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PROARB

autumn 2019 PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE FOR T REE SURGEONS

MAKE THE GRADE AS AN ARB APPROVED CONTRACTOR O A K P R O C E S S I O N A RY M O T H O N T H E R A M PA G E

IS IT TIME FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO GO PRO?

DECLARING WAR ON THIS TOXIC PEST

DECAYED TREES CAN SUPPORT THE LIVING DR DU NCAN SL AT ER SAYS FEL LING IS NOT T H E ON LY O PT IO N

LET’S GET BRITAIN PLANTING THE WOODLAND TRUST CAMPAIGNS AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE

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14/11/2019 10:50


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WELCOME

PROARB

PRO ARB OAK PRO M O T H O N TCHEES S I O N A RY R A M PA G E DEC

LAR ING WA THIS TOX IC PESR ON T

Autumn 2019 • Volume 6 • Issue 04

aut umn 201 9 P R O F ES S I O N A L TREE FOR T REE SUR C A R E GEO NS

MAKE THE GR A A P P R O V E D DCE A S A N A R B ONTRACTOR IS IT TIM B U S I N E S S TE OF O R Y O U R GO PRO?

DECAYED TRE CAN SUPPORT THEES LIVI

DR DU NCA N SL NG SAY S FEL LING AT ER IS T H E ON LY OPT NOT ION

LE T’ S GE T BR ITAI N PL AN

TI NG

THE WOODLA TRUST CAM AGAINST CLIMND ATE CHANGE PAIGNS Cover.indd

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H

ave you heard about the collaborative fundraiser Team Trees? There may be a perception of YouTubers as being somewhat shallow, but launching a challenge to plant 20 million trees by 2020 is to be applauded. The initiators – YouTubers Jimmy Donaldson (better known as MrBeast) and Mark Rober – aim to raise money for the US-based Arbor Day Foundation to enable mass planting. For every dollar donated, they’ve pledged to plant one tree. Supporters and top donors to the initiative include entrepreneur Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. Meanwhile, it is fantastic to see the Woodland Trust galvanising support over

ALL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 777 570 Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Features editor – Rachel Gordon proarbeditor@eljays44.com Subeditor – Katrina Roy katrina.roy@eljays44.com Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com ADVERTISING Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Head of sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com

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here with a mass tree planting campaign: the Big Climate Fightback. This seeks to bring together people from across the country, including local grounds and councils, as well as individuals – read about this on page 30. Climate change is a huge threat globally, with more trees being affected by wetter weather and more storms. In California, the Joshua tree is facing extinction because of hotter and drier conditions. Arborists may find there is increasing call for removal of damaged trees, and in removing or treating those with pests and diseases. There is also growing demand for more survey work as more homes and roads are built. It certainly feels as if trees are under threat as never before. Ash dieback is at epidemic

Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough liam.colclough@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek, Kara Thomas Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: laura.harris@eljays44.com Pro Arb is published 4 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2020 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

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proportions in many parts of the country, and oak processionary moth is spreading to new locations, including being found recently in Wales. One firm which is bringing expertise to the problem is Advanced Tree Services – check out what it is doing on page 16. There are challenging times ahead, but the pressures may at least have a positive impact for arborists in terms of raising standards, as the highest levels of professionalism in the industry are sought.

in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be 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 www.proarbmagazine.com Follow us on Twitter @ProArbmagazine Like us on Facebook Proarbmagazine Connect to our LinkedIn group Pro Arb UK

For careers in arboriculture and horticulture go to www.horticulturecareers.co.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 Amber Bernabe at amber.bernabe@eljays44.com If you would like to send us press releases to post online and potentially feature in The Tuesday Recap, please email Amy Fitz-Hugh at amy.fitz-hugh@eljays44.com

Pro Arb | Autumn 2019

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14/11/2019 15:47


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14/11/2019 14:52


CONTENTS

s t n e t con 19

33

0 2 n m u t au

43

news & views 6 > News

Updates from around the arb world

11 > News extra

aising standards is it time yo r firm became an ARB Approved Contractor?

14 > interview

From cars to tree consultancy – meet Hampshire’s Jon Harper

16 > on the opm warpath

How Advanced Tree Services is tackling the scourge of oak processionary moth

16

features

kit

21 > dr duncan slater’s casebook

41 > meet the supplier

Wood decay caused by fungi can create the perfect habitat – so think twice before felling

25 > Jonathan Hazell

Development projects must increasingly focus on environmental issues – so how do trees fit in

28 > how to get ahead in arb

Be open minded to continuing your development, advises BCA’s Dee Vickers

30 > the big climate fightback Spotlight on the Woodland Trust’s mission to boost planting with The Big Climate Fightback

33 > Pests and diseases

Dr Glynn Percival examines the fungus Sirococcus tsugae – a threat to cedar trees

here are n mero s benefits in being able to trac ehicles find o t abo t the Quartix solution

43 > Chainsaws

Check out recent launches from ECHO, Makita and Stihl

45 > Stump grinders

Maximise working opportunities with a powerful yet compact stump grinder

47 > Product DNA

Uncovering Caterpillar’s new and upgraded range of skid steers

48 > Hand tools

When precise work is required, these are up to the job

51 > ancient tree forum

Although no longer living, the remains of a once majestic ash in Sweden provides shelter for wildlife

36 > business zone – Pay transparency

What are the pros and cons of knowing who is paid what?

37 > Business zone – Minimum wage

Making sense of the legal amounts due to workers

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NEWS & VIEWS

news ROUNDUP

CAPEL MANOR HOSTS ARB STUDENT SKILLS FAIR Capel Manor College has recently hosted a conference for arb st dents at its nfield campus in North London, in collaboration with the Arboriculture Association. he aim was to offer yo ng people the opportunity to learn more and develop their skills. The day, which was free to student members of the AA and those studying arb, included guest speakers, an exhibition, climbing updates and equipment demonstrations.

The event was held at Capel Manor’s Bartlett Arboricultural Training Centre, where a number of activities were available to participate in, along with career guidance. Sponsorship was

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provided by Honey Brothers and Bartlett Tree Experts, ensuring it was free for students to attend. Adam Sarfas, head of arboriculture, agriculture and environmental conservation at Capel Manor College, says: “We were very pleased to support the Arboriculture Association with this amazing conference designed especially for students. The day has been beneficial for all in ol ed and a great way to bring together the arborists of the future and industry-leading organisations.” A similar event at Myerscough College and the AA in Lancashire was also organised so that students in the north of ngland co ld benefit too. www.capel.ac.uk

A ROUNDUP OF ALL THE LATEST ARBORICULTURE NEWS FROM AROUND THE UK. FOR MORE STORIES VISIT WWW.PROARBMAGAZINE.COM

PLEA FOR ‘CITIZEN’S ARMY’ TO TACKLE OPM A committee of MPs has called on volunteers to form a ‘citizen’s army to help fight the in asi e pests (such as oak processionary moth) which are posing a threat to Britain’s trees. The Environmental Audit Committee said some 1.3 million trained volunteers could identify and respond to biosecurity outbreaks. Such a scheme has pro ed effecti e in ew ealand where it was developed. So-called Invasive Non-Native Species (INNS) are thought to cost the UK economy £1.8bn a year. OPM is notably toxic to humans and animals. The report said the volunteer force could be set up by 2025. The committee has also recommenced a special border force for invasive species to be set up by 2020. Mary Creagh MP, chair of the Environmental Audit

Committee, says: “INNS is one of the s top fi e threats to the natural environment. If we’re to beat this, we need ‘people power’ with an army of volunteers trained to spot and stop an invasive species before it becomes established. “We’re witnessing changes from climate change that put the future of our natural landscape at risk. Oak processionary moth caterpillars can strip an oak tree bare, as well as posing a hazard to our own health. We face losing half of the UK’s native ash trees to ash dieback within a century, costing £15bn. New regulations to halt their progress are welcome, but they are too little, too late. Government funding to tackle invasive species is tiny and fails to match the scale of the threat.” The report found that action is needed urgently to slow the rate of arrival of invasive species and prevent them becoming established. It has estimated that around 40 non-native species will become invasive within 20 years. For more on OPM, see page 16. www.parliament.uk

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NEWS & VIEWS

HULL LAUNCHES BUTTERFLY PLANTING EXTRAVAGANZA

ll is planning to become the s first b tter y city by planting some trees to increase the rimstone b tter y pop lation. he male is s lph r yellow and the female pale lemon. oth are large with wings shaped li e i y lea es. he mo e was proposed by local mma ardy and alder b c thorn trees will be selected as they not only attract b tter ies b t also other insects pro iding pollen and nectar for bees. he said A healthy b c thorn tree is all that the rimstone caterpillar needs to grow happily. he more trees the more bees and b tter ies the more bea tif l o r city and a better ality of li ing for e eryone. esidents were in ited to the la nch of the tter y ity pro ect at the end of October. ll ity o ncil leader co ncillor tephen rady pledged the cost of b c thorn whips which will be distrib ted by comm nity gro ps for a people s planting wee at the end of o ember. n addition some alder b c thorn and p rging b c thorn trees will be planted across ll this winter primarily by schools as part of a wider tree planting initiati e in the city. www.hull.gov.uk

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TREE AID SUCCEEDS WITH MALI PLANTING PROJECT ree Aid has raised eno gh f nds to s pport a three year pro ect in ali. he rows will help women who are at the forefront of a deforestation crisis. nds came in ia a n mber of so rces incl ding ro Arb readers. he charity raised a total of . nding also came from the p blic and there was match f nding from the ritish go ernment. he money will be sed to pro ide women in ali with the tools and training they need to sa e and replant their local forest with the aim of earning a s stainable li ing from trees. Appeal s pporter and actress o Wanama er says han yo so m ch to e eryone who donated to the ree Aid appeal. ha e been a patron for o er

years and now that it changes people s li es. he new he rows pro ect will empower women in ali who are ad ersely affected by climate change to lift themsel es o t of po erty. t is abo t helping people to help themsel es. ree Aid s O ohn offett adds eople in the drylands of Africa are among the most lnerable in the world to the

effects of climate change. Women especially depend on the land to feed their families and s pport their children b t a icio s cycle of deforestation climate change and land degradation is ma ing their li es more di c lt. han f lly trees offer hope and a practical sol tion to the climate crisis. www.treeaid.org.uk

