Pro Arb August/September 2021

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John Parker takes the helm In conversation with the AA’s new chief

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Meet Broadleaf Midlands Tree Care A young company with a fresh approach


Arboriculture Company of the Year why Connick Tree Care has that winning feeling

Take your chipper to the next level Top tips for maximum performance

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august/september 2021 • Volume 8 • Issue 04 John Parker takes the helm

In conversation with the AA’s new chief Cover.indd


Meet Broad Midlands Treeleaf Care A young compan y with a fresh approac h

Arboriculture Compa of the Year ny why Connick Tree Care has that winning feeling

Take your r to the nextchippe level

Top tips for maximum perform ance



t long last, live events are once again taking place and it was wonderful to see people gather at the Pro Landscaper Business Awards, which took place in London’s Canary Wharf. The Arboriculture Company of the Year was won by Connick Tree Care, a company with an outstanding track record of business success and exceptionally high standards of professionalism – check out our interview with founder Mike Connick on page 22.

ALL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 777 570 Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Features editor – Rachel Gordon Head of content – Nina Mason Subeditor – Katrina Roy Subeditor – Sam Seaton ADVERTISING Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson Head of sales – Jessica McCabe

It is also exciting to see new businesses start to make their mark in arb. Broadleaf Midlands Tree Care launched in 2019 but the business is already making a name for itself through top quality work and great service. The firm’s tree planting initiative sets an outstanding example – see page 14. As ever, Pro Arb has pages of tempting kit, such as ladders and helmets, and plenty of tips to ensure your firm can outperform. We’ve also expanded our business pages to help those dealing with some tricky management issues.

Horticulture Careers – Daniel Riley PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: Pro Arb is published four times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2021 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be


Finally, don’t miss our new Little Interviews section on page 50 – in each issue, we will feature four diverse tree-focused professionals who go to show that the arb sector really does employ some amazing, unique people. Get in touch with us if you’d like to participate!

reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Editorial director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson FOLLOW US ONLINE Follow us on Twitter @ProArbmagazine Like us on Facebook Proarbmagazine Connect to our LinkedIn group Pro Arb UK

Every week we send out ‘Pro Arb: The Tuesday Recap’, in which we highlight the most popular news stories from the last week. If you aren’t subscribed to The Tuesday Recap but would like to be, please email Millie Genner at If you would like to send us press releases to post online and potentially feature in The Tuesday Recap, please email

For careers in arboriculture and horticulture go to Cover image ©Connick Tree Care


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6 > News

Updates from around the arb world

9 > News Extra

John Parker, the new CEO for the Arboricultural Association, talks to Jonathan Hazell

Investigations into tree fork failures

20 > Top tips to reduce injuries Ways to reduce the risk of sprains and strains

22 > Pro Landscaper Business Awards – Arboriculture Company Connick Tree Care wins the prestigious acccolade

24 > Plastic tree guards – why alternatives are needed

The Woodland Trust takes the lead with forthcoming ban


26 > Meet the Supplier

Get to know the woodchippers from GTM Professional

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33 > Ladders

Tripods are just the ticket when pruning

35 > Bobcat’s backhoe attachment

18 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook


The best head protection when climbing

16 > Expert view – Dr Glynn Percival



30 > Helmets

34 > Handsaws

Which trees are best suited to a warming climate?


Workware has rebranded as Carr’s Billington Safety

14 > Interview

Broadleaf Midland – a vibrant young business making a name for itself


28 > Opinion – Neil Thomas

Why Silky continues to be the arborists’ favourite

Transform a skid steer loader into an excavator

36 > Chainsaws

An in-depth look at Husqvarna’s new chainsaw launches, the 592 XP and 585

39 > Wood chippers

Leading manufacturers share their knowledge on optimal use


42 > tackling substance abuse

di cult area that managers must address

44 > social media

Why posts done in personal time can spell danger for firms

46 > training

Dee Vickers details recent developments in the world of arb apprenticeships

47 > wellbeing

Ways to support employees facing mental health problems

50 > Little interviews

Top of the tree – meet four specialists from across the industry

Pro Arb | August/September 2021


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AA CONFERENCE WILL NOW BE HELD ONLINE The Arboricultural Association’s Trees & Society Conference will now be held online on 6 and 7 September 2021. The AA stressed the change from a physical event was because “the global travel landscape is still not clear and with international speakers being such a key part of this world-class annual conference. The move allows us to present a full line-up of speakers and also enables access for those who wouldn’t have been able to attend in person.” The AA is now taking bookings for the two-day event, which will feature speakers from a number of countries and new features that would allow “education, networking and knowledge sharing.” Speaker sessions will be presented under four themes on: • Technology, innovation and infrastructure. The social enefits and perceptions of trees. • Trees, health and wellbeing. • Trees, people, community and culture. Tickets are priced at £150 for AA members and £195 for non-members. This includes 12 months’ access to recordings, 13 international speakers, a new online platform conference e hi itors and o ers.


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TREE SURGEONS “OVERPAID” BY WELSH COUNCIL A report from internal auditors has claimed tree surgeons were “overpaid” thousands of pounds by Carmarthenshire Council. Councillors were told this was the result of “poor controls and procedures”. Helen Pugh, the council’s head of revenues and financial compliance said there were serious concerns” about the contract framework, as set up by the authority in 2018. This related to the way invoices were raised and approved and on a lack of checks that work had been carried out. The council’s governance and audit committee said it was found that tree surgery invoices “exceeded estimates in 14 out of 15 cases”. The total price exceeded was £23,025. The higher day rate of £395 per day was paid by the council in all of the invoices tested, regardless of whether the job was groundwork – for which a lower rate applies - or more costly aerial work. The removal of green waste was incorrectly added to two of the invoices, when this should have been inclusive. Further, machinery and equipment costs were wrongly added to three of the invoices and this also should have been included. In another case, £11,850 was owed to the council but the amount was only recovered when auditors queried it. Some tree surgery jobs were being arranged verbally – a practice that Ms Pugh said was “not acceptable”. She added improvements had since been put in place and a further audit would take place.

Head of waste and environmental services, Ainsley Williams, said change had now been implemented. This included all job requests being submitted to the council’s business support unit, rather than to two supervisors. Mr Williams added invoices had to include time sheets, labour details and what materials were used. Any variation between an estimate and invoice would now be sanctioned and photographs of work would now be required. He said that overpaid work might have come from sub-contractors who had failed to understand the extent of work needed. He would, he said, now carry out checks himself on occasion. Councillors also asked about ongoing work to fell thousands of trees that were a ected y ash dieback. Concerns were raised that this could also be being overcharged for, that inspections may not have been properly conducted and that some trees may not even need felling.

FILM CALLS FOR SCOTS TO CHOOSE REWILDING The Scottish Rewilding Alliance has launched a film to encourage the country’s government and the public to back rewilding projects. The alliance, a collaboration of nature charities in Scotland, says despite the perception that the country is replete with natural beauty, the reality is that it is one of the “most nature-depleted places in the world.”

The film called hoices shows how viewers’ future relationships with nature can e in uenced for the etter via rewilding. This includes: • Expanding pine forests into huge areas of trees shru s and wild owers. sta lishing ower risk meadows in towns and cities.


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PLANTING TREES COULD BOOST ECONOMY BY £366M Tree planting will have a major impact on ensuring the UK hits Net Zero targets in addition to ringing other enefits that include creating green jobs, boosting the economy and even cutting crime, according to a new report. The research for UK100, the environmental network for UK locally elected leaders, was conducted by Place Based limate ction etwork at ueen’s niversity elfast. t focused on the economic enefits of climate action by local authorities. UK100 is asking the government to devolve further powers to allow more local action to halt the decline in species and habitats and that a clear target should be added to the Environment Bill, along with better resourcing for ocal ature ecovery trategies. There are now nearly 60 cross-party local leaders, representing 35% of the UK population, who have committed to the UK100 pledge to meet et ero at least five years earlier than Whitehall’s target of . The research found that tree planting could lead to: reen o s analysis of the overnment’s Nature for Climate fund, which will plant 40 million trees, shows it could create nearly 36,000 jobs in nature-based solutions nationally. • An economic boost – planting trees at the rate recommended by the Climate Change Committee – 30,000ha of woodland a orested through capital investment would

generate £366m in added value. An estimate of the economic enefit per tree over years ranges from £1,200 to £8,000. Based on this figure the overnment’s m investment has the potential to reap a return of £320bn over the next half century. • Improved high streets – consumers are willing to pay between 9% and 12% more for goods and services in shopping areas with large, well cared for trees. • A reduction in crime – for every 10% increase in tree canopy cover there is a 15% decrease in violent crime and a 14% decrease in property crime, even when controlling for other socio-economic factors.

STIHL ENHANCES PETROL SAW SERVICE KITS Stihl has extended its range of petrol saw service kits, which are aimed at most professional machines, to allow arborist to carry out simple routine engine maintenance for themselves. The aim is to make such tasks quicker and easier, so that arborists can ensure their chainsaws are not taken away for routine work that is straightforward to undertake. The service kits contain the necessary items needed to carry out basic servicing on a Stihl petrol chainsaw engine and include an air filter spark plug and fuel filter. The kits also come with a code and short so that users can access that provide step-by-step instructions on replacing the air filter spark plug and fuel filter. There are 21 variants of the service kit available, covering the most popular Stihl petrol chainsaws as well as KombiTools, hedge trimmers and brushcutters.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, says: “Investing in trees and improving our urban green spaces can help our residents to breathe cleaner air and can help to meet our climate ambitions. But it can also give our high streets and our wider economy a much needed boost, bringing good green jobs to places across our city-region.”

• Backing projects for cleaner seas. ark uskell from the cottish reens who is supporting the film su mitted a motion to the Scottish Parliament to make cotland the world’s first ewilding ation. The motion was backed by polling in which 76% of Scots said they supported rewilding, with just 7% opposed.


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Makita has established a new Factory Service Centre, close to its headquarters in Blakelands, Milton Keynes. The new 20,000ft2 premises will enable Makita to increase its customer repair and service support work and completes a portfolio of three centres in London, Glasgow and Milton Keynes. The centres aim to deliver high standards of service and repair for end users. Products covered under the company’s warranty agreement can be posted (by arranging a collection or dropped o with prior ooking at each service centre. Makita’s technical experts and engineers perform product servicing, detailed diagnostics and repair work as needed. The new larger premises in Blakelands will also be used to host Makita UK accredited service training, as well as Authorised Service Agents workshops and seminars. Makita will use the new site to host apprenticeship training sessions focusing on the electrical and mechanical service requirements of Makita tools. Tony Coleman, technical manager at Makita UK, says: “Opening this new, larger site is testament to the growing popularity of our tools, as well as our long-lasting commitment to delivering exceptional customer support. We’re now in a better position than ever to deal with service and repair demands, as well as to promote high-quality industry training.” All three of Makita’s centres are currently following COVID-19 guidelines and customers are advised to follow the most up-to date guidance on arranging servicing or repairs, published on the company’s website.


