Utility Line Clearance Procedure

A Utility Tree Inspector is responsible for the inspection of all trees reported to be encroaching on utility lines. However, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) is responsible for the operation, maintenance and construction of electric lines and equipment.

An inspector determines if trees or landscaping materials are growing too close to electric lines and equipment. If they are, line clearance crews are dispatched to remove any encroaching growth. If a hazard exists, line clearance crews are dispatched immediately to trim or to remove the encroaching growth to mitigate safety hazards.



  • City tree contractor sends out a representative for any vegetation that is in conflict with utility lines 2-4 weeks prior to crew’s arrival.
  • Door hanger is provided to affected residents 48 hours prior to work commencing.
  • Necessary work is performed to clear utility lines.
  • City Tree Inspector verifies work has been completed through post inspections within 30 days of completed work.



  • City tree contractor identifies problem trees in need of removal and provides the information to the City Tree Inspector.
  • City Tree Inspector verifies through site visit.
  • City Tree Inspector notifies property owner with a door hanger and personal contact prior to work commencing.
  • Work is scheduled with crews once permission has been granted from the property owner.


The Riverside Municipal Code - Vegetation Maintenance clearly defines the owner’s responsibilities.

If necessary, contact the 311 Call Center to request enforcement assistance from Code Enforcement.