PSEG Long Island Improves Reliability by Planting Wire-Friendly Trees in Floral Park
(UNIONDALE, N.Y. — July 8, 2022) Floral Park officials joined PSEG Long Island on Thursday, June 30, to celebrate the completion of a project that improves reliability and beautifies the village by replacing old trees with new, wire-friendly species.
After consulting with village officials, PSEG Long Island’s Vegetation Management team and its contractors removed 21 pin oaks along Plainfield Avenue, replacing them with a variety of ornamental species, native to the Northeast. The new trees will not grow tall enough to interfere with the transmission and distribution lines that run along the street. Funded through PSEG Long Island’s storm-hardening budget, the project is expected to make some of Floral Park’s mainline electric circuits more reliable and resilient during severe weather.
“PSEG Long Island is committed to providing safe, reliable electric service to our customers, and Vegetation Management plays a big part in fulfilling that commitment, inspecting our energy grid and ensuring our lines are free from tree limbs that may snap during severe weather,” said Mark Cerqueira, PSEG Long Island’s manager of Vegetation Management. “We also work closely with the communities we serve to find new solutions to old problems. We are very pleased to be able to improve Floral Park’s reliability while maintaining the beauty of this road that runs through the entire village.”
“Over the years of trimming, the trees on this portion of Plainfield Avenue not only became damaged, but also lost their aesthetic value and charm,” said Floral Park Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald. “We appreciate the partnership with PSEG Long Island in removing and planting more trees to replace those that were taken down. We expect in a few short years this major road in our village will once again be representative of our village’s charm.”
Every year, PSEG Long Island’s Vegetation Management team inspects all 1,300 miles of the high-voltage transmission system for indications of tree limb encroachment — once when trees are bare and once when they have reached full foliage.
For decades, pin oaks have been a widely popular, inexpensive landscaping choice. Unfortunately, they can grow to be 70 feet tall, with a growth rate of up to 24 inches per year, which does not make them an ideal choice for planting beneath power lines. The pin oaks on Plainfield Avenue were planted decades ago and gradually grew to wire-threatening heights, causing occasional outages during severe weather and requiring Vegetation Management crews to be dispatched twice a year to carefully inspect the tree limbs’ proximity to the transmission lines. Replacing these trees with wire-friendly, ornamental species that do not grow as tall will save customers approximately $13,000 per year in wire inspection costs, and help reduce the number of outages Floral Park residents experience.
Protecting trees while ensuring reliability
PSEG Long Island also received the National Arbor Day Foundation Tree Line USA Award for 2021. This award recognizes public and private utilities across the nation utilizing tree-friendly practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests, while increasing electric reliability.
The environmentally sound techniques utilized by PSEG Long Island are in accordance with the International Society of Arboriculture’s published best practices and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) A-300 Standards for Tree Care Operations. This preserves the health of the tree and directs future growth away from power lines.
PSEG Long Island reminds its customers that planting the right trees in the right locations can reduce utility bills up to 20% in the summer and promote ongoing system reliability. To learn more about how to select and situate tree plantings, visit https://www.psegliny.com/safetyandreliability/minimizingoutages/treetrimming/treeselectionandsafeplanting.
Photo Caption: Floral Park officials, including Village Trustee Mike Longombardi (second from left), Deputy Mayor Lynn Pombonyo (fourth from left), Public Works Superintendent Kevin Ginnane (fifth from left), Mayor Kevin Fitzgerald (seventh from left) and Village Trustee Frank Chiara (eighth from left) joined PSEG Long Island personnel on June 30 to celebrate the planting of ornamental, wire-friendly trees on Plainfield Avenue. The trees replace taller pin oaks that posed hazards to the power lines during severe weather.
PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company.