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UTILITY ARBORIST PICKS GREENMECH’S EVO Powerline Services (MLJ) has added a new GreenMech EVO 165DT 45LE wood chipper to its eet. The erefordshire ased firm has used GreenMech machines for more than 20 years ut this is its first from the series. Powerline Services specialises in removing vegetation from the utility networks, in and around the county. irector en ones says that e ciency is key”, and he wanted a bigger output chipper. “I wanted something capable of processing brash a bit quicker, as well as larger timber without necessarily going up to an 8” machine,” he explains. “GreenMech showed us the EVO 165 with a 25hp engine, which was a seriously impressive piece of kit, but the limited-edition model featuring a 45hp Kubota diesel engine was a real added bonus.” He adds: “I like the fact the EVO runs on horizontal rollers, and the feed rollers being ‘variable speed’ is a great feature to have for

dealing with di erent types of material. t also has a variable track for optimum stability on uneven ground. “The guys have also commented on how the wider infeed chute has made a noticea le di erence to our productivity we have saved a whole day’s work on some jobs by not having to spend time snedding brash down prior to processing.”

WELSH MP SLAMS ‘TOO MUCH’ TREE PLANTING A Welsh MP, together with a farming union representative, has complained about the negative impact of large tree planting in their community. Robin Millar, the Conservative MP for Aberconwy, said land in parts of his constituency is eing sold o to parties who are only interested in extensive tree planting or a orestation . Farming Union of Wales committee member, Dafydd Gwyndaf, said there was depopulation of Cwm Penmachno and Penmachno villages, in Conwy, and this was “devastating”. He blamed the Forestry Commission, as to make room for the trees, farmhouses were sold, with many becoming second homes or

holiday homes. The population decreased as did the percentage of Welsh speakers. Dafydd continued: “We are supportive of planting trees, but our politicians need to be aware of the devastating consequences this will have on their constituents if such plans are not thought through. orestation has resulted in too many people leaving the area and has resulted in over 30% of the houses in the area being turned into second homes or Airbnb. “Promises made by the Forestry Commission at the time included they would be employing more than the agriculture industry in the area. Today, no more than a handful of forestry workers live in the villages as large contractors come from outside the area more often than not.” Robin added: “It was very interesting to hear about the experiences of the FUW members who remember so well how vibrant communities like Cwm Penmachno and Penmachno used to be and the detrimental e ect the a orestation of the area has proved to have on the region.”


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Can you tell us a bit about your background? I grew up in the Stroud Valley and went to university in ardi rie y to read law ut realised I enjoyed going out and having fun more stayed on in Wales working in pu s efore going to errist Wood ollege to take the National Diploma programme. I wasn’t any good with a saw ut there’s much more to ar oriculture than eing a clim er and so I entered the world of trees. art of my course was a placement with the ondon orough of ichmond upon Thames as a tree o cer. nother placement took me to amden where worked with l mith


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now ar oricultural manager with the orough and his team we’re still good friends all these years later. y first proper o was at Transport for ondon. spent years as an ar oricultural and landscape manager then as senior technical specialist in ar oriculture and landscape efore oining the r oricultural ssociation in as senior technical o cer. What does arboriculture mean to you? The usual definition of the science and practice of cultivating and caring for trees for amenity ut to me the crucial element is

that it’s for the good of society communities and local people. How can the competing interests between trees, structures and people be balanced? Traditionally trees were seen as a pro lem to e dealt with ut slowly the perception has changed and trees are seen to e a nice thing to look at and could improve overall aesthetics. ow there’s increasing recognition and realisation that trees have a value as critical ur an infrastructure. We can make the case they are every it as important as all the other infrastructure. There’s a huge amount of

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NEWS competition for space above and below ground – we need to make sure that trees get their fair share. A lot of work is being done to quantify the enefits and put monetary values on trees and treescapes, as well as helping people realise trees deliver amazing environmental, economic and societal enefits locally regionally and globally – and feature in the political agenda. At the moment, the simplistic measure is how many trees we promise to plant, but I’d rather see more emphasis on how they become established. What’s the AA’s role in all of this? Quite simply, to support our members and the wider profession, and to promote the importance of arboriculture, so the public can enefit from the skills of the ar orist contractor the custodian role of the tree o cer or the investigative role of the consultant, supported by academics and the researchers. Other organisations promote the importance of trees, but we also promote the importance of the tree professionals and the wide range of

Other organisations promote the importance of trees, but we also promote the importance of the tree professionals career paths. We’re a membership organisation and also a charity promoting the science and practice of arboriculture to the public. Is arboriculture a profession, or a branch of horticulture? Absolutely it’s a profession. It’s important for the future success of the profession, as well as for the tree population. I’m keen that we continue to collaborate with others, be they horticulturists, foresters, ecologists, highway engineers, landscape architects – we all have a huge role to play.


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How did you cope with migrating training online? When the pandemic struck, we were forced to do things di erently. ome courses lent themselves well to online delivery, but there are di culties measuring engagement through this. In a classroom it would be apparent who was disengaged – not easy online. With traditional courses we delivered to, say, 24 delegates face to face, but online to groups of six initially. That number slowly increased as tutor confidence and trainee acceptance of the comfort limit with Zoom grew. Courses involving touching trees have been more di cult to migrate and have taken longer to evolve but, overall, we’re pleased with how successful online delivery became. We’ve been able to reach out to trainees worldwide, so our o er has ecome more accessi le while retaining high standards. We’ll go back to face to face ut our o er will remain hy rid there’s a place for online delivery. How did you find the digital Arb Show? t was di cult to pull o ut the team did a fantastic o . t o ered the opportunity to wander around at your own pace, look at stalls, meet up with friends and was highly enjoyable. We’re under no illusion the r how should be face-to-face as soon as possible, but we gave our sponsors and exhibitors a great opportunity, as well as our members and the wider public and profession. It was a community event with webinars, where ideas and knowledge could be shared, and stalls o ering the latest products. t was e tremely popular and even though we hope not to have to repeat it, we know it can be done. What is the AA’s new schools membership? It’s a vitally important tool that will pay dividends. We’re developing a resource pack to help teachers tap into the groundswell of interest into all things green and to link that to the curriculum. A better understanding of the term ‘arboriculture’ will help provide links to careers for people of all backgrounds, and a realisation it took a great deal of e ort for a street tree to become established and thrive and it takes a named profession to maintain it. We hope the initiative we began locally can be rolled out nationally.

How are the AA’s quality assurance schemes doing? There’s been a huge amount of displacement activity since lockdown began – anyone can buy a saw and call themselves a tree surgeon, it’s had a ad e ect on the wider industry’s reputation. The AA’s schemes, the approved contractor scheme, the utility contractor scheme or the consultants’ scheme have huge value in what is an unregulated industry. They recognise the suita ly competent qualified and insured.

New entrants can lack training and competence and so may be a danger to themselves, to the tree or even an adjacent structure. The only way to demonstrate you are of a particular standing and work to given standards is through our schemes. The schemes are growing, are under constant review and we’re always open to improvements. Is the arborist contractor scheme too demanding – and what about the consultants’ scheme? We want to encourage participation and engagement but must not dilute our high standards of delivery. The processes must be robust, the rules clear and the consequences of a breach explained


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NEWS and enforced. It is the only way that we can genuinely provide the consumer with confidence that the marque indicates a top quality service provider. We want to see more registered consultants to give the public a greater choice, but we cannot allow a drop in standards to accompany expansion. We’ve looked for ways to make the scheme more accessible; for example, we no longer want to see a candidate present a report from every single topic area, simply to focus on those areas where they are most comfortable.

Is mechanisation a risk to arborists? Far from it – the increasing use of machinery will lead to new specialisms, new disciplines and it serves to highlight how complex a profession arboriculture has become. Seeing shiny kit at work may help attract new entrants as well. There will always be a place for skills; we have fabulous operators as climbing craftsmen doing brilliant work. Let’s embrace and welcome the machine operator. We must work with the technology to understand the enefits it rings and see it as eneficial rather than threatening. What’s happening with the AA going forward? We’ve always been a membership organisation looking after our members’ interests, as well as a charity promoting our wider objectives. We want to carry on building our membership and so we’ve recently begun to look beyond our usual membership base as a means of getting our simple message across – ‘trees are good’.


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Public engagement is an increasingly important role that we can play on behalf of our members, helping people understand what

Public engagement is an increasingly important role that we can play on behalf of our members is meant by arboriculture and why it pays to choose a professional for tree work. We need to be the organisation people refer to with questions a out amenity trees or anything else within the scope of arboriculture. Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant

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16 November 2021 17 November 2021 ExCeL London Register for your free ticket on our website or contact the team on 01903 777570

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roadleaf Midlands Tree Care is a young and vi rant ar orist firm ased in Shepshed, near Loughborough in Leicestershire. The business is run by couple randon ing and im erley llen who both left other successful careers to set up the company two years ago. To date, Broadleaf Midlands has achieved a string of five star reviews and is now winning much of its new usiness through recommendations and word of mouth. Commitment to planting The company has also achieved recognition locally for its recent initiative to donate a sapling to a ational Trust woodland for every tree it fells. The idea came from their year old daughter rooke who is a passionate environmentalist and who was unhappy with the idea of trees eing cut down. s im erley e plains he was learning a out deforestation and we have told her that trees sometimes have to e felled such as if they are unsafe or they are causing subsidence and damage to a home. We’ve made e orts to ensure our own home is car on neutral ut we also oth wanted to do more. We used to o er to plant trees for customers ut it was rooke who gave us the encouragement to make it o cial.


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Working with the ational Trust means we can give something ack and customers like it they can follow our progress on social media.

Whether it’s me or a member of the team, we want to be known for being professional and polite roadleaf idlands was set up in shortly efore the pandemic struck and while it closed for the first lockdown it was then a le to continue trading and has gone from strength to strength. erien e on the ho oor randon had worked with trees efore ut had started a career in retail. e was a high yer and was working as a team manager for Waitrose at one time managing a workforce of around sta . e comments had previous e perience of working with trees and knew it was what really en oyed. also wanted to run my own usiness where could work outdoors and start up from scratch. We talked a out it and started drawing up plans a out how we could operate. e e plains that with two young children to support it was initially decided to test the water. t’s quite scary when you give up a regular monthly salary. o we set up the usiness ut continued to work part time at the supermarket as well as helping my dad with teaching at his karate school.

