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Duke Energy Florida Named Tree Line USA Utility for 15th Consecutive Year

May 25, 2021
The recognition cites quality tree care, including proper trimming, pruning and planting.

The Arbor Day Foundation has recognized Duke Energy for its tree care practices in Florida by naming the company a Tree Line USA utility for the 15th year in a row.

The Tree Line USA Program demonstrates how trees and utilities can coexist for the benefit of communities and citizens by highlighting best management practices in public and private utility arboriculture. The program promotes the dual goals of safe, reliable electric service and abundant, healthy trees.

Trees and vegetation are part of Florida's natural landscape and also one of the leading causes of power outages for utilities. Duke Energy has a responsibility to protect the lines that deliver power to homes and businesses across the region to ensure reliable electric service. Keeping vegetation away from lines is important to providing service.

"Receiving this award for the 15th straight year is a testament to the work our employees do to protect the environment and serve our customers," said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. "Planting the right tree in the right place helps conserve energy, enables us to provide safe and reliable energy, and beautifies our communities."

Duke Energy achieved Tree Line USA status by meeting certain criteria. Utilities must follow industry standards for quality tree care, including proper trimming, pruning and planting; provide annual employee and contractor training in best practices; sponsor  tree plantings and public education programs; and participate in annual Arbor Day events.

One such event is Duke Energy's annual tree giveaway in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation's Energy-Saving Trees program. Customers have the opportunity to order a free tree in honor of Florida Arbor Day each January. The program helps customers conserve energy and reduce energy bills through strategic tree planting.

The trees are shipped in 1-gallon buckets directly to customers' homes with planting and care instructions in time for National Arbor Day, which this year falls on April 30. Customers ordered about 1,100 crape myrtle, dahoon holly, little gem magnolia, red bottlebrush and sweetbay magnolia. Since 2017, the company has given away 9,851 trees to customers throughout the state.

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, select a low-growing variety to minimize impact to the lines. Duke Energy also urges those who plant trees to contact Florida 811 before digging to locate any underground utilities, which are often located in utility easements.

For more information about planning and planting vegetation around electrical facilities, visit Duke Energy's Right Tree Right Place website.

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