Pacific Gas & Electric

When vegetation conflicts with construction activities, Pacific Gas and Electric calls on Davey Resource Group, Inc.'s team of experts to consult on the proper course of action.

The Challenge

When Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) performed an inspection of their gas transmission lines, they discovered that the excavation of a resident’s driveway near a large oak tree was necessary to evaluate a segment of line. A Davey Resource Group, Inc. (DRG) environmental specialist was brought on the project to assess if construction activities could impact the tree, and the correct plan of action should there be potential issues.

The Solution

The excavation would intrude upon the tree’s dripline, potentially causing damage to the root system below. The tree appeared large and healthy from the front, so the team was hoping it would be safe to excavate in the proposed location. However, when DRG’s environmental specialist inspected it from a different vantage, it became apparent that the oak was suffering from an extensive carpenter ant infestation and heart rot that caused a large cavity. Since removal was the best option for ensuring the safety of the local residents and the construction team, DRG approached the customer about the issue.

The customer was understanding when the DRG environmental specialist explained the possible repercussions of keeping the tree. The customer was concerned about the potential for tree failure and further complications because of the infestation and pleased to have PG&E’s gas construction project teams take care of it for them.

The Results

The work was completed safely and without incident. After the removal was complete, Davey’s restoration team was brought on to help mitigate the loss of the resident’s oak tree by planting low-growing vegetation on the property.

The tree removal had the additional benefit of removing a potential threat to the overhead lines near the residency. Had the tree failed, it would have collided with these electrical lines, inciting a potential outage.

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