We didn’t know how the usiness was going to go. We started o doing small o s for friends and family such as pruning or hedge trimming and then the work started coming in quickly ust from our social media presence and word of mouth. t was then we decided we could run it full time. Passionate about business im erley had a management role in childcare and has also recently attained a business management and marketing degree from ottingham Trent niversity. he comments love usiness and we’ve developed the brand and service standards. Working with trees has not een that di erent to what ’m used to as have a good knowledge of safety culture which is very important in what we do and ecause of my ackground in childcare. randon says his e perience in retail has also helped. t’s a out customer relationships and listening to the customer if you can uild a rapport with people that really helps. Whether it’s me or a team mem er we want to e known for eing professional and polite and for those we work for to know that they can trust us. t’s incredi ly satisfying having new customers get in contact that have een recommended y someone we worked for. roadleaf idlands continues to work in the domestic sector and also has a growing ook of commercial usiness including an e panding portfolio of maintenance work for local independent schools. On the stump s usiness has taken o the couple have invested more into new equipment. This includes randon’s favourite piece of kit


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NEWS a Laski stump grinder from GreenMech. “It has meant we can o er our customers an extra service. The business is also bringing on more battery powered tools for environmental reasons. Broadleaf Midlands has a team of six regular subcontractors it works with, all qualified and committed to providing e cellent service. Kimberley says as the business develops, there are plans to take on employees and apprentices inhouse. Brandon elaborates: “We are expanding but will always ensure we keep the same level of quality, and we’ll stay a close-knit business. There’s nothing like creating your own business and having control. Of course, you still have to deal with pressure ut it’s di erent when you are making the decisions.” Coaching consultancy n terms of what he finds most challenging Brandon comments: “Quoting can often be tricky – there can be so many variables and you want to be competitive, but also not underprice work.” Kimberley is also working on setting up a business coaching consultancy, where the couple will work with other entrepreneurs. “I love coaching, and we want to work with other SMEs as they launch their own startups.” Life is certainly full on for the couple, but they do manage to switch o from work. part from Brooke, they also have a seven-year-old, Warren. “We both try not to think about work; you need time to relax and recharge. We also

I love coaching, and we want to work with other SMEs as they launch their own startups had a lovely holiday in Cornwall recently – seeing the Eden Project was really inspiring.” The charity also supports a number of reforestation initiatives around the world – and as Broadleaf Midlands is showing, an arborist firm can equally make a ig di erence too.


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T S E P ISEASE & D tch wa


lobally, the frequency and intensity of heat stress events has increased over the past 20 years. Climatic modelling predicts this trend will continue throughout the 21st century with the global land area experiencing heatwaves expecting to double by 2020 and quadruple by 2040. ue to the re ective nature of uildings and infrastructure within urban landscapes, heat temperatures tend to be higher compared to outlying rural areas. This concept is known as the r an eat sland e ect and causes urban landscapes to experience elevated temperatures above and beyond those acceptable for the normal functioning of plant physiological processes. Within the UK, temperatures in cities are predicted to rise by 3°C to 7°C by 2100. Research at the University of Manchester indicates a 10% increase in urban tree cover would completely neutralise this impact. How trees react to heat stress In response to heat stress, trees such as Pinus taeda, Quercus rubra and Acer rubrum minimise heat absorption through stomatal aperture adjustment – stomata stay open at higher temperatures, which provides leaf cooling via transpiration. Another response is the production of heat shock

Heat scorch symptoms in sycamore leaves


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It’s getting

hot in here

GLOBAL WARMING IS THREATENING TREES AND MEANS NEW THINKING IS NEEDED FOR SPECIES SELECTION, ADVISES DR GLYNN PERCIVAL proteins (HSPs) that prevent protein denaturation in plant cells. During heat stress, higher concentrations of reactive oxygen species (ROS) are produced in leaves that cause oxidative damage to lipids and proteins leading to cellular membrane damage and death. For this reason, leaves are protected by mechanisms that reduce or quench ROS’s such as xanthophylls, phenolics avonoids anthocyanins steroids and isoprenoids. Species such as poplar, oak, maple and ginkgo are better able to survive prolonged heat stress compared to species as they can produce su cient quantities of these compounds to protect leaves. Heat tolerant tree species Although the basis of heat tolerance has yet to be determined, a number of heat tolerant ur an tree species have een identified (Appleton et al., 2015). This process was based on trees growing well in hot site locations – close to large masses of asphalt and concrete, buildings, near underground utilities and in containers and raised beds that were recorded as hotter than in-ground planting areas. Heat stress and amelioration by trees will become of greater importance as experts predict that climate change will increase the intensity of the UHI within the UK. Rising temperatures will also increase levels of indoor and outdoor thermal discomfort – identifying superior heat tolerant trees for future urban landscape plantings is now of great importance. Dr Glynn Percival is a plant physiologist/ technical support specialist at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory.


Latin Name

Field maple

Acer campestre

Norway maple

Acer platanoides

Red maple

Acer rubrum

Sugar maple

Acer saccharum

Freeman maple

Acer x freemanii

Red horsechestnut

Aesculus x carnea

River birch

Betula nigra

White birch

Betula platyphylla

Cockspur hawthorn

Crataegus crus-galli

Japanese cryptomeria

Cryptomeria japonica

Leyland cypress

x Cupressocyparis leylandii


Ginkgo biloba

Honey locust

Gleditsia triacanthos

Chinese juniper

Juniperus chinensis


Liquidambar styraciflua

Colorado spruce

Picea pungens

London plane

Platanus x acerifolia

Pissard plum

Prunus cerasifera

Yoshino cherry

Prunus x yedoensis

Callery pear (cultivars)

Pyrus calleryana

English oak

Quercus robur

Red oak

Quercus rubra

Japanese pagodatree

Sophora japonica

White cedar

Thuja occidentalis

Oriental arborvitae

Thuja orientalis

Small leaf lime

Tilia cordata

Silver lime

Tilia tomentosa


10/08/2021 10:01



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10/08/2021 08:58


Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook



aving spent 11 years investigating the biomechanics of branch junctions in trees and producing 17 papers on the topic, you could call me a ‘crotch doctor’! No-one else has concentrated so much research on the topic – but it matters in managing trees and assessing likelihood of failure. Three caveats are needed before becoming a scientific e pert on tree forks. irstly new science is built ‘on the shoulders of giants’. My work integrates with other scientific findings and even where it clashes these are still useful as umping o points’. econdly it would e great to have a scientific convention on ranch unctions and achieve consensus – but this niche topic wouldn’t warrant a large lecture hall more like a shed

Failure but not at the fork There’s a false belief all tree forks (aka codominant stems’ are weak points in a tree’s structure. This emerged from poorly conducted research in the late 20th century, a bad theory to adopt – nearly all urban trees have multiple forks. Take on this errant theory and you’re condemning 95%+ of urban trees as having defective crowns. f a tree fork was y default a weakness in a tree’s structure you’d e pect to collect more images of fork failures, by proportion, than failures near to the forks right owever my photo collection shows the opposite to e true. I also hold persuasive data of storm damage to ur an trees in ong ong with a survey of 1,014 damaged trees in 2018. Most failures in these storm damaged trees were snapping of


Thirdly we know little a out ranch junctions. Creating a better anatomical model for branch attachment in trees raises more science-based questions about variation etween species and individual unctions. or instance, our model for branch attachment cannot apply to monocots so how do they hold their branches together? No one has modelled that. Similarly, natural bracing e plains the occurrence of some ark inclusions in trees, but not others. t has een rewarding to ring clarity to how ranch unctions work ut there’s much we don’t know.


Pro Arb | August/September 2021

Duncan Slater.indd 18


branches – often near the point of attachment, representing 61.8% of the failures recorded. ailures at ranch unctions only represented 7.7% of all failures. Only 0.39% of failures related to large, normally-formed tree forks. nfortunately the data is specific to the tree population struck by this storm and it’s nature one cannot e trapolate this finding. or those trees forks were not a ma or defect. There are two culprits in terms of trees more prone to failure willows and oaks. I’ve seen many branch and junction failures in common oak. I’ve an even record of limb failures set away from a fork and at forks in oaks. In comparison, my photos contain no images of a normal tree fork failing within sycamores (Acer pseudoplatanus).



Primary knowledge rom my research species di erences in the frequency of fork failures are a lesser factor than determining if the junction has bark included into it – or not. f it’s a ark included unction it’s worth looking for evidence of natural bracing set

Lost natural brace

April 2015

Close-up of crack

a ove that unction it may e plain why it’s bark-included. ark included unctions are typically weaker than normally formed junctions. My research shows ark included unctions have a wide spectrum of strengths. I’ve tested barkincluded unctions which had a lot of associated compensatory growth and were as strong as the average normal junction. At the weak end of the range they can have only 20% of the bending strength of the average normal unction. Two of my pu lications March 2016 give guidance on grading out bark


10/08/2021 15:06


Diseased cup union in sycamore

Eleven years later

Multi-factorial fork failures As with failure of tree stems or root systems, it’s often a combination of factors leading to branch junction failure. For bark-included junctions in the North West, especially of maples and eech trees it’s common to find initial damage caused by a bleeding canker, due to the moisture retained in a bark-included unction. When this has killed the inner ark o in part of the junction, there’s often subsequent decay caused by common decay fungi related to that species. The above images show a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), where my initial picture was of a bleeding canker around this junction and 11 years later, the junction failed due to decay associated with a Ganoderma australe fruiting body. These images highlight the need to apply formative pruning techniques and avoid the production of most bark-included junctions.

Cracked fork in Acer saccharinum

Close-up of crack

Six years later

inclusions into weaker and stronger ones – and three discuss associated natural bracing (Slater & Ennos, 2015; Slater, 2016; Slater, 2018). Working with trees for over 30 years, I’ve regularly encountered bark-included junctions that have split but are hanging on, waiting for the next storm to take them down fully. Cracked junctions can represent substantial risks in high-occupancy urban areas, although I’ve time-lapsed a few that have persisted for over a decade. The images on the left shows a crack at a large bark-included junction in a mature beech (Fagus sylvatica) in one set of winter storms – and the junction subsequently failing in storms a year later.


Duncan Slater.indd 19

Mythbusting Two myths about branch junctions with included bark come from the works of Professor Claus Mattheck, discussing ulges one can find forming around included bark in a branch junction. The first false concept is there’s a large amount of internal pressures that build March 2010 up in a bark-inclusion – so much so, that they inevitably break apart undergrowth pressures. cientific evidence is against this eing a common cause of failure. The second (false) concept is bulges seen around a bark inclusion are formed due to this build-up of pressures – essentially the secondary growth is ‘pushed to the sides’ by these pressures. Mattheck concluded the larger the bulges around a bark inclusion (referred to informally as “ears”), the more likely the junction would fail. My research discounted both beliefs (Slater, 2020). Dissecting included branch junctions identifies increment growth essentially stops after a certain level of inclusion – so internal pressures don’t continue to build up, year upon year, in such structures. Also, one can return to a failed barkincluded junction. It’s easy to see included bark has been pressed to death and doesn’t grow further once released from being inside the branch junction – see the above images. Secondary thickening in trees is driven by a need to produce new sapwood for sap conductance and mechanical reinforcement. Once inner bark is trapped within the structure, both these ‘drivers’ become irrelevant – and, typically, secondary growth slows then ceases. Why not cut open a few bark-included junctions from mature trees yourself? You’ll see the termination of annual rings in the wood situated against included bark in the crosssection – it has not been growing continually and increasing the internal pressures. Large bulges at junctions reliably identify there’s bark included in those junctions. However, it’s no reliable sign of the relative strength or weakness. We shouldn’t be felling trees because some junctions have ‘ears’ – bulges provide good mechanical

May 2018 compensation, over time, for the defect inside the junction (Slater, 2020). We’re slowly gaining information about how urban trees move in the wind, decay and fail. This is why someone with experience of tree failures is a better gauge of likely failure than algorithms. Dr Duncan Slater is senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College, Lancashire. He is also a co-ordinator of Arbor Day UK – an action group that seeks to put new trees and woodlands back into the landscape. References Kernaghan, K and Kuruvilla, P K (1982) Merit and motivation: public personnel management in Canada. Canadian Public Administration, 25(4), 696-712. Slater, D and Ennos, A R (2015) The level of occlusion of included ark a ects the strength of bifurcations in hazel (Corylus avellana L.); Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, 41, 194-207. Slater, D (2016) Assessment of Tree Forks; Course Workbook. Stroud, England: Arboricultural Association. Slater, D (2018) Natural bracing in trees: Management recommendations; Arboricultural Journal, 40(2), 106-133. later The mechanical e ects of bulges developed around bark-included branch junctions of hazel (Corylus avellana L.) and other trees; Trees: Structure & Function, 35, 513-526.

