"Most of us view trees, primarily, as pretty things to look at. Utility companies, on the other hand, view them in more complex ways. In a broad sense, trees prevent outages. By shading buildings and moderating interior temperatures, they reduce demand for air conditioning during peak times. In their absence, utilities might not have the capacity to maintain full power."
"But trees can also wreak havoc when they fall. As Michael Hyland, senior vice president for engineering at the American Public Power Association, notes, "When you have a tree come across a line, anything downstream from that is going to lose electricity."
Read the complete story on USA Today at http://goo.gl/FHo2Q (Photo by Jack Gruber, USA TODAY)