The Arbor Day Foundation recently announced that it has opened its yearly applications for Tree Line USA status, which recognizes utilities for their commitment to electric service by demonstrating best practices in utility arboriculture. In 2020, almost 150 utilities across the United States were recognized with Tree Line USA status.
Participating in the program, according to the Foundation, benefits utilities in a number of ways, including “lower line clearance costs from proper pruning, lower peak energy demand and more public exposure by meeting Tree Line USA requirements.”
The program is designed to acknowledge best practices in public and private utility arboriculture and demonstrate how trees and utility infrastructure can co-exist in a way that benefits both communities and citizens.
There are five core standards that utilities must meet in order to receive Tree Line USA recognition:
- Quality tree care: Industry standards for pruning, planting and removing trees, and trenching and tunneling near trees, are consistently followed.
- Annual worker training: Utility employees and contract workers are trained at least annually in best practices.
- Tree planting and public education: tree planting and public education programs are available to the public and paying customers. These programs should demonstrate proper tree planting, placement and pruning, while also expanding the tree canopy in the community.
- Tree-based energy conservation program: A formal tree-based energy conservation program is in place, putting special consideration on the trees’ value in conserving energy.
- Arbor Day celebration: There is documented sponsorship of, or participation in, annual Arbor Day events at the community level, including collaboration with community groups whenever possible.
Utilities that achieve this recognition will receive a plaque, emblem, decals and other promotional materials to help boost public exposure of their Tree Line USA status.