Tree giveaway is just one of the things OUC does as a Tree Line USA award recipient.

For the 22nd consecutive year, OUC – The Reliable One earned the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree Line USA® designation in recognition of a commitment to proper tree pruning, planting and care.

The Arbor Day Foundation announced Tree Line USA® honorees on April 30, Arbor Day.

OUC achieved the 2021 Tree Line USA® honor by meeting five program standards: 1) Follow industry standards for quality tree care; 2) provide annual worker training in best tree care practices; 3) sponsor a tree planting and public education program; 4) maintain a tree-based energy conservation program; and 5) participate in an Arbor Day celebration.

Tree Line USA is a national program recognizing public and private utilities for practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests. A collaboration of the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, Tree Line USA® promotes the dual goals of delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community trees.

Erin Givens, OUC Vegetation Management Specialist, called the 22-year Tree Line USA streak “confirmation of OUC’s long-term commitment to environmental stewardship. This recognition speaks to our continued efforts to help the community maintain a healthy urban forest through sustainable tree management.”

Said Dan Lambe, president of the Arbor Day Foundation: “Trees are a critical part of urban landscapes all across the United States. They provide important benefits to residents, including clean air, clean water and a tolerable climate. Service providers like Orlando Utilities Commission demonstrate that it’s possible for trees and utilities to co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens.”

OUC encourages customers to keep safety in mind during any landscaping project. Before planting trees or doing other work outdoors, Florida law requires residents to call Sunshine State One-Call at 800-432-4770 or 8-1-1. Through this federally designated number arrangements are made for utilities to inspect properties for underground pipes and electric lines. Please call at least two business days before starting, whether it involves heavy equipment or even simple landscaping.

While calling 8-1-1 can help you know what’s below, residents should also remember to be aware of what’s above. Check the area above landscape work to make sure it’s clear of powerlines and keep cranes, ladders, pruners and other equipment at least 10 feet from the powerlines. If powerlines pose a concern for your landscaping projects, then you can submit an online tree trimming request or call OUC Customer Service at 407.423.9018 to submit a request. An OUC inspector will visit the site within one to two weeks and advise on whether the tree(s) have sufficient clearance or if OUC tree trimming assistance is needed.

It is important to remember to avoid planting large trees directly under powerlines. Always research the mature height and width of the tree canopy to ensure you are allowing it enough space for your tree to grow. If planting directly under overhead powerlines, then the vegetation should not have a mature height greater than 15 feet tall. If a large tree is desired, then plant the tree at least 50 feet away from powerlines. If the tree canopy width exceeds 50 feet, then increase your setback from the powerlines accordingly. Trees and powerlines can coexist if the right tree is planted in the right place. Click here to learn more about OUC’s Vegetation Management program.