Tree branches and palm fronds are among the most common causes of power outages and flickers. That’s why Floridians should recognize National Arbor Day on April 27 by following Florida Power & Light Company’s (FPL’s) “Right Tree, Right Place” tips.
“FPL is committed to providing reliable electric service every day,” said Eli Viamontes, FPL’s manager of vegetation management. “By making informed landscaping choices, FPL customers can help maintain safe, reliable electric service for their families and neighbors. Arbor Day is a good reminder for our customers to think carefully when they plant any trees or bushes.”
“Right Tree, Right Place” Tips:
- Find the Right Tree – Trees come in many shapes and sizes, and often change dramatically over their lifetime. Before selecting a tree, FPL recommends learning how tall, wide and deep the tree will be at maturity. Visit www.FPL.com/trees for helpful planting tips and access to a list ofrecommended trees by region.
- Choose the Right Place – Trees growing too close to power lines can interfere with electric service reliability for the tree owner and the local neighborhood. FPL encourages people to carefully consider where to plant trees and bushes to help ensure they won’t interfere with future electric service.
- Call Before You Dig – What you can’t see can hurt you. Not all utility lines are located overhead, so before reaching for a shovel, reach for the phone.Sunshine State One Call of Florida offers the free marking of underground lines and equipment. Just call 811 at least two full business days before digging, and they’ll see to it that the location of all underground utilities are clearly marked. For more information, visit www.CallSunshine.com.
- Don’t Prune Near Power – FPL cautions its customers to never attempt to prune any vegetation growing near overhead power lines. Use only specially trained line clearing professionals to trim trees and bushes away from the lines. Before work begins, be sure to verify that the contractor is licensed and insured.
It is especially important that FPL customers keep these tips in mind as storm season approaches. Even a minor storm can damage trees and other vegetation, resulting in outages if they’re not planted in the right place.
“FPL delivered more than 99.98 percent service reliability to its customers in 2011, ranking it among the nation’s best,” Viamontes added. “While no utility’s service can be 100 percent interruption-free, we’re working every day to strengthen reliability. In 2011, FPL cleared vegetation from more than 17,000 miles of power lines. We plan to trim approximately that amount again this year as part of our comprehensive plan to improve the electric infrastructure.”
A long-time supporter of preserving, protecting and enhancing the environment, FPL has been designated a “Tree Line USA” utility for 10 consecutive years by The National Arbor Day Foundation. The Foundation sponsors the program in cooperation with state foresters in recognition of utilities that meet the requirements of quality tree care practices, annual worker training, tree planting and public education programs.