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PROARB

JUNE 2018 PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE FOR T REE SURGEONS

CASEBOOK

DR DUNCAN SLATER

H I G H + D RY

S TAY S A F E W H E N W O R K I N G AT H E I G H T

BREAKING THE MOULD

DO MYCORRHIZAL

ADDITIVES WORK?

A R B O R I C U LT U R A L A P P R E N T I C E S H I P S

T H E N E W S TA N D A R D

CUTTING ABOVE YOUR COMPETITION ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW


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WELCOME

PROARB J U N E 2 0 1 8 • Vo l u m e 5 • I s s u e 0 5

PROARB

JUNE 2018 PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE FOR T REE SURGEONS

CASEBO OK

DR DUNC AN SLAT ER

H I G H + D RY

S TAY S A F E W H E N W O R K I N G AT H E I G H T

BREAKIN G THE MOULD

DO MYCOR RHIZAL

ADDITIVES WORK?

CUTTING ABOVE YOUR COMPETITION

A R B O R I C U LT U R A L A P P R E N T I C E S H I P S

T H E N E W S TA N D A R D

W

elcome to the June issue of Pro Arb. We’ve upped our contributors for this month and for the future issues of Pro Arb. We have a new take on the industry from Jamie Saunders, who you might remember from the main interview of our May issue, and D.C Vickers. We have practical information from Lauren O’Connor for working at height on pages 30-31 and tips for pricing a job from Wayne Elwell on pages 32-33. For those who missed out of the ARB Show in May, we have a glossy two page spread of images on pages 11-12. It will feel like you were there yourself.

ALL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 777 570 Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Managing Editor – Joe Wilkinson Joe.Wilkinson@eljays44.com Editorial Assistant – Robbie Mann robbie.mann@eljays44.com ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com Deputy Sales Manager – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com

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As well as upping our contributors this issue, we’ve gone big on our kit pages too. We’ve taken a look at GCK Treeworks’ kit in our Toolbox feature, we’ve spoken to three companies specialising in stump grinding about the important safety protocols that should be adhered to, and we’ve also got a guide on harnesses for the climbers. Our kit section starts at page 37, and contains 16 pages’ worth of equipment related content for you to get your teeth stuck into. Finally, we just want to say that Ash Lampard has left the business now, and we’d love to put on record all the hard work he did in creating the new and improved Pro Arb magazine over the past year or so. Ash

Account Manager – Natalie Ross natalie.ross@eljays44.com Horticulture Careers – Laura Harris laura.harris@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Lyssa Rutherford Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

has gone to teach English in Vietnam, and we wish him the best of luck. For now, you’re stuck with me!

information contained 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.

CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: emily.maltby@eljays44.com

MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson

Pro Arb is published 9 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2018 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

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 Max Dodd at max.dodd@eljays44.com

PROARB

Pro Arb | June 2018

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CONTENTS

s t n e cont

47

20

8 1 0 2 E N JU

32 44

10

news & views 6 > NEWS

A roundup of the latest industry news

10 > the arb show

Our pictorial report from this year’s event

12 > consultants or con men?

Is it ever worth employing a consultant? Jamie Saunders gives us his take

14 > a tall order

Jonathan Hazell weighs up two of the systems that help us place a value on trees

15 > putting the ‘care’ into tree care

Edward Morrow suggests a novel way for tree care businesses to connect with customers

17 > setting a new standard DC Vickers introduces the new arborist apprenticeship programme

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18 > casebook of dr. slater Short stories covering some of the oddities Dr. Slater has come across

20 > pests & diseases Conifer shoot miner

features 24 > working near power lines

Things to consider when power lines are overhead

25 > time to break the mould? Do commercial mycorrhizal products work? Peter Thurman and Len Phillips think not

kit 38 > toolbox

GCK Treeworks show us around their yard

40 > a guide to arborist harnesses

Guidance from Paul George on selecting the most appropriate harness for your needs

43 > stump grinders

Three key stump grinder specialists talk equipment safety

44 > product dna Isuzu Grafter Green

30 > working at height

47 > chainsaws for beginners

32 > missing the cut

48 > arb kit

34 > the benefit of trees

51 > ancient tree

Stay safe with Lauren O’Connor’s vital tips

Wayne Elwell’s experience of being undercut

Ground Control talks through health benefits

Tools for those just starting out

The latest in arboricultural kit

Arb Show oaks, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire

Pro Arb | June 2018

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NEWS & VIEWS

news

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

STIHL INTRODUCES DEDICATED NEW DEALER WEBSITE

ROUNDUP

I-TREE ECO RESEARCH PROJECT TO PUT A PRICE ON GREATER MANCHESTER’S TREES AND WOODS

City of Trees is leading the ‘All Our Trees’ initiative, an ambitious i-Tree Eco research project that aims to support the development of the Northern Forest and put a monetary value on Greater Manchester’s trees and woods. Surveyors are being recruited to assess thousands of random points across Greater Manchester using the i-Tree Eco software System. The surveyors will gather information about the location of all trees in a randomly sampled plot of land, as well as the species, height, width, diameter,

