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MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recently recognized Xcel Energy for the company’s “high standards and community involvement” in tree-trimming practices.
The recognition comes as a result of Xcel Energy’s ninth consecutive year as a Tree Line USA award recipient, an honor bestowed by the National Arbor Day Foundation for outstanding tree-care efforts. The company was recognized by the DNR and presented with its 2003 Tree Line USA award April 15 at the Minnesota Tree City USA awards luncheon in Chanhassen, Minn.
Minnesota State Forester Michael Carroll also announced that Gov. Tim Pawlenty had proclaimed May as Arbor Month in Minnesota. Arbor Day is April 30.
“The Tree Line USA award and special recognition from the state validate the committed effort Xcel Energy and its predecessor companies have made to properly trimming our communities’ trees while striving to maintain reliable electricity service,” said Dennis Fallon, coordinator for vegetation management for Xcel Energy’s Upper Midwest service territory.
Xcel Energy is the only Minnesota-based utility to receive the Tree Line USA award. The award recognizes utility companies that practice quality tree care in their vegetation management efforts, train workers annually in quality tree-care practices and offer tree planting and public education programs.
Xcel Energy’s tree-trimming program is based on the historical impact trees have had on electricity service in its 11-state service territory, the voltage of power lines and tree-growth rates, which vary greatly throughout the service territory. The company contracts with nationally recognized tree professionals, and these crews trim trees according to industry-accepted tree-trimming guidelines and safety standards.
This year the company will spend approximately $33 million across its service territory on tree-maintenance efforts, with the goal of maintaining or improving service reliability by reducing contact between trees and power lines.
The National Arbor Day Foundation, a non-profit education organization dedicated to tree planting and environmental stewardship, sponsors the Tree Line USA program in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters.
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