The National Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, has recognized FirstEnergy as a Tree Line USA utility for 19 consecutive years.
The award recognizes investor-owned and public utility companies – electric, gas and water – that promote the dual goals of reliable utility service and healthy trees along America's streets and highways. Award-winning companies demonstrate excellence in tree care, training and public education.
"It takes dedication to strike a balance between service reliability and maintaining the beauty of the trees in communities we serve," said David Karafa, vice president, Distribution Support, FirstEnergy. "Our employees and certified forestry contractors do a great job year-round to properly maintain trees and vegetation. This helps reduce the frequency and length of power outages, especially during storms."
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.
"Service providers like FirstEnergy show that caring for urban trees is good for business, for customers and for the community," said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation.
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.