In 2001, People’s Electric Cooperative (PEC) was designated as a Tree Line USA Utility Provider by the Arbor Day Foundation.
Through its Tree Line USA program, the Arbor Day Foundation, in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes public and private utility providers that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests.
The goal of Tree Line USA is to promote:
- Safe, reliable electric service
- Abundant, healthy trees throughout a utility company’s service areas
These two goals may seem counter to each other, but evidence shows that well-placed vegetation is a needed partner in our attempts to become more energy-efficient. Although vegetation growing too close to power lines and distribution equipment causes 15% of power interruptions according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates a single tree has the cooling effect of 10 room-sized air conditioners running 20 hours a day.
In order to ensure dependable service, PEC is diligent in its vegetation management. PEC crews remove and prune trees near our power lines at no cost to our members in order to keep the electric lines free of trees and brush.
Many times a tree limb hitting an electric line can cause blinking lights in the homes of our members. It is recommended that no tree be planted any closer than 35 feet from the electric line. Most trees should not require trimming if this standard is observed. PEC is required to trim any vegetation back 15 feet from the line. This also requires us to trim 15 feet under the bottom conductor. When trees are trimmed that have been planted too close to, or under the electric lines, it is impossible to trim them to the 15-foot specification and keep them looking natural.
If you see a tree touching an electric line or in danger of falling into the electric line or if you have questions regarding tree trimming, contact PEC at (580) 559-8482.
Planned Vegetation Placement
Planned vegetation placement will go a long way in keeping our energy costs manageable.
“Trees are an important part of urban landscapes all across the United States from an environmental and economic standpoint,” says John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees not only help clean the air and water sources, but the shade they provide also helps reduce peak energy usage and conserve energy. Utility providers like PEC are setting a good example about the importance of recognizing and taking care of a valuable community resource like trees.”
Tree Line USA Utility
The TreeLine USA® program exists to recognize best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens. PEC meets the following core standards for a Tree Line USA utility:
- We follow industry standards for quality tree care
- Have annual worker training in best tree care practices
- Participate in and sponsor tree-planting and public education programs
- Have a tree-based energy conservation program
- Participate in Arbor Day celebrations
The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship. More information about the Foundation and the Tree Line USA program can be found on the Arbor Day Foundation website.