From oak, to elm, to birch, to pine, Eversource understands the aesthetic and environmental importance of trees lining local streets, parks and backyards. With trees being the leading cause of power outages, the company also understands the potential risk they pose to electric service reliability.
"To provide actual examples of what it means to plant the right tree in the right place, we've included a wide variety of trees in the new UMass utility arboretum, placing them near and under utility equipment," said Bob Allen, Manager of Vegetation Management at Eversource. "On Arbor Day and every day, we want to be sure we're getting this important message out - plan before you plant."
When a storm with high winds or heavy, wet snow comes through New England, more than 90 percent of the outages are typically caused by trees and tree limbs. Eversource arborists and utility foresters work every day to minimize the damage trees can cause.
"Trees and power lines don't mix," added Allen. "When they touch, it can cause power outages and downed lines, potentially leading to unsafe situations for people, wildlife and even the trees themselves."
Eversource arborists, in partnership with UMass staff, forestry students and local tree wardens, created the utility arboretum at the Agricultural Learning Center at the UMass Amherst campus using recycled poles and electrical equipment. The company arborists, all UMass grads, will also be participating in classes each semester teaching utility arboriculture.
Eversource tree crews will also periodically return to prune mature trees left on the site as a demonstration for UMass Forestry and Arboriculture classes.
Members of the public, tree wardens, municipal officials and landscape architects are welcome to visit the site to see first-hand which species of trees are most compatible around power lines.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.7 million customers throughout Massachusetts, including approximately 1.4 million electric customers in 140 communities and 300,000 gas customers in 51 communities. Recognized as the top U.S. utility for its energy efficiency programs by the sustainability advocacy organization Ceres, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of safely delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@eversourceMA) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceMA.)