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Identifying High Voltage Power Lines

How to identify high voltage power lines.

It is important to identify whether high voltage power lines are above the planting strip where you will plant your new street tree. If high voltage power lines are present, your tree list will provide options for smaller form trees. Smaller form trees are less likely to grow into the high voltage power lines.

Wires above trees are categorized as either high voltage or not high voltage. High voltage wires often (but not always) run on one side of the street and have some features which make them easy to identify.

Signs that wires are high voltage:

  • Transformers
  • Insulators
  • Trees along the street are pruned away from the wires

Signs that wires at not high voltage:

  • Service lines (lower voltage power lines) and communication lines will not have transformers or insulators. You might see these lines connecting to houses or running through trees. 

High Voltage Wires                                       Not High Voltage Wires

   high-voltage wire with transformer and insulator                                       overhead communication and service wires

Transformer and insulator present                                      Communication and service lines

trees pruned away from overhead wires                                         trees growing through overhead wires

Tree is pruned away from high voltage power lines           Tree is growing through communciation and service lines

Contact your electric company

Portland General Electric

Tree Trimming 503-736-5460 or 800-544-1794

Pacific Power

Tree pruning & vegetation management: 1-888-221-7070 vegetationmgmtpaccor@pacificorp.com