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Blackbird sitting on the power line

Trade a Tree for Better Reliability

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Homeowners love their trees. They provide shade in the summer, protection from harsh winter winds and even help lower electricity bills down by keeping the house cooler. They also can cause a major power outage if they’re located in a bad spot.

One of the biggest causes of electrical outages isn’t cars crashing into poles but tree limbs making contact with power lines. Think about how many palm trees are scattered throughout Brownsville. Now think about those palm fronds being dislodged during a storm and those fronds go flying. Or even think about all of the movement that can occur among tree limbs with South Texas’ extreme winds. Those palms fronds that have taken flight or limbs that are being shaken about can easily make contact with primary electrical service lines. It’s easy to see how a tree planted too near a power line can be not only a threat to electrical reliability but a safety hazard as well.

The Brownsville Public Utilities Board (BPUB) has a Trade a Tree Program that addresses these very issues. A tree directly under a primary voltage line is eligible for replacement through the program. Only trees under primary voltage lines are eligible; the program doesn’t apply to trees under secondary lines. Not sure if yours qualifies? Contact BPUB at 956-983-6201 to find out.

If your tree does qualify, BPUB, in collaboration with the city of Brownsville, will remove the tree, clean up the debris and provide a replacement tree approximately 5 feet tall that will be placed in the customer’s yard by a representative from a nursery. This placement will be the proper distance from the primary line to ensure electrical reliability and safety.

Don’t worry about those rare, specimen trees like Sabal palms and oaks. Every effort will be made to relocate those trees to a safer spot. If the customer just wants a tree removed and doesn’t want the replacement tree, that tree can be donated to the city for use in parks or other city property.

This program is a great benefit for all involved. BPUB benefits by having a more reliable electrical system. More trees are planted for others to enjoy, and the community can enjoy experiencing fewer power outages related to tree limbs.

Think that you qualify for the program? Learn more about the Trade a Tree Program and get in touch with a BPUB representative today.

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