Trees and the power system

During severe weather events like thunderstorms, high winds, snow or freezing rain, a significant number of outages are caused by branches and trees falling on power lines. That’s why Hydro‑Québec takes preventive vegetation control measures. But that’s not all: you too can take action to reduce the number of outages.

What Hydro‑Québec does to prevent power outages

Our crews on site play a key role by proactively identifying at‑risk trees and branches that must be cut so they don’t fall on overhead lines.

Clearing power lines

To lower the number of outages caused by vegetation, nearly 600 specialized arborists are working to clear more than 100,000 km of lines across Québec. Check the map to find out more about the work that’s planned.

Innovation

We’re a partner in the NSERC—Hydro‑Québec Industrial Research Chair on Control of Tree Growth (ArbrenVil) at UQAM, which seeks to develop innovative precision forestry solutions to preserve urban and near-urban trees and reduce the risks for the power system.

What you can do

Did you know that just one tree can cause an entire neighborhood to lose power? There are simple actions that make a concrete upstream contribution to ensuring the safety and reliability of the power system.

Choosing the right tree or shrub

Letting us know when vegetation is growing too close to power lines

Before pruning or cutting down a tree

Municipalities: important allies

When it comes to managing vegetation growing near power lines, municipalities are important partners.

When our teams are carrying out vegetation control work, the cooperation of municipalities helps us deliver on our priority to increase the grid’s resilience and, by the same token, enhance the quality of our customer service.

Our experts answer your questions

«Should we cut down every tree in Québec?»

Video in French only. Were trees really there before our power grid? Why cut so much? Is wearing leopard print underwear safe, or even recommended? What recourse do tenants have? Why are there outages when our grid is secure? We talk to Étienne Langdeau, Director – Vegetation Control and Contract Administration.

Video: 36 minutes 42 seconds

Coming soon

«Is the grid ready for the uptick in weather disturbances?»

Video in French only. Do we need to change or modify facilities? Are concrete poles a good idea? How is the weather now different than 65 years ago? Should we be worried about a future drought? We talk to Jean-Philippe Martin, Advisory – Sustainable Development.

Video: 24 minutes 30 seconds

Coming soon

«Why don’t you bury all the wires?»

Video in French only. No one likes losing power. In this first episode, Régis Teller, Vice President – Operations and Maintenance, joins us to explore different aspects of outages. Why not bury the entire distribution system? Is the company doing enough pruning and cutting? What's the difference between a power outage and a scheduled interruption?

Video: 25 minutes 23 seconds

Coming soon

Fewer power outages are part of the Plan!

In the Action Plan 2035, we committed to reducing the number of outages by 35% in the next 7 to 10 years. Learn more about the actions we’re taking to ensure the reliability of the power system.

Go to the Action Plan