Making the most of Arbor Day can be as easy as one, two, tree

From left: TECO’s Melanie Ganas, John Webster, Adam Padgett and Andrew Blake plant a tree at the home of a Temple Terrace resident.

A quick look in virtually any direction makes it clear: Florida is growing places. (As in trees are growing, plants are growing, gardens are growing…you get the picture.) That’s great for air quality, natural habitats, economic development and much more. And today, Arbor Day 2018, these are all things to celebrate.

But Arbor Day is also an opportunity to spotlight a few important things you need to keep in mind about trees and the safe, reliable electric power we’re proud to provide to the communities we serve:

Stay safe – let experts do the trimming: Tampa Electric and our valued contractors work hard, year-round, to trim vegetation along power lines (since trees touching power lines is the No. 1 cause of outages). You may not be preparing yet for hurricane season, but we sure are, and this is one way we do it. We’re always looking for new and better ways to trim trees, and we prioritize safety, reliability and the health of the trees we trim. Remember: only licensed experts should trim trees – especially those growing near electrical equipment. Under no circumstances should you risk electrocution when there are plenty of qualified professionals who can trim your trees. If you have a tree on your property growing close to electrical equipment, let us know about it!

The oak tree and cabbage palm growing together along the habitat trail at Tampa Electric’s Manatee Viewing Center.

Plant the right tree in the right place: A tree or shrub planted too close to electric equipment lays the groundwork – literally – for a collision course in the future. Experts will have to remove the vegetation and/or it will one day cause frustrating power outages for you and your neighbors. This guide can help you determine safe distances from power lines to plant trees. Respect your trees and your neighborhood by planting responsibly! Beyond power reliability, be sure to study the types of vegetation you’re planting and be mindful of how much sun and water it needs.

Firebush flowers, a beautiful addition to almost any Florida yard.

Trees make the world a better place: As a Tree Line USA utility, Tampa Electric is proud to be recognized for its care in trimming trees, and that care extends to our more than 750,000 valued customers like you. Our team members regularly volunteer to plant trees in the community, and Tampa Electric’s free Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach is a showcase for trees that can help you branch out in exciting ways – with plants like the milkweed that support butterflies and vibrant native species like the sea grape, firebush and many others while you immerse yourself in a unique corner of natural Florida through April 15. And there are many others in the community who share our love of trees. The city of Tampa’s Tree-Mendous Tampa program, in fact, brings free trees to neighborhoods throughout the city.

This Arbor Day and all year long, make the right decisions when it comes to trees and you can hardly go wrong. That means showing them the kind of love we show them as residents of the communities we serve – and when it comes to giving them the trim that they need, leave it to us.

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