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Pro Arb | June 2018

health and general condition of each tree, with the data being fed into the software system. i-Tree Eco will then calculate the economic benefit that these trees and woods bring to the Greater Manchester region, taking into account pollution reduction, carbon storage, climate change mitigation, and improvements in people’s health and wellbeing. ‘All Our Trees’ is one of the most ambitious research projects of its kind in the UK, due to the huge area that is planned to be surveyed. The data will be used to both identify more land for planting, as well as to protect existing trees and woods. It will also aid the ambitious plans for a new Northern Forest by unlocking potential for largescale planting projects. www.cityoftrees.org.uk

Stihl has launched a new website that is specifically designed to showcase the benefits of becoming a Stihl dealer, offering insight into the tools dealers can access to enhance their business operations. The website aims to simplify the application process for new partners. Installation of a Stihl Shop System display, external brand signage and expert merchandising support creates visual impact and helps maximise sales opportunities. The website has access to marketing tools such as TV, press, radio, social media, digital campaigns, instore POS, product promotions and advertising templates to ensure businesses are seen and heard. A team of Stihl experts will be available to provide technical support and advice on servicing tools and replacing parts.

There will also be access to technical e-learning through an online learning platform, and a comprehensive training programme to give businesses the knowledge needed to sell Stihl and Viking products. Wayne Stone, national sales manager at Stihl GB, said: “Our network of dealers is the lifeblood of the Stihl business and plays a pivotal role in not only delivering the highest levels of customer service and aftersales support, but also sustaining our position as a firstclass machinery provider. “The launch of the new website is aimed at businesses that share our passion and commitment to providing customers with a great buying experience, and highlights how a Stihl partnership can help drive business operations to the next level as a Stihl Approved Dealer.” www.stihl.co.uk

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NEWS & VIEWS

THE ACTION OAK PARTNERSHIP LAUNCHES AT CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW The 2018 RHS Chelsea Flower Show saw Lord Gardiner, Defra’s Biosecurity Minister, launch a major new campaign to protect the UK’s oaks from threats such as pests and diseases. The Action Oak Partnership – involving charities, environmental organisations and landowners – is seeking to raise £15m for research and monitoring to help safeguard

NEW SHEFFIELD CABINET MEMBER LISTENS TO VIEWS ON STREET TREE REPLACEMENT

Sheffield City Council’s new cabinet member for environment and street scene has started by meeting with those involved in, and with views on, the Streets Ahead programme. Councillor Lewis Dagnall, whose position on the cabinet was confirmed on 16 May, met frontline Amey workers, who are responsible for delivering the programme, at the Olive Grove depot. He then met with tree campaigners at the site of the Vernon Oak in Dore. “My first objective is to meet with and listen to as many people as I can, from as many stakeholder groups as possible, to

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gain a real and true understanding of the current situation with the tree replacement works and associated campaign,” he said. “Only once I have an informed view will I then consider how we can move forward and start to rebuild some trust with the people in our communities. “It won’t be straightforward, and the views of residents from across the whole city has to remain a priority, but I fully accept that there needs to be compromise from all sides. What I do know is that the Streets Ahead programme is enabling us to have a highway infrastructure that we can all be proud of for the next 20 years. That means better roads, pavements and street lighting, with increased street tree stock. “I hope that by listening to opposing viewpoints over coming weeks we will be able to take the right steps for those who live and work here and find a long-term, sustainable solution which will be advantageous for us all.” www.sheffield.gov.uk

the 121m oaks in UK woodlands. Work will include capturing the first detailed picture of the current health of oaks trees, helping to gain a greater understanding of how to preserve their iconic position in our landscape. The campaign contributes to the government’s 25-year Environment Plan, launched in January, by helping to strengthen biosecurity and build resilience to protect oaks for future generations. It also builds on the £37m that the government is

already investing in tree and plant health research. Action Oak is supported by The Prince of Wales, who, in February, convened a cross-sector meeting on the issue of plant health and biosecurity at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire residence. His Royal Highness is also the patron of Woodland Heritage, the charity that will be administering funds raised by the campaign. www.gov.uk/government/ organisations/department-forenvironment-food-rural-affairs

NEW STREET TREES UNVEILED ALONG A56 AS PART OF REGENERATION SCHEME As part of a £2m Bury New Road regeneration programme that aims to tackle surface water flooding and improve the look and feel of the area, 20 trees have been planted. They will include cherry, field maple and sweetgum. The high-impact street trees form just part of the improvement works, with the scheme also including enhanced paving and street lighting, as well as wider pavements and the introduction of a cycle lane. “The reaction in Prestwich to the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SUDS) involving the street trees has been really positive,” said Cllr Alan Quinn, Bury Council’s cabinet member for the environment. “People love the idea of using rainwater to water the trees and to improve the environment in general. We are already exploring the potential for other natural flood management projects in Bury.”