FIREWOOD SUPPLIER IN COURT AFTER HORROR ACCIDENT A e on based firewood s pplier osh oon ree er ices has been prosec ted after an employee s ffered serio s in ries when his hand was ca ght in a log splitting machine. siness owner osh a ar oon of rediton pleaded g ilty to breaching eg lation of the ealth afety at Wor etc. Act . e has been fined and ordered to pay costs of . . n ecember arren illespie a tree s rgeon was wor ing with another employee on a log splitting machine at the company s premises at apford rediton. r illespie was placing logs in the splitter and then remo ing the split logs and throwing them into the log store while another employee wo ld

operate the log splitter. is hand became trapped while wor ing on the machine and when he p lled away he fo nd his right hand index finger had been completely se ered along with the tip of the middle finger.

he co rt heard that e en after s rgery r illespie still s ffers from pain and the incident has significantly impacted his ability to contin e to wor as a tree s rgeon. After an in estigation by the ealth afety xec ti e the case too place at xeter agistrates o rt.

he fo nd that d e to a lac of g arding or two handed controls the machine in ol ed in the incident presented a foreseeable ris of serio s in ry to operators. he incl sion of a second person loading logs onto the splitter increased the li elihood that a serio s in ry wo ld occ r. inspector a l annell says his incident co ld so easily ha e been a oided by simply carrying o t the correct control meas res for machinery g arding and safe wor ing practices. mployers sho ld be ma ing s re that they properly assess and apply effecti e control meas res in order to minimise the ris from dangero s parts of machinery. www.hse.gov.uk

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NEWS & VIEWS

JAPANESE MAPLES SET TO ENHANCE UK FORESTS

Forestry England has announced that Japanese maple trees will be imported into the UK to prevent them dying out in their native habitat. A team from the government department and Oxford University is visiting Japan to collect rare

seeds to plant in UK arboretums, which will later be relocated to UK forests. It is believed these will enhance environments, creating vivid colour displays, particularly in autumn. apan is affected by climate change and deforestation, and bringing new trees into the UK is also expected to help boost diversity and counteract the impact of ash dieback and other diseases. www.forestryengland.uk

HONEY BROTHERS REVEALS REBRAND Arborist equipment supplier Honey Brothers Ltd has undergone a brand revamp and launched a new website. The business, which has been trading since 1955, has unveiled a new look that is based around a honeycomb pattern. The website is now mobile-friendly and makes it easier for customers to buy goods online. CEO and owner Martyn Day says: “It’s the right time to refresh our much-loved brand and website with a professional look and a new identity. We have

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huge changes planned in 2019, with a brand-new shop due for completion before the end of the year, so the company needs a website to match the demand from our customers here in the UK and overseas. “We are very excited for the next chapter of Honey Brothers, welcoming new customers and continuing our personal service and reputation for having the largest range of arb supplies in the UK.” www.honeybros.com

APF 2020 OPENS FOR EXPO BUSINESS APF, the UK’s largest event for the arboriculture and forestry sectors, has opened its doors for exhibitor bookings. The biennial event will be held in the same location at Ragley Estate, Alcester, Warwickshire on 24, 25 and 26 September. In 2018, 320 exhibitors and over 20,000 visitors attended the event, and the organisers say they are planning to exceed that total in 2020. Exhibition secretary Ian Millward comments: “We are pleased to have opened bookings for APF 2020 and delighted at the uptake from exhibitors to date. Many have asked for a larger site than they had in 2018. “We have redesigned the demonstration circuit to accommodate more exhibitors and are able to offer more at grass areas which many

exhibitors want. We have also made changes to o r tra c plan and added an extra car park and visitor entrance to avoid undue delays. The new layout will make the show easier for visitors to navigate around,” he says. He also adds that arb products supplier Fletcher tewart was first off the mar with their 2020 booking. Events at APF 2020 include: • The Husqvarna World 25m Pole Climbing Championships • The Tilhill Forestry & A W Jenkinson European Chainsaw Carving Competition • UK Forwarder Driving Competition sponsored by Komatsu • Horse Logging • Biosecurity, bioenergy, wood fuel and tree health seminars. www.apfexhibition.co.uk

AA CALLS FOR 2020 CONFERENCE CONTRIBUTIONS The Arboricultural Association has announced details for its 54th Annual Amenity Arboriculture Conference, and has put out a call for papers to be considered for event content. ‘Trees and Society’ will be the theme for the conference, which takes place on 6 to 9 September 2020 at the University of Exeter. These papers are invited from AA members and non-members, arboriculture professionals, and those from other sectors. Topics sho ld broadly fit into the following arb-focused categories:

• Trees and health and wellbeing he social benefits of trees • Trees and people • Equality and the urban forest • Innovation in arboriculture Presentations are 30 minutes in length and proposals for workshops and demonstrations will also be considered. Those interested should only forward an abstract of their proposed topic. The deadline for submissions is 9 December 2019, and responses from the AA will be made by early February 2020. www.trees.org.uk

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14/11/2019 11:07


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NEWS & VIEWS

Time to raise the bar

FEW WOULD ARGUE THAT MORE PROFESSIONALISM IS NEEDED WITHIN THE ARBORIST SECTOR, AND THE AA’S APPROVED CONTRACTOR SCHEME BOTH ACHIEVES THIS AND ENSURES CONSUMERS CAN ACCESS QUALITY SUPPLIERS. SO, IF YOU ARE STILL TO TAKE THIS ROUTE, ARE YOU UP FOR THE CHALLENGE?

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extra

©Tom Hurley

Four men were recently sentenced in court for targeting elderly and vulnerable people in their Essex homes by purporting to be ‘tree surgeons’. They forced seven people, aged 79 to 95, to go banks and withdraw thousands of pounds. Rogue tree surgeons have been plying the trade for years, and if not stealing money, they have at least committed tree butchery. There is, however, a benchmark to show that a firm can be tr sted to act with integrity – the ARB Approved Contractor scheme (run by the Arboricultural Association) re ires effort and in estment b t brings ario s benefits. It involves independent assessment and an agreement to meet the AA’s codes of ethics and conduct. In 2012, the scheme attained ISO 9001, meaning it s o cially recognised as the national standard, and is the only scheme of its kind. Paul Smith, the AA technical o cer who o ersees the scheme says: “We’re pleased that take-up of the scheme is growing. We’re also providing the accreditation to arborists, specialising in the utilities sector. Becoming accredited is a commitment, but those who have achieved it have

news

found it has proved advantageous to their business and provides customers with safeguards.” How to become approved Your business must comprise at least two people – this could be the owner, along with a subcontractor, for example. You don’t need a formal business premises, you could be homebased instead. You will need to show professionalism with sound policies in place. There will be an

initial independent assessment by experts, and once approved, you will be granted the ‘ArbAC licence’ which lasts one year. This is subject to maintaining standards, paying an annual subscription, making paperwork submissions, passing an interim assessment after two years, and desktop reviews in years two and four. Those felling trees will already need a alification to show competence in aerial tree rigging and to show you are health and safety compliant. It is also

necessary to hold public liability insurance with a limit of at least £5m, and employers’ liability cover if appropriate. There are other stipulations, and full details are on AA’s website. Preparation can be made via the AA’s preparation workshops, which run nationwide on a regular basis. Even so, there will be plenty of arborists who may feel they already have plenty of business and that having studied at college and obtained the necessary tickets is already

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NEWS & VIEWS

enough. It may be that achieving approved contractor status is planned for the future, but now, there is just too much going on. But, is it time to rethink? Certainly, those firms which are accredited say it was the right move. Taking the plunge Cotswolds-based StockwellDavies is the AA’s newest approved contractor. This is a young business, set up just three years ago, with managing director Tom Hamments previously being a freelance arborist.

Stockwell-Davies now has a team of four, with the business developing a strong reputation in terms of the quality of work, along with ecology and conservationbased specifications and the planting of young trees. Tom recently presented at the AA student conference at Capel Manor College in London, on establishing an arb business, which included the value in being approved by the AA. He says: “There are some in the arb sector who talk it down, usually because they don t want to ma e the effort

Becoming accredited is a commitment, but those who have achieved it to date found it has proved advantageous to their business Once he decided to set up on his own, he knew that the Approved Contractor scheme was the way to go. “You need to spend time making sure that you are ready for the assessment, and have the right processes in place,” he explains. “If you are committed to meeting high standards, then it is not unattainable, just as our experience has shown.”

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NEWS-Extra.indd 12

or pay the associated costs to make their business compliant. This is nonsensical. Being approved has won us business by prere isite offering h ge advantages when you’re quoting everyday work and tendering for commercial contracts. “It’s frustrating when you hear companies advertise to clients that they are insured and have rele ant alifications.

