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Central Maine Power Company, 83 Edison Drive, Augusta, ME 04336 (207) 622-NEWS 

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During Arbor Week, CMP Urges Customers to ‘Plan Before They Plant’

CMP distributes 6,000 seedlings to schools, community organizations,
and Maine’s Project Canopy

AUGUSTA, Maine, May 23, 2011 — People throughout Maine are observing Arbor Week May 21-25 with a variety of tree-planting activities. Central Maine Power Company (CMP) applauds those efforts, including those involving the planting of trees and shrubs to enhance the environment.


During Arbor Week, CMP will provide free seedlings to Project Canopy, which promotes community forestry across the state of Maine. The utility will also distribute more than 6,000 free seedlings to schools and community organizations all over its 11,000-square-mile service area in central and southern Maine.


Trees add beauty to the landscape, help clean the air, and provide shade and animal habitat. But they can also interfere with power lines, disrupting electric service and even posing safety hazards.


“Keeping trees away from power lines enhances safe, reliable service, so our tree crews prune along almost 4,800 miles of lines each year, ” says Tom Irwin, head of vegetation management for CMP. “As an arborist, I know the best way to have healthy trees and reliable service is by choosing the right trees for your location.”


Proper selection and placement of trees near overhead power lines can eliminate potential hazards and improve the appearance of your property. CMP encourages people who would like to plant a tree in observance of Arbor Week to “plan before you plant,” and offers the following tips:


  • Before planting, look around the area for power lines and other hazards, and keep in mind that today’s sapling will eventually grow into a mature tree many times its current size.
  • Avoid planting trees directly underneath power lines or too close to electric facilities — along with minimizing the chance of power interruption, this keeps you and the public safe.
  • Trees like white pine, maple, ash, fir, and spruce that will be 60 feet or taller when mature should be planted no closer than 60 feet from the nearest power line.
  • Trees like crabapple, juniper, and dogwood that will be no more than 20 feet tall at maturity may be planted as close as 15 feet from the power line.
  • If plantings must go beneath lines, consider shrubs such as common lilac and burning bush or dwarf trees that will not grow up into the lines.


“Your local tree nursery can give lots of helpful advice on the types of trees or shrubs appropriate for particular sites and growing conditions,” adds Irwin. 


Seedlings are being distributed to the following schools and community organizations:


Morse High School Environmental Education Program in Bath; Boy Scouts in Brunswick; Bucksport Elementary School; Canaan Elementary School; Pine Grove School in Falmouth; Mallett and Cascade Brook Schools in Farmington; Piscataquis Elementary School in Guilford; New Gloucester Elementary School; Longfellow School in Portland; Searsport Elementary School; Stockton Springs Elementary School; Mount Ararat Middle School; Warren Elementary School; Saccarappa Elementary School in Westbrook; the communities of Lewiston, Portland, Saco, and Sanford; and the Maine Forest Service and Viles Arboretum in Augusta.

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About Central Maine Power Company (CMP): Central Maine Power Company, a subsidiary of Iberdrola USA, is Maine’s largest electricity transmission and distribution utility. The company delivers about 9 billion kilowatt hours of electricity annually to more than 600,000 homes and businesses, representing about 80% of Maine’s annual consumer sales of electricity. The company has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction six times by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit

About Iberdrola USA: Iberdrola USA, a subsidiary of global energy leader Iberdrola, S.A., is an energy services and delivery company serving more than 2.4 million customers in upstate New York and New England. For more information about Iberdrola USA, visit