Pro Arb | August/September 2021 19

10/08/2021 15:08




oth climbing arborists and ground crew frequently run the risk of injury. Whether it is being struck, falling or an accident involving equipment, they are common. So, what can be done to better manage the risks?

tips on injury prevention 1




Hand in glove Gloves with plenty of grip will not only protect hands, but also reduce the risk of elbow injuries. Ground crew should also refuse to compromise. There have been cases of sepsis when tree matter has penetrated skin.


Eyes right Arborists have ended up in A&E because of eye injuries, often caused by being injured by a branch or sawdust or wood chips entering the eye. Such injuries can be serious, yet tree workers may work with neither a visor or safety glasses. Mesh visors do not provide 100% protection and so arborists should go for top of the range safety glasses that reduce glare and fit correctly.


Guard against tennis elbow Tennis – also known as climbers’ – el ow can a ect those who often cut trees one handed. t the first signs of pain, arborists should immediately seek medical attention and give their arm a rest if this is possible. A battery saw reduces strain because of easier starting. But although brace supports may help with pain, they do not aid recovery.

Pro Arb | August/September 2021

Top tips reducing injury.indd 20

Best foot forward Plantar fasciitis is a type of repetitive strain in ury a ecting those on their feet a lot. It causes mainly foot arch and heel pain – often worse in the morning. Stretching exercises can help as can gel inserts into quality boots.

to return to work faster. It may be available on the NHS, depending on whether a local hospital has the equipment.


Shoulder to shoulder Torn rotator cu in uries are also regularly reported by arborists and are again caused by heavy chainsaw use. At worst, these may require surgery, but there are also plenty of cases where they have healed through treatment involving physical therapy and exercises when over seen by a specialist in orthopaedics and/or sports medicine.


Could sports massage help? Although a complementary therapy, and so needs to be paid for privately, arborists have reported that muscular strain injuries have been eased by regulator sports massage sessions.


Shockwave therapy – good results Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (EST) is a non-invasive therapy that may help even if other treatments such as physiotherapy and acupuncture have had no enefit. key advantage is that it can eliminate pain quickly, allowing the arborist

Refresh your work techniques Arborists can get into bad habits that worsen injuries. Refresher training and even observing others who are able to ‘work smarter, not harder’ could mean more e ective and safer techniques can be adopted.


Could machinery help with heavy lifting? If work regularly involves moving heavy branches and logs, lifting gear such as skid steer loaders mean that these do not need to be carried by hand.


Work for a business that supports wellbeing irms take di erent approaches to health and safety. If an arborist knows corners are being cut, then they should think hard about whether it is time to move on. The market for tree work is currently buoyant and many businesses say they are looking to recruit – a switch to a company that takes health and safety seriously and cares for both physical and mental health will be a wise move.


10/08/2021 11:43

When you work with numbers like this, you need a chainsaw range 2,500 SPECIES that makes light work of the task at hand. The Pro Tree Team at Westonbirt Arboretum use the STIHL range of petrol and OF TREE. battery-powered chainsaws. The facts are in the felling, with 200 trees felled or taken down each 600 ACRES year, plus the everyday tree maintenance at Westonbirt, using just OF LAND. 11 arboriculture and forestry STIHL chainsaws. And with 300 trees planted each year, there’s no sign of the operation slowing down. 5 NATIONAL TREE Robust, reliable and ready for anything, the STIHL chainsaw range is up to the challenge. COLLECTIONS. AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL STIHL DEALER. STIHL.CO.UK 8 SPECIALISTS. 1 CHAINSAW RANGE. STIHL LIFE. MS 151 TC-E MS 201 TC-M MSA 161 T CORDLESS CHAINSAW CORDLESS CHAINSAW CORDLESS CHAINSAW ƒ

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26/03/2021 10/08/2021 12:06 08:58


Winning ways



ike Connick has been at the helm of Connick Tree Care since its inception in 1985 and his enthusiasm for the business – and arboriculture – remains as strong as ever. The business, headquartered in Reigate, covers much of the south, including London, Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Berkshire and Hampshire. It caters for commercial and residential clients and also holds a number of major contracts, including for local authorities. Clients include developers, housing associations and architects, and specialist consultancy services are provided along with all aspects of tree care. ike says the firm grew steadily in its early years, but the process of competitive tendering allowed it to expand more rapidly, with work for authorities such as Brighton & Hove, Reigate and Banstead and the London Borough of Lewisham.


Pro Arb | August/September 2021

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20/08/2021 13:17

FEATURES Looking and acting the part It is clear that professionalism is everything to Mike – in fact, he says this, combined with honesty, are core to his company. His business has held Arboricultural Assocation Approved Contractor status for more than 30 years. Meanwhile, Connick Tree Care also oozes professionalism in its branding and approach to appearance. Mike insists on buying new equipment; all trucks and other vehicles bear the onnick randing and sta are neatly turned out in smart uniforms. “You won’t get far if you’re all about image, but I think it can help you stand out,” he says. “But what really matters is your standards of work and commitment to heath and safety. Risk assessments are absolutely critical and always want our people to put time and e ort into this before any work starts as well as remaining vigilant when they are working.” eo le fir t These are di cult times in terms of recruitment and many ar firms report they have sta shortages. Mike comments: “We do a lot of training and we also make sure we listen to people. If they have an idea about how their jobs can be improved, we’ll respond. I want to hear about the latest equipment and how we could use it. It’s not complicated – do the right thing by people and they should stay with you. t’s the same with work if clients are satisfied then they’ll use you again. We get around 90% of our business through recommendations.” Mike says loyalty comes when employees feel accepted for their skills. “No one is good at everything and we need to understand that. have some sta who will do a very precise job, which can take time, whereas others will work at great speed – we have a blend of skills. There is room for both, provided all are safe and competent.” e continues that onnick only has sta on a fully employed basis. “We don’t use subcontractors and having people on the pay roll works better for us in terms of quality. We’ve found that if we are booked up, then clients will wait for us to have availability.” Mike enjoys the people aspects of meeting clients too. “It’s something I stay closely involved with – I love to talk to people about their trees and we even do quite a bit of work


Connick tree care.indd 23

loyalty comes when employees feel accepted for their skills. “No one is good at everything and we need to understand that”

a lot of planting going on, a tree will always be replaced if possible, and woodlands are actually increasing.”

for neighbours close to where I live. I also like the company of tree o cers it’s not an easy job and many of them do excellent work.”

A talent or bu ine Mike explains that he did not start out with ambitions to run his own business. He says he wanted to work outdoors and enjoyed his training at Merrist Wood. He also says he gained valuable expereince when he was employed by other contractors. “I just reached a stage where I felt I could go no further. I have taken some management training but I also don’t put o asking for help when need it. I also make sure I stay close to those working with trees – and I still do a bit of climbing.”

ree atter Connick Tree Care is known for its commitment to tree health, both in terms of practical work and advising on pests and diseases. “We look after trees in all kinds of settings, including many in urban areas that need to be maintained regularly. I’m passionate about them, as are the team, but on occasion, we come into contact with protestors. Most recently, some had climbed up a tree and we had to talk them down. Many more people now appreciate what trees do for our environment, and want to retain them, but it’s also important to realise that sometimes they do need removing and that will almost always be because they are unsafe or because development is needed. There’s

uture lan He notes that he is also overseeing a project to make Connick Tree Care more technologically advanced. “Our business plan refers to ‘slick systems’ and it means we’ll be less reliant on paper and will also ensure better health and safety record keeping. It will also include a new KPI dashboard to ensure are processes are as good as possible, so we can see we are providing quotes promptly and e ectively. He concludes that he has future plans and Connick still has scope to grow. “We still have ambitions and intend to add to our portfolio of clients – watch this space.” Everyone at Pro Arb sends their warmest congratulations to Mike and his team on their awards and achievements.

Pro Arb | August/September 2021 23

20/08/2021 13:17





g u a rod n s



he Woodland Trust is researching plastic-free alternatives for the tree guards it uses in planting projects. The charity plans to plant some 10 million trees each year to 2025 and around 2.3 million on its own estate. However, young trees need protection and to date, this has been provided by using plastic guards. Now, even though these are removed and recycled after use, the Woodland Trust has pledged to stop using them by the end of 2021 and replace them with others made of sustainable materials.

Conducting research The charity has worked with academics, conservationists and manufacturers to find more environmentally friendly replacements, testing them at the Woodland Trust’s voncli site in Wiltshire. This includes new products made from cardboard and another from British wool, which is biodegradable. There are hopes too that it may lead to a new market for items currently considered as waste. The Woodland Trust is also working with academic partners at the Plastic Waste Innovation Hub at University College London on understanding the full life cycle impacts from such products to ensure the future approach to tree protection is leading in terms of sustainability. Darren Moorcroft, Woodland Trust chief executive, says: “We know the importance of planting trees – they are the natural solution to the climate crisis, soaking up CO2 and delivering oxygen, whilst combating the

24 Pro Arb | August/September 2021

plastic tree guards.indd 24

nature crisis by creating new habitats. But the stark reality is without tree protection, young trees don’t stand much chance.” Stopping predators Tree protection, therefore is essential and plastic guards are extensively used to protect saplings from predators such as deer and rabbits, in their early stages of growth. Ian Stanton, head of sustainability at the Woodland Trust, says he wants Woodland Trust sites to become the 'hub of innovation' on this topic. “We’ve been trialling a wide range of alternative plastic-free products across a number of sites within our estate for some time and innovative products are being added to these trials all the time. Now it’s time to step up innovation on this with our plastic-free pledge. “We are identifying products that are suitable to be scaled up across our estate. This, combined with innovative processes that avoid the need for tree tubes at all, will enable us to go plastic free from the end of this year and we are funding research to find via le alternatives. Longer term, the charity’s focus is to largely remove any need for tree tubes, plastic or

plastic pollution and the climate emergency make this problem urgent otherwise. It favours other methods, alongside a small number of tubes that can be reused. This could include the use of nature-based solutions from natural regeneration and alternative planting regimes to encouraging birds of prey to keep rodent numbers in balance in areas of planting. Ian adds: “We can’t pretend this doesn’t bring challenges. We will plant 2.3 million saplings on our estate by 2025, and up to half will need protection or else they simply get eaten before they can establish. But the scourge of plastic pollution and the climate emergency make this problem urgent – we’re determined to lead the way as a living lab for sustainability innovation.”