While these factors are important, the reality is that these elements are the absolute grass roots of compliance, and actually go a very short way to satisfying the requirements a company should meet to operate at a high level.” Paul notes he is fully aware that there can be a lack of awareness of the scheme. “While local authorities and larger businesses will be aware of it, there are domestic clients who won’t be – and this is what we’re working on. “The AA doesn’t have the budget to run TV campaigns like Checkatrade, for example. But, we look to promote it via PR, and provide all approved contractors with a marketing pack to help

them promote themselves. It may take some time, but the message is getting through.” As one of its key goals for 2020, the association is launching a public engagement campaign which it hopes will increase awareness of professional arboriculture. Tom says: “If you employ a gas engineer, it’s common knowledge that they should be on the Gas Safe register. A similar awareness would be good for our industry.” The costs to become approved vary according to business size, and are payable for the assessment fees from £495 to £2,080, and annual management fees from £320 to £1,330 (with VAT on top). Some may feel this is costly, but it should be remembered that the assessors are all recognised and highly alified. he AA ta es on the role of checking documentation, and there’s a lot of work in running the programme to such a high level. “Overall, it’s been more than worthwhile through the additional work it has brought in. The AA also provides dayto-day assistance to approved contractors, which in itself is worth the costs.’’ o find o t more isit www.trees.org.uk/getarbapproved

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14/11/2019 15:39


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NEWS & VIEWS

THE JOYS OF

BRANCHING OUT MAKING THE SWITCH FROM CARS TO TREES WAS OUTWARDLY A RISKY WORK DECISION FOR JON HARPER, BUT IT HAS PROVED THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR CAREER AND LIFE SATISFACTION

L

eaving a well-paid job to do something completely different ta es considerable co rage b t for on arper a ampshire based tree cons ltant this has paid off handsomely not to mention pro iding an escape from corporate press res to become master of his own destiny. on ret rned to college alifying as an arborist from errist Wood ollege at the age of . e then obtained more ad anced alifications from the college and the oyal orestry ociety to become a cons ltant. rior to this on was doing well in a senior role for a leading car dealership in a rrey comm ter town. O erseeing a ag ar and o er technical wor shop he had responsibility for a highly profitable part of the b siness. op car dealerships are challenging places to wor whether on the repairs or the sales side. here are high targets and potentially big bon ses on offer b t the press re is often immense. y the early s on says he realised that altho gh the wor was l crati e he was deri ing no satisfaction from it. ogether with his wife he fre ently too brea s in the ew orest to help with wor stress iss es. t was here he decided to it the motor trade and follow his interest in trees and the en ironment. he co ple decided to sell their home and mo e to ymington in ampshire. on says did get into the tree ind stry later in life b t m glad made the decision. here was relentless press re in the wor shop and no matter how well yo did the targets were always

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NEWS & VIEWS

moved upwards. It just wasn’t something I wanted to do anymore. Working for the dealership did give me useful management experience, and this has helped me with running my own business, although I now have complete control over what I do.” Initially, Jon planned to work with his wife as a tree surgeon, as she had her own garden maintenance services and saw that leafy Hampshire had plenty of work. But he says being a bit older meant scaling trees and the intense physical demands of tree surgery was not something he would be able to do long term. He had various clients asking for tree surveys and more technical work, so Jon continued with studies and started Harper Tree Consulting in 2008. Jon says he thoroughly enjoyed learning: “I loved my time at Merrist Wood, and I’m still in contact with a lot of students and instructors there. I’ve also worked with one instructor on many occasions. However, you also learn a lot by actually doing the work. You can liken it to learning to drive. You can’t drive without passing your test, but then you enter into a lifelong personal development programme.” Jon now has a range of predominantly private clients, and referrals to him tend to come via architects or land surveyors. While he has a detailed and regularly updated website, his marketing costs are minimal.

well-versed on issues such as the impact of development and tree protection law, together with liability matters which can affect ins rance and the ability to secure funding. “Although I didn’t set out with any particular kind of reports in mind, at the beginning I found it easier to attract development work. This led me to get to know many local authority tree o cers so le eraged this to my ad antage and my business began to head in that direction organically,” he says. Jon is also knowledgeable about tree health and advises on pests and diseases. “These can hea ily in ence a decision as to whether a tree is suitable for retention in a development scheme, and a good understanding of them

Rather than look at felling as the best option, I now find that more contractors are interested in options like root containment systems a ing referrals from professionals fits with my original business plan, which was to let other people do my advertising for me. I do have some free listings online, but these are mainly to increase the visibility of my website.” He has also done occasional work for local authorities and has good relationships with many tree o cers as well as planning o cers. ndeed m ch of on s wor is connected to development and planning. Notably, BS 5837:2012, is used by all planning departments when appraising a construction project’s impact on trees, and Jon has detailed knowledge of how this operates. He’s also

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Interview Jon Harper kr.indd 15

is essential when it comes to the safety aspect of any tree inspection.” He explains that in part, moving to the New Forest was meant to mean more time spent outside of work, and owns a boat near his home for leisure. But currently, his working life is very busy. “I’m actually inundated – which is good, but I didn’t expect quite this amount. A lot is through recommendation which is great.” He says that work satisfaction comes from seeing “a well-designed scheme where tree protection measures and construction techniques have led to some spectacular trees being successfully retained.”

“I am realistic about this though. I understand that, as essential as trees are to human wellbeing, we do have to live alongside them in a practical and sustainable manner. I am also pleased when I can work with tree o cers who thin the same way. Jon also has good relations with a number of local tree s rgery firms and says n my opinion, a good tree surgeon is someone who is reliable and constantly improving the ser ices they offer as well as the e ipment they se to offer those ser ices. hey ha e to understand the client’s requirements, which can mean working with a consultant to achieve the overall end requirement of that client. “I only tend to recommend tree surgeons if I am asked to by the client, and don’t enter into any financial ties with a tree s rgeon. I don’t agree with taking ‘back handers’ to get work done. My recommendations are just that.” Looking ahead, Jon explains he enjoys what he does, and future plans focus on doing much of the same. He keeps up-to-date with relevant technology and upgrades early on to ensure clients benefit from software de elopments. As he is often o t on site yo can s ally find him wielding a weather-proof tablet. His passion for trees remains as strong as ever, and he is encouraged to see that there is more often agreement to retain trees if possible. “Rather than look at felling as the best option now find that more contractors are interested in options like root containment systems, which can mean that more trees can stay in place. If I can play a part in this, then all the better.”

Pro Arb | Autumn 2019 15

13/11/2019 14:16


NEWS & VIEWS

On the

OPM warpath AS CASES OF OAK PROCESSIONARY MOTH RISE, ARB COMPANY ADVANCED TREE SERVICES IS PLAYING A VITAL ROLE IN CONTROLLING THIS TOXIC PEST

T

aking on oak processionary moth is a thoro ghly npleasant ob. t is often hot, tiring, and worst of all, there is a chance for locals and arborists to get ‘rashed up’ before anyone has the chance to get into . ashes are nfort nately a side effect of O . hey occ r when there is contact with the toxic hairs from the caterpillars. en when wearing protective clothing, it is hard to avoid contact as there are potentially millions of hairs in the vicinity that are impossible to see, and st one can trigger a reaction. an op inson is assistant cons ltant with Surrey-based Advanced Tree Services A a company that offers a broad range of traditional arborist services and has also developed expertise in the management of O . an o ersees this area of the b siness. t s to gh wor both spraying and, in particular, removing the nests, which may require climbing into di c lt to access areas of the trees. Certainly, as far as we are concerned, requests for help based on

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OPM training kr.indd 16

sightings rise each year, and in tree-lined streets for example yo co ld find that there are many affected. ATS is one of the contractors approved by the orestry ommission to remo e O . he wor now occ pies the firm for aro nd six months a year to coincide with the insect’s life cycle. his begins from April when caterpillars hatch from eggs and, at this point, they are hairless and therefore non toxic. Things pick up though from mid-May, when there will be sightings as the caterpillars start to move down from the tree canopy in their characteristic processionary mo ement. From early June, they form nests which, again, aren’t always easy to see with the untrained eye as they are often numerous and have a sil en appearance. At this time the caterpillars are covered with hairs and these are sed to constit te the nests. Each caterpillar has thousands of hairs which they shed, which is where the potentially dangero s tha metopoein is fo nd. Thaumetopoein is the toxic protein on the hairs of the caterpillar, and can remain in the en ironment for p to years. hese can be airborne and fall to the gro nd. Apart from being hazardous to health, the caterpillars also feed on oak leaves, which can expose the tree to be more vulnerable to attack from pests and weather e ents. emale moths lay between one and two hundred eggs and are able to migrate res lting in increasing cases.

Map of new outbreaks this year as found by the Forestry Commission on imported plants

ATS has around 15 or so employees carrying out removals, but it certainly is not the most en oyable of tas s. an says All of s ha e been affected with s in rashes altho gh the reaction varies according to the individual, and so it can be mild or se ere. O was first disco ered in so th west London’s Richmond upon Thames in 2006, when it was also noted that more local residents were seeking help for what was tho ght to be dermatitis. ince then it has spread to other areas of London and the s rro nding co nties. he moth has a hold

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NEWS & VIEWS

on parts of the capital and has also appeared f rther afield tho gh in isolated cases it has reached areas as far as he eld and ardiff. an says nfort nately there are so many cases that I don’t think we can rid the UK of O entirely. t is st a estion of trying to eep it nder control. We ha e to do what we can and wo ld s pport b ying ritish trees where possible ma ing s re there are reg lar chec s and the import restrictions introd ced by the go ernment sho ld also be of benefit. he moth is indigeno s to editerranean co ntries b t is belie ed to ha e entered the ia imported oa trees from the etherlands. O is also now well established in colder European countries (such as ermany and elgi m with the problem f rther being f elled by climate change. OPM removal strategies he pest is dealt with by spraying earlier in the season typically mid April to mid ay followed by nest remo al. an says there are a n mber of pesticides a ailable which ill O b t some are harmf l to other species. We se i el which is sprayed onto trees. t is still a pesticide b t it is orestry ommission appro ed and less harmf l it s safe to se near water and doesn t affect bees. i el is deri ed from nat rally occ rring soil bacteria and once ingested the caterpillar stops feeding and dies within to ho rs. he chemical is solely applied to those trees which are affected to ens re minim m impact. Once nests appear A will send climbers to remo e them or they may be accessible ia a W . ome nests can also be fo nd lower

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OPM training kr.indd 17

down on trees. he nests are remo ed either sing a ac m or man ally and disposed of by an appro ed ha ardo s waste carrier. an says wor can be in a ariety of settings from woodlands to areas that are heavily populated s ch as schools ni ersities and golf co rses. O has shown considerable resilience and e en tho gh it may appear an infestation has been eradicated repeat spraying may be necessary. here are cases where it reappears the following year e en after treatment. n some cases A will pro ide its clients with training so they can ta e some remo al action themsel es. On a golf co rse for example we wo ld wor with green eepers as they might want to ta e immediate steps if they spot O . t is a case of nowing things li e

how to spray what protecti e clothing to wear and in what order to ta e off the to minimise chances of being affected. oo ing ahead an belie es that O will remain a to gh n t to crac . ome academic research has s ggested that there may be a species of y that co ld attac the caterpillar res lting in some nat ral control. t he says there is an rgent need for more awareness and people being on the loo o t for O . o date most cases where medical help has been so ght were for s in rashes. m aware of one unfortunate case where a pet cat died beca se it ingested a hair. he problem is someone co ld ha e ery ad erse reactions li e breathing di c lties which is why we need the highest le els of igilance and swift action.

