MAYSLANDING, N.J . - In recognition of April as Earth Month, Atlantic City Electric offers useful tips to people seeking to plant and prune trees – an important natural resource with significant environmental benefits.
“We encourage people to plant and nurture trees because healthy, mature trees can help improve air quality and prevent soil erosion. But, please be aware of the location of overhead and underground electric wires,” said Charlie Wimberg, Vice President, Atlantic City Electric.
Atlantic City Electric has consistently been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Line USA Utility for supporting the dual goals of reliable utility service and abundant, healthy trees in America's communities.
“ Pruning trees is key to maintaining electrical reliability and it also directly affects public safety,” Wimberg said. By keeping trees properly pruned, the utility and its customers are also minimizing the possibility of power outages, electrical contact, downed wires and electrical fires, in addition to damaging or killing healthy trees, Wimberg added.
Wimberg said people should be aware of the location of overhead utility lines since each tree species grows in a different way and to different heights, adding that it’s important to know what a tree will look like when it reaches maturity.
Atlantic City Electric offers the following tree-planting guidelines considering their proximity to overhead lines:
Maple, Sycamore, Oak, Spruce and Pine – These trees should be more than 50 feet away from power lines.
Birch, Serviceberry, and Honey Locust – These trees, which grow to a height of 40 feet or less, should be planted at least 20 feet from power lines.
Dogwood, Flowering Cherry, Crabapple, Purple Leaf Plum and Japanese Red Maple – These trees, which grow slowly and to no higher than 25 feet, are recommended for areas close to power lines.
In addition, Atlantic City Electric offers the following safety guidelines for planting and trimming trees located near electrical equipment:
o Use only qualified line-clearance tree workers when trimming within ten feet of energized electrical lines.
o Avoid planting trees directly under power lines.
o If there is a padmounted transformer (green metal box) in your yard, please make sure there is a 12-foot cleared space in front of the door to permit our crews to service the transformer.
Atlantic City Electric also wants to remind the public that the law requires everyone to call a free utility locating service about two to 10 days before any hand digging, excavating, boring, pile-driving or blasting occurs. This is done to ensure no underground lines are hit during the digging process. The number for New Jersey One Call is: 811.
Support of Earth Day is just one way in which Atlantic City Electric is committed to environmental stewardship. Throughout the year, Atlantic City Electric works in partnership with environmental and community groups on a variety of programs that benefit the environment. These programs include beach and river cleanups, wildlife habitat preservation, tree maintenance and initiatives to support the replenishment of bird and fish populations.
Atlantic City Electric, a public utility owned by Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), provides safe, reliable and affordable regulated electric delivery services to more than 540,000 customers in southern New Jersey.