10/08/2021 11:32

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10/08/2021 08:59



meet the THAT DO THE JOB supplier



he GTM Professional range of compact and powerful woodchippers is designed to o er a porta le option to expert gardeners and professionals for chipping ranches and crops – perfect for tree care, landscaping, forestry, and garden maintenance. cient e ective and safe to operate due to their chipping system and unique drum design a rotor with two ro dou le

26 Pro Arb | August/September 2021

Meet the supplier.indd 26

sharpened lades that rotate along the counter lade at high speed and e ection through a large discharge chute. The system pulls ranches up to cm thick into the machine via the e tra wide input chute chips them and e ects clean cut wood chips time after time. A fast worker The ad usta le de ector can throw the woodchips into a wheel arrow trailer or

directly onto the ground. The high alloy steel ro lades have two cutting edges so that they can e turned around for reuse. The e tra wide chute means that it is rarely necessary to remove side ranches which guarantees a high working speed. In contrast to the disposal of pruning waste chipping saves valua le space and time as well as turning the car on footprint of a usiness around through reducing waste.


10/08/2021 10:25


“The environment and sustainability are at the core of my small business and the GTM woodchipper has been instrumental in helping me deliver a cost e ective service turning a waste product into a vital resource,” says Richard Parkinson owner of landscaping business, Wild Ground. Chips are versatile Wood chips are perfect to use as a mulch or soil improver, for example, in a vegetable garden where they provide protection against the e ects of the sun and help the soil retain moisture. They are also ideal to use as a filling material for paths and borders.


Meet the supplier.indd 27

Composting also creates valuable resources for the garden. A compo multifunctional chipper, like the new GTS1300COMPO or GTS900COMPO, has two outputs which help create the shredded material that accelerates the composting process. The high output is suitable for shredding branches up to 10cm thick, which will provide the structure and ventilation to the compost. The low output is suitable for soft material like hedge shavings, which will provide moisture and nutrition. Sa ety fir t All the machines are extensively tested for safety and ease of use, and meet the

highest standards. Safety features on the woodchippers include a switch to immediately stop the motor, panic bar and rotor locking system. The machines are light and perfectly balanced so that one person can operate and move the machine safely. “The range includes woodchippers that can deal with branches from 5cm to 12cm,” explains Phil Noble, divisional sales manager. “The GTS1300RG is equipped with caterpillar tracks to operate on rough and hard to access terrain. The machine can easily manage steep hills up to 20-degree incline. There is also the GTS1300PTO that is suitable for coupling to a tractor up to 45hp with a three-point attachment and power takeo . trailer can e attached to the ack of the machine so that the woodchips can be blown directly into the trailer. GTM has a woodchipper suitable for the needs of expert gardeners through to professionals.” The GTM dealer network is available to help with expert advice, maintenance and spare parts which guarantee a long life for your woodchipper. For more information and to see the full range

Pro Arb | August/September 2021 27

10/08/2021 10:25




arb te on ch



here are many factors that make an arborist successful, and it’s interesting to see how technology is playing an increasingly important role across arboriculture. I worked in the cycle industry for a decade and can see parallels in terms of how apps are becoming more commonly used. One of the biggest trends is the integration of app-based and electric systems in previously manual applications, something we expect to see expand further. In line with the development of these technologies in other sectors, the vast majority of

It was my role to lead the rebranding, complete with new logo and website, and it has been a real milestone in our progression suppliers/partners are now exploring these technologies through the likes of integrated RFID chips in PPE equipment. Full integration We have embraced this in our Simarghu harness system, allowing easy access for LOLER inspection record keeping

28 Pro Arb | August/September 2021

Workware.indd 28

a track of equipment and knowing when to replace aged equipment. We have new products in development at the moment. The RFID chip technology using the Inspector App will be integrated across the range going forward. We’re also working on and hope to launch a new range of hand tools in the autumn with one of our key brands which are electronically assisted. Lightweight, powerful, and reliable batteries and motors make them both accessible from a price point, as well as practical to use. Further developments in automation of traditionally labour intensive/manual jobs are seen with the new Vallorbe V | OAK Automatic Chain Saw Sharpener, arriving in the UK at the end of the summer. The Swiss-made machine o ers a fast consistent sharpening system using allor e’s world renowned chainsaw files at the touch of utton. This o ers a real cost enefit for usy workshops, with the advent of lightweight motors, meaning it also packs down into a small portable case. What’s in a name? Arborists may well have previously known us as Workware. Our management team decided a change of name was necessary – Workware

sounded as if we were too much about clothing. While this is a core part of our proposition we o er a whole lot more. We are now rebranded as Carr's Billington Safety and we supply kit for the arborist sector, in addition to the forestry, horticulture and agricultural markets. We provide protective clothing, footwear, accessories and a large range of equipment. It was my role to lead the rebranding, complete with new logo and website, and it’s been a real milestone in our progression as a business. Since joining 14 months ago, Carr’s Billington Safety has evolved in so many ways, from the customer-facing aspect of the business with better stock management and clear precise pricing structures and investment in marketing programmes to the unseen back-end changes with further integration with our parent company Carr’s Billington Agricultural (Sales) Ltd and utilising the excellent internal resources available. Ultimately, the net result is that we have ecome more e cient and secured our position as an industry-leading supplier.


10/08/2021 10:22












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10/08/2021 08:59



Stihl X-Climb tihl has launched the lim its first clim ing helmet which o ers high levels of safety for arborists. The helmet can also be used by those working on the ground and it o ers full ear and face protection. The well alanced lim features a high visi ility all round re ective strip plus large side and rear helmet openings for better ventilation. The four point chinstrap with innovative magnetic uckle allows for quick fastening when suiting up and the headband is easily adjusted using the rotary kno to find the most suita le position. The nylon visor provides sturdy eye protection even in the toughest working conditions and the ear defenders feature high insulation hearing protection capsules with a value of . The lim conforms to oth for industrial safety helmets or hard hats’ and for climbing and mountaineering helmets. It is also compatible with a number of accessories, including the T ear defender adapters and rain and debris neck protection scarf.

30 Pro Arb | August/September 2021

Helmets.indd 30

Petzl Strato Vent Petzl’s Strato Vent helmet is lightweight and comforta le ecause of its T T and T systems which ensure it stays securely on the head. The helmet features an adjustable chinstap, which makes it ideal for working at height and on the ground. There are ventilation holes that allow in air ow and the helmet comes fitted with eltor slimline chipper earmu s which have an rating despite eing slim and lightweight and an dvance mesh visor and visor carrier. The mesh face visor ensures there is protection from ying debris while undertaking tree work. The rubber skirt on the visor carrier also closes the gap between the helmet and visor, which prevents any debris from entering behind.

Husqvarna Spire Vent The Spire Vent from Husqvarna is designed for professional ar orists. The helmet o ers convenience and style at work without compromising safety and protection. The Spire Vent is lightweight and well ventilated for ma imum comfort. t has a universal fit and a wheel ratchet that allows for easy size adjustment. The helmet is also equipped with attachments for mounting headlamps earmu s and visors. t is compati le with usqvarna’s passive earmu s or with luetooth and three Husqvarna visor styles, including clear, mirror and smoke – these are all sold separately. The helmet also fulfils uropean standard for work at heights.


10/08/2021 11:07


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10/08/2021 09:00

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ARBORIST T I K s r e d RISING d a l


Henchman Henchman’s Professional Tripod and Hi-Step Platform hedge ladders are suited to working at height on uneven or sloping terrain. These attractive ladders ensure safety and comfort and are a popular choice among tree care and landscaping professionals. A Henchman ladder is the safer alternative to using a step ladder or traditional two legged ladder. They o er three ad usta le legs and wide platform design and are lightweight, easy to carry and store. The Henchman Tripod is ideal for tasks such as pruning trees and hedges or harvesting fruit, and is availa le in si di erent si es from ft to ft. etacha le ru er feet come as standard when ordered direct from Henchman. The legs can e ad usted separately to create a level working platform on uneven terrain and the top rail provides one handed support and can e leaned against when using oth hands. or larger o s the enchman i tep latform o ers a level spacious and comforta le working space ensuring the ar orist remains sta le when leaning in three directions. The four independently ad usting legs allow them to work on sloping or uneven terrain and the large feet prevent slipping or sinking on soft ground.

Hendon Hendon Tripod Ladders, supplied y arr s illington afety are known for relia le sta ility ro ustness and lightweight design. They are well suited to use when working at height on uneven, soft and sloping ground. This year, a new ‘authenticity tag’ has een etched onto each ladder to reassure uyers they have a genuine endon and they also come with a safety guarantee. arr s illington is also ensuring that retailers have a constant stock of Hendon Tripod Ladders and pre ordering is availa le to ensure su cient num ers. eanwhile arr s illington will also hold stock in its warehousing unit for retailers, since ladders can take up a lot of room in terms of height and oor space. The ladders can also e dispatched direct to the retailer’s customers if required. The ladders come with ru er feet as standard.

Niwaki iwak o ers two ranges the heavier duty ro d usta le range which was launched in and riginal. These ladders, which are made of aluminium, are ideal for topiary, large hedges and orchards, among many other uses. The ro d usta le is descri ed as a eefed up version of the riginal range and is aimed at tree care and horticulture professionals while the riginal is more suited to keen gardeners. The ro d usta le has a load earing of kg reinforced lower rungs and a chunkier ack leg and so is stronger more ro ust and more rigid o ering greater sta ility and user safety. While the riginal ladders have an ad usta le ack leg with a spring pin that e tends y or shortens up to in stops the ro d usta le has ad usta le front legs in addition o ering full versatility. t also has reinforced lower rungs and a chunkier ack leg making it stronger more ro ust and more rigid and so with greater sta ility and user safety. These ladders are also certified. u er feet should e used on hard surfaces, such as patios, concrete, tarmac and driveways.


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hat’s your favourite Silky?’ is a question many arborists like to ponder. The Japanese brand is a favourite of many, allowing for some of the most precise tree care work. Silky distributor Silky Fox UK was established in 1995, and supplies over 200 UK dealerships. The range includes handsaws, polesaws and handtools. Silky has been manufactured in Japan since 1919 and made using a special tempering process with quality Izumo Yasugi steel. The business was founded by Mr Katsuji Miyawaki who created and produced the 'Tamakitsune', which was the original Silky brand. The company is now headed by Uichi Miyawaki in Japan,

while Silky Fox in the UK is currently led by James Davenport. The business experienced ongoing growth and in was the first to take advantage of the newly invented automatic saw setting machine. Meanwhile, in 1980, Silky created and patented a proprietary saw setting process, providing a further improvement to sharpness and overall quality. In 1985, two models, the Gomtaro and the Gomboy were launched, featuring rubber-clad handles, and the design won the prestigious Japanese Good-Design prize, with the Gomboy becoming the industry standard for folding saws. Here, we've detailed some of the most frequently cited Silky products available.