OPM – the government’s response he go ernment has in ested . m to strengthen border sec rity and recr it new plant inspectors. t also r ns the lant ealth ris register which is reg larly re iewed and prioritised for action. efra has recently introd ced strengthened national legislation to protect oa trees against O thro gh mo ement and import. he legislation prohibits the mo ement of certain oak trees into the OPM Protected Zone nless specific conditions are met. hree geographical ones ha e been set p for control p rposes. hese impact on what help may be a ailable from the orestry ommission and what action needs to be ta en. he ore one in entral ondon is where the o tbrea first too hold. he ffer

one s rro nds this with the aim to pre ent o tward spread and the rotected one is mainly O free. he orestry ommission will act to treat pri ately owned trees in the ffer and Protected Zones at no cost to the owner for spraying while local a thorities are generally re ired to pay for treatment. est remo al is at tree owners expense. his is in addition to a tat tory nstr ment on oa introd ced in meaning all imported oa trees sho ld be declared to the lant ealth er ice. efra said the go ernment was calling on the hortic lt ral ind stry and the p blic to be igilant and if O is seen to report this ia the tree health portal ree Alert. treealert.forestresearch.gov.uk

Pro Arb | Autumn 2019 17

14/11/2019 15:57


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S E R U T FEA 19 0 2 n m autu

21 > dr duncan slater’s casebook Should decaying trees always be felled? A stay of execution, if the environment is right, can be a boost for nature

25 > Putting trees in the picture Jonathan Hazell looks at green infrastructure issues, advising on best practice around trees and development plans

28 > How to get ahead in arb

Don’t let fears or misconceptions hold you back from learning – it’s the best route to getting ahead as an arborist, says BCA’s Dee Vickers

30 > Let’s get planting

Find out about the Woodland Trust’s The Big Climate Fightback and why this crusade will get Britain planting

33 > Beware of this pink peril

Cedar trees are under threat from the Sirococcus tsugae fungus. Dr Glynn Percival has guidance on detection and treatment

36 > business zone – PAY TRANSPARENCY

Should employers be open about what pay is on offer his is an area nder scr tiny so what are the pros and cons? Alan Price from Peninsula Business Services explains

37 > business zone – MINIMUM WAGE UPDATE

The minimum wage and the national living wage are in the news – be clear on the levels and what you should be paying

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FEATURES

trees over time:

decay’s impact

VIEWS DUNCAN

WOOD DECAY CREATED BY FUNGI CAN PROVIDE VALUABLE MICROHABITATS IN TREES. HOWEVER, A DECAYING TREE POSES RISKS THAT ARBORISTS MUST CONSIDER – STRIKING A BALANCE IS NEVER EASY

Old pear tree with Ganoderma fruiting body

Three years later The two ‘Trees Over Time’ images above show an old pear tree (Pyrus communis), retained from the garden of a large house when the site was redeveloped into a car park and café. I took the initial image of this tree because

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DUNCAN SLATER.indd 21

this pear had reached quite a venerable age for this species, but also because there was a fungus sticking out: Ganoderma australe. Although many trees can persist for a decade or more with this type of decay, an old stressed pear tree may struggle. This tree failed in a winter storm three years after the first photo was taken. Note that the failure exposed a large area of rotted wood, which in this case was a stringy white rot. The ideal situation for the arborist, where trees are found to be affected by wood decay would be to have quality guidance available, based upon science and the collated experience of other experts. This would advise on the likely outcomes of a particular

type of infection in a particular host species. The extent of the decay would also need to be tested in each instance, and that test repeated later to obtain some idea of the progress the decay is making within the tree. In cases like this, guidance is too often generic and the arborist lacks the means of assessing decay progression. Although some past advice has been abo t setting specific thresholds for how decayed a tree can be before it is at risk of failing due to that decay, it needs to be recognised that such arbitrary thresholds are not that useful. For example, it is often suggested that the trunk of a tree is relatively safe until it becomes 70% hollow. Some arborists take that rule too literally, doing nothing if the trunk of the tree is 69% hollow and felling the tree once the trunk is 71%, which is not a sensible way to carry out either risk management or tree management. The simple truth is that as a component part of a mature tree decays further – and if no associated loss of canopy occurs either – that part of the tree becomes more likely to fail. There’s no exact percentage or threshold point that needs to be calculated – the likelihood

SLATER

of failure just keeps increasing as the decay progresses. In such cases, the arborist must decide for each site what level of risk they can accept from such a tree. When provided with such information, arborists are led more reliably to a suitable intervention at the right time.

Week One

Week Two

Week Four A learning resource I have been working for a little over two years now on my Trees Over Time images and, more recently, on using the same technique to

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FEATURES

look at the development of the fruiting bodies of fungi. This is because they make excellent learning resources for our students at Myerscough. This Quercus shows the development of a fruiting body of southern bracket (Ganoderma australe), from a pure white ball of very soft growth to the brown-topped bracket that many arborists are familiar with. These combinations of sequential growth images can help those learning about decay fungi to be more certain of diagnosing the problem at an earlier stage of the fungal fruiting body’s development. It is also very pleasing to generate sequences like this, as I have a strong personal interest in fungi.

Study needed for ‘known unknowns’ Although trees have been studied for many cent ries scientific studies of the interactions between decay fungi and urban trees are very limited in number – and even these are often of limited value in making decisions on individual trees. This means that the arborist must often make an unsupported decision due to the presence of a particular fungus on a tree, or that their decision is only supported by their own and other arborist’s experiences. For example, the fungus Pholiota squarrosa (shaggy scalycap) is a common fungus found at the base of decaying beech, sycamore and ash trees

This tree was later felled due to the volume of fruiting bodies

Pholiota squarrosa at base of a beech

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Twelve years later

in the North West. But, for this fungus, one of the tree books on my shelf states that: “Its significance in ritain is ncertain . That’s not much to go on when faced with a tree whose base is surrounded by the fruiting bodies of this fungus, as seen in the top image on the bottom left. My experience with Pholiota squarrosa is that if you investigate the location where the fruiting bodies are emerging from, a dead root or dead section of the root crown will be found not far away. However, as with many things, it is a matter of extent and degree. If one severed or damaged root in a large tree gets colonised by this fungus, it may not cause major decline to the tree’s structure overall. The beech tree pictured in the previously mentioned image was felled, understandably, due to the large amount of fruiting bodies that had encircled the tree’s stem. The beech tree pictured in the Trees Over Time image, however, shows it is still standing 12 years on from when minor fruiting of this fungus appeared. Studies that followed up on where our knowledge of fungi/ host outcomes were poor – ‘known unknowns’ such as in this case – would be very valuable, potentially allowing more trees to be retained while successfully managing risks from those trees. A hollow argument Although not widely taught in the UK, the work of scientists Andrew Rayner and Lynne Boddy provides insight into several factors that are involved in initiating wood decay in trees and the likely progression of that decay. One factor emphasised in their work is that wood decay fungi struggle to invade functioning sapwood in living trees.

Functioning sapwood (wood that is still transporting sap to the canopy of the tree) contains living parenchyma cells that can defend against decay organisms. But, much more importantly, the wood is soaked through with sap, containing almost none of the oxygen the fungi would need for them to respire. It is most likely for this reason why yo can often find sections of a hollow tree where the wood decay is only in the centre of the stem and a ring of sound sapwood surrounds it. It is possible for a tree to be hollowed-out by a decay fungus and for the central dysfunctional wood of a tree’s trunk to be all decayed away, but for it to continue growing. If the fungus starts to run out of dysfunctional wood to feed upon in that hollow, decay progress can then become very slow, as only the more highly defended functional sapwood remains. This helps to explain why so many hollow yet living trees can be found all around the UK, in our forests, woods and parks. Some of my Trees Over Time images show trees in that condition.

Oak stem with Inonotus dryadeus

Eleven years later

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FEATURES

Old oak with Inonotus dryadeus The images above show the persistence of an oak tree in Yorkshire where, in 2007, numerous fungal brackets of Inonotus dryadeus had developed around its base and on the lower trunk of the tree. Eleven years later, the tree is hollower and has had its crown reduced by the owners, but the crown remains in good health. It is important to share examples like this tree as it represents precious habitat for some of the scarcest

July 2007

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DUNCAN SLATER.indd 23

Eleven years later wildlife in the UK. If such trees can persist for a decade or more with the help of a minor crown reduction to lessen the likelihood of failure, then this is far better than having to fell the tree due to a lack of information on these fungi/host interactions or because a likely time-scale for a decaying tree to fail is unknown. A true survivor The images below show a similar feat on an early-mature

July 2018

maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba). Ganoderma brackets had developed in a cleft in the trunk of the tree and I suspect, given the setting that the tree s ffered some mower damage at its base. Revisiting 11 years later, the fungal fruiting body has died and the tree has grown considerably taller and wider in girth. When I shared the story of this Ginkgo on social media, several arborists suggested, just on the basis of these images,

that the tree was dangerous and should be cut down. owe er the first co nterpoint is that for a tree to be dangerous, it needs to be in a setting where it could fall on targets such as people or property. This tree is not in a location frequented by visitors during stormy weather, so the risk of injury to person would be quite low. Secondly, this tree is clearly coping well with some internal decay, and I expect to be able to take another image of it, grown even larger, in a decade’s time. In my view, part of making arboriculture more sophisticated and an ‘essential service’ is that we will be able to gauge with some accuracy which decayed trees we can retain – and which we must reduce or remove. A blanket policy of felling all decaying trees is not only unnecessary, but highly damaging to urban forests, to biodiversity and to our environment. Duncan Slater is senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College

July 2018

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14/11/2019 10:33


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FEATURES

Putting trees in the picture WHEN DEALING WITH DEVELOPMENT MAT TERS, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY BROUGHT TO THE FOREFRONT

VIEWS

JONATHAN HAZELL

in the short term and will require an increase in forested area to be climate neutral in the longer term. Meanwhile, harvesting of timber from the urban forest is likely only to be suitable niche self-builders, rather for construction use in the urban environment.

