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First Energy Power donates trees to city of Elkins

November 15, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Elkins has received a MTRP Grant from First Energy Power for city trees.

The Municipal Tree Restoration Program grant is awarded to help prevent power outages by making sure that only small trees that will NOT grow into power lines are planted under them.

Planting small trees, such as redbuds, dogwoods, serviceberry and lilac trees under power lines in street tree-lawns can prevent power outages caused by falling tree limbs. Residents benefit by receiving free trees for street tree-lawns and city right-of-ways that are located under power lines and having fewer power outages. The power company saves time and money on pruning and repairs.

A total of 23 trees have been purchased with this grant. These are high quality, nursery grade trees that will be planted by a professional landscaper. The trees are a gift to property owners. The only commitment is that trees must be watered for the first three summers and pruned in the second and third year after planting. If assistance is needed, the Tree Board or Friends of Trees can find volunteers to adopt the trees for the first three years.

Locations have to be approved by the power company. Streets that have been impacted by tree removal in the past year, such as Eleventh Street, Central Street and Center Street, as well as City Park have priority for receiving trees. We will also try to honor requests received in response to last June's query for tree planting locations.

Notices will be left at the properties where trees will be planted in the next week. If you get a notice but do not want a tree in your tree-lawn you can opt out by emailing or calling the Tree Board when you get the notice. Someone else will be happy to take it.

There is a very short window of time to plant the trees before winter sets in and meet the grant requirements. Delays were caused by the massive impact of the summer Derecho and the recent destruction by Sandy on power company time. Planting must proceed in the next three weeks.

Elkins needs many more trees than this MTRP grant can fund. The Tree Board is working hard to locate other grants that will not be limited to power line locations. We hope to get another Demonstration City grant. If you have information about grants, locations that need trees or would like to become a Tree Volunteer, please email or leave a message at City Hall at 304-636-1414 ext. 1110.



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