The Tree Line USA Program demonstrates how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens by highlighting best management practices in public and private utility arboriculture.
Trees and vegetation are an important part of Florida's natural resources, but they are also one of the leading causes of power outages for utilities. In order to keep electricity reliable, Duke Energy has a responsibility to protect the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses across the region.
"This recognition from the Arbor Day Foundation, for the 12th straight year, further confirms our commitment to both the environment and our customers," said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida president. "We strive to be good stewards of Florida's natural resources and work to educate customers about planting the right tree in the right place so we can continue to provide safe and reliable energy."
Tree Line USA evaluates applicants based on several criteria including adherence to industry best practices for tree care, training of employees and contractors, implementation of public education and tree planting projects, and participation in annual Arbor Day events.
In January, Duke Energy Florida, in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation's Energy-Saving Trees program, provided more than 3,000 trees in 1-gallon pots to customers – for free – in honor of Florida Arbor Day.
It is important to remember that customers, property owners and untrained contractors should not prune or cut trees and plants near power lines. In addition, when planting trees near power lines, be sure to select a low-growing variety in order to minimize impact to the lines.