I

n my last article, I explored what is meant by the catch-all term ‘green infrastructure’. This time, I’m looking at ways it’s measured and what needs to be done to remain on the right side of the policy maker, the development manager and the enforcement team. The preferred metric of ‘ecosystem services’ is broken down into four categories: • Provisioning services – like the production of food, biomass or timber • Regulation services – carbon se estration ood protection

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• Cultural services – such as public amenity of making opportunities for recreation • Supporting services – like the formation of soil or creation of new wildlife habitats. Provisioning services Most urban grounds maintenance or tree work will generate biomass in the form of green waste, wood chip or fuel, which can become a source of heat or electricity, and seen as a benefit. On the other hand, burning green waste releases the carbon that was stored over the previous decades

in one quick burst, and releases more O2 than burning gas, oil or coal to produce the same amount of heat and electricity.

Regulation services Removal (without replacement) of trees and shrubs will have an incremental impact upon the carbon balance – but what about pruning? Energetic regrowth will absorb an amount of carbon, and so over a year the equation may be carbon neutral. Trees that are well-established and growing act as a carbon sink, moderating local temperatures far more effecti ely than walls or buildings. The reason for this is the water vapour in the air beneath

burning green waste releases the carbon that was stored over the previous decades in one quick burst In a commercial setting, the O2 can be captured postcombustion, along with various noxious particulate pollutants. Conversely, burning wood in a hearth is not climate neutral

the shade cast by the tree’s canopy. Green walls might do that too, but they are still uncommon. Likewise, trees purify air by trapping particulate pollutants, but to ma e an effecti e contrib tion

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FEATURES

Supporting services t s di c lt to nderstand how a plant in an rban en ironment can contrib te to formation of soil b t all that root acti ity and fallen leaf matter ma es a contrib tion pro ided fallen lea es aren t remo ed. cale that p to a shr b bed stand of trees or a copse partic larly in a soft s rface motorway erge etc. and it s clear to see how this happens. lanting can create habitats b t it ta es time to e ol e and increase local biodi ersity and may re ire partic lar management inter ention. ery increase in biomass li e rabbit pigeon or apanese notweed is not always a good thing.

The rough texture of leaves will help capture particulate pollutants planting and a line of trees rather than an indi id al is effecti e b t species matters too. Cultural services he landscape incl ding sweeping lawns shr bs and trees ma es a h ge contrib tion toward the c lt ral ser ices component s ch as par s woodlands and open spaces that pro ide benefits to h man wellbeing as well as the street trees that lin all those things together. Wellbeing incl des physical and mental

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Large applications – extra work On a bigger scale certain planning applications now ha e to be s pported by a iodi ersity mpact Assessment and at ral ngland has ta en the lead with a range of technical papers describing the metrics they se. A parallel approach wo ld be to follow the mitigation hierarchy from the o tset of a proposal per ersely de eloped by the global mining giant io into which recognises that the first step wo ld be to a oid ad erse

h tterstoc .com

health ed cation and learning as well as the sense of place gained from the connections made with the o tdoors.

a e acobs

to ood protection yo ha e to thin big and consider roles that rban par s or forests can play. rees and shr bs se ester CO2 and store it abo e and below gro nd so a linear relationship between their n mber and the mass of O2 se estered wor s as a r le of th mb. he growth rates of trees in rban areas tend to ary and the ability of a tree to store carbon is proportional to its biomass and diameter so a big tree is better. erhaps more effort sho ld be directed to retaining large trees in the p blic realm An rban tree will help moderate temperat res. hey re ect radiation and cast shade o er asphalt tarmac and bric that wo ld otherwise absorb and radiate heat and e apotranspiration cools the s rro nding air so trees ha e a role in red cing the rban heat island effect. he ro gh text re of lea es will help capt re partic late poll tants b t some species do prod ce biogenic olatile organic compo nds that can contrib te to the prod ction of harmf l o one and certain partic lates. ore

impacts entirely similar in a way to s ggesting the se of a rob st onstr ction xcl sion one will a oid harmf l compaction to the soil ol me beneath a retained tree or damage to its stem or crown. f a oidance isn t realistic then the next step is minimisation. here is rehabilitation when meas res are ta en to establish a specific basic habitat. ho ld proceed then it wo ld be impossible to s ccessf lly recreate any lost ancient woodland habitat altho gh this is c rrently on hold thro gh inter ention from transport secretary rant happs b t a more basic woodland habitat might be achie ed. iodi ersity offsets are a series of meas res that will help a scheme to achie e a lasting net positi e impact. hey may be habitat restoration or species reintrod ctions li e the red ites we now see thro gho t the idlands following their reintrod ction to the corridor in the s. hese offsets are not confined to the specific de elopment site and they

generally in ol e a range of acti ity in the wider landscape. he final meas res and maybe hardest to antify in terms of s ccess are f nding research impro ing ed cation and s pporting conser ation bodies. eanwhile some local a thorities ha e signed p to a climate emergency initiati e which can present a con ndr m for the arborist. Arboric lt re is often seen as stri ing a balance between the needs of trees the pop lace and the str ct re at a local le el whereas climate change is as ing s to consider the greater carbon e ation. t s too early to now how this will in ence tree wor in the f t re. One sef l reso rce is at the O ce for ational tatistics which has a nat ral capital team that p blishes the ecosystem acco nts for rban areas p tting al e against the contrib tion the nat ral en ironment ma es to the carbon e ation. o can find o t more by isiting www.ons.gov.uk Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant. jhazell.com

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How to get

ahead in arb

NEW TECHNIQUES AND PRODUCTS REQUIRE AN OPEN MINDSET AND A WILLINGNESS TO PARTICIPATE IN TRAINING TO REAP THE BENEFITS, SAYS DEE VICKERS, SO DON’T LET RESISTANCE TO CHANGE HOLD YOU BACK

VIEWS Dee V IC K E R S

T

he growth of the tree care industry over the last 10 years or so has been enormous, not only in terms of the numbers of those entering the sector, but also in terms of a rise in new technologies and equipment. There has been a growing awareness of the environment and the benefit of trees within our towns and cities. While businesses within the tree care industry still have their ‘bread and butter’ work, those that want to go from strength to strength will have to adapt to new challenges. This begs one question: how exactly do you do that? There can be no better example than the industry facing up to moving towards twin-line working. Although many utility companies already do this, its use is not widespread even tho gh it can offer a greater level of safety. Meanwhile, HSE has made it quite clear that it expects that anyone climbing a tree will use a twin-line system and that any other method of rope work would have to be thoro ghly stified. Setting aside the cost implications of equipment and LOLER inspections, it is clear that

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climbers will have to undergo some level of training. Yet, I can almost hear the collective sigh of exasperation from arborists saying: “Not more training, more expense and more time away from the workplace.” At one level, all of those things are undoubtedly true, but let us have a closer look at training and why it really should be seen as a positive thing for your business and/or career. The shift to twin-line working is perhaps a reasonable example of the enforcement of legislation that then requires businesses and individuals to be compliant. n this case the benefit to your working practices are that you are able to demonstrate compliance with regulations, which also has the added advantage of your business demonstrating a high level of professionalism. Learning new skills allows one to improve working practices and work more e ciently effecti ely leading to improved productivity and

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potentially accessing new markets as you expand your repertoire. o with all these benefits what is it that holds individuals and businesses back from investing in training? Cost is the one obvious answer, but training really should be seen as an investment in the future. Training will allow you to achieve your business goals in a structured and timely manner. he benefits

it can be hard to justify making that investment. But in either case, taking the opportunity to sit down and assess your requirements is key to making the right decision about how a course can help your business. Taking several days out to attend a course can be hard to justify. For many, that means making the investment and losing income for the duration

training really should be seen as an investment in the future. Training will allow you to achieve your business goals in a structured and timely manner of learning should allow you to increase your sales or improve yo r profitability going forward. When a business is busy and potentially firefighting to eep p with demand, it can be hard to find the time to attend a training course. Likewise, if business is quiet and income has dropped,

of the training – a double hit. However, taking a few days out to learn a new skill or gain a new understanding of a subject that will last you a lifetime does not seem like a bad return on time spent, especially when that new skill or knowledge is a saleable commodity for you.

Returning to the example of twin-line rope working, there will be climbers who do not wish to attend training because of their age, gender, or a perception that they will be with others who are better than them. For those who feel li e this it s essential to find ways to overcome this – age and gender should never be a barrier to learning new skills, gaining knowledge and working safely and ergonomically. There should be no restrictions on learning about new equipment, technologies or methodologies, and training providers work hard to support all those that attend their courses, irrespective of their background. And again, the fear that you will not be good enough or the perception that others will have more ability may be real to you, but well-designed training is there to develop each person according to their needs. Training sho ld not be a one si e fits all experience. Each person on the course should be treated as an individual and delivery is differentiated to s it the learner. If you want to demonstrate compliance, improve your professionalism, access new mar ets increase profitability and improve productivity, then take the time to assess training needs against your business plan. Making the investment in training is surely a positive step towards reaching your goals. Dee Vickers is the arboriculture programme manager at Berkshire College of Agriculture, developing and delivering the arborist apprenticeship. Dee has also been involved with forestry and arb short courses for the last 15 years. Dee can be contacted at dvickers@bca.ac.uk.

