Tree program plants roots in communities
Last time we saw leaves, we were hurrying to rake them off the lawn before the fall snow arrived.
Now a warmer season is here, and the trees are sprouting this summer’s cover again. It’s a nice part of every spring.
We’re proud to say that 20,000 brand-new trees in central and eastern Pennsylvania will be planted this year — hopefully to provide shade, cover and beauty for decades to come. It’s part of a recently launched program we call Community Roots.
Through Community Roots, PPL Electric Utilities offers free tree seedlings to schools, local governments and environmentally focused groups. We also provide planting and care instructions, so each seedling has the best chance of putting down some real community roots.
We introduced the program last year, and it’s been such a hit that we quickly received orders for all available trees. Those who were chosen to receive seedlings this spring will receive them this month and next. Ordering for spring and fall 2019 for qualified groups and schools is available through our website, www.pplcommunityroots.com.
Why give away trees? Trees have many benefits, including helping to reduce air pollution. In addition, they provide much-needed shade in parks and other green spaces and beautify our neighborhoods.
The only concern trees cause is if they’re planted too close to power lines. Trees are the leading cause of storm-related outages. We provide Community Roots tree recipients with guidance on how to plant safely for the future. (Even if you’re not on the list for Community Roots trees, you can see useful information on planting trees and power lines at www.pplelectric. com/planting.)
We also urge anyone with a digging project — including tree planting — to call Pennsylvania 811 at least three business days before digging starts. Your underground utility lines will be marked so you don’t dig into them. Hitting an underground utility line can put you at risk for serious injury, and can also disrupt your service.
If you’re a tree lover, Pennsylvania is a great place. More than 130 species of trees are native to the state, and forests cover about 60 percent of the state.
We’re proud to serve our area of Pennsylvania, and pleased to contribute to its abundance of tree life. And we hope our Community Roots trees will someday provide you and your neighbors with a shady place to sit or a lovely fall view.
If you have to do the raking — well, it’s a small price to pay, really.
(Obando-Derstine is regional affairs director with
PPL Electric Utilities)