Caring for your property

Responsibilities of property owners with respect to vegetation
photo of a young boy planting a tree

If you notice a tree that is interfering with our power lines or poses a hazard, report it to 1-800-434-1235.

Hazardous conditions may include:

  • The tree or branches are smoking, sparking, or burning on a power line

  • The tree is an immediate hazard to the line (split, leaning, hanging over, uprooted)

  • The tree is leaning on a hydro pole.

Do not attempt to prune or cut down a tree near power lines. A tree falling onto a power line can cause serious injury or death.

image: Transmission towers at sunset

Who is responsible?

We are responsible for vegetation management on road allowances, but not tree trimming or maintenance of trees and vegetation on customer property. This is the responsibility of the owner. See the diagram below to see the difference between our power lines and privately-owned lines.

Our Power Lines:

  • Usually run along the road

  • Not on private property

  • Service multiple customers.

Privately-owned Power Lines:

  • On a pole within your property’s boundary

  • The pole supports overhead power lines to your home/other buildings on your property

  • Does not supply power to other customers.

infographic depicting the boundary between a Hydro One-owned distribution line and a customer-owned line on their property

Caring for your property

We recommend that you hire a qualified contractor to do vegetation management work near privately-owned power lines and contact us to temporarily disconnect your electrical service during maintenance. We will temporarily disconnect your electricity service for free once a year.

If trees on your property have grown close to power lines on the road allowance, please contact us at 1-888-664-9376.


Service requests

If you would like work done on a tree close to our power lines, call us at 1-888-664-9376 or submit a service request online through myAccount. We will assess the situation and determine the appropriate action.


Pick the right plants, pick the right place

When planting trees on your property, avoid planting trees near any power lines or electrical equipment, such as poles, to ensure newly planted trees and shrubs never interfere with nearby power lines or electrical equipment.

If a tree must be planted near a power line on your property, first check with your municipality to ensure all by-laws are followed and that any easements on your property are respected.

illustration of the maximum heights and distance of trees near power lines: Plant at least 8 metres away for tall trees and 5-8 metres for medium-sized trees. Height of small trees should not exceed 3 metres nearest the power lines.

Tall Zone

The best place to plant tall-growing trees is at least 8 metres away from overhead power lines. Tall-growing trees include Colorado spruce, white pine, and sugar maple.

Medium Zone

The medium zone is from 5 - 8 metres on either side of overhead power lines. Plants in this area should not exceed 8 metres at maximum height. Medium-growing trees include serviceberry, ornamental pear, and white cedar.

Low Zone

The low zone is directly under the power lines and extends 5 metres on either side of the overhead power lines. Plants in this area should not exceed 3 metres at maximum height. Please keep a 5 metre area around poles clear of vegetation. Plants in this area obstruct maintenance work and emergency restoration efforts. Low-growing trees and shrubs include dogwood, honeysuckle, and silverberry.

Gopher discovering underground lines.

Mind the Lines

If you are planning any yard work, such as planting trees, contact Ontario One Call to request cable locates to confirm there is no underground equipment, such as cables, in the area you intend to dig. 

We will visit your property and mark any locates free of charge. Please provide at least five business days’ notice. If there is a cable locate, we recommend selecting a more suitable area with a minimum of 3 metres distance away from the identified equipment.

To request a locate, submit an e-ticket at Ontario One Call or call 1-800-400-2255.

Staying safe

For power lines for which you are responsible, be sure to use the help of qualified arborists only and keep in mind these potentially fatal mistakes:

  1. Cutting a branch near a power line. This may bring it too close to the line as it falls and may cause an arc flash that could cause serious injury or death.

  2. Cutting down a tree that could fall in the proximity (less than 10 metres) of a power line. Only professional arborists can expertly control which way a tree will fall when cut. Without proper planning and execution, this may cause the tree to fall onto or too close to the line, causing major damage to our equipment and can cause serious injury or death.

  3. Electricity always wants to return to ground and it does not care how it gets there — it takes the path of least resistance. Using tools such as ladders or long-handled pruning shears too close to a power line could cause the current to run through the tool and potentially cause serious injury or death.

For more information about trees and power line safety:

Contact Us

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Submit a
Service Request

To submit a forestry service request such as tree trimming or a temporary disconnection, please submit your request online through myAccount.

icon of a call agent wearing a headset

Forestry Inquiries

For general forestry inquiries, please call our Customer Communications Centre at 1-888-664-9376.

icon of a fallen tree

Report Power Outage, Tree Hazard or Emergency

To report a power outage, fallen tree hazard, or emergency, please call us at 1-800-434-1235. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Mind the Lines

Up, down and underground, power lines are around us and can be dangerous.

Know the risks and how to avoid them to stay safe.

Learn More
Image of our Mind the Lines campaign: Stay 10 metres away from downed power lines.