SoCal Edison removing 11,000 palm trees located too close to power lines across several cities to cut fire risk

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A layer of pollution can be seen hovering over the downtown skyline past a pair of palm trees in Los Angeles on April 24, 2019. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

A layer of pollution can be seen hovering over the downtown skyline past a pair of palm trees in Los Angeles on April 24, 2019. (FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

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Southern California Edison will remove 11,000 palm trees in its service territory that are too close to power lines and pose a fire risk.

The utility plans to begin the work in April in communities including Simi Valley, Santa Clarita, La Canada Flintridge, Malibu, Lake Elsinore and Santa Ana.

Palms are not only a hazard when they are close to lines but fronds can be carried long distances by the wind and hit electrical wires, the utility said in a recent statement.

Palms must be trimmed up to four times a year to keep a safe distance from lines.

“Trimming this species only stimulates growth, so it’s best to remove this type of vegetation,” said Jon Pancoast, SoCal Edison’s vegetation management and forestry manager.

The utility said it will notify property owners to discuss risk factors and notices will be posted on doors at least 24 hours before any work unless there’s an imminent safety risk.

“We understand that people living in Southern California love their palms, but since fire season is year-round, they can be a danger to the public. We will inspect vegetation before it’s removed and meet with the property owner in person to discuss the process,” said David Faasua, a vegetation management specialist.

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