Vegetation Maintenance

We’re dedicated to preserving the life and beauty of the Texas Hill Country. We trim trees and maintain vegetation around our equipment and rights of way so that we can deliver the safe, reliable power you depend on.

Learn more about what we do and how you can stay safe while working on your property.

Right of Way

We’re committed to providing reliable electric service to you, your neighbors and your community, and to do that, we must maintain properly cleared and accessible rights of way around our lines and equipment.

Learn about our right of way program »

Tree Trimming: What to Expect

In order to ensure reliable electric service, our crews may trim trees away from power lines.

Planting Tips & Safety

Never trim trees near power lines!

Trimming trees near electrical equipment is dangerous — it’s never a do-it-yourself job. Electricity can jump from the lines to your body, your tools or nearby branches, causing injury or even death.

If you see trees growing near our lines and facilities, request tree-care service online or call us at 888-554-4732, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. A service order will be issued, and a PEC utility forester will contact you and send a crew to safely clear the vegetation.

Right tree, right place

As a homeowner, you want your trees to live long, healthy lives. So do we. To ensure reliable electric service, our team trims trees and vegetation away from power lines and equipment on a 3-5-year cycle — which means if you’ve planted trees, bushes or plants directly under electric lines, they’re at risk of being removed.

Help protect your plants! Never allow trees, bushes or plants of any size to grow directly under electric lines. Before planting, consider the mature size of the species you’ve selected. For example, a four-foot-tall, two-foot-wide tree planted today could end up 60 feet tall and 30 feet across when fully grown. Use the diagram below as a reference when thinking about right tree, right place.

Wise Tree Choices

Trees the Texas Forest Service recommends for Central Texas:

Diagram showing safe distances of tree planting from utility poles

15 to 20 feet tall

  • American smoke tree
  • Texas or Mexican redbud
  • Desert willow

25 to 50 feet tall

  • Lacey oak
  • Mexican plum
  • Bigtooth maple

60 to 100 feet tall

  • Cedar elm
  • Bald cypress
  • Bur oak

Planting Near Pad-mounted Transformers

In areas with underground electric service, do not plant shrubs or other vegetation around pad-mounted transformers or otherwise hide or block access. Obstructions near this equipment will make maintenance work hazardous or difficult for crews and may increase outage restoration times. Ten feet of clearance is needed in front of equipment so crews can safely open it, and five feet on each side allows easy access. Some large pad-mounted switchgears require 10 feet of clearance in the front and back.

Oak Wilt

Oak wilt is a fungal disease that can cause leaf discoloration and loss, wilting or death in oak trees. The disease can be spread by improper pruning methods, insects and contact between tree roots. Live oak trees will usually die within six months of infection.

Our utility foresters and staff protect against oak wilt by observing ISA standards and practicing proper pruning methods, including:

  • Trimming at the correct angle
  • Sanitizing trimming instruments with disinfectant before beginning work and when moving from one tree to the next
  • Sealing wounds on trees with limb sealant
  • Exercising awareness of how and when oak wilt spreads

Learn more about oak wilt »