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14/11/2019 16:03


FEATURES

Let’s get

planting THE WOODLAND TRUST IS RUNNING A MAJOR CAMPAIGN TO ENSURE THE UK IS HOME TO MORE TREES – PR OFFICER RUBY HARRISON DETAILS THE BIG CLIMATE FIGHTBACK

I

t is time for arborists p and down the co ntry to do their bit as action is being called for tree planting. his was spar ed after the Woodland r st had to yet again call o t the go ernment for failing to meet its ann al tree planting commitments. eca se of this the Woodland r st has la nched the s largest mass tree planting campaign and is rging people to pic p their spades and ta e action on climate change. he ig limate ightbac aims to get more than a million people to pledge to plant a tree on the r n p to a mass day of planting across the on o ember. he reat ritish a e Off s andi o s ig and presenter li e Anderson are among the charity s celebrity ambassadors lending their s pport to get people on board in pledging and planting. n the r st planted ga e away or sold trees creating some ha of woodland across the . he r st planted more than ha of nati e woodland of the total fig re. t despite go ernment commitments st ha of woodland was created in against its aspirational target of per year. his is despite its own ommittee for limate hange calling for dramatic increases to stand any

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chance of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. Darren Moorcroft, chief executive o cer of the Woodland r st says that the campaign was in response to calls from the p blic to be gi en a practical way to tac le the s tree planting crisis. ost people are aware of the race against time in terms of climate change and planting trees being part of the sol tion they absorb harmf l O2 and prod ce ital oxygen says Darren. t we are not planting anywhere near eno gh. he ig limate ightbac is abo t inspiring people of all ages and bac gro nds and pro iding the chance to ta e direct action they ha e to simply go to o r website and pledge to plant a tree whether it s in their bac yard neighbo rhood school or at a nearby planting e ent. t s an easy way for people to do their indi id al bit for climate change as part of a mass mo ement. owe er the charity is mindf l of not confusing the message that trees are a sol e all to the climate crisis. arren contin es stablished in we are long standing ad ocates of the need for trees. his message is resonating with the p blic now more than e er

en ee W

ill ennings W

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13/11/2019 14:36


FEATURES

©Laurie Campbell WTML before, but we’re mindful that the message of trees as a solution should not be confused as the sole answer to our climate crisis. As individuals, we all need to do more, much more, to reduce our impact on the planet by cutting our emissions and reducing pressure on resources.” Sandi Toksvig, television broadcaster, producer and writer, urged people to pledge to plant. She says: “Climate change is a real threat and it affects s all. t there is the simplest of all solutions. It’s green and lovely – the humble tree. It eats CO2 for breakfast and

makes all our lives better. And what’s more we can all do our bit to take action now and plant one. I will be pledging to plant a tree in the Woodland r st s ig limate ightbac and rge people to get off their sofas once they e watched their recording of a e Off of co rse and plant a tree. It’s very simple and you could be one in a million.” The charity is bidding to plant a tree for every person in the UK by 2025. All the trees provided by the Woodland Trust will be UK sourced and grown native broadleaf varieties such as oak, birch and hawthorn. Clive Anderson, television and radio presenter and president of the Woodland

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Ways to get involved in the Big Climate Fightback: • People who work with young people are urged to inspire them to get involved and plant trees sinesses are rged to inspire employees to get involved omm nities can in ence landowners like local authorities to let them plant trees • The public can attend planting events hosted by the Woodland Trust and its partners • Everyone can use their networks and social media channels to spread the word, using #EveryTreeCounts Trust, adds: “Global warming isn’t something that might happen sometime in the future, it’s happening already, and we need to do something abo t it. eca se technology created the problem, it’s often argued humanity can look to technology to deal with the threat of climate change. “Surely, we can design a clever bit of kit or build some sort of machine to remove CO2

from the atmosphere and store carbon out of harm’s way? Maybe, but of course that device already exists. It’s called a tree. Though to ma e a difference we need an awf l lot of them – 1.5 billion trees, according to the government’s Climate Change Committee, if we want to help the UK reach ‘net zero’ by 2050. So, let’s make this year the year we ma e a real difference. ll be doing my bit and I hope you’ll all be planting too.” Ruby Harrison is digital PR officer for the Woodland Trust

Pro Arb | Autumn 2019 31

13/11/2019 14:38


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FEATURES

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GLYNN PERCIVAL EXPLAINS HOW DAMAGING FUNGUS SIROCOCCUS TSUGAE IS CAUSING DAMAGE TO THE COUNTRY’S CEDAR TREES, AND WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR TO CATCH SYMPTOMS EARLY

Sirococcus dieback of cedar

T

he Sirococcus blight is caused by the fungus Sirococcus tsugae (S. tsugae). t was initially identified in as the causal organism causing severe shoot blight and defoliation of Atlantic cedar trees, and has since been reported in a range of locations in the UK. S. tsugae is an asexually reproducing fungus which lives in infected dead plant material – it is found in needles, stems and plant debris beneath affected trees. he fungus produces spherical fruiting structures

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Glynn Percival kr.indd 33

The key sign of Sirococcus blight is the fact that the dead needles turn a distinctive characteristic ‘pink’ colour that becomes brown as the season progresses that have apical openings (pycnidia), and inside these are the conidia, which are asexually produced spores borne externally to the cells that produce them. Infection occurs when the conidia are released from the fruiting bodies and are dispersed by wind or rain-splash.

Although mainly seen on Atlantic cedar, this disease can also infect Cedrus deodara as well as hemlock (Tsuga species). If the disease is not managed, it can cause considerable damage to valuable ornamental trees in public and private gardens.

Pro Arb | Autumn 2019 33

14/11/2019 10:53


FEATURES

How is it spread? The conidia of S. tsugae can be dispersed by rain splash to susceptible species of trees over short distances and possibly by strong winds over greater distances. Whether S. tsugae can be transmitted by seed stock has not yet been elucidated. However, it is known that transmission by seed can happen with other Sirococcus species, such as S. conigenus. There is also the risk that this disease can be transmitted by infected stock brought in from other countries, as well as cut foliage. Spotting the symptoms Foliar symptoms, which are seen in the spring, include dead needles on the shoots, dead shoots, cankers and gum exudation. The key sign of Sirococcus blight is the fact that the dead needles turn a distinctive characteristic ‘pink’ colour that becomes brown as the season progresses. Young shoots are particularly vulnerable, with most new infections occurring in spring and early summer when there is also a higher abundance of conidia.

Using a hand lens, the fruiting bodies may be observed on the needles and twigs. Furthermore, infected branches may display cankering symptoms which are characterised by a change of bark colour, from green to a darker red/purple. Resin bleeding from the bark can sometimes be observed, and branches, if girdled, will die. Control problems o date no effecti e control meas res against S. tsugae have been reported. Diseased needles should be collected and destroyed in autumn, and good tool hygiene co ld also be of benefit. ertilisation will maintain tree igo r and possibly help offset the deleterio s effects of premat re defoliation.

Research in the US has shown that sprays with the agricultural fungicide Mancozeb can provide a reasonable degree of protection, but repeat sprays will need to be performed throughout the growing season. Phosphite sprays and/or soil drenches to stimulate tree vitality as part of a fertiliser programme have been shown to help confer enhanced resilience against a range of fungal and bacterial diseases, but their effecti eness against Sirococcus blight has not been tested. Infected trees, however, may not need to be felled, at least for some years unless there is a risk of structural failure. If a case of Sirococcus blight is suspected, then this should be reported via Tree Alert. www.forestresearch.gov.uk/tools-andresources/tree-alert Dr Glynn Percival is a plant physiologist/ technical support specialist at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory, based at the University of Reading. www.bartletttree.co.uk

If the disease is not managed, it can cause considerable damage to valuable ornamental trees in public and private gardens

Sirococcus dieback of cedar

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14/11/2019 10:54


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14/11/2019 16:18


BUSINESS ZONE | FEATURES

Time to stop secret salaries? THERE ARE PROS AND CONS FOR TRANSPARENCY ON PAY, BUT AS ALAN PRICE EXPLAINS, FINDING THE RIGHT BALANCE FOR YOUR COMPANY COULD BE THE WAY FORWARD

A

recent survey undertaken by YouGov, on behalf of Indeed, has revealed that 56% of workers would support making personal information such as monthly pay and tax returns publicly available. With more focus on gender and ethnicity pay gaps in the workplace, some employers may be left wondering whether transparency in this area will help them achieve pay equality or if it would cause more divides in the workplace. Disclosing individuals’ salaries and tax returns is common practice in many Scandinavian countries, and there have been growing s ggestions that the wo ld benefit from doing the same. rrently firms with or more employees are required to publish a gender pay gap report each year. owe er these reports can be di c lt to interpret compared to the relative accessibility of salary disclosures. Therefore, many feel introducing this requirement may encourage employers to be more proactive in addressing pay inequality to avoid reputational damage.

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From an employer’s point of view, publically disclosing salaries can help attract attention to an organisation and enhance its appeal. at rally those who offer competiti e salaries will benefit the most from this especially when

Organisations often struggle with unconscious bias when it comes to offering salaries d ring recr itment allowing pre-determined ideas on issues such as gender and age to in ence their decisions.

From an employer’s point of view, publically disclosing salaries can help attract attention to an organisation and enhance its appeal it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent. On the other hand, providing this information may enco rage staff to loo for wor elsewhere if they discover that they are being paid below the market rate for their role. Employers should also consider how publicly disclosing salaries may reduce the likelihood of staff spec lating on the iss e thereby ensuring that productivity and morale remains high. It may also encourage existing employees to go the extra mile at work if they can see the salary they are likely to receive if they qualify for a promotion in the future. Having this information readily available could also simply encourage workplace discussions about pay, potentially resulting in an increase in grievances and equal pay claims from disgruntled employees.

While there are certain measures to avoid this, the thought of salaries being made public could be another way to keep on top of unconscious bias by making employers more aware of their behaviour during the recruitment process. Although employers need to be wary of the GDPR implications when disclosing individuals’ salaries, those interested in the idea could look to categorise jobs using a clear banding system gi ing staff a good idea of what salary accompanies each job role without sharing any unnecessary personal data.

Alan Price is Peninsula’s employment law director. Launched in 1983, the company offers employment law, tax and payroll advice, employee assistance programmes, and health and safety support and training. www.peninsulagrouplimited.com info@peninsula-uk.com

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13/11/2019 11:03


FEATURES | BUSINESS ZONE

Making sense of the minimum wage EMPLOYERS MUST ENSURE THAT WORKERS ARE BEING PAID THE LEGAL AMOUNT, SO MAKE SURE YOU ARE CLUED UP ON THE RATES, RULES AND JARGON

P

ay is in the news as both Labour and the Conservatives included minimum wage issues on the agenda at their recent conferences. If elected, Labour says it will raise the fig re to an ho r for all wor ers aged o er by while the onser ati es say it will increase the rate to . within fi e years and lower the age threshold from to . No matter who is in power, what matters is that employers pay their wor ers legally as failure to do this could result in sanctions and fines from . What is more there is also a rep tation iss e few will want to wor for a b siness that short changes its staff. i en the wide-spread use of social media, news can travel faster than ever, and employees are able to ma e complaints online abo t an employer ia s website. inim m wage can be a complicated topic and those r nning small firms s ch as arborists may not ha e access to an professional to advise them. Who is entitled to the minimum wage? ost wor ers are entitled. here are a few exceptions, such as directors and selfemployed people, but it otherwise applies to the ma ority of wor ers incl ding those who are employed on a temporary, part-time

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BZ Minimum Wage.indd 37

or cas al basis and are aged at least . he amo nt paid depends on someone s age and whether they are an apprentice. he c rrent ho rly rates for the national minimum wage are as follows: Age and o er . to . to . nder . or apprentices the rate is set at . for those nder the age of and in the first year of the apprenticeship. or those aged and over, they are paid according to the relevant age band. What’s in a name? mployers can be conf sed beca se different terms can be sed when tal ing abo t minimum pay rates. So, if you hear the phrase ational i ing Wage this relates to the . fig re that is paid to those aged and o er. eanwhile there is another rate nown simply as the i ing Wage and this is set at a higher rate of an ho r. or those li ing in ondon it is set at . an ho r to re ect the higher costs in the capital. Notably, these rates are not mandatory. en so aro nd employers choose to pay this higher rate over the minimum wage.