Hayauchi Hayauchi extending telescopic polesaws have robust aluminium alloy poles, which are oval in shape and provide better control over the blade’s direction, providing strength and rigidity. The telescopic design has two locking systems – a spring loaded locking button and friction clamps that work in tandem to ensure strong and stable pole extension. There are three di erent si es • Hayauchi 1 Ext 3700 with 1 extension pole – range 2.28m to 3.7m • Hayauchi 2 Ext 4900 with 2 extension poles – range 2.35m to 4.9m • Hayauchi 3 Ext 6300 with 3 extension poles – range 2.44m to 6.3m The polesaw comes with a 390mm curved blade and teeth ratio of 6.5 teeth per 30mm. It also has the Silky 4-Retsume teeth technology, ideal for the toughest pruning jobs. The blade can be adjusted to two di erent angles for lower or higher cutting. Blades have a lower sickle for undercutting bark and removing epicormics with a clean cut to avoid tree damage and an upper sickle for cutting vines. The blade comes with a protective black rigid guard and the base pole includes a pole end shock absorber to protect the pole when on the ground. Hayauchi blades are re-sharpened with a feather edged file and all parts are replacea le. The Sintung lopper has been designed as an attachment to the top of the polesaw.

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s aw s

Zubat This is the most widely-used handsaw by arborists worldwide. It is versatile and powerful and suited to pruning in tighter spaces and for larger removals. The saw has extra-large teeth (5.5 teeth per 30mm) and quickly cuts through soft, fresh wood like linden, poplar and willow. The curved blade, in combination with Silky’s teeth, ensures speed, force and precision in the tree. The Zubat means arborists may well not need to use their chainsaw, which can be a preferred option, particularly where quiet working is required. Blades are interchangeable with the Zubat Professional Polesaw. Zubat’s blades are replaced, rather than re-sharpened, and all other parts are also available. Hayauchi 3 Ext 6300 sheathed

Gomtaro The range of traditional straight bladed pruning saws are widely used by professionals for general pruning of medium to large size branches. omtaro is availa le in five di erent blade lengths: 210mm, 240mm, 270mm, 300mm, and 330mm. The saws have a teeth configuration of eight teeth per mm for a smooth finish when cutting dryer and/or harder wood. Saws feature a rubber handle and custom-made, durable black polypropylene holster, which can be attached to a belt or leg strap. The saws have replaceable blades and all other parts are also available.


10/08/2021 14:49


focus on



rborists looking for extra versatility and who undertake heavier clearance and planting jobs could find a o cat ackhoe attachment – which is used with a skid steer loader – is just the ticket. When attached to the manufacturer’s skidsteer and compact track loaders the backhoe converts these into an excavator. It is available in four configurations the two ersatile and models and the two tandard and models. Choice of digging depths These o er a choice of digging depths reach and hook up systems. The largest model in the range o ers a ma imum digging depth of . m and a ma imum reach of four metres. nlike the tandard models the ersatile versions of the ackhoe attachment can e equipped with additional hydraulic attachments such as augers and breakers. The backhoe is connected with


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GET DIGGY WITH IT BOBCAT’S BACKHOE ATTACHMENT CAN TRANSFORM A SKIDSTEER LOADER INTO AN EXCAVATOR the o Tach attachment mounting system allowing them to e com ined quickly and safely with more than di erent o cat attachments.

we are seeing increased demand for the backhoe attachment and have added even more versatility with the Verstaile V-versions ccording to aniele aciotti product line manager We are seeing increased demand for the ackhoe attachment and have added even more versatility with the ersatile versions. They have a double acting auxiliary line that allows more attachments to e used

with the ackhoe attachment including o cat hydraulic attachments such augers breakers and tilt buckets. For increased safety all hoses are now placed inside the oom. Compatibility When configured as an e cavator the operator can dig holes trenches and foundations. urther they can add other attachments via the ackhoe for applications in demolition landscaping horticulture and other markets. n fact the new generation ackhoe attachment is compati le with seven di erent families of o cat attachments comprising more than di erent attachments including augers reakers clay spade uckets grading uckets digging uckets skeleton uckets and tilt uckets. The versions of the ackhoe attachment are also equipped as standard with the lac’ mechanical coupling system which ensures that attachments can e changed more quickly resulting in even greater productivity. The versions of the ackhoe attachment have a dedicated pin on system for changing attachments. The ackhoe also o ers a clear line of sight from the operator’s seat ensuring it is easy to dig accurately. or more visit

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focus on

h u s q va r




usqvarna has launched two professional 90cc chainsaws, both of which are suited to those seeking extra productivity when doing urban tree care work, while providing a more comfortable user experience. The two models the and o er power and e ciency together with higher levels of manoeuvrability. Key features: 592 XP • High performance even in challenging conditions • According to tests performed by RISE SMP in April 2021, the Husqvarna 592 XP has best in class cutting capacity, compared to closest competitor in the same displacement class. • Improved level of reliability thanks to a new starting technology, a start button instead of choke, featuring AutoTune 3.0 • Can handle 36” bars

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• Available with recently launched Husqvarna X-Tough Light bar • X-Torq engine • Power output: 5.6kw • Weight: 7.4kg • Bluetooth connectivity – chainsaws can be retrofitted with a usqvarna connectivity device, paired with Fleet Services, which tracks the product for easier maintenance and management (device available from autumn 2021).


ering traditional technology com ined with modern features • Durable and suited to heavy duty work • Rugged and easy to use • Suited to use in all conditions • Equipped with X-Tough bar, available from 20” to 36” • Power output: 5.1kw • Weight: 7.5kg • Easily adjustable needle carburetor


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Chainsaw bars – the next generation Husqvarna has worked with Tsumura/Suehiro Seiko Co in a new partnership to launch the brand new X-TOUGH lightweight bars. They are particularly suited for everyday professional tree care work. Gent Simmons, global director of product management for chainsaws at Husqvarna, says We are very e cited to finally announce our partnership with Tsumura and Suehiro Seiko. Their ability to produce the best chainsaw bars is well recognised in the industry. ur mission is to o er our customers the best cutting system possible, and these new bars are a vital part in that.”


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The bars have a solid lightweight body with hard resin inserts that reduce weight, making it is easy to manoeuvre but also robust, which ensures high productivity throughout the workday. urthermore its high sti ness gives a robust bar, to improve straightness in the cuts. The three-rivet RSN mount and an optimised oil hole give reliability and performance during long workdays. This, together with the rail hardness of the new bars, gives longer maintenance interval, while the sprocket nose adds to the high performance. X-TOUGH bars come in lengths up to cm fitting usqvarna chainsaws from 60cc and up with large bar mount.

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10/08/2021 11:04

© 2021 - Petzl - Matt Pycroft / Coldhouse © 2021 COllective - Petzl - Matt Pycroft /

PETZL TREECARE SOLUTIONS Being effective in your daily work as an arborist means mastering advanced techniques and having the best equipment to efficiently move around and position yourself in the trees. Here's Waldo Etherington in his element at Stourhead Arboretum in Wiltshire.


Being effective in your daily work as an arborist means mastering advanced techniques and having the best equipment to efficiently move around and position yourself in the trees. Here's Waldo Etherington in his element at Stourhead Arboretum in Wiltshire.

Tree care solution includes a ZIGZAG PLUS mechanical Prusik, a CHICANE auxiliary braking device and a 11.6 mm FLOW low stretch kernmantel rope.

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10/08/2021 09:01



Top tip

wood c




WOOD CHIPPERS ARE ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT FOR ARBORISTS, BUT THERE ARE WAYS YOU CAN BOOST PERFORMANCE – WE ASKED LEADING BRANDS FOR THEIR TOP TIPS GREENMECH “A woodchipper is a fantastic piece of kit, designed to reduce brash or timber into something usable or more manageable to carry away. Like any tool, correct operator use and maintenance are key to safe and e cient processes says eter agguley national sales manager for GreenMech. He has the following tips for users: Ensure adequate training is received When I introduce a new team to a GreenMech woodchipper, I start by pointing out that undertaking training is crucial to getting the best out of their new machine. To chip woody material, the blades must be sharp in order to not cause harm or stress to other aspects of the machine. It’s therefore critical that operators understand how to use the equipment safely. Training should not be seen as a tick-box exercise, it’s in fact a requirement under the rovision and se of Work Equipment Regulations (1998).

undertaking training is crucial to getting the best out of their new machine reen ech as a manufacturer o ers operator training or alternatively nationally recognised training courses are availa le. Abide by PPE guidelines orrect is another must. The use of ear defenders is vital and for added protection we recommend use of disposable foam ear plugs. Correct eye protection can be all too easily forgotten. Additionally, a helmet is needed on any work site. No-snag outer layers and wearing the correct gloves will help prevent you from being dragged into a machine. Understand the basics t the very minimum all sta should recognise and understand the safety decals and controls for feed in’ reverse’ and stop’. I make a point of demonstrating why there is a safe working height to the infeed which prevents the machine’s safety controls being compromised. sers should have a good understanding of the ideal


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size that brash/limbs need to be for safe lifting by those on the ground and for feeding through the machine. How well the brash is presented can speed up the process, preventing people from getting tired and ensuring material is not loaded in such a way that may cause injury to a colleague. Conduct daily checks on your machine perators should have a certain degree of knowledge about how and why certain parts work and what issues may occur to schedule appropriate workshop time and prevent more costly pro lems further down the line. With all machines, GreenMech supplies an ‘Ownership and Maintenance ecord’ ooklet setting out asic service schedules and tools. Extend the safe approach to hitching/towing Knowing the correct manner to hitch up the machine to a towing vehicle is also crucial to maintaining safety. In addition, make a point of checking the handbrake status – if it’s coming up too high before the machine is steady, get it booked in for adjustment. Machinery should be securely fastened using the correct anchor points on both the chipper and trailer, backward and forwards – bearing in mind that forward facing straps may get looser if the machine slides forwards. Trailers should also be regularly serviced and maintained.

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KIT FÖRST Först’s ST6D 42 wheeled and TR6D 42 tracked machines are said to be the world’s most powerful 6” woodchippers. Both machines deliver power and performance thanks to the rst ywheel and rst rip feed roller systems and enefit from an e tremely ro ust all steel construction. The 42 horsepower, Stage V-compliant Doosan DPF diesel engine ensures it can power through hard wood ust as easily as hawthorn. To keep these – and all – woodchippers running at their est rst o ers the following advice: Be aware of the anvil Whilst many people tend to focus on lades it’s ust as important to ensure your keep the anvil in good condition. A worn and rounded anvil will mean your lades are cutting against a very lunt face and will put much more stress on your machine as well as producing a poor quality chip.

Grease while the machine is running rease your machine via the e ternal grease points whilst the machine is running. y doing this you will e pushing grease onto a moving bearing and will get a much better coverage. Regularly check the inline uel filter Perform regular checks on your inline fuel filter to prevent running issues created y dirt in the fuel blocking it up.

Think about the right setting – not just the fastest A lot of people will set their rollers to the fastest setting at all times when it is much more e cient to run the machine according to material type and si e. d usting the feed roller speed can not only improve longevity of the machine y reducing stress on the chamber components, reduce fuel consumption and, in some cases, speed up chipping time.

Keep on top of belt tension orrectly tensioned belts make for a far better performing machine.

