Award for Tacoma Power arborist

The International Society of Arboriculture didn’t go out on a limb when it gave Hal Porter the Utility Arborist Award at its annual regional conference in Tacoma this week.

Porter has worked as an arborist for Tacoma Power for 26 years. He helped develop tree-trimming systems that keep foliage off power lines, improving the reliability of the electrical system and ensuring public and employee safety.

“I’m pleased to receive the award,” said Porter, one of three Tacoma Power arborists. “The guys here have set the standard pretty high.”

Porter helped develop a four-year tree trimming cycle for power lines in residential areas and a two-year cycle for the high-voltage transmission circuits that connect substations to dams and other substations. Maintaining that schedule, along with additional inspections, helps reduce power outages.

Tacoma Power crews trim about 350 line miles of trees each year.

“Hal is very knowledgeable about our entire system and the people we serve,” said Tim Ross, Tacoma Power line maintenance supervisor. “People are really passionate about the trees on their property, and Hal understands that. He keeps customers happy and safe while keeping the reliability of the system secure.”

Porter’s award was given by the board of directors of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). There are about 8,000 arborists in that chapter, which includes Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and British Columbia. The ISA approves proper tree trimming methods, deals with the science of growing and maintaining trees, and offers arborist education.

Customers who want to learn more about how to get utility help trimming trees around power lines and what types of trees to plant under and near power lines can visit or call Tacoma Power at (253) 502-8729.