Community Environment

A nice round number and feathery leaves everywhere

Volunteers from TECO’s Line Clearance and Construction Services departments joined city of Temple Terrace staff members including Joe Ferris, alongside the Temple Terrace Fire Department, to add eight 30-gallon trees to Serena Park on April 27.

All around Tampa Bay, it’s undeniable — this place is growing. Downtowns are growing. Lakeland’s growing. Brandon’s growing. USF is growing. The Tampa campus is one community where you can fully appreciate the transformative power of trees; the power to turn a school that students largely drove to to one they wanted to immerse themselves in as residents.

Can you believe Tampa is the best tree city in the world?

TECO can.

As a Tree Line USA utility — this is our 10th year in a row with the prestigious designation — the proof is clear: we love trees. That’s why we follow strict, tree-health-focused standards to trim vegetation growing too close to power lines. In neighborhoods like yours, when storm winds blow tree limbs into our wires, the power might go out. So we trim trees to help ensure they stay healthy, so they remain an invaluable part of the streetscape. Meanwhile, you have the reliable service you depend on.

The group plans its approach to working with a nice range of trees, including river birch, redbud, sweetgum, sycamore, yellow tabebuia, red maple, yaupon holly and bald cypress.

Granted, trees trimmed to protect electricity for you and your neighbors can look a little different. We live here too and some of us certainly have “different-looking-but-beloved” trees of our own. With federal standards as our guide, our highly skilled contractors won’t cut trees closer than they need to be cut to reasonably help ensure that your lights stay on in the event of severe weather.

And keep in mind we’re the best tree city in the world. We’re full of trees!

(Customers can request underground service, but it may increase the cost to provide service due to the complexities of initial construction and subsequent maintenance.)

This brings us back to trees. Tree Line USA utility, Tree City USA: it’s a perfect pairing. That puts us in partnership with you (in addition to the ways we partner with you for a better customer experience).

As part of this partnership, you can take these steps:

  • Before storm season, take stock of trees in your yard and identify those growing close to power lines.
  • Do not, ever, try to trim these trees yourself.
  • Instead, let us know! Call us at (813) 223-0800 in Hillsborough County, (863) 299-0800 in Polk County or 1-888-223-0800 from anywhere else. We all have a stake in every last TECO customer having power, so we’ll work efficiently to get a crew to you as soon as possible to trim the portion of your trees that pose a danger to power lines.
  • Be sure to plant the right trees in the right place; this is good for everyone.
  • Enjoy the heck out of your trees and all the benefits they bring!

As the weather warms, the value of trees and the shade they provide goes up. It’s invaluable, actually, because the only way to have the full majesty of an oak is to let it grow for many years — maybe even going back to about the time TECO got its start in 1899?

The Tree Line USA designation we’re proud to have for the tenth year in a row speaks to our roots in this community, not to mention how much we love the sun. With your help, we can safely reduce the potential for outages ahead of the coming storm season.

Meanwhile, a queen palm that started growing 10 years ago with a single weed-like strand coming out of the dirt could be 20 feet tall by now, and maybe there’s something instructive in that. We’re so proud to be here with you as we grow together in West Central Florida. The incredible trees we share only make it better.

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