HANSA CHIPPERS Hansa specialises in the design and manufacture of high quality wood chippers. The family run company has a strong heritage combined with constant evolution and innovation. Arborists need chippers that are powerful and versatile to adapt to whatever job

is on hand and Hansa's commercial chippers are compact and operate with maximum ease even on awkward job sites, as well as being powerful they can chip up to a ma of mm to mm capacity in urope. Hansa has provided the following tips: Assess your requirements carefully ook at your common work sites and the common access issues and consider what type of chipper would most reduce the amount of labour involved in dragging brush long distances or would be the most productive for you onsite. f you work on lots of tight access worksites a compact chipper may e the est option. f you operate more on roadsides and in parks, then a Hansa road tow C27 would be the better option. Look for a large infeed opening Some machines come with an infeed opening close to that of the machine’s capacity. This means that processing large volumes of ranches is less productive as you have to feed in smaller volumes. nstead look for a large infeed no matter what the capacity.

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Price in equipment into your work quotes hoosing a high quality wood chipper equates to a longer useful life. When calculating your charge rate ensure you have correctly calculated your depreciation running costs, maintenance cost and repairs across the machines useful life, then add the all-important margin. This will ensure that your investment will e paid for each day and not only improving productivity on site ut it will also earn its own profit. Always quiz the manufacturer about costs f you’re not sure a out the maintenance cost or repair cost, ask the manufacturer and they will e a le to advise. Try before you buy nvesting in any piece of machinery is a big investment and getting wrong can e costly. We suggest always trying out larger machines before purchasing, this way you get hands on e perience efore making a decision.


10/08/2021 12:26


Splitta & Transaw Firewood Processors

Devon – 10th & 11th September 2021 Warwick – 23rd, 24th & 25th September 2021 Scotland – 8th & 9th October 2021

Kindlet Kindling Machines

Japa Firewood Processors

Live Demonstrations of Forestry and Firewood Machinery Uniforest Firewood Processors

Log Splitters & Circular Saws

Tractors + Timber Trailers & Cranes

Forestry Winches

10th & 11th September 2021 - Woodwater Farm - Chudleigh - Devon - TQ13 0BU. 23rd, 24th & 25th September 2021 - Fuelwood Warwick Ltd - Beausale - Warwick - CV35 7AF. 8th & 9th October 2021 - Fuelwood Scotland - Baddinsgale - West Linton - EH46 7HL.

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Wood Fuel Chippers



10/08/2021 09:02


Why getting high



ave you noticed the pungent oral and often unmistakea le aroma of canna is when around your employees t’s common knowledge that some working in ar also use drugs. f they are doing this in their own time then osses cannot do much a out this although it is still illegal. ut what if they are also secretly smoking at work f so it is highly likely their performance will e impacted. re they safe when using equipment such as chainsaws and wood chippers The chances are that they are not.

nearly 30% of those in England and Wales have used cannabis at least once, up from 23% in 2001

had used canna is at least once too. f course they may e using it more often and it’s said there are around three million regular users and that the ma ority of these will e younger males. What’s more canna is tends to e more popular than alcohol with young employees. How ould annabi a e t an e loyee? There can e a range of side e ects including mpaired udgement concentration and work performance • Mood swings rrita ility and aggression • Confusion oor time keeping sences ncreased risk of theft to fund a ha it.

ota ly the oad Tra c ct states that any person who when driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle on a road or other pu lic place is unfit to drive through drink or drugs shall e guilty of an o ence.’ t is illegal to drive if under the in uence of drugs to drive and also with some prescription drugs if they a ect performance. olice can conduct roadside drug testing which screens for canna is and cocaine.

anna is can also e addictive particularly if the individual is a heavy user. f they stop using it then there may e withdrawal symptoms such as sweating, shaking and an iety. moking canna is can also e a gateway to nicotine addiction. anna is has een linked to increasing the risk of mental illness including developing schi ophrenia. This is particularly the case if users smoke particular potent variants.

A common concern overnment figures for showed nearly of those in ngland and Wales have used canna is at least once up from in . The government campaign Talk to rank said one in five young people aged to

hat are the e loyer re on ibilitie ? mployers have a duty to keep sta safe and while a manager may feel awkward talking a out drugs it is a safety issue. mployees meanwhile may deny they are using drugs at work and insist what they do


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in their free time is their usiness. urther they may argue that cannabis use, if they admit to it is no ig deal and that police are decriminalising’ it. This is not true even if there are fewer eing arrested for possession and falling num ers of prosecutions. anna is remains a ategory drug and so continues to e illegal.


10/08/2021 14:27


Employers have a duty to keep staff safe and while a manager may feel awkward talking about drugs, it is a safety issue The employer could also be breaking the law under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 if they knowingly allow an employee under the in uence of drugs to continue working you could face prosecution. Strong guidelines are key There needs to be a clear written policy. It is important that employers talk to everyone about the policy and say that there is a zerotolerance approach towards drugs and alcohol at work. The policy document should be produced by an HR consultant or legal adviser, and made available to subcontractors. The policy must also state that any employee who is using drugs at

work will be subject to immediate dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct and this is allowed under the Employment Rights Act 1996 as a potentially fair reason. The drugs and alcohol policy could be included in the Employee Handbook or on a guidance sheet and employees should be required to sign this. Don’t ignore the problem An employer should be prepared to step in if an employee appears to e a ected y drugs. They should call them to one side and find an area where they can speak in confidence. Whatever their views on drugs, for employers, the main issue is safety at work and so taking action is essential. An employee on drugs poses dangers to themselves, colleagues and the business’ reputation. What about drugs tests? Some large employers may conduct random drug testing at work; this is not uncommon in construction, for example. It should be stated that this may happen in the health and safety policy and employees must consent to the test. However, if they refuse, then this should give the employer grounds to be suspicious and it could lead to disciplinary action. Drug testing needs buy-in from all employees and a medically qualified individual needs to conduct the tests – the employee should also be provided with a copy of the results. Employers should be aware that drug testing may have a demoralising a ect at work and take time to organise. Should you encourage other employees to blow the whistle? Employees may not want to ‘grass up’ their

colleagues, but others may realise, quite rightly, that if a team member is taking drugs, then everyone is at risk. The manager should make it clear that they will listen to information that is given to them in confidence or they could have a suggestions box. What if an employee says they have a drugs problem? This will be a matter for each individual employer, but they may appreciate the

The manager should make it clear that they will listen to information that is given to them in confidence employee’s honesty in disclosing this. They should ensure the information is kept confidential and encourage the individual to seek help, such as from their GP or to attend counselling. They may want to allow them some time o work to do this. owever employers must ensure that everyone realises the business has a zero-tolerance approach towards drugs. There may be some who think they can get away with drugs at work, but the right-minded employer will make it very clear they will not have a job for such individuals.


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10/08/2021 14:28


Social media – if you can’t say anything nice…



hen ngland lost the uro final social media was awash with racist comments laming players for missing penalties. Then there’s the case of cricketer llie o inson who made o ensive tweets as a teenager and was su ect to a an from the sport although he has recently een recalled. ut should people get away with posting such horri le and senseless messages nd what if it turns out those posting these messages work for you

should people get away with posting such horrible and senseless messages? And what if it turns out those posting these messages work for you? Those running ar firms may well not keep ta s on what their sta do out of work ut if your customers ecome aware of views that are o ensive perhaps se ist racist or homopho ic then it could damage the company’s reputation. t could also mean that some of your employees are o ended and don’t feel comforta le working with that


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individual. o how should the manager handle the situation Speak out about social media ost osses will have little interest in monitoring what their sta say on social media it could create ill feeling and also most won’t have the time for this in any case. o it may make far more sense to discuss the topic in a team meeting. mployees should e invited to say what they feel is and is not accepta le. The manager should then make the company’s point of view quite clear and remind employees of the risks they face in eing irresponsi le. Take early action f the manager ecomes aware of an o ensive post then they should talk a out it in private with the employee. t could e the comment was made in the heat of the moment or as anter’ ut the matter needs to e addressed as soon as possi le. here i a i ortant di eren e between free speech and hate speech The law around hate speech laws means it is illegal for people to e press hatred due to certain characteristics like race disa ility ethnicity religion gender or se ual orientation. o the manager also needs to consider if the comment could impact on relationships with colleagues was it racist or se ist for e ample s it ullying in nature and is anyone else named Would the remarks e accepta le if they were made in person

Further, could it also damage the firm’s reputation The manager should say they have seen the post and ask for an e planation. f the employee e presses regret and says it was a mistake then they should e asked to remove it immediately. Then it is very much up to the employer if they want to take further disciplinary action or if they want to accept that this was a case of poor udgement and to let the matter lie. owever if the employee refuses to remove the post and continues to use social media to encourage hate for e ample then the employer make need to take stronger action. A reason for dismissal? s the racist tweets following the uros showed some employers did take action and dismiss employees. f this is the preferred course of action then it could e well worth taking advice from an employment lawyer a company will want to avoid the risk of an employment tri unal. They should also make sure that any evidence is retained. o this could e photos of tweets or if there are complaints from customers who have read o ensive posts. ost usinesses do not have a formal written policy on social media ut if you have a sta hand ook then you could consider adding one. ut of equal importance is that employees realise there are e pectations of how they ehave outside of work and that includes on social media.


10/08/2021 11:00



09/08/2021 13:45

Built-in as standard

Proven Landscape Technology

Quality, function, value and robust design.

Bomford Turner offer a range of flail mowers and rotary toppers from simple grounds-care machines to agricultural-industrial mowers for municipal and airport landscape maintenance.




Tel +44 (0) 1789 773383 E-mail Website

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10/08/2021 09:03


Apprenticeships – where are we now?



hile there have been some major changes in agricultural apprenticeships, you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing much was happening in arboriculture. However, the Trailblazer Group – who are responsible for apprenticeship development – has been working behind-the-scenes to get the Level 4 and Level 6 routes built. This has been no easy task with extensive processes and procedures in place to get agreement from the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE). The group is also aware that the current Level 2 apprenticeship appears to be loved and loathed in equal measure – that may be a rather strong way to put it, but there is some unhappiness surrounding it. Flexibility matters However, one of the real strong points in favour of apprenticeship Standards is that the criteria for knowledge, skills and behaviours are set, but how you deliver to those is up to the training provider, employer and apprentice. nd this e i ility is where the strength is. Training providers can work closely with employers and tailor the provision to suit.


