Skip to main content
Managing Vegetation Around Distribution Lines

Distribution line circuits originate at one of Duquesne Light Company's (DLC) numerous substations and transfer electricity along local streets, backyards and through forested lots to serve homes and businesses. Distribution lines and related equipment are routinely maintained to prevent tree growth and failures (falling limbs and uprooted trees) from interrupting service. Clearance requirements are based on species, growth rates, proximity to our lines and related equipment, and the importance of our facilities that would be impacted by vegetation.

  • When vegetation work is required, qualified line clearance tree professionals contracted by DLC make reasonable efforts to notify property owners of impending work. Notification is done in person or through a door hanger before work is started. For questions about the work, call the line clearance professional identified on the door hanger.
  • Our qualified line clearance professionals use pruning practices that are in full compliance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards and are endorsed by the International Society of Arboriculture and the Arbor Day Foundation.
  • Directional Pruning is used to promote future growth away from overhead power lines. While this type of pruning is not always aesthetically pleasing, it is the best pruning practice that can be used to obtain safe clearance from our lines and equipment and to promote the health of the tree.

Directional Pruning Example: Before

Distribution Pruning Example - Before

Directional Pruning Example: After

Distribution Pruning Example - After / Cleared
  • Topping is not a technique that is practiced or promoted by DLC. Topping involves cutting branches back to a stub or lateral branches not large enough to sustain life of the remaining branch. Topping is a harmful practice that results in decay, stresses trees and creates hazardous limbs by promoting fast-growing shoots. These shoots are weakly attached and often interfere with overhead power lines.

Topping Example

Distribution Topping Example

We Don’t Just Power Your Lights,
We Power The Moments You Call Life.

One More Reason We’re Larger Than Light.