Know the rules mployers are not allowed to ma e ded ctions that would reduce the level of the minimum wage for items such as tax and National Insurance, advance of wages or pension contributions. But, if an employer provides accommodation they can offset this. he wee ly accommodation rate is . changing the wage rate to . an ho r. owe er no ded ction can be made for other benefits s ch as food or childcare o chers. Simply paying the minimum wage is not enough. Even if you only employ people on a casual basis, employers must ensure they eep acc rate records that log ho rs wor ed and the amount paid. Understanding what must be paid for the minim m wage and that it rises each April is just part of the remit, along with issues such as ins rance and pro iding . efore ta ing someone on, it is important to be aware that being an employer carries many responsibilities and gi en the higher ris nat re of the wor this can be particularly challenging for those wor ing in arboric lt re. For more on the minimum wage, visit: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates or www.gov.uk/government/publications/ calculating-the-minimum-wage

Pro Arb | Autumn 2019 37

13/11/2019 13:50


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e h t t e e M supplier What is Quartix? Quartix is one of the oldest vehicle tracking companies in the UK, and was founded in 2001. The four founders were part of the telematics boom and contributed to the development of industry norms. What are the main differences with Quartix compared to other providers? Our award-winning customer service makes Quartix stand out in a crowded market. The sales and support team all have direct phone lines and respond to customer queries quickly and enthusiastically. Our prices and terms are completely transparent – contracts are as short as 12 months and do not auto-renew.

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QUARTIX PROVIDES GPS VEHICLE TRACKING FOR COMMERCIAL VEHICLES – COULD THIS BE RIGHT FOR YOUR BUSINESS? HEAD OF FIELD SALES SEAN MAHER HAS THE ANSWERS

How is telematics beneficial? In one word, visibility. Vehicle tracking gives yo isibility of all aspects of yo r eet when vehicles are out on the road. Real-time tracking tells you where vehicles are, driver timesheets tell you when they are being driven and driving style analysis tells you how they are being driven. All these things can help any b siness r n e ciently and cost-consciously. Are there particular benefits in subscribing to Quartix for arborists and/or those providing garden maintenance? Arborists and landscaping companies, by their very nature, have employees who work off site often with company ehicles and

tools and it’s important to stay connected with them. Having vehicle tracking means knowing where they are, how long they were at a job and how they are operating company vehicles during business hours. Is Quartix suited to those with small fleets, such as those with only two or three vehicles? o matter what eet si e a b siness can always benefit from ehicle trac ing and make savings on fuel and maintenance. Many artix c stomers ha e smaller eets and we offer them the feat res that are important and beneficial to them rather than steering them towards an expensive package with features they won’t use. Can there be an insurance benefit if Quartix is installed? This depends on your insurance provider and you should always check to be certain.

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Quartix driving style analysis reports can identify risky driving behaviours that, if left unchecked, could lead to accidents and lawsuits. How long does it ta e to fit a Quartix tracker? It depends on the installation option you choose, but all options are quick and convenient. Our hardwired device typically takes between 30 to 40 minutes to install, and we also offer two self install de ices. The Connect & Track takes 10 minutes to install, while the Plug & Track device takes less than a minute. What are typical costs for an SME? We ma e s re that we offer competiti e pricing and a range of packages, so you can choose one which suits your needs, starting with InfoPoint, perfect for customers who only require basic tracking, reports and timesheets. Is analysing the data straightforward? It’s vital that the data is easy to understand and interpret, otherwise companies won’t

42 Pro Arb | Autumn 2019

Meet the supplier.indd 42

get the f ll benefits of the system. he Quartix system has been designed to be ser friendly with timesheets and reports that are easy to read and digest. Our customer resources and support team are on hand to help with any questions, and we also have a great comprehensive online nowledge base a ailable for any o t of hours queries. How do business owners know if their drivers are safe from the reports? Quartix driving style reports contain data on speed, braking and acceleration. Drivers with a low score (drivers who are speeding excessively or braking and accelerating harshly can be identified thro gh o r dri ing style league table which ranks all drivers and ehicles across yo r eet. hese dri ers can then be coached on better driving techniques and will be able to see their scores improve over time. Are there also benefits in terms of reducing theft? Quartix vehicle tracking is not designed to be an anti theft de ice. owe er c stomers

have been able to recover stolen vehicles because of the recorded tracking data. Does using Quartix bring longer terms savings, and can it can pay for itself over time? The answer is yes. We get a lot of feedback from long term clients who ha e been able to see clear savings on fuel costs and maintenance repairs. One landscaping company noted that it saved over £2,000 per vehicle in repairs costs by tackling poor driving. How many staff are there at Quartix and how important is good customer service? All members of o r staff stri e to p t the c stomer first in e erything we do. his has led to us receiving a Gold Award from an independent customer experience agency, Investor in Customers, in 2019. What are future plans at Quartix? In the past year, we’ve launched in Poland, Spain, Italy, Ireland and Germany. We’re always innovating – watch this space! www.quartix.net

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IMPROVE YOUR EFFICIENCY THIS AUTUMN BY UPGRADING TO ONE OF THESE TOP-QUALITY CHAINSAWS – WHICH BEST SUITS YOUR NEEDS?

Echo

ECHO has recently launched a new rear handle version of its CS-2511TES top handle chainsaw. This is aimed at a range of professionals, and there is also a version aimed at carvers. The model is part of the ECHO X Series, which the company says is industry-leading in terms of power and performance. It states that the chainsaw offers the best power to weight ratio in its class weighing st . g dry weight and prod cing . W of power ma ing it highly manoe rable and sable for long periods witho t fatig e. his ma es it ideal for trimming pr ning small logging and wood car ing. enefits incl de a palm rest for precise control a tool less air filter co er to allow easy access to the air filter incl ding when wearing glo es and tool less access to f el and oil tan s. here is a side access chain tensioner for easy chain ad stment and an anti icing system to pre ent the carb rettor from free ing in colder months. asy tart O s patented system ens res easy starting while the oiler ad stment on the top of the chainsaw gives the operator control of the oil ow for optimum operation. he W is dri en by a . cc professional grade ECHO engine, designed and manufactured in Japan with an adherence to quality standards and providing powerful cutting with Stage 2 low emissions compliance and low noise levels. he W comes with a . ga ge cm c tting bar. The specially designed W for car ers has a . ga ge cm car ing bar and chain. oth come with a two-year professional warranty. www.echo-tools.co.uk

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Makita

a ita s cordless chainsaws the and allow arborists to experience greater onsite freedom. They are able to mo e aro nd easily and safely and benefit from a red ction in noise ibration and ha ards s ch as the ris of site contamination from fuel and potentially expensi e damage ca sed by incorrect mixing of fuel and oil. With o er years experience manufacturing cordless tools and the acquisition of Dolmar almost 30-years ago, the a ita cordless o tdoor power range ensures operators can experience the performance re ired by professional sers. he and are both twin 18V machines, with two lithium-ion batteries sed in series to s pply energy to the tools motor dri e system.

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KIT

Stihl

tihl s is the world s first chainsaw with a magnesi m piston. According to tihl the new piston is lightweight d rable and weighs g which is lighter than the al mini m piston in the res lting in impro ed power to weight ratio and offering the highest maxim m re s in its class. he is aimed at professionals and has the highest maxim m speed rpm in the cm class. he new . cc mix engine has more displacement pro iding both more power and tor e than the as well as rapid acceleration. t has a power to weight ratio of . ilograms per ilowatt ma ing it s ited to se o er prolonged periods. t also feat res tihl s ronic . technology incl ding the new calibration process and an impro ed

ithi m ion batteries ens re these machines benefit from ind stry leading r n times and charge times impro ing on site e ciency. hey can be charged in as little as min tes for .Ah batteries or p to min tes for . Ah batteries . oth the and also incl de a battery protection system pro iding protection against o er discharge. he batteries can also comm nicate with the charger thro gh the which is b ilt into a ita s chargers. his assesses the condition of each battery and wor s to identify iss es s ch as whether the battery has o erheated. sing this the charger can cool down the battery enhancing the life cycle of each battery and eeping them wor ing at their optim m for longer. eanwhile impro ed mobility can res lt in increased prod cti ity and the charging system ens res the batteries can contin e to perform. a ita s batteries can notably be sed across the a ita cordless range o er prod cts incl ding a range of top handle chainsaws br shc tters blowers or the range of heated ests and ac ets. www.makitauk.com

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filter which helps deli er optim m performance and lasto tart technology to ease the starting process. he chainsaw can be sed for a range of applications incl ding felling de limbing and c tting to si e. t is a ailable in and ersions the ersion feat res an ight ide ar. tihl has also la nched two enhanced ersions of the one of its most pop lar professional se chainsaws. he and top handle chainsaws ha e both been designed with greater emphasis on high performance. hey each now feat re a new ersion of tihl s mix engine which increases the power of the saw by p to and pro ides a tor e increase when compared to its predecessor the . n addition f el cons mption and emissions ha e also been red ced f rther. esign pgrades made to the mix engine incl de a new piston with stepped base cylinder and m er. he chainsaws also feat re rgo tart technology that enables reliable starting of the power tools meaning professionals can be ic ly p and r nning. he is s ited to a range of applications incl ding firewood c tting tree care and minor thinning while the top handle is designed for arborists performing deadwood remo al and treetop red ctions. Altho gh there is an increase in performance both chainsaws remain the same weight as the at . g. rther tihl s anti ibration system also ens res the tool is comfortable to se o er extended periods of time. www.stihl.co.uk

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14/11/2019 08:33


KIT

clear stumps like a

KstuI Tmp professional rinders

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A

rborists often report that they are called in to remove a stump after the property owner or landlord has had a go themsel es. Although stump grinders are readily available to hire, the end result often lea es m ch to be desired. Hired machines tend to be lacking in power, not least because they can be used with little or no training and so fail to get the job done – particularly if it is a larger st mp. ome may also attempt to cut the stump to the lowest level possible, with the hope it can be co ered by egetation. owe er this can be a dangerous option if a chainsaw is used and even low stumps can still put out suckers or spread diseases such as honey f ng s. Meanwhile, attempting to dig out a stump is also invariably an exhausting and often impossible task, while chemical treatments are generally ineecti e and co ld be damaging to other plants. Many arborists take a course in st mp grinding. hese often only take a day to complete, but do much to improve technique and add to professionalism. ollowing this all that is needed to complete the job is a suitable grinder. With this in mind these compact options will suit work in a variety of locations and are readily transportable to both town and co ntry.

