City, TEP to start replacing trees entangled in power lines

2014-04-01T15:45:00Z City, TEP to start replacing trees entangled in power linesDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The city is taking a new approach to how it handles trees that grow into overhead power lines.

In the past, trees that interfered with power lines were trimmed into either a v-shape or other directional cut.

The result often left the trees lining Tucson’s streets misshapen and unsightly.

But not anymore.

Beginning this month, Tucson Electric Power will remove trees entirely if they extend into power lines.

In their place, the city’s Department of Transportation will plant two trees for every one removed. The new trees will either grow shorter or be strategically placed away from utility lines.

The idea behind the tree replacement program is to lower Tucson Electric Power’s maintenance costs while improving the look of the city’s tree canopy.

A group that helped push the effort said the move will spruce up the city.

“The City of Tucson and Tucson Electric Power Company’s decision to remove trees that can grow into power lines is long overdue,” said Joan Lionetti, Executive Director of Tucson Clean and Beautiful, in press release. “Many of the trees planted were inappropriate species for planting under power lines.”

The city expects to plant about 100 trees during the first year of the program.

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com. Follow on twitter @DarrenDaRonco​

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Arizona Daily Star's Government blog includes stories and related items from Tucson and Pima County written by Star reporters Darren DaRonco and Jamar Younger.

Have a government-related topic you would like to see in the blog or suggestions? Email Darren DaRonco at ddaronco@tucson.com and Jamar Younger at jyounger@tucson.com

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