Knowledge of and Attitudes About Utility Pruning and How Education can Help
Arboriculture and Urban Forestry
A survey was conducted in six cities in the western United States whose electric utilities practice directional pruning for line clearance. Recipients’ knowledge of and attitudes about tree care practices and issues, utility pruning, directional pruning for line clearance, and effects of a simple brochure about utility pruning were determined. Respondents cared a great deal about landscape trees but had not thought much about utility pruning. They felt that utility pruners care most about keeping lines clear but care less about the trees, that companies are poor at explaining pruning to the public, and slightly disagree that large trees should be removed and replaced with small trees under lines. Those who had thought a lot about utility pruning were less trusting of those who do the pruning. The brochure increased trust of utility pruning personnel and the perception that they care about trees and greatly increased agreement that those personnel are highly trained professionals. Preference for topping over directional pruning was reduced by receiving a brochure, although topping still was preferred. Most supported line burial and were willing to pay higher rates for burial. Several recommendations are suggested for utilities and researchers, including the need for utilities placing an increased emphasis on communication with the public regarding these matters
Kuhns, M.R., and D. Reiter. 2007. Knowledge of and attitudes about utility pruning and how education can help. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 33(4):264-274.