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Planting & logging near Rights of Way

Trees and power lines did-you-know illustration with text
Trees full of sap and moisture conduct electricity and can conduct lightning. Power line wires can move as much as four metres (over 13 feet) vertically on a high voltage line, depending on electrical load and weather conditions. They can also swing in the wind. Trees falling near and onto power lines pose extreme safety hazards, as well as power outages to large areas and many customers. Wooden ladders and tool handles offer no protection for workers, as wood isn't a safe electrical insulator for any voltage of electricity.

Tree limits depend on height, voltage of power lines

Landscaping within the rights of way is restricted to low growing trees, shrubs and plants. The maximum allowable height for vegetation, at maturity, depends on the height and voltage of the power line.

We maintain, and remove when necessary, trees and plants that grow around our facilities and power lines in order to keep your service reliable and our works secure.

When planting outside the ROW, we recommend not planting anything that will grow to be very tall, or that has weak root systems that might be prone to falling on power lines or structures. We call these “hazard trees” and we have the right to remove them from under and around our power lines.

Planting near power lines

While we restrict trees in our ROW, we do allow for some low-lying vegetation and other ecological enhancements, such as pollinator fields. Pollinators are an integral part of a healthy ecosystem and are important to food production.

We support pollinator-friendly habitat and encourage the creation of pollinator fields in our ROWs, in consultation with BC Hydro. To ensure system operation and public safety, please contact us with your plans for the pollinator corridors.

Logging near power lines

If a tree growing within Limits of Approach must be removed it can only be taken down under the supervision of a certified utility arborist. The same applies to logging operations where trees can be prevented from falling within the Limits of Approach.

Helicopter logging around power lines is extremely dangerous and can’t be done at all within the ROW. Contact your regional Properties office before any helicopter logger near our power lines begins and always ensure that no helicopters fly over power lines carrying logs.

High lead logging, also known as cable logging, uses steel spars or cables and creates significant electrical induction hazards near power lines.

No edge trees strips are to be left adjacent to the ROW as they have the potential to fall onto the power lines. The storage of logs and debris and slash burning is not permitted within the ROW.