As announced by the city Department of Transportation, crews are out on the repaved stretch of Admiral right now, planting trees in the medians.
In a separate project, we have word from Seattle City Light of major tree work coming to West Seattle early next year: The utility is ramping up its tree trimming, so that it can work toward a cycle of ensuring that every tree near its lines citywide is checked every four years for proper clearance – 10 feet from the wires. We were downtown at the Municipal Tower yesterday talking with City Light’s Scott Thomsen, who tells WSB that the next big round of trimming work will be here in West Seattle. Here are some details:
The work is geared toward clearing tree branches away along two City Light “feeder” lines in West Seattle; some of that clearance may not have been reviewed for almost a decade. City Light is still putting together the maps but describes the areas of focus as Alki, North Admiral, and “the central area of West Seattle.”
Since the concept of City Light coming out and working on potentially hundreds of trees is a sensitive one, Thomsen says a public-information meeting will be held in West Seattle first, likely in late January or early February (we will let you know as soon as a date and location are set). The utility’s vegetation manager and arborists will be there to talk about exactly what they need to do, where, and how. In some cases, Thomsen warns, the cuts may not be aesthetically pleasing for starters — some evergreen branches, for example, need to be cut back to the trunk, for proper future growth. This is explained on this City Light webpage, where you can find a lot of additional information about the ongoing clearance program.
Thomsen notes that the tree-trimming won’t solve all potential outage threats – such as trees in danger of being completely uprooted during a windstorm (we saw a lot of that in December ’06) – but it will clear the major outage-causing threat of “rattling branches” taking out lines.