SDG&E Offers Tips For Safe Planting This Arbor Day

Customers and landscapers are reminded to call 8-1-1 two days before digging

SAN DIEGO, April 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- With Arbor Day upon us, San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) award-winning Vegetation Management team is reminding customers and landscapers to plant the "Right Tree in the Right Place" this Arbor Day. When selecting trees customers and landscapers are encouraged to keep in mind the future growth of the tree, and note that as trees grow to mature heights they can interfere with overhead power lines and, in some cases, underground utility lines.

Before planting a new tree, and to ensure public safety, SDG&E recommends the following actions:

  • Take the time to properly select a tree that is not only aesthetically pleasing but is safe to plant in your area.
  • Keep water conservation in mind, and consider planting drought-tolerant trees and vegetation on your property.
  • Take the time to choose the planting site as carefully as you chose the tree. Remember to always plant the "Right Tree in the Right Place" for the best chance of success.
  • Call Underground Service Alert at 8-1-1 to mark out underground utility lines two days before digging. With just one call, you can have your underground cable, water and energy lines marked out for free. Failing to do this could result in serious injury or death.
  • Don't plant shrubs directly in front of utility boxes, pad-mounted (box) transformers. Allow room for doors to swing open when shrubs are fully grown. The law requires that 8 feet in front of and 2 feet on the other three sides of the transformer must be clear.
  • Contact your city arborist, parks department, or public works department to find out whether your city has guidelines for planting trees, and whether a permit is required for planting trees in parkways or public areas.

As part of SDG&E's commitment to proper tree care and public safety and education, SDG&E is participating in several Arbor Day events around the county, including:

  • Coronado Arbor Day (Flower and Garden Show): Saturday, April 25
  • Santee Arbor Day at Walker Preserve: Friday, May 8
  • Encinitas Arbor Day: Saturday, May 16

Additionally, as part of SDG&E's "Right Tree, Right Place" program, customers may be eligible for a free tree removal and replacement for incompatible trees that are currently being pruned under the electrical high voltage lines. Customers can call 800-411-SDGE or visit sdge.com/safety to learn more about the "Right Tree, Right Place" program.

For 13 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 is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 868,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Allison Zaragoza, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066, sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge

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San Diego Gas & Electric , Sempra Energy