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CenterPoint Energy reminds customers to plant the "right tree in the right place"
Trees on power lines were a major contributor to historic Hurricane Ike outages

Houston, TX – April 23, 2009 – Discover the benefits of planting the right tree in the right place as CenterPoint Energy joins Texans in celebrating Arbor Day tomorrow.

To maintain safety and electric reliability, CenterPoint Energy trims up to 1 million trees per year, adhering to American National Standards Institute pruning standards. The National Arbor Day Foundation has recognized the company’s tree trimming program with its Tree Line USA designation for the fifth year in a row.

In addition, the Houston-Galveston Area Council recognized CenterPoint Energy’s work with the City of Missouri City to develop the Right Tree Trail in Ridgeview Park, complete with samples of low-growing trees suitable for planting near power lines and signs depicting appropriate distances away from power lines at which trees can safely be planted.

Tree contact with power lines is the most common cause of power outages. Homeowners and others can help minimize the need for tree trimming by following these guidelines:

  • Before planting trees, be aware of the location of utility lines, including those underground. To locate underground lines, call 811 at least 48 hours before you dig.
  • Know the growth potential of your trees so you can plant the right tree – a low-growing, power-line-friendly species – in the right place – away from power lines.
  • Do NOT try to trim trees near power lines. Serious injury or death could result. Only trained professionals authorized by CenterPoint Energy are allowed to trim or remove trees next to energized power lines.
  • If you think your trees are too close to power lines, call CenterPoint Energy at 713-207-2222 to request trimming. A company representative will inspect the trees to determine if they require trimming immediately.
  • Do NOT plant trees under high-voltage electric transmission towers. CenterPoint Energy will remove trees within the company’s transmission rights-of-way.

For a list of power-line-friendly species and more tree planting tips, visit
www.CenterPointEnergy.com/trees.

CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission & distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations.  The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas. Assets total over $19 billion.  With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 130 years.  For more information, visit the Web site at www.CenterPointEnergy.com.