General Order 95
Requirements for All Lines
35 Vegetation Management
Where overhead conductors traverse trees and vegetation, safety and reliability of service demand that certain vegetation management activities be performed in
order to establish necessary and reasonable clearances the
minimum clearances set forth in Table 1, Cases 13 and 14, measured between line conductors and vegetation under normal conditions
shall be maintained. (Also see Appendix E for tree trimming guidelines.) These requirements apply to all overhead
electrical supply and communication facilities that are covered by this General
Order, including facilities on lands owned and maintained by California state
and local agencies.
When a supply or communication company has actual knowledge, obtained either through normal operating practices or notification to the company, that dead, rotten or diseased trees or dead, rotten or diseased portions of otherwise healthy trees overhang or lean toward and may fall into a span of supply or communication lines, said trees or portions thereof should be removed.
Communication and electric supply circuits, energized at 750 volts or less, including their
service drops, should be kept clear of vegetation in new construction and when
circuits are reconstructed or repaired, whenever practicable. When a supply or
communication company has actual knowledge, obtained either through normal
operating practices or notification to the company, that its circuit energized at 750 volts or less shows strain or evidences
abrasion from vegetation contact, the condition shall be corrected by reducing
conductor tension, rearranging or replacing the conductor, pruning the
vegetation, or placing mechanical protection on the conductor(s). For
the purpose of this rule, abrasion is defined as damage to the insulation
resulting from the friction between the
Note: Revised January 13, 2006 by Decision No. 05-01-030, August 20, 2009 by Decision No. 09-08-029 and January 12, 2012 by Decision No. 12-01-032
(1) Rule 35
requirements do not apply to conductors, or aerial cable that complies with
Rule 57.4-C, energized at less than 60,000 volts, where trimming or removal is not practicable and the conductor is separated from the tree with suitable materials or devices
to avoid conductor damage by abrasion and grounding of the circuit through
(2) Rule 35 requirements do not apply where the supply or
communication company has made a “good faith” effort to obtain permission to
trim or remove vegetation but permission was refused or unobtainable. A “good faith” effort shall consist of
current documentation of a minimum of an attempted personal contact and a
written communication, including documentation of mailing or delivery. The written communication may include a
statement that the company may seek to recover any costs and liabilities
incurred by the company due to its inability to trim or remove vegetation. However, this does not preclude other action
or actions from demonstrating “good faith”.
If permission to trim or remove vegetation is unobtainable and
requirements of exception 2 are met, the company is not compelled to comply
with the requirements of exception 1.
(3) The Commission recognizes that unusual circumstances beyond
the control of the utility may result in nonconformance with the rules. In
such cases, the utility may be directed by the Commission to take prompt remedial
action to come into conformance, whether or not the nonconformance gives
rise to penalties or is alleged to fall within permitted exceptions or phase–in
Note: Revised November 6,1992 by Resolution
No. SU–15, September 20, 1996 by Decision No. 96–09–097 and January 23, 1997
by Decision No. 97–01–044.
(4) Mature trees whose trunks and major limbs are located more than six inches, but less than the clearance required by Table 1, Cases 13E and 14E, from primary distribution conductors are exempt from the minimum clearance requirement under this rule. The trunks and limbs to which this exemption applies shall only be those of sufficient strength and rigidity to prevent the trunk or limb from encroaching upon the six–inch minimum clearance under reasonably foreseeable local wind and weather conditions. The utility shall bear the risk of determining whether this exemption applies, and the Commission shall have final authority to determine whether the exemption applies in any specific instance, and to order that corrective action be taken in accordance with this rule, if it determines that the exemption does not apply.
Note: Added October 22, 1997 by Decision