20th Year Recognition Wisconsin Public Service Celebrates Two Decades As A Tree Line USA Company

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May 19, 2015

20th Year Recognition

Wisconsin Public Service Celebrates Two Decades As A Tree Line USA Company

Green Bay, WI – Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) was recognized for its 20th year of being named a Tree Line USA Utility by the National Arbor Day Foundation and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The company was congratulated for its environmental leadership in caring for the health of trees while providing safe and sound management of tree growth along electric power lines while protecting and enhancing urban forests.


WPS Is Nationally 
Recognized For Its 20 year As A Tree Line USA Utility

From left to right: Oshkosh Mayor Steve Cummings, Greg Kirchmayer WPS System Line Clearance Coordinator/Forrester, Deb Wirtz WPS Manager-Customer Service, Dallas Bennett WPS Community Relations Leader, Jessica Milchner WPS Environmental Consultant, and Jeff Treu Tree Line USA-Arbor Day Foundation

"It's an honor to be recognized for meeting all the Tree Line USA requirements for the past two decades," said Greg Kirchmayer, System Line Clearance Forester-Coordinator for WPS. "We can ensure the trees in our communities stay healthy and at the same time improve the safety and reliability of the electric system. That's something we all can appreciate."

Kirchmayer added that proper forest management is a great collaborative effort between WPS employees and the communities they serve. "It adds great community value and can be enjoyed by everyone."

WPS follows the best practices recommended by the Tree Line USA program in its vegetation management program. There are five core standards: quality tree care, annual worker training, tree planting and public education, tree-based energy conservation program and an Arbor Day celebration.

Since 2003, WPS has been planting trees at area schools and to date, has planted about 1,450 trees at 95 different schools in our service area according to Kirchmayer.

Properly pruned trees have healthy root systems and that means less structural weakness and fewer broken branches and downed power lines during windy conditions. In addition, a good tree canopy can keep people cool on hot summer days and reduce electrical use.

A big part of the program is education and reminding tree planters to call 811 before they start to plant a tree and make sure they are planting the right tree in the right place.

Trees growing into power lines can cause issues with electric service. "To prevent that, we trim trees every three or four years in residential areas and every five to eight years in rural areas. Despite our best efforts, trees still cause about 30 percent of all electric service interruptions on our 17,000-mile WPS distribution system," according to Kirchmayer. The line clearance work is done for WPS by companies with specialized equipment and trained personnel.

For learn more about the WPS Vegetation Management program including tree selection and advice on where to plant, safety information and to see WPS's tree trimming plan, access the WPS tree trimming website.


For More Information, Contact:

  • Lynn Kroll 
    Green Bay and Door Counties
  • Jenny Short 
    Marinette, Menominee, Crivitz, Wabeno, Wausaukee
  • Leah Van Zile 
    Rhinelander, Tomahawk, Minocqua, Eagle River
  • Kelly Zagrzebski 
    Wausau, Merrill, Stevens Point and Antigo
  • Dallas Bennett 
    Oshkosh, Two Rivers, Chilton and Sheboygan
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