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News Releases : Arbor Day Foundation awards OPPD with Tree Line USA designation 2023
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Omaha Public Power District is proud to share we’ve earned an honorable distinction for our commitment to proper urban forest management, including tree planting and care in our service territory. The Arbor Day Foundation has named OPPD a Tree Line USA Utility for the 23rd year.

OPPD foresters received the award at an annual Tree Line USA celebration last Friday, Sept. 29 in Gretna, Neb. The Arbor Day Foundation sponsored the event that was held by the Nebraska Forest Service and the Nebraska Community Forestry Council to recognize public and private utilities for pursuing best practices that cultivate and protect America’s urban tree canopy.

Tree Line USA also promotes the delivery of safe and reliable electricity while maintaining healthy community forests.

"Trees are essential to creating more urban green spaces in communities across the United States,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation.

“In addition, they provide important benefits to residents, including clean air, clean water, and vital tree shade. Service providers like OPPD demonstrate how easily trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and residents."

OPPD’s senior utility forester Aaron Holloway said utilities have a vested interest in promoting the proper care of trees, including planting the right trees and shrubs in the right locations.

“We urge our customers to consider the height trees and shrubs will reach at full maturity before planting, so they don’t plant something that will eventually grow into or interfere with power lines. That helps us keep electric service reliable.”

OPPD has been steadily increasing its tree-trimming budget over the past several years. The investment has resulted in fewer trees and limbs falling on or knocking down power lines during severe weather.

“This helps keep our customers and employees safe, and it helps keep our repair costs down,” Holloway said.

OPPD achieved the Tree Line USA recognition by meeting five program standards: quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, a formal tree-based energy conservation, and a sponsorship of or participation in an Arbor Day celebration.  

In addition to helping ensure trees are a safe distance from power lines, proper planting also benefits OPPD’s customers through energy savings. Trees can provide wind breaks during the cold winter months and shade during the hottest months.

The OPPD Arboretum, located on the northeast corner of 108th & Blondo streets, helps educate customers about proper planting and more. It’s open to the public from dawn until dusk, with a variety of resources for all ages. For more on OPPD’s efforts, including tree planting guidance for our customers, visit OPPD.com/trees.

More information about Tree Line USA can be found at arborday.org/TreeLineUSA.