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The Arbor Day Foundation recognized TUA as a 2019 Tree Line USA Utility for the eighth year in a row.

The TreeLine USA program exists to recognize best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can co-exist for the benefit of communities and citizens according to Matt Harris, Chief Executive of Arbor Day Foundation.

There are five core standards in order to qualify for the award: Quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, tree-based energy conservation program and Arbor Day celebration.

Quality tree care implements standards for pruning, planting, removals, trenching, and tunneling near trees and making sure they are consistently followed.

TUA had to hold training for utility employees and contract workers at least annually as in best practices. The company also must hold tree planting and public education programs available to the public and paying customers, demonstrating proper tree planting, placement, and pruning while expanding the tree canopy in the community.

Also required of the winning utility is putting a formal tree-based energy conservation program in place, putting special consideration on the value of trees in conserving energy.

Lastly, a sponsorship of or participation in annual Arbor Day events at the community level are documented, including collaboration with community groups whenever possible.

“We are certainly pleased and excited to have the honor once again,” Chairman J.T. Northcutt said.

The Arbor Day Foundation thrives on awarding utility companies that comply with these core standards.

Katelyn Lawson may be reached at klawson@tullahomanews.com.

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