In celebration of this month’s recognition of Arbor Day, Puget Sound Energy joins Washington state and the Arbor Day Foundation in encouraging community tree planting and thoughtful planting practices.
The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) bestowed awards by the Arbor Day Foundation to PSE and the City of Poulsbo for outstanding tree-care efforts. PSE was recognized for the ninth consecutive year as a Tree Line USA utility for its efforts to protect and enhance urban forests while ensuring reliable energy service. Poulsbo earned the Foundation’s Tree City USA award for the 12th consecutive year.
The recognition from DNR and the Arbor Day Foundation came during Washington state’s Arbor Week, which included the planting of 16 PSE-donated trees in Poulsbo, as well as selection of the fifth-grade winners of the state’s annual Arbor Day poster contest, sponsored for the fifth consecutive year by the utility. Washington state celebrated Arbor Day this week, while National Arbor Day is on April 24.
PSE urges tree planters to place new trees away from power lines to prevent tree-related power outages. The utility also reminds consumers planting trees or shrubs that require digging a depth of 12 or more inches to call 811—the “call before you dig” hotline—to avoid potential hazards with striking or digging up underground utilities.
“Planting the right tree in the right place can promote healthier trees, enhance both public and worker safety, and reduce the expense and need for the utility to trim tree branches or remove unhealthy danger trees clear of power lines,” said Sue McLain, senior vice president of Operations for PSE.
The utility will spend approximately $14 million this year to clear trees around power lines in Whatcom, Skagit, Jefferson, Island, Kitsap, King, Pierce, Thurston and Kittitas counties for safety and power reliability. Trees are the most common cause of power outages, especially during storms.
PSE recommends planting low-growing trees that grow to heights less than 20 feet, such as flowering dogwoods and magnolias, around power lines. Trees that grow more than 30 feet tall should never be planted near power lines.
As part of its annual program to trim or remove trees along power-line corridors, PSE devotes approximately $500,000 toward replanting the right tree in the right place .