The trees have been placed in specially designed pits, which receive rainwater running off the road, pavement and some surrounding buildings. The rainwater entering the tree pits is used by the trees, with the excess draining through the tree pit and returned to the sewer system. The University of Manchester will be monitoring the tree pits to see how this affects the volume and speed of water entering the sewer system. It will also be examining the levels of pollution in the water as it enters the tree pits, and when it is returned to the sewer after it has filtered through where the trees have been planted. www.bury.gov.uk

Pro Arb | June 2018

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NEWS & VIEWS

COUNCIL MONITORING £375K TREES THAT ARE FAILING TO THRIVE Ceredigion County Council is monitoring trees along the main thoroughfare into Aberystwyth that are failing to thrive. The trees, a mix of hornbeam, common beech, whitebeam and London planes, were planted as part of the Coed Aber Project.

BRISTOL LAUNCHES AMBITIOUS TARGET OF DOUBLING TREE NUMBERS IN THE CITY

Bristol City Council is teaming up with the Bristol Tree Forum, Forest of Avon Trust and the Woodland Trust, in an attempt at doubling the city’s canopy coverage by 2050. Bristol’s trees currently provide 15 per cent canopy coverage, but environmental experts say this needs to increase to 30 percent over the next three decades to help combat increasing pollution. The ‘Talking Trees’ campaign, which kicked off June 4, aims to encourage people to plant trees in their gardens and sponsor old and new trees across the

30 UNDER 30: THE NEXT GENERATION 2018 AWARDS ENTRIES OPEN 8

Pro Arb | June 2018

More than 300 were planted along the route to brighten up the main entrance into Aberystwyth town for visitors in 2015 as part of a £375,000 project. However, trees along certain sections have failed to leaf, with concerns they may be diseased or dying. A Ceredigion council spokesperson said: “The original trees planted were Oriental Planes in their first season, and after

planting they had just broken leaf when very strong cold westerly winds burnt the leaf cover off the trees. Some of the trees made a slow recovery but with very sparse leaf cover in year two. “Last year they made sparse but reasonable growth considering the conditions in 2016, and this year’s wet cold start is proving to be a further challenge for them.” www.ceredigion.gov.uk

DEVELOPERS REQUIRED TO PLANT ‘URBAN FORESTS’ COVERING 25% OF NEW ESTATES WITH TREES

city. Partners want businesses and schools to sign up to a tree charter and the Woodland Trust is even offering up free saplings. A reduction in central government funding and an increase in demand for council services has led many local authorities to slash tree budgets. www.bristoltreeforum.org

the land on any new estate – or risk being refused planning permission. If successful, it is seen as a model for councils nationwide. Planners chose 25% because of research showing it is the Developers will be required to plant “tipping point” between being “urban forests” that provide tree classed as a poor rather cover over a quarter of their new than a leafier prosperous estates under pioneering plans. neighbourhood, using multiple Wycombe council in the indices of social deprivation. Chilterns is to become the first The move follows new in Britain to require developers research demonstrating the value to plant enough trees so their of urban trees. canopies to cover at least 25% of www.telegraph.co.uk

Join the exclusive club of awardwinning individuals recognised for their contribution to the arboriculture industry. Winning a 30 Under 30: The Next Generation award offers up-and-coming arborists a vast

range of benefits including; industry recognition, networking opportunities, and coverage in Pro Arb magazine. You can nominate either yourself of a colleague for these esteemed awards if you or they

were 30-years-old or younger on 1 January 2018 and work within any aspect of the arboriculture industry. www.prolandscaper magazine.com/30u30

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Pro


NEWS & VIEWS

news extra

the arb show 2018

MAY SHOWCASED ONE OF THE MOST HOTLY-ANTICIPATED EVENTS FOR THE ARB INDUSTRY, THE ARB SHOW. WE’VE TAKEN A SELECTION OF IMAGES TO BRING YOU THE HIGHLIGHTS OF A FANTASTIC COUPLE OF DAYS

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Pro Arb | June 2018

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NEWS & VIEWS

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Pro Arb | June 2018 11


NEWS & VIEWS

VIEWS

Jamie s Saunder

Consultants or conmen?

USING A BUSINESS CONSULTANT IS NEVER SHORTCUT TO SUCCESS, SAYS JAMIE SAUNDERS – YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO WORK

T

he arb industry is mostly made up of small businesses run by people who have come up off the tools, with no prior experience or formal qualifications in business management. It’s not surprising, therefore, that at some point, when trying to reach ‘the next level’, we consider employing a business consultant to help.

level of business management. You would be better off saving the money you will spend on consultants, because the problem is not a lack of knowledge, but a lack of desire and willingness to make the sacrifices required. Some of the consultants I have used were for niche aspects, such as achieving AAAC status

The reality is, the larger your business, the more financial risk you run, and the more hours you will need to work just to ensure the wheels don’t fall off The conclusion I have come to, having used three consultants over the past 18 years, is this: all the information you could ever need is out there for free, or for the cost of a book, and if you can’t find a way to grow your business to where you want it to be on your own, you are probably not cut out for that

