T&D World Magazine
West Penn Power forester

West Penn Power forester Chip Brown examines deteriorating bark on an ash tree damaged by the emerald ash borer. Stricken trees die in a matter of months and rot rapidly, posing a hazard to nearby power lines.

FirstEnergy Receives Tree Care Award from National Arbor Day Foundation

The award recognizes investor-owned and public utility companies – electric, gas and water – that promote the dual goals of dependable utility service and healthy trees along America's streets and highways.

FirstEnergy Corp. and its 10 utility companies have been recognized as a Tree Line USA utility for the 17th straight year by the National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters. 

The award recognizes investor-owned and public utility companies – electric, gas and water – that promote the dual goals of dependable utility service and healthy trees along America's streets and highways.  Award-winning companies demonstrate excellence in tree care, training and public education. 

"We're proud to be recognized with this important award again, which highlights our work in striking a balance between providing reliable service for our customers and maintaining the beauty of the communities we serve," said David Karafa, vice president, Distribution Support, FirstEnergy.  "Our employees and contractors work hard to learn and use proper tree-care techniques to minimize our impact on the environment."

FirstEnergy's tree care program combines the best practices of certified arborists and foresters to keep vegetation away from power lines and other electric equipment, which helps reduce the number and severity of service interruptions.

"Trees are a critical part of urban landscapes all across the United States," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation. "Service providers like FirstEnergy show that caring for urban trees is good for business, for customers and for the community."

To achieve the Tree Line USA designation, companies must meet five program standards:  follow industry criteria for quality tree care; provide annual training for employees in best tree-care practices; sponsor tree-planting and public education programs on appropriate plantings; maintain a tree-based energy conservation program; and participate in Arbor Day events.

In addition to enhancing service reliability and natural beauty, FirstEnergy's tree trimming programs are designed to help ensure the public safety and the safety of utility line crews, especially during storms and other hazardous conditions.

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