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AN ARBORIST IS INVARIABLY NEEDED TO REMOVE A TREE STUMP, SO BE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT TO PRODUCE A PERFECT FINISH

Toro

The STX 26 is a smaller variant in the Toro range but has powerful and innovative grinder teeth which shear rather than shed creating a smoother and more e cient c t. t also has a Dingo TX-style control with two levers that are easy to control, and an armrest to red ce operator fatig e. he has an ntelli weep c tter head control feat re which a tomatically slows the sweep speed of the c tting head based on the load of the wheel. With speeds exceeding 4mph, the model provides ample power and increased productivity and a light footprint. www.toro.com

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KIT

Bandit

The Bandit ZT1844 stump grinder is described as the most productive compact, track mounted stump grinder on the market. Distributed by Global Recycling in the UK, it features great power and performance, and is suited to arborists looking to offer st mp grinding ser ices on a reg lar basis. enefits incl de a wider swing arc that co ers more area when grinding at the stump. The taller grinding height and deeper grinding depth means it is possible to tackle larger stumps and chase the roots deeper into the ground. The ZT1844 also has intuitive controls and zero-turn manoeuvrability that make even challenging obs straightforward and with red ced effort. www.globalrecycling.eu

Predator

Predator’s 56RX is a highly versatile option and is the narrowest on the market for its horsepower, making use of a 56hp Kohler KDI turbo-diesel engine. The rear hydraulic PTO means users can take advantage of a plethora of hydraulic attachments, such as a forestry mulcher or a 7-tonne winch, can be easily used when working on jobs such as site clearance. The 56RX boasts a cutting depth of 15 inches and a cutting height of 24 inches. Variable tracks extend from 31 inches to 46 at the touch of a button, providing high levels of stability on uneven ground. The 56RX is available with radio control, a dozer blade and a tow bar as standard. www.predator-mfg.com

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KIT

product

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POWERING UP:

CATERPILLAR’S NEW SKID STEER RANGE CATERPILLAR HAS BOOSTED PERFORMANCE WITH 16 NEW SKID STEER AND COMPACT TRACK LOADERS

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aterpillar has launched 16 new Cat D3 series skid steer loaders and compact trac loader models. hese offer a number of advancements on the D and D2 series, with a focus on furthering the machines’ reputation for quality, comfort and performance. The D3 models also support a line of new ‘smart’ attachments, with technology that directly recognises these, tailoring the controls and operator information to match the tool and task being carried. More space The loaders are equipped with an enclosed cab which offers a wider opening cab door. The distance between joystick pods has increased by mm offering extra space for the operator. Meanwhile, the track loaders now have improved operating stability when handling heavy loads, grading or truck loading, with changes to the undercarriage frame and torsion axles to red ce machine pitching and rocking. The Cat 239D3 and 249D3 models provide two-speed transmission as standard, as opposed to the previous single speed. This increases travel speed by 9% and aligns these models with the rest of the two-speed equipped compact track loader range. This pair of loaders also now reach an 8.4mph top end gro nd speed which offers a increase over their D Series counterparts. All of the new models feature standard two-speed travel to improve performance on site and deliver high torque digging performance, as well as high top end speed.

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Ease of use In addition, control features on the loaders include return-to-dig and work tool positioner technology, to assist operators with repetitive tasks like grading, digging, and loading. These features are now bundled together with the dual direction self-level feature. These should allow operators to be more productive as they automate machine functions, allowing the tasks to be completed with less user interaction and expertise. www.cat.com

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KIT

KHAINTD

T O O LS

GAIN THE

UPPER HAND THESE QUALITY TOOLS ARE IDEALLY SUITED TO ARBORISTS WHO NEED STRONG BUT LIGHTWEIGHT OPTIONS FOR A PRECISE JOB

Stihl

The PR Megacut pruning saw is a three-sided Japanese ground blade for fast and accurate cutting. It has impulse hardened teeth using high carbon, chrome steel for high durability, long-lasting sharpness and corrosion protection. The conical blade width ensures it does not get stuck in wood, and the ergonomic two component grip is comfortable and effecti e e en d ring wet conditions and the scabbard is for both right and left hand use. The saw is 33cm in length and weighs 391 grams. www.stihl.co.uk

LogOX

Imported from America by Sorbus International, the patented LogOX is a three-in-one tool and is aimed at making tree work faster, safer and easier with its back-saving ergonomic design and amazing versatility. The design allows the user to engage, lift, and move log rounds without bending over, meaning they will greatly reduce painful back strain and increase productivity. The components include a log hauler, a cant hook and a debris hauler. The log hauler is used to quickly lift log rounds from the ground and move them without having to bend over, use clumsy log tongs or swing a sharp pulp hook/pickaroon. The hauler can grip and lift as large a log diameter as would normally happen, while keeping the body upright. After making stove length 3/4 partial chainsaw cuts along the length of the log, the LogOX’s 21” cant hook can be used to roll it over and complete them. his significantly red ces the ris of chain damage dangerous kickbacks, and bar pinch. It is also useful for positioning logs on firewood processor rac s and portable sawmills. he br sh and tree debris hauler consolidates treetops or multiple branches together with the ha ler s hoo before dragging them off to a central location. www.sorbus-intl.co.uk

48 Pro Arb | Autumn 2019

Hand tools kr.indd 48

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KIT

Niwaki

Wilkinson Sword

Those who may already be transporting a lot of heavy tools and looking for a compact and light spade suited to lighter planting jobs should consider this model from Wilkinson Sword. The Ultralight Digging Spade weighs just 1.2kg and has a rust-resistant, stainless steel blade with a serrated edge to break up even heavier soils with minimal effort. t has an ergonomically designed ‘D’ handle that fits comfortably in the hand. www.wilkinsonsword-tools.co.uk

Niwaki – also the Japanese word for ‘garden trees’ – has a large range of quality garden tools suited to professionals. Its garden shears (available in either standard or long length) are suited to both delicate topiary and demanding work. The hard-wearing SK (high carbon and Japanese-made) steel holds its edge, and the white oak handles guide the user to a hotspot where they can be held with optimal balance and ease. The blades are 195mm in length, with the standard total length being 550mm, and is 750mm-long overall. www.niwaki.com

ARS

ARS stands for ‘Always Razor Sharp’. Superior performance comes from steel quality, design, thermal treatment, grinding and hardening. The Japanesemanufactured CTR-32 Pro Arborist handsaw comes with a sheath, rubber grip and a curbed turbocut blade with 4mm pitch. This handsaw is aimed at professionals and is made in high-carbon steel and is impulse hardened with s rface finishing in hard chrome plating. It has a blade length of 320mm, an overall length of 480mm and a weight of 430g. The brand is imported and distributed by Sorbus International. www.sorbus-intl.co.uk

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Hand tools kr.indd 49

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ANCIENT TREE COLUMN

A Swedish column

sanctuary

DEAD TREES CAN PROVIDE RARE SPECIES OF FLORA AND FAUNA WITH A HOME, AS THIS GREAT EXAMPLE OF A FALLEN ASH PROVES. JIM MULLHOLLAND REPORTS

Surveying the scene: the VETcert group visit the ash

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hile attending the final pro ect meeting for the cert pro ect a pan ropean certification scheme for those who manage veteran trees) in Norrköping, Sweden, pro ect partners were ta en to a lapsed ash pollard. This was situated on the island of rs in the pro ince of sterg tland which is in the south of the country. With a girth of 9.97m, this tree is quite a sight. Historically, pollarding has been valuable to the local communities of Sweden, and trees were c t for either firewood or winter fodder for livestock. This practice has largely ceased across Europe due to the availability of coal, the growth of alternative heating options and gradual changes in agricultural practices. The cessation of pollarding results in regrowth growing unchecked and trees developing large crowns. With the increasing size of the regrowth, these trees become unstable. This is often made worse as the stems of pollards are typically hollow, with the result being regrowth often

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Black beauties: two rare hermit beetles the size of trees perched atop decaying stems. Many of these trees will succumb to the biomechanical forces and partially or entirely collapse. Partial collapse can increase the likelihood of further failure and accelerated wood decay. After this tree experienced a partial collapse, it was reduced in size in an attempt to prevent future failure. Unfortunately, the tree died after a bout with ash dieback a few years after pruning, but it has been retained due to its wildlife value. It still supports rare species of moss and lichen which will continue to grow while the bark is still intact. In hollows on the main stem or large limbs, the hermit beetle (Osmoderma eremita) continues to survive. This red list species is seldom seen but can be recognised by its cigar-shaped droppings, indicating that the beetle has been feeding in the tree. Leaving evidence: the unusual cigar-shaped droppings

This species is a saproxylic, as the larvae consume decaying wood before pupating into adult beetles. If the conditions are right, living trees can provide a constant supply of decaying wood, maintaining a habitat for this and many other species. A dead tree like this one, while still al able has only a finite amo nt of decaying wood resource. The gradual loss of this, including the loss of hollow trees, is one reason hermit beetle is rare and contributes to their dwindling numbers. Jim Mullholland is the Ancient Tree oru s training and technical officer The ATF champions the biological, cultural and heritage value of Britain’s ancient and veteran trees and promotes best practice. www.ancienttreeforum.co.uk

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