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Academic advances The shift from Frameworks to Standards has completely changed the Level 2 Arborist apprenticeship and it has become more academically rigorous. Frameworks used to assess apprenticeships whilst on programme, while tandards list o the skills knowledge and behaviours an apprentice will need to have learned by the end of their apprenticeship. Many view the current Arborist apprenticeship as something more than a Level 2. I’d have to agree that it is certainly challenging and could be considered as a “high Level 2” apprenticeship so should it e reclassified as a Level 2 and have elements reduced or removed, or be moved to a Level 3, which would have higher eligibility levels for entry? One thing is for certain; there will be some lively discussions going forward regarding any changes to the current apprenticeship to make it more relevant to employers, apprentices and training providers. Time to take on an apprentice? Over the last year, we’ve made some major changes to our provision in apprenticeships, su stantially reducing our o ering to focus on

the land-based sector. This allows us to really improve the quality of our apprenticeships and engage with employers in a much more targeted manner – we’ve also been fortunate to have a new member of the team join us, who holds a Masters Degree in Forestry. If you’re thinking about taking on an apprentice, make sure that you talk with your chosen training provider about what you want out of it, the sort of work you undertake and whether there is seasonality to the jobs you do. This will help tailor the programme to better suit the apprentice, as well as your business. Remember that you can claim £3,000 for apprentices who start between 1 April and 30 September 2021, and the closing date for applications for those apprentices is

we’ve also been fortunate to have a new member of the team join us, who holds a Masters Degree in Forestry 30 November 2021. As an employer, you’ll have to be on the Apprenticeship Service too. Visit for more information. Dee Vickers is head of apprenticeships at Kingston Maurward College and can be contacted at, for more information about apprenticeships.


10/08/2021 10:29


Take time to talk



re arborists struggling with their mental health but not receiving the help that could be desperately needed? This could well be a silent epidemic. et it’s well known that men can find it much harder to talk about their mental health and the arb sector, at least when it comes to tree surgery, is largely male. They often work for smaller firms where there is little HR resource, and the issue may not be openly discussed. Those who admit to problems may fear losing their jobs and worry it will be perceived as weakness. ast year an sse tree surgery firm produced a semi-nude calendar to raise money for mental health charity, Mind. Marvan’s Tree and Landscape Services, based in Ramsey, Essex, sold them for £10 each, with proceeds going to the North and Mid Essex branch. Managing director Danny Marvan said a commitment to safety includes mental wellbeing, as well as all the physical risks. “Mental health and Mind are a cause close to our hearts. We’re focused on ensuring our team’s mental health is as well-cared for as the grounds and gardens we maintain. Some of

We’re focused on ensuring our team’s mental health is as well-cared for as the grounds and gardens we maintain


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my team have said to me that in their previous jobs they would be told to ‘man up’ if they had any concerns about anything. But here, I really listen to my sta and they respect me ecause they feel like they can come and talk to me.” Mind said it was delighted with the initiative, with a spokesperson commenting: ‘What a great way to broach the subject of mental health whilst supporting our service. Sadly, in the UK, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in men under the age of 45. So, it’s great to see Marvan’s breaking the stigma and openly talking about mental health.” According to the Mental Health Foundation, one in eight men have a common mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder. hy do en find it harder to tal about ental health? Research by treatment provider, The Priory, said the reasons men did not seek help are: • ‘I’ve learnt to deal with it’ (40%) • ‘I don’t wish to be a burden to anyone’ (36%)

• ‘I’m too embarrassed’ (29%) • ‘There’s negative stigma around this’ (20%) • ‘I don’t want to admit I need support’ (17%) • ‘I don’t want to appear weak’ (16%) • ‘I have no one to talk to’ (14%) 22% said they would not feel comfortable even speaking to a GP, the main reason being that they worry it will waste their doctor’s time. So, what should employers do? Mind has the following suggestions: • Talk to the employee somewhere private and quiet, perhaps somewhere neutral. • Encourage an open culture where talking about mental health is normalised. • Don’t make assumptions about the individual – they may still be able to do the job, but just need support when having a di cult period. • Be honest if you have concerns about risk and look at ways these can be minimised. • See if an action plan can be developed, so if there needs to e modifications to the role. • Encourage the individual to seek treatment and allow them time o if seeing a therapist.

Pro Arb | August/September 2021 47

10/08/2021 14:37


For full details on all jobs, please go to

Call 01903 777 570 or email with your vacancy



Liverpool Streetscene Services is seeking a tree surveyor who will provide management services for Liverpool City Council’s tree stock, fulfilling the council’s statutory duties and conserving and enhancing the tree stock asset value. Knowledge and/or experience in tree surveying is essential. You must have the ability to plan survey work and respond to enquiries as they arise in the area of operation.

The Landscape Gardener is looking for a landscaper to join its hard and soft landscaping department, which services private clients in Kensington, Chelsea, Fulham, Clapham and Battersea with ongoing garden maintenance and seasonal planting. The company is looking for candidates with practical experience in a similar role, as well as an academic horticultural background.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to



The company is seeking a two-man forestry team to join the expanding Scotscape Groundscape team. Working as a ‘team within a team’ you will be managers of your operation and will lead your own pro ects. pplicants must have at least five years’ e perience and certificates such as clim ing chainsaw ground and clim ing and harness training. A driving licence is essential.

Liverpool Streetscene Services is looking for two arborists. The successful candidates will review issued works and agree methods of delivering arboriculture tasks in array of challenging locations. You will be required to liaise with the team in order to progress work e ectively. r oricultural perational certificates T ’s or modern equivalents are essential.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to



Thompson organ is known locally as the e pert in the ower and vegetable seed market, but it has grown to also include plants, bulbs, fruit, garden furniture. The company is recruiting for a horticultural copywriter. You will provide all online product copy, website content and use your horticultural knowledge to support the web team. pplicants should have horticultural knowledge and a qualification.

An opportunity has come up to join Morton : Pattison as a senior contracting operative. The company is a contracting firm delivering specialist ecological, design and build, and landscape services across the private, public and charitable sectors. The role will involve leading on the practical delivery of countryside and ecology contracting work. This position is ideal for someone with at least five years e perience.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to





THOMPSON & MORGAN LTD Location: Nationwide/Suffolk

FAIRWAYS CONTRACTING LIMITED Location: Warwickshire, Worcestershire



MORTON : PATTISON Location: Hampshire

CAMERON GARDENS Location: London, Middlesex

Fairways Contracting Lt, a professional multi-disciplinary external works contractor, is looking for a working grounds maintenance team leader, to lead a team of two operatives, maintaining high specification commercial contracts. The applicant must have grounds maintenance experience and leaderships skills.

An opportunity has opened for a hard landscape manager. Based in Notting Hill, Cameron is a domestic and commercial garden design uild and maintenance company esta lished more than years ago. Experience in construction and landscape gardening is essential. It will require exceptional organisational skills and onsite management to ensure pro ects are profita le and run to time.

For more details, please go to

For more details, please go to


Pro Arb | August/September 2021

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10/08/2021 10:52

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Arborists / Crew Leaders Plant Healthcare Technicians We have opportunities for experienced Arborists for our offices in the UK and Dublin to work in teams undertaking a wide variety of tree work and plant healthcare services.

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10/08/2021 15:11

little interviews What’s your current role and what does it involve? I’m compliance manager, overseeing health & safety, accreditations, and training to ensure Artemis Tree Services is working in line with industry best practice across all areas. What’s the best part of your job – and worst, if any? Dealing with a wide range of professionals in the arb industry means I get a wide perspective and a great understanding of good practice and knowledge to pass on to our amazing team of arborists.


Do enough people know what an arborist (or arb consultant) does? Should we promote it more? The industry is becoming more widely known as a whole but I don’t think there is much of an understanding or appreciation of what it

What’s your current role and what does it involve? My current role is sometimes challenging but always highly rewarding. We work with a broad range of approved providers to deliver training courses and qualifications it’s my o to make sure we’re constantly improving the service and helping providers grow their businesses.



Pro Arb | August/September 2021

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What’s the best part of your job – and worst, if any? It makes my heart sing when I see a training provider grow their confidence. ne area which is more of a frustration is the lack of diversity. I see female arborists at work regularly and they are superb at what they do. I’d love to see women in our sector buck the trend and break down the stereotypical image of the arborist. What three words sum you up? Happy, loyal & bossy!

takes to be a truly competent arborist or consultant. The Arboricultural Association is doing a great o guiding the pu lic ut we still need more support and promotion. Are you ‘greener’ than you used to be? If so, how? Having a young family, it’s very easy not to be ‘green’ with all the single-use items and plastic toys but we try to make a conscious e ort at home with renewa le energy providers, thinking about water use, crafting/upcycling, and even the little things like turning o lights and appliances when not in use. Where would you like to visit when travel is back on the agenda? I’d love to go back to North America and Canada to see more of the great National arks and ma estic trees they have to o er.

Do enough people know what an arborist (or arb consultant) does? Should we promote it more? I’m not sure people do entirely understand exactly what an arborist does. They certainly don’t understand the complexities of the industry and how much variety is involved. You need to be highly skilled and have a huge amount of knowledge before you even think about felling a tree. Arborists are not given the credit they deserve. I’d love to see the career promoted more in schools. Are you ‘greener’ than you used to be? If so, how? I try to think about the impact on the environment before I do anything. For e ample do we need to ump in the car or can we walk? Do we need ‘new’ or can we recycle or upcycle?


10/08/2021 10:47

What’s your current role and what does it involve? ’m lucky to wear two hats tree o cer in the planning service and independent ar oricultural consultant. s tree o cer ’m su ect matter e pert for notifications for tree work in conservation areas T applications and any planning application where trees are involved. As a consultant I’m generally asked how to get consent or to give reassurance on tree matters.



Do enough people know what an arborist (or arb consultant) does? Should we promote it more? ew people notice trees let alone the people that enable them to thrive and so as members of an emerging industry and profession we need to do much more. The schools membership that the Arboricultural Association is beginning to push strikes me as a good move in that direction.

Are you ‘greener’ than you used to be? If so, how? I’d like to say yes. We do what we can to reduce our environmental footprint at home. like to uy goods that last and I drive a little petrol engine car for my site visits that I group together as much as possi le. encourage tree pruning retention and promote replacement planting. But have a mo ile phone a ta let a indle and so ’m not as green as my parents’ generation and can’t a ord to be complacent. Where would you like to visit when travel is back on the agenda? n the orkshire orthum erland um ria and cotland. ir travel has lost its appeal somewhat – it’s a concern to be in a cocoon where the air is recirculated and the pandemic has amplified that concern for me. Maybe a ferry to Ireland?

What’s your current role and what does it involve? ’m a technical adviser in the rst ssist team which involves supporting our customers in the field across a num er of areas including maintenance repair or general usage of their machine. I also help with diagnosing issues if they arise and organising on-site repairs and parts dispatch when required. I am there to answer customer questions and give that human-to-human support to ensure customers keep chipping if a problem crops up.

Do enough people know what an arborist (or arb consultant) does? Should we promote it more? feel that unless they are in the industry a lot of people don’t really understand what arboriculture is. I imagine most people see it as ust cutting down trees ut o viously we know there are a lot of di erent skills and requirements that go in to choosing it as a career. Anything we can all collectively do as an industry to increase awareness is great.

What’s the best part of your job – and worst, if any? I love that no two days are the same in this role. I’m always dealing with new people who each have their own individual set of requirements and support needs. lso the sense of achievement when help fi something or make a customer’s day just that little bit easier is always nice.

Do you have a favourite outdoor space? used to live in the ew orest and miss being able to just go for long walks in beautiful scenery whenever the mood takes me. It now involves a lengthy drive and a bit more planning. What three words sum you up? appy helpful and fun.



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Pro Arb | August/September 2021 51

10/08/2021 10:50

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10/08/2021 09:03