Utility Arborists Improving Reliability
November 18 2020, 14:19 PM
We know that our customers rely on us as their energy experts to keep the power on with as little disruption as possible. Our team of utility arborists is a big part of keeping our lines healthy to reduce power outages.
Most utility arborists in our region don’t have experience cutting back palm trees in Florida after a category 1 hurricane. But that’s exactly the kind of experience that makes Brad Daley such an asset to NB Power.
Before joining the NB Power team as the Vegetation Manager for Distribution, Brad built up his expertise with a vegetation management contractor in North Carolina and as a Florida Power and Light employee. He faced almost daily storm and trouble calls and regular large tropical storms and hurricanes.
Beyond the frequency of storms, he says there are many differences between working in the south and Atlantic Canada.
“We can’t even compare the number of people in New Brunswick,” Brad says. “There were more residents in my county in Florida than in all of New Brunswick! This makes for very different planning and working conditions. Plus, the types of trees we work on affect the work plan. Vegetation in the southern US grows much quicker than vegetation here in New Brunswick, so our maintenance schedules are different.”
Brad leads the team of Vegetation Supervisors, administrative support, utility arborists and contractors responsible for maintaining the trees around our 27,000 kilometres of high and medium voltage lines across the province.
“People think in my role that I must dislike trees, but I love trees and respect the value they play in our communities – both in terms of beauty and environmental benefits,” he says. “We only cut when we need to – it’s about balancing reliability and what’s right for our communities and customers.”
A New Brunswicker through and through, Brad grew up in picturesque Miramichi, and is a proud alumnus of UNB’s Forest Management program. Like it does for many, his New Brunswick roots called him back in 2013 to be closer to his family.
He’s proud to oversee a talented team of employees and contractors who bring their skills and training to a high-risk job.
“Sometimes people assume we’re just out there hacking away at random trees with chainsaws,” he says. “That’s why we don’t like to be called “tree trimmers” - our employees and contractors are experts in their field, with many trained in tree biology and are International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborists. We deal with living, breathing organisms and do extensive training and testing to ensure we’re doing the right things for our province.”
Want to learn more about how we maintain the trees near power lines? Visit www.nbpower.com/treemaintenance. Here you’ll find videos about this important work to prevent power outages and a form to access tree maintenance for your home or business.