Enel Distribución works with local governments to launch pilot project for urban tree planting near power lines

Published on Thursday, 17 October 2019

  • A small area will be selected in coordination with local government bodies to assess tree health and any risks to the community and nearby power lines, within the Enel Distribución concession zone. This analysis will be undertaken by an urban tree design expert and landscapers.
  • The evaluation will identify sick and damaged trees, to replace with native species wherever possible, selecting tree varieties that do not drop branches that could harm people or damage power lines. New climate conditions occurring in recent years, such as gale-force winds and snowfall in the city, bring down tree branches and even whole trees, falling on homes, cars, and electrical power lines, leading to power cuts.


Santiago, October 17, 2019 – With the objective of protecting the community from the hazards posed by falling trees, guaranteeing power supply security for its clients, and helping to care for the environment, Enel Distribución has launched a project to harmonize tree planting in a number of Santiago districts, when the trees are located close to power lines.

Trees in the city have suffered deterioration, aging, illnesses, and root weakening, leaving a number of species at risk of causing accidents affecting the community, given new climate conditions that have been occurring in recent years, such as gale-force winds and snowfall in the city, sometimes bringing down tree branches and even whole trees, falling on homes, cars, and electrical power lines, leading to power cuts.

“The new climate conditions that we have been seeing in recent years, such as gale-force winds, can bring down tree branches and even whole trees on electrical power lines, leading to power cuts that affect the service received by our clients. This is why, working in coordination with local governments in our concession area, today in Quinta Normal we launched this pilot project for urban tree renovation - showing how collaborative work between the private sector, local authorities, and residents, initiatives can be undertaken that contribute to the community, and in this specific case, help harmonize tree planting with power networks,” explained Ramón Castañeda, CEO of Enel Distribución.

“Our community cares a great deal about the work underway with Enel Distribución to improve urban tree planting, with renovation that will have a positive impact on our surroundings. Nowadays, with care for the environment becoming ever more relevant, trees are of vital importance - and as a local government we are committed to improving and expanding the tree life planted in our neighborhoods,” said the Mayoress of Quinta Normal, Carmen Gloria Fernández.

The project is being implemented in close collaboration with local government bodies, and was designed from the ground up to include local residents, with a risk assessment for existing trees in the project area, conducted by means of technical inspection of all trees by a team of experts.

The evaluation covers variables covering areas such as tree structural condition, including the crown, symmetry, branch weakness, availability of growth space, and any diseases present, in order to define areas where high-risk trees will be replaced, preferentially using native species with a height of 3 to 4 meters, selecting new specimens with suitable growth status, good resistance to drought and low temperatures, low susceptibility to plant diseases, low water requirements, and good response to pruning.

Transplantation will also be assessed as an option for trees that are suitable for relocation to other parts of the district, if they are likely to survive and thrive following the move. All trees removed will finally be composted.

Quinta Normal

The first pilot program has been launched in Quinta Normal District, following an analysis conducted jointly with the local government and residents. Seventeen trees in the selected area will be replaced with species selected by local residents: European carob, crepe myrtle, and honeyberry.