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January 16, 2012 - 10:28
Seacoastonline.com

You may have heard of the "Ghost Whisperer," the "Horse Whisperer" or even "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan, but have you ever met the Tree Whisperer?

That is the nickname Unitil Corp. coworkers have given Sara Sankowich, who serves as arborist for the power company. She joined the Hampton-based utility as its official tree expert on Arbor Day.

"I think they call me that because I have such an understanding of trees," Sankowich said. "I don't talk to the trees, but if anyone has a voice for the trees at the utility company, it would be me."

Sankowich and her team are responsible for ensuring that trees and utility lines coexist. She puts together a plan to trim trees in Until's coverage area to ensure they don't interfere with the wires, potentially causing a loss in power.

Why is it so important?

"Power is essentially a piece of everyone's life every day, and we want to be able to provide that with the least amount of interruptions that we can," Sankowich said.

There are also safety concerns, she said, especially when a tree makes contact with a wire.

"But at the same time we also want to do it right so the trees remain healthy," Sankowich said.

A utility arborist, she said, has the difficult job of ensuring that residents have reliable electric power while also protecting the local environment.

For the full article, click here.

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