Issues and Interests

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PUD News

Be sure to look up before planting your new tree

by Kimberlee Craig | Apr 03, 2019
Firewise and power line friendly trees and shrubs are always the right pick

righttreeplaceCustomers and community members can help Chelan PUD keep the lights on by choosing trees and shrubs to plant that are utility friendly, water frugal and fire resistant.

Bill Sanborn, PUD arborist and vegetation manager, said a little time spent reading the tag on a tree or shrub seedlings can have big returns in reducing the chance of that full-height plant growing into power lines or being pushed into them during a storm. 

“Most important is that the mature height and spread of the tree should remain 10 feet from power lines,” Sanborn said.

If you see trees tangled into lines, it’s important to STAY AWAY and assume all downed lines are still energized. For your safety – and the safety of PUD crews – do not try to remove limbs from lines yourself.

Arbor Day celebrations make April a great time to commit to a seedling or two - that planted in the right place - can help keep the lights on and conserve energy by providing shade in hot summer sun and windbreaks in the winter. 

Chelan PUD sponsors seedling distributions in five communities. You can talk with Sanborn about the best varieties for planting near power lines at the April 13, distribution at Walla Walla Point Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or as long supplies last).

Sanborn said golden currant, oakleaf sumac and viburnum seedlings are good choices for planting near power lines.

He is happy to answer tree questions from Chelan PUD customers-owners and to work with them to prune or remove trees growing too close to power lines.


For more information contact Bill Sanborn, PUD arborist and vegetation manager, at (509) 661- 4508, or

Learn more about Chelan PUD at and find us on and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD. 

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