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Puget Sound Energy electric reliability projects

Thurston County tree pruning projects

Project overview

Fallen trees and limbs are the main cause of power outages in Western Washington, and can cause safety concerns if tree branches come in contact with energized power lines. By pruning trees that are growing near power lines, we can decrease the likelihood of tree-related power outages and ensure our customers stay safe.

To provide safe and reliable electric service to our customers in Thurston County, tree crews are working in 2012 to trim and remove trees along nearly 200 miles of distribution lines and 10 miles of transmission lines in the area. This work is part of our regular maintenance program, which entails pruning trees on a regular 3-6 year cycle depending on various factors, including growth rate, limb configuration, proximity to power lines, and power line voltage. PSE utilizes certified arborists to determine how often trees should be pruned, and uses best management practices to complete the pruning with minimal stress to trees.

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Project map

Download full-sized map
Project map

Download full-sized map
Project map

2012 tree pruning projects:
  • Lacey area:
    • 11.4 miles along Lacey Blvd SE, 14th Ave, Golf Club Road, and College Street
    • 5.5 miles along Lacey Blvd SE, Lebanon St., Ruddell St, Alder St, and 22nd Ave SE
    • 1.9 miles along Meridian Rd NE
    • 1.9 miles along Pacific Ave SE and Chehalis Western Trail
  • Olympia area:
    • 4 miles along Black Lake Blvd SW, 9th Ave SW, Fern St SW and Division St NW, 14th Ave NW, Walnut Rd NW, Cooper Point Rd NW and Conger Ave NW
    • 8.8 miles along West Bay Drive, Decatur St SW, Crestline Blvd NW, Elliott Ave NW and 20th Ave NW
    • 4.8 miles running cross-country between the Olympia (917 Ferry St. SW in Tumwater) and BPA-Olympia (5240 Trosper Rd SW in Olympia)
    • 5.3 miles along N Rogers St, 4th Ave SW, 5th Ave SW, Decatur Dr SW, and Milroy Street SW
    • 2.6 miles running along Black Lake Blvd SW, 9th Ave SW, Decatur St SW, Irving St SW and Bay St SW
    • 0.8 miles along Decatur Street SW
    • 27.5 miles along Boston Harbor Rd NE, Zangle Rd NE, Gull Harbor Dr, Gull Harbor Rd NE, 36th Ave NE and Friendly Grove Rd NE
    • 4.3 miles along Capitol Blvd S, Washington St. SE, 18th Ave. SE and areas surrounding the State Capitol Building and Capitol Campus
  • Rainier area:
    • 19.7 miles along Waldrick Rd SE, Military Rd SE, Rainier Rd SE, 128th Ave SE, 133rd Ave SE, 138th Ave SE and Tipsoo Loop North
    • 30.1 miles along Algyer Rd. SE, 148th Ave SE, Vail Road SE, 153rd Ave SE, Morris Road SE, Lindsay Road SE, Reichel Road SE and Vail Cut-off Road SE
    • 28.2 miles along State Route 507, Vail Cut-off Road SE, Vail Loop Road SE, Runyon Road SE, Mulqueen Rd SE and Russian Hill Lane
  • Tumwater area:
    • 3.3 miles along Barnes Blvd SW, 87th Ave SW, Linwood Ave. SW, S 2nd St and Little Rock Rd SW
  • Yelm area:
    • 16.1 miles along State Route 507, Yelm Avenue SE, West Road SE, Fox Hill Road, Mill Road, Clark Road, Morris Road SE, 103rd Avenue SE and Grove Rd SE
    • 28.2 miles along Bald Hill Road SE, Lawrence Lake Rd SE, Smith Prairie Rd SE, Smith Prairie Rd SE, Cougar Airport Rd, Fennel Road SE, Deschutes Rd SE and Cougar Mountain Trail SE

In honor of Arbor Day this spring, PSE and a team of volunteers planted several flowering crabapple, rhododendron and red cedar trees in the Tenino, Rainier and Rochester areas. In addition to regular maintenance of the vegetation near PSE’s energy equipment, planting the right tree in the right place to prevent tree- and limb-related outages is also part of our commitment to electric service reliability.

What is a distribution line?

Distribution lines are critical links in the electrical system moving power from electrical substations through distribution transformers directly to homes or businesses. Unlike transmission lines, distribution lines typically carry less than 55 kV; PSE's distribution lines are typically 12.5 kV. Distribution lines can be installed both above and below ground.

What is vegetation management?

Vegetation management involves a variety of programs and techniques designed to protect power lines from the impacts of nearby trees. These programs may include pruning, tree removal, herbicides and smart planting practices. All actions are taken to keep the public safe and the lights on.

Want to know more?

If you have any questions about PSE's vegetation management process or policies please call 1-888-225-5773 or visit our vegetation management section on

Download the information

Download the PDF files for more detail on PSE's Thurston County tree pruning projects.

Lacey tree pruning project map
Olympia-Tumwater area tree pruning project map
Rainier-Yelm area tree pruning project map