pruning which costs
all customers.

There are several tree varieties at your local nursery that are suitable for planting near electrical lines. The following is a partial list of trees suggested for planting:
Common Name

  • Vine maple

  • Japanese Dogwood

  • Upright Juniper

  • Star Magnolia

  • Japanese Snowbell

  • Fragrant Snowbell

  • Pyramidal Arborvitae

  • Amur Maple

  • Japanese Tree-Lilac

  • Akebono Cherry

  • Red Jewel Crabapple

  • Goldenrain tree

  • Hedge Maple

  • Thundercloud Plum

  • Smoke Tree



If you notice vegetation that is close to a power line or need to request tree trimming, please call the PUD at 360.795.3266 or 360.465.2171. 

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