Duquesne Light Company (DLC) is helping bring cleaner air quality, reduced electric bills, and neighborhood beautification to Pittsburgh through their city-wide tree planting initiative.

By Alexander Oh

Teaming up with the City of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, and the Arbor Day Foundation, DLC is taking part in various planting events across its service territory to revitalize Pittsburgh’s tree canopy. This past Arbor Day, which is celebrated in Pennsylvania on the last Friday of April, DLC planted 40-50 new trees in Schenley Park and Highland Park with the help of nearly 30 volunteers. On April 27, DLC partnered with Tree Pittsburgh to help the organization reach their goal of planting 1,000 trees at the former Bell Acres Recreation Park.

DLC’s efforts to plant more trees involved removing diseased trees, digging new holes, and planting restoration-sized trees varying in species. Employees worked closely with representatives from the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy who were on-site to supervise and support the planting.

In a company newsletter, Jim Barry, Manager of Vegetation Management at Duquesne Light, said “Our first priority at DLC is to deliver safe and reliable electrical service to our customers, and making sure the right trees are planted in the right places plays a big role in that.”

According to Community Canopy, a single tree planted in the right location can save a homeowner up to 20% on their summer energy bills. The benefits of planting trees extend beyond just the homeowner and can provide an entire community with improved air quality, reduced storm water runoff, beautification of the neighborhood, reduced urban heat island effect, and a smaller carbon footprint.

As of May 1, DLC has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to offer all DLC customers a free tree to plant around their residence, business, or community. DLC customers on the Northside can request a tree through the Energy Saving Trees program by filling out a form that can be found on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website

All customers receiving a free tree should follow DLC’s “right tree in the right place” approach when determining how to plant their tree. When planting a tree, customers should keep in mind the projected height and width of the tree and also avoid places that may interfere with overhead power lines or electrical equipment. Find more information at https://www.duquesnelight.com.