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Pro Arb | June 2018

and ISO certification, and these guys can be helpful in terms of providing supporting documents, templates, etc. It all comes at a cost, though, and should only be built onto an already-growing business. The majority of small business owners who hire a business consultant – including my past

self – are simply looking for a shortcut to business growth and increased profitability. As the old adage goes, there are no free lunches! Beware the charlatans out there who are selling people the dream at an exorbitant rate – many having never run a successful business in their lives. They are merely peddling pre-packaged information that is mostly common sense; things you already know, or could easily find. I believe many business owners in our industry are blindly engrossed in chasing growth at any cost, trying to satisfy their ego by having more teams out than their local rivals. They never really stop to consider what it is they truly want from their business, and what sacrifices they are happy making. Is it profit, size at all costs, or more freedom and time? You need to be clear and adjust accordingly, ignoring what

others may think – don’t get side-tracked by smooth-talking consultants who promise you a sunlit upland where you can sit back and watch the money roll in. That doesn’t exist in this industry. The reality is, the larger your business, the more financial risk you run, and the more hours you will need to work just to ensure the wheels don’t fall off. The most successful people understand and even enjoy this, which is why they are successful. Is the juice worth the squeeze, for you? You won’t know until you try – but remember, no consultant can make you work any harder than you’re already willing to, or make you any smarter than you already are, so don’t waste money looking for shortcuts.

Jamie Saunders is the owner of Kent-based tree surgery business Trojan Tree Care. info@trojantreecare.co.uk

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NEWS & VIEWS

VIEWS

J O N AT H A N HAZELL

A

ccording to the TPO Regulations, an Order can be served on grounds of amenity, and expediency. For many years, the Tree Evaluation Method for Preservation Orders (TEMPO) has provided universal guidance to help structure thoughts for and against the making of an Order. It is widely acknowledged that TEMPO is not perfect, but it is widely used in the absence of any other suitable guidance. It is not clear how to deal with groups

A tall order

JONATHAN HAZELL CONSIDERS THE VALUE OF SYSTEMS SUCH AS TEMPO AND CAVAT IN TREE PROTECTION ORDER PLACEMENT

may mean it is not appropriate to serve an Order. Other systematic evaluation methods exist – CAVAT, for example, is receiving a lot of welldeserved attention at the moment – but no other method focuses upon and targets the making of a TPO in the same way as TEMPO. I recently assessed a mature beech tree in a development site, using both methods; under TEMPO the tree achieved a score of 16, and under CAVAT it achieved a value of £221,830.

What TEMPO does not consider is liveability – any one of the various difficulties that arise when the juxtaposition of trees, people and property is not quite right of trees of varying condition, for example. A number of factors are considered under the broad heading of ‘amenity’, each is given a score of up to five, and the aggregate score is then used to inform the decision guide. A total score over a certain value may mean that the decision to serve a TPO is defensible, while a score below this threshold

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Pro Arb | June 2018

Two totally different metrics and outputs, each as confusing as the other if you are not familiar with the chosen evaluation method. Neither amenity nor expediency are defined in law, let alone in TEMPO, but amenity is taken to refer to a mystic combination of condition, age and public visibility. Trees in good condition, and with a decent

retention span, will score well in TEMPO. A tree that is readily visible to the general public will have a greater amenity value (which might actually be a negative value for a particularly ugly or overwhelming tree) than one that is out of sight. It follows, then, that the most exquisite example of a beautiful and unusual tree in a secluded private garden, or at the end of a quiet residential cul-de-sac, may generate a lower amenity value under TEMPO than a fairly mediocre (structurally) sycamore in a busy thoroughfare. The scoring of expediency is well defined by TEMPO – a tree threatened with imminent destruction (of its amenity value or its complete removal) is afforded the maximum score in this section, while a tree that is not under any perceived threat achieves the minimum score. A S211 notification to remove the tree will be recognised as an immediate threat, and so add

a score of five to the amenity sub-total. However, even if a tree scores highly, there is no necessity to serve an Order, as TEMPO is only guidance. It is unusual, but not unacceptable, to place an Order on a pioneer species such as a goat willow, or a short-lived species such as Lombardy poplar or eucalyptus, or even, heaven forbid, a Leyland cypress. What TEMPO does not consider is liveability – any one of the various difficulties that arise when the juxtaposition of trees, people and property is not quite right. This is when the Tree Officer, or indeed the arboricultural consultant, needs to earn their corn, defending their decision to proceed with, to refuse to make, or to object to the confirmation of a TPO.

Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant. jhazell.com

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NEWS & VIEWS

EDWARD MORROW SHARES A SUREFIRE WAY FOR ARBORISTS TO INCREASE THEIR CHANCES OF A REFERRAL OR REPEAT BUSINESS

Putting the ‘care’ back into tree care VIEWS E D WA R D MORROW

A

ll property owners want to have a good experience with the arborists and tree care professionals that they come in contact with. This article will share a neat business practice that you can use to improve your relationship with clients – and increase business opportunities down the road. Just about everyone likes pleasant surprises, such as unexpected gifts – and the impact of gifts on others can be dramatically increased when they are highly specific to the recipient. One of the best ways to bring a close to a tree project is to surprise your client with a

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customised ‘gift basket’. You may be asking, “What do you mean?”, or “Why would I invest time and money into creating a gift basket?” – but this simple act of kindness and appreciation can pay dividends and set you apart. Between the time your client calls you to assess their tree project, and the end of the job, you will get to know them – their likes, hobbies, etc. The same attention and detail that you use in your tree pruning and removals can be extended to your client, in creating a gift basket that is tailored to their interests. There’s no wrong way to create a gift basket. The process of getting to understand their interests is very similar to proper tree care; it starts with being aware of your environment. Let’s take a real example. An elderly client of ours enjoyed working in her flower garden every day. After her

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husband passed away, she found herself spending more and more time in her garden, to take her mind off her loss; being able to go outside and see her flowers grow really made her day, and brought her much joy. We decided to create a gift basket made out of a flower pot, which included gloves and a hand shovel. We also added green tea, which she enjoyed, and other goodies. It meant a lot to her, simply because it was all about her and what she liked. As the saying goes, big things can come in small packages. Much thought was placed into the gift, with nothing generic going into it, and it clearly focused on her interests. It also created great positioning, because how many tree care services go out of the way to show appreciation for their client? Most walk away or cut off all lines of communication after the project is over. The act of taking the time to create a simple

gift basket can be overlooked, because we all get busy from time to time. The gesture is uncommon in the tree care industry, and this is what makes it so powerful. It displays class and an attention to detail. Giving a gift basket can increase your same-client projects and referrals, and it’s a great way to market to your clients. What can you do differently that can have a huge impact on the clients you serve? This is one of the many inexpensive ways to leverage your marketing efforts. Customised gifts can create a stronger relationship with the individuals you serve. Great businesses know how to create these special ‘wow’ moments, and your tree care company can, too.

Edward Morrow is an author, accountant and arborist. info@accountstaffers.co

Pro Arb | June 2018 15


The Arboricultural Association’s

52nd National Amenity Conference

SOILS & TREES Standing your Ground ©Kyle Ellefson

University of Exeter 9–12 September 2018

This year we are working in partnership with the Sustainable Soils Alliance

An in-depth journey exploring the relationship between soil science and arboriculture Top-rated national and international speakers Diverse and innovative perspectives State-of-the-art venue and exhibitor facilities Sunday Field Trip UK & Ireland Tree Climbing Competition under ISA Rules Earlybird booking available Spring 2018 Industry-leading trade exhibitors

Keep a look out for the Amenity Conference App launching end of August!

To keep up-to-date and register for updates visit:

www.trees.org.uk/Amenity-Conference Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc. Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.


NEWS & VIEWS

DC VICKERS, ARBORICULTURE PROGRAMME MANAGER AT BERKSHIRE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, STARTS A NEW SERIES FOLLOWING THE FIRST INTAKE OF ARBORIST APPRENTICES AT THE COLLEGE UNDER THE NEW STANDARDS

Setting

A NeW Standard VIEWS DC V IC K E R S

A

pprenticeships used to be completed under what is known was known as a ‘Framework’, but following the work completed by a Trailblazer group, a new apprenticeship has been created. The new standards provide a very real link up between education and business in order to develop an excellent opportunity for those who want to get into, or who have recently started in, the arboriculture industry. It provides skills and knowledge, as well as many of the required Certificates of Competence that are demanded by industry. It’s also extremely cost effective for companies, large or small, to gain a trained workforce over the twoyear programme.

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This series follows the apprentices through that twoyear programme and will be a reflection of their experiences – and how it helps their employers. The apprentices range from age 17 through to those in their mid-30s, are both male and female, and come from different educational backgrounds; they will be learning about soil science, plant biology, taxonomy, trees and the law, and the supply, planting and aftercare of trees (in addition to the recognised ‘tickets’ to climb and use a chainsaw at height). One of the major things about the new standards is that they are about providing what employers want, and BCA has been working closely with other organisations to achieve this. “We’re really happy that the new Arborist Apprenticeship Standard has finally come to fruition and that we are able to help BCA deliver this new programme,” says Sam Eagling-Fernandez, regional manager for Maydencroft, “The flexible approach taken by DC in creating resources, combined with our contracts manager, David, means that this apprenticeship really does bring

together education and the realworld daily experience of running arb contracts together.” Sarah Maddox, HR manager for Bartlett Tree Experts, said: “We see this new provision as an exciting development of the latest arborist apprenticeship standards, and not only do we have a number of apprentices undertaking this programme, we are also working closely with BCA and offering our lab resources to the apprentices.” The apprentices have been enrolled and, at the time of writing this article, are about to embark on the first part of their off-the-job

training next week. In next month’s Pro Arb, we’ll be introducing you to some of the arborist apprentices, and find out their thoughts as they start on this journey into a wideranging and exciting industry.

