Roto-rooter Gives Arbor Day Seedlings To Kids To Replace Trees Killed By Plumbers

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Roto-Rooter, the plumbing and drain cleaning company, is observing Arbor Day (Friday, April 28) by enlisting the help of third graders to replace many of the trees the company accidentally killed last year while repairing underground sewer pipes. Roto-Rooter plumbers will give hundreds of tree seedlings to third graders at elementary schools near Memphis, Tennessee and Columbus, Ohio. Each year, Roto-Rooter digs up and repairs thousands of underground pipes. In the process, the company's backhoes disturb the nutrient gathering root fields of nearby trees, often killing them. "We're teaching kids to plant trees far away from underground sewer pipes so their roots won't cause plumbing problems in the future," said company spokesman Paul Abrams.

Roto-Rooter is providing written instructions for planting its seedlings in the backyard where they're less likely to interfere with underground pipes or overhead wires. Beginning in 1935, Roto-Rooter built its business by using its proprietary machines to cut tree roots from underground sewer pipes without having to dig up the pipes. The traditional Roto-Rooter service won't harm trees since the Roto-Rooter machine's blades cut only the fine feeder roots that actually infiltrate pipes through joints and cracks. However, when pipes shift and break they need to be excavated and replaced and it's the digging that can kill trees.

Roto-Rooter has invested in new tree-saving "trenchless technology" that allows for the replacement or relining of underground pipes by remote control with almost no digging at all. "The trenchless equipment is saving trees but it can't be used everywhere and some customers want only the cheapest service, which is traditional backhoe digging," said Abrams.

Roto-Rooter plumbers are hosting Arbor Day tree-planting programs to demonstrate planting techniques and tree care before giving each child a seedling to take home. Participating schools include Collierville Elementary School in Collierville, Tennessee - near Memphis at 2:00 p.m., and Brown Elementary School in Hilliard, Ohio near Columbus at 1:30 p.m. The schools were chosen for their progressive environmental clubs and teaching programs.

Roto-Rooter plans to expand the Arbor Day seedling program over the next several years to include all Roto-Rooter locations.

Roto-Rooter was established in 1935 and is the largest provider of plumbing and drain cleaning services in North America. Roto-Rooter operates businesses in 110 company-owned territories and more than 500 franchise territories, serving approximately 90 percent of the U.S. population and 41 percent of the Canadian population. www.rotorooter.com

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300 Ashworth Rd.
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