Seattle City Light DEBRA SMITH, General Manager and CEO
Photo of worker repairing streetlight.
Take Winter By Storm

Types of Outages
What to Do
When the Power Goes Out
The Right
Urban Tree

Choosing the Right Tree

What Makes a Tree "Right"

All trees are right in their natural environments. Generation upon generation of living in and adapting to their native environments makes them an integral part of the "web of life" of their particular ecosystem.

But the urban environment is different. Human activity and habitation changes the landscape and creates new adaptation challenges. Where once there were forests, now there are streets and parks and yards. Available growing space is defined by buildings at ground level and power lines above.

Tree limbs contacting power lines are the number one cause of power outages in Seattle. Because living wood is an excellent conductor of electricity, trees touching power lines pose a significant public safety hazard. City Light tries to maintain a 10-foot clearance between trees and power lines. But tree trimming is expensive and time-consuming. A far better solution is to choose and plant trees that won't ever grow into power lines and become a hazard. Smaller trees will enhance your neighborhood environment and help us to provide a safe, reliable service to all our customers.

To help our customers and others learn about trees with a proven success record in the urban environment, Seattle City Light has published "The Right Tree Book." This book helps you identify the best species for your circumstances and provides tips on planting, pruning, and maintenance.

For your free copy of "The Right Tree Book," call City Light at (206) 684-3000. Or you may download and print your own copy in Adobe Acrobat (*.pdf) format.

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Click here for more contact information! Seattle City Light
Outage Hotline:

Downed power lines are extremely dangerous.
Stay at least 20 feet away from any downed lines.

carbon monoxide

Barbecue Grills and Portable Generators - two sources of carbon monoxide to avoid bringing indoors.