DC Vickers has been tasked with developing the resources for and managing the arboriculture provision at BCA. DC is a qualified teacher and is also a City & Guilds NPTC assessor, covering many of the chainsaw units. For more information, contact DC at dvickers@bca.ac.uk or on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/dcvickers

Pro Arb | June 2018 17


NEWS & VIEWS

VIEWS DUNCAN SLATER

THE CASEBOOK OF DR. D. R. SLATER

DUNCAN SLATER, SENIOR LECTURER IN ARBORICULTURE AT MYERSCOUGH COLLEGE, HAS OPENED UP HIS CASEBOOK TO SHOWCASE SOME OF THE ODDITIES HE’S SEEN FROM HIS TIME IN THE INDUSTRY. IN THIS ISSUE, WE TAKE A LOOK AT THE EFFECTS OF PESTS AND DISEASES

The Mighty Mite

Most gall-forming organisms on trees leech resources from their host, but rarely so much resource that the tree ails. Tree owners frequently ask about odd forms on the leaves of their trees - a common one being the red ‘dunce caps’ produced by Eriophyes tiliae (see images below: on the left, multiple galls - on the right a dissection of one gall, showing the wispy threads of an erineum). In the early spring, the matriarchal mite bites the leaf surface multiple times, inducing the growth of these galls, in which she lays her eggs. The mite nymphs feed on the tiny threads she has induced to grow in these galls, as if she planted a forest of threads in which her children can grow in safety. This mite is in every pest and disease book on my shelf, but the authors agree, it’s not worthy of treating, as it causes no detriment to the tree. I would go further, why not have a section in such a book (or a whole book) entitled “Not Really A Pest”. Wildlife is meant to live on trees, it’s one of the main benefits of having trees in our towns and cities. Lesson learnt: Nature brings us many examples of long-term sustainability from which, thus far, we have failed to learn. This mite is but one.

It’s Chronic!

Pictured is a horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum), part of an avenue of mixed broadleaves that runs along the A6 at Garstang, Lancashire. Several of these trees have chronic infections of Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi (or what I like to call ‘HCBC’ - horse chestnut bleeding canker), and some lost branches in the late winter storms this year. Chronic diseases are those that persist or repeatedly occur in the tree: the horse chestnut (below) is surviving for now in this debilitated state; however, it’s not really providing ornamental value to the route through Garstang

July 2009

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anymore. The number of chronic tree diseases prevalent where I live is depressing, it puts one off planting a considerable number of tree species. In particular, I find it dismal that the native plantings list is marred by these chronic problems. It’s difficult to recommend the planting of Alnus, Betula pendula, Fagus sylvatica, Fraxinus excelsior, Ilex aquifolium, Juniperus and Prunus avium - not that some will not do well, but that many will end up with chronic diseases that greatly affect tree performance. Lesson learnt: Tree diseases can attenuate (lessen in virulence) but perhaps not in one’s own lifetime.

May 2018

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NEWS & VIEWS

Germ Warfare

When I taught further education students about pests and diseases of trees, this bacterial canker on a specimen of Sorbus aria ‘Lutescens’, which was growing not far from the back door of the labs, was a godsend. This canker was actively ejecting ‘gunk’ (Erwinia, possibly?) on damp days in May, and the students could take a small amount of inner bark, put it in water, and by next week’s class a large clump of bacterial ooze would have been produced. In hindsight, I could have made this into an experiment and introduced students to Koch’s postulates (by infecting other Sorbus with this bacterial ooze then re-isolating it), but I’d only just started teaching and the idea didn’t occur to me. We could even have used an ELISA test for fireblight (Erwinia), which is commercially available. Sadly (or possibly cheerily) the canker is now all dry and beginning to occlude (see images to right). Lesson learnt: When nature brings you bacterial gunk oozing out of a tree at the back of your laboratory, see it as the opportunity that it is!

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The Cantankerous Canker

When one of your friends does not look so good (scruffy, dirty, spot on their nose or getting fat), you have to subtly bring up the subject and perhaps be a bit oblique about it, so as not to offend. That’s what my friends tell me, at least. In fact, I’m not sure why they keep mentioning it. In which case, a subtle word is needed with this Prunus, which has really ‘gone to the dogs’ due to a long-term stem canker (Neonectria galligena, possibly) which is still expanding (the image shows a time lapse of ten years). The tree has persisted for a long time with this problem, but is ‘persisting’ what is wanted from a small ornamental tree in a larger landscaping scheme? Surely, we want it to be pretty - not pretty diseased? Cankers vary quite a lot in terms of their expansion or contraction over time, it would be useful to be able to predict this (prognosis) from causal agent and host (diagnosis).

July 2008

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July 2018

Lesson learnt: If it ain’t pretty, say so. For trees, mostly, I would say that a minor ugly stem canker doesn’t matter that much, but for some small focal ornamental trees, well that’s what they’re for, so the visuals of such a tree can be more important in particular settings. The tree pictured is now no beauty.

