October 17, 2003

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Oct. 17, 2003 – Fall weather is here, and it’s the perfect season for pruning trees and shrubs.  But Southern California Edison (SCE) wants everyone to be careful and remember to “look up and live” when working near electrical power lines.

“Using metal tree trimming equipment near power lines is extremely dangerous,” said Jon Pancoast, an SCE tree-trimming expert.  “We urge customers to never trim trees that have power lines running through them.  Use only experienced licensed or certified arborists qualified to perform work near power lines.”

He recommends using wooden ladders or fiberglass poles for harvesting fruit, since metal poles conduct electricity.  Touching a power line with metal will cause serious injury or death.

“Remember to ‘look up and live’ when working in your yard,” Pancoast urged.  “It’s easy to forget that power lines are attached to your home or running through your trees.  Be cautious and be safe.”  

And when planting trees this fall, choose only those that grow no higher than 25 feet when mature.  Selecting tree species that are compact in size lessens the need for pruning near power lines.   Before digging, find out if there are underground power lines on your property by calling the Underground Service Alert at (800) 227-2600.  In Tulare, Fresno and northern California, please call (800) 642-2444.

For further information about trees and power lines, please call SCE at (800) 655-4555 or visit www.sce.com/treetrim.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.