West Seattle trees: SDOT today, City Light soon


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.

3 Replies to "West Seattle trees: SDOT today, City Light soon"

  • JumboJim December 20, 2007 (11:35 am)

    Well they need to come check out my giganto maple tree on Rose Street. Its within 5 feet of the lines (by my guess, maybe closer) but I’m not allowed to prune it as its too dangerous to get close to the power lines.

  • RB December 20, 2007 (12:19 pm)

    There are trees limbs laying all over the lines above the Fairmount playfield. City Light had to replace a pole after last Dec’s windstorm took out the lines, but never came back to trim the trees. It’s another outage just waiting to happen.

  • Katydid December 20, 2007 (8:06 pm)

    They sure do need to check Rose Street and do the job right…have called several times for tree trimming. The contractor was awful; said they could only do so much trimming…not even to the ditch on city property and then they didn’t go around to the other side of city property…next street up to do the rest. What a waste of our time and city money. Plus the dang trees grow more each year!

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