This week, the National Arbor Day Foundation will present Oncor with a Tree Line USA Utility award, an honor the Texas utility has received nine years in a row, at the foundation’s Trees & Utilities National Conference. The award recognizes Oncor for its leadership in quality tree care practices, annual training in caring for trees, quality-trained employees and public education programs for 2008.

“We’re ecstatic to win this award yet again for our safe tree-pruning practices and education programs for our employees and consumers,” said Brenda Pulis, Oncor senior vice president of distribution. “We constantly see during storms how trees and power lines do not mix, causing outages and downed power lines. Oncor prunes trees for safety and reliability reasons, but we do so in a manner that keeps the health of the tree in mind and by always following industry-approved guidelines.”

Oncor’s vegetation management work is designed to reduce the impact of future outages and ensure continued electric reliability. Trained foresters and certified arborists are key contributors to Oncor’s vegetation management team, which works on the largest electric delivery system in Texas, covering approximately 117,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines.

Oncor also sponsors an education program called Know Before You Grow that raises awareness about planting the right trees near power lines and the need for regular pruning. School-age youth compete in art contests to see who can best represent the safety and reliability lessons taught through Know Before You Grow.

The conference will be held April 6-9 at The Fairmont Hotel in Dallas. The conference brings tree experts and leaders at utilities from across the United States together with urban forestry experts, concerned citizens and other parties invested in building a healthy, educated relationship between utilities and arborists. Oncor Director Distribution Services Rusty Evans will be on-hand to accept the award on behalf of Oncor, along with members from Oncor’s Vegetation Management team.