CMP recognized for company's tree growing efforts

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AUGUSTA, MAINE - A national group recognized Central Maine Power Co. as a Tree Line USA Utility for 2016. The designation - the second in as many years - comes from the National Arbor Day Foundation, the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees.

"We are thrilled to have earned this recognition from Arbor Day Foundation," said Tom Irwin, head of Vegetation Management for CMP in a Tuesday press release. "We are proud of the quality tree care that our trained professionals and contractors have provided over the years, and receiving this designation demonstrates that we are doing the right things."

To receive the designation, utilities must meet five core standards set by the Foundation:

· Quality Tree Care that meets industry standards for pruning, planting, removals, and other activity

· Annual Worker Training in best practices for utility employees and contract workers

· Tree Planting and Public Education programs that demonstrate proper tree planting, placement and pruning while expanding the tree canopy in the community

· Tree-Based Energy Conservation Programs that put special consideration on the value of trees in energy conservation

· Arbor Day Celebration sponsorship at the community level.

Arbor Week celebrations under way

CMP is observing Arbor Week (May 22-26) by distributing thousands of Trees are Good activity books to schools and community organizations throughout its 11,000-square-mile service area. 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," said Irwin. "As an arborist, I know the best way to have healthy trees and reliable service is by planting 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 encourages 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 spicebush 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," adds Irwin.

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