Arbor Week: CMP urges customers to ‘plan before they plant’

Posted May 13, 2011, at 3:45 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — People throughout Maine are observing Arbor Week May 16-20 with a variety of tree-planting activities. Central Maine Power Company (CMP) applauds those efforts, including those involving the planting of trees and shrubs to enhance the environment.

Trees add beauty to the landscape, help clean the air, and provide shade and animal habitat. But they can also interfere with power lines, disrupting electric service and even posing safety hazards.

“Keeping trees away from power lines enhances safe, reliable service, so our tree crews prune along almost 4,800 miles of lines each year, ” says Wes Davis, head of vegetation management for CMP. “As an arborist, I know the best way to have healthy trees and reliable service is by choosing the right trees for your location.”

Proper selection and placement of trees near overhead power lines can eliminate potential hazards and improve the appearance of your property. CMP urges people who would like to plant a tree in observance of Arbor Week to “plan before you plant,” and offers the following tips:

·  Before planting, look around the area for power lines and other hazards, and keep in mind that today’s sapling will eventually grow into a mature tree many times its current size.

·  Avoid planting trees directly underneath power lines or too close to electric facilities — along with minimizing the chance of power interruption, this keeps you and the public safe.

·  Trees like white pine, maple, ash, fir, and spruce that will be 60 feet or taller when mature should be planted no closer than 60 feet from the nearest power line.

·  Trees like crabapple, juniper, and dogwood that will be no more than 20 feet tall at maturity may be planted as close as 15 feet from the power line.

·   If plantings must go beneath lines, consider shrubs such as common lilac and burning bush or dwarf trees that will not grow up into the lines.

“Your local tree nursery can give lots of helpful advice on the types of trees or shrubs appropriate for particular sites and growing conditions,” Davis added .

During Arbor Week, CMP will provide free seedlings to Project Canopy, which promotes community forestry across the state of Maine. The utility will also distribute more than 6,000 free seedlings to schools and community organizations all over its 11,000-square-mile service area in central and southern Maine.

Seedlings are being distributed to the following schools and community organizations:

Athens Elementary School; Pine Grove School in Falmouth; Mallett and Cascade Brook Schools, plus Nina’s Woods in Farmington; Frankfort Elementary School; Laura E. Richards School in Gardiner; Guilford Elementary; Harmony School; Monson Elementary; Williams Elementary in Oakland; Rockland Elementary School; James H. Bean School in Sidney; Stockton Springs Elementary School; Vassalboro Community School; Wales Central School; Wilton Academy; Saccarappa Elementary School in Westbrook; communities of Bath, Belfast, Camden, Lewiston, Rockland, Saco, and Sanford; and the Viles Arboretum in Augusta.

 

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