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NEWS & VIEWS

PDEISSEATSE

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w at c h

Figure 1: Shoot tip dieback and foliar scorch

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onifer shoot miner (Argyresthia dilectella) is a small moth with a wingspan of about 8mm. It is one of several related species of Argyresthia that are becoming more widespread throughout the UK, as a result of the increase in garden juniper (Juniperus) and cypress (Chamaecyparis) plantings.

GLYNN PERCIVAL OF BARTLETT TREE RESEARCH LABORATORY ADVISES ON IDENTIFYING AND CONTROLLING THIS INCREASINGLY COMMON PEST

Conifer shoot miner (Argyresthia dilectella) Figure 2: Hollowed-out shoot tips

Heavy feeding will injure leaf cells and reduce leaf tissue area, leading to a loss of plant vitality. If complete defoliation occurs, the plant may die

Symptoms The moth can cause severe, highly visible damage (see Figure 1) to infested trees. Damage commonly occurs on hedges and individual specimen trees in urban settings.

Late instar larvae hollow out entire shoot tips (Figure 2). Infested trees appear scorched, and the dead, hollowed-out twigs can easily be broken off. Heavy feeding will injure leaf cells and reduce leaf tissue area, leading to a loss of plant vitality. If complete defoliation occurs, the plant may die.

Causal agent Damage caused by the early instar larvae (mined scale leaves) usually goes unnoticed.

Control Contact insecticides, such as spray oil in combination with a synthetic pyrethroid,

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offer the best form of control. They are mainly formulated as water-based sprays, and applied when leaf miners are present. The insect growth regulator Dimlin Flo is highly recommended due to its persistence within the tree, providing long-term control. Dimlin Flo kills only moths and caterpillars, and has no effect against beneficial insects. Application early in the growing season is recommended. No biological control agents exist. www.bartletttree.co.uk

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S E R U FEAT 8 1 0 2 E N JU

24 > working near power lines Things to consider when power lines are overhead

25 > time to break the mould? Do commercial mycorrhizal products work? Peter Thurman and Len Phillips think not

30 > working at height

Stay safe with Lauren O’Connor’s vital tips

32 > missing the cut

Wayne Elwell’s experience of being undercut

34 > the benefit of trees

Ground Control talks through health benefits


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Arb work

near power lines PRO ARB SPEAKS WITH THE UK POWER NETWORKS TO FIND OUT THE SAFETY PROTOCOLS FOR WORKING NEAR POWER LINES trimming or planning any other work close to overhead power lines, always contact UK Power Networks for advice on shrouding or disconnections before starting work • Use spotlights or lighting equipment when working in poor visibility or at night • Find out the maximum height of any equipment and machinery that may be used on site, when all parts of the machinery are fully extended • Clearly signpost the dangers with high visibility warning notices • Keep overhead power lines in view when moving plant and equipment For further advice and cable maps visit www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk

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ontact with electricity results in serious injury or even fatalities. This has a far-reaching and devastating effect on family, friends and colleagues. UK Power Networks distributes more than a quarter of the UK’s electricity to London, the South East and the East of England, using overhead and underground power lines and substations The company is urging workers to remember that where tree cutting equipment or machinery is used near overhead power lines, the risk must be considered and controlled. The Be Bright Stay Safe campaign supports safe working and behaviours, encourages the sharing of information and

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knowledge, and highlights the real risks of coming into contact with electricity. The campaign is reminding people to: • Check - look up and around for overhead power lines before starting work • Contact UK Power Networks for maps showing where power lines are situated and mark them on site plans • Assess clearance distances to work safely near overhead power lines. If in doubt, contact the electricity network operator • Ensure everyone working on site (including visitors, contractors and casual workers) are aware of the location and voltages of power lines before starting work • If you are erecting scaffolding, tree

What to do in an emergency • STOP WORK IMMEDIATELY • Notify UK Power Networks: Dial 105 • Call the emergency services if anyone is injured or there is a fire. Anyone who has received an electric shock should go to hospital as damage may have occurred to the heart • Never go near or touch any broken or fallen overhead electric power lines, or any plant, equipment or machinery that is in contact with an overhead power line • Never try to remove anything that is stuck, or in contact with the cable

To download your free ‘Working near overhead lines’ safety leaflet visit: www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk

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Time to break the mould? PETER THURMAN AND LEN PHILLIPS QUESTION WHETHER MYCORRHIZAL SOIL ADDITIVES ARE REALLY WORTH USING

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n the natural environment, mycorrhizal fungi are found associated with the roots of most woody plants in temperate regions. They are a group of fungi that live in a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with plants. They wrap around (arbuscular types) or penetrate (endophytic types) plant roots, and then proliferate through the soil beyond the host plant’s roots range, effectively extending the root system volume of the host by many hundreds of times. In particular, these fungi release enzymes that help to break down nutrients into forms that are more easily utilised by the host plant. Many researchers and arborists think that, while this group of fungi is very important (probably vital) in natural ecosystems – especially forests and woodlands – there is also a signifi cant possibility that they are killed or depleted in human-made environments, by such things as simple ground cultivation operations, chemical spillage, soil degradation and compaction, excess pet urine, low soil humus levels, and even fertiliser applications. These fungi are now commercially available and sold in packets, and it is

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Microscopic ‘roots’ of a mycorrhizal fungus growing on a tree root

claimed that the contents are beneficial to all woody plants in all landscape situations. Have these assertions been scientifically proven, though, and are they realistic? The positives Think of mycorrhizal fungi as a vast network of very fine roots. Although not plant roots, they behave in a similar way. They grow in nooks and crannies between soil particles, collecting water and nutrients for their hosts. In return, they get a home, and the photosynthetic processes of the host plant send down sugars to the fungi as food.

these elements available for use by the host plant. Mycorrhizal fungi form when certain species colonise young, emerging non-woody roots. They do this in several different ways. They may expand the absorbing surface as the hyphae reach out and as they grow into the soil. They also have chitin in their boundaries, which is very adept at absorbing large molecules such as the phosphate molecule. Natural phosphate in the soil, and applied phosphate fertiliser particles, are tightly bound to soil particles; this often makes the phosphate unavailable to trees.

There is a significant possibility that mycorrhizal fungi are killed or depleted in human-made environments, by such things as simple ground cultivation operations, chemical spillage, soil degradation and compaction, excess pet urine, low soil humus levels, and even fertiliser applications The uniqueness of mycorrhizal fungi lies in their ability to readily absorb elements such as phosphates, manganese, copper, and zinc dissolved in water, thus making

A small percentage of bound phosphate will gradually be converted into available forms, but this does not happen quickly or efficiently. At least 25% of the phosphate

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FEATURES Are commercial mycorrhizal soil additives just snake oil?

Mulched area around a mature cedar at Royal Botanic Garden, Kew. Stressed trees benefit from this, and airborne mycorrhizal spores appear to be colonising naturally

The vast majority of mycorrhizal fungi are very host-specific – yet most products contain only two or three different fungi, which the supplier hopes will be responsive to a wide range of hosts in soils never becomes available, making it crucial to get the most efficient use out of fertiliser phosphate – hence the regular use of triple-super-phosphate by farmers. It is alleged that mycorrhizal fungi inoculants help to release some natural phosphate, making it more available for the host plants to use. Given this important symbiotic association, it is natural to think that it would be beneficial to add more mycorrhizal fungi to the soil. The negatives Mycorrhizae spores are now available in packets from commercial manufacturers and retailers – but do these products really work? Can mycorrhizae be successfully ‘dropped’ into manmade landscapes? The trouble is, we don’t know. To start with, some researchers have found that you must inoculate the plant’s roots with these mycorrhizal products. Just sprinkling the soil with them is

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therefore likely to be ineffective. Second, there are thousands of different species of mycorrhizal fungi on the planet, and the vast majority are very host-specific. Species that are ‘mates’ with oaks are unlikely to latch on to crab apples or tulip trees – let alone fig trees or conifers! Yet most products contain only two or three different fungi, which the supplier hopes will be responsive to a wide range of hosts. Conversely, others are sold as ‘do-all, fi x-all’ cocktails, suggesting that they are suitable for a very wide range of species. The packaging, however, usually contains little factual content information. To ‘work’, surely the latter type of product would have to contain thousands of different mycorrhizal species – wouldn’t they? In our opinion, these claims appear to be based on hope rather than informed research. How do you know if the mycorrhizae mix you are sold originates from an area that is similar to the soil and site conditions at your

planting site? Apparently alien types can actually inhibit the growth of some species. Is it a good idea to import foreign species of any kind of fungus into a planting site? An article in the Journal of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture on a soft fruit production trial (Dodson 2017) concluded that mycorrhizal inoculants actually had an inhibitory effect on the plants. It is also very difficult to determine whether one of these products is of high quality. Some manufacturers count ‘propagules’ instead of ‘spores’. Propagules can include root fragments and other inert materials, so the spore count might actually be much lower. And what about their shelf life? They are heat sensitive, so if the packaging is left in storage, in a shop, out in the sun or on a delivery vehicle for too long, sustained high temperatures could kill any live spores. They could be dead at the time of purchase. It should be noted here that endophytic mycorrhizae may already exist within the cells of the host plant, only becoming active when the soil rooting environment favours their growth. Often, this group only requires the addition of organic matter to spur them out of dormancy. Put simply, inoculants are commercial products that lack scientific trials and proof of effectiveness. There are thousands of scientific papers on mycorrhizae and commercial inoculants, but most have been written by people with a vested

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interest in the product – such as scientists and technicians who work for the commercial manufacturer. Furthermore, we, the authors, have failed to find any papers on successful, well-designed trials that have been peer reviewed and replicated by independent scholars or organisations that would not benefit financially from positive results. The results of one paper by independent researchers regarding tree growