AEC sponsors and participates in annual Arbor Day events and collaborates with community groups in efforts to plant and protect trees.
The benefits of adhering to these standards are many. For utilities, it means improved reliability. Properly pruned and maintained trees with healthy root systems results in less decay and structural weakness—which translates into fewer downed lines during storms. Following the idea of “the right tree for the right place” guidance results in improved rights-of-way management. For area residents, it means reduced electricity costs through strategically planted trees that broaden the forest canopy and thus conserve energy—plus, healthy and abundant trees enhance the attractiveness of individual properties and of communities as a whole.
According to McCarter, “Some people have the mistaken idea that there’s always a conflict between power lines and trees. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The Tree Line USA program recognizes the equal importance of unimpeded utility infrastructure and the benefits provided by America’s forests, woodlands, and trees in urban settings and residential neighborhoods. We’re very proud of the actions we take to make sure our members are provided with safe and reliable electric service—and we also find great reward in the steps we take to protect and promote healthy trees within our service area. This is an ongoing commitment on the part of the Cooperative. Our sights are already set on obtaining the Tree Line USA designation again next year!”