Omaha Public Power District earned an honorable distinction for our commitment to proper urban forest management, including tree planting and care in our service territory. The Arbor Day Foundation named OPPD a Tree Line USA Utility for the 22nd year.
Tree Line USA, a partnership between the Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters, recognizes public and private utilities for pursuing best practices that protect and cultivate America's urban tree canopy. In addition, Tree Line USA promotes delivering safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community forests.
"Trees are essential to creating more urban green spaces in communities across the United States,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “In addition, they provide important benefits to residents, including clean air, clean water, and vital tree shade. Service providers like Omaha Public Power District demonstrate how easily trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and residents."
OPPD’s senior utility forester Aaron Holloway said OPPD and other utilities have a vested interest in trees.
“Planting the right trees and shrubs in the right locations is good for the environment and helps us keep reliable energy flowing to our customers,” Holloway said. “We urge our customers to consider the height trees and shrubs will reach at full maturity before planting, so they don’t plant something that will eventually grow into or interfere with power lines.”
OPPD has been steadily increasing its tree-trimming budget over the past several years. Investment in proper tree pruning is not only beneficial for reliability, but also helps decrease costs down the road. Healthy root systems that decay less, have less structural weakness, and ultimately result in less damage during storms and fewer downed lines.
OPPD achieved the Tree Line USA recognition by meeting five program standards: quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, a formal tree-based energy conservation, and a sponsorship of or participation Arbor Day celebration.
In addition to helping ensure trees are a safe distance from power lines, proper planting also benefits OPPD’s customers through energy savings. Trees can provide wind breaks during the cold winter months and shade during the hottest months.
The OPPD Arboretum, located on the northeast corner of 108th & Blondo streets, helps educate customers about proper planting and more. It’s open to the public from dawn until dusk, with a variety of resources for all ages. For more on OPPD’s efforts, including tree planting guidance for our customers, visit OPPD.com/trees.
More information about Tree Line USA can be found at www.arborday.org/TreeLineUSA.