Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) achieved Tree Line USA status, for the ninth year, as a utility provider dedicated to its community trees. Trees that grow too close to electrical lines can create power outages, shock and fire hazard. REC says it works hard to maintain its right of way near overhead lines to provide safe and reliable electrical service to its over 155,000 electric service connections.
“We take trees seriously” said Keith Forry, REC’s corporate arborist. “You have to when it’s your responsibility to oversee vegetation management over more than 16,000 miles of power lines throughout 22 counties.”
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 and abundant, healthy trees throughout a utility company’s service area.
REC met the five requirements for a Tree Line USA utility. The requirements are: follows industry standards for quality tree care; annual worker training in best tree-care practices; participates in and sponsors a tree-planting and public education program; has a tree-based energy conservation program; and participates in an Arbor Day celebration.
“Trees are an important part of landscapes all across the United States from an environmental and economic standpoint” said John Rosenow, chief executive and founder of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Trees not only help clean the air and water sources, the shade they provide helps reduce peak energy usage and conserve energy. Utility providers like Rappahannock Electric are setting a good example about the importance of recognizing the need to take care of a valuable community resource like trees.”