Progress Energy Florida has been recognized for its progressive tree-care practices with the distinctive Tree Line USA designation from The National Arbor Day Foundation.

Trees are a leading cause of power outages. Progress Energy works to balance the need for reliable electric power with sensitivity for the environment. Tree crews use a technique known as directional pruning, which is endorsed by The National Arbor Day Foundation and the International Society of Arboriculture.

"The Tree Line USA designation acknowledges the effectiveness of our comprehensive program that respects the environment while we manage our electric business," said Larry Bonner, Progress Energy Florida's supervisor of vegetation management. "This sends a positive message back to the communities we serve, many of which carry the Tree City USA designation."

The Tree Line USA program is sponsored by The National Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters. It recognizes public and private utilities that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance community forests. This is the first year Progress Energy Florida has received the Tree Line USA designation.

"Progress Energy is a good corporate citizen and deserves to be known as a Tree Line USA utility," said Lake Helen Mayor Mark Shuttleworth. "Progress Energy's dedication to protecting and promoting healthy trees in its communities helps us sustain the character of our small and beautiful city."

When three hurricanes hit Central Florida in 2004, Lake Helen -- a three- time Tree City USA -- lost several significant trees, including one that was a landmark. Last April, Progress Energy planted live oaks at a park in Lake Helen in Volusia County, and the donation was later recognized with a landscaping beautification award.

Progress Energy educates its customers about the company's trimming practices and the right trees to plant around power lines through its Know Where You Grow campaign. The campaign gave away 8000 low-growing, power line- friendly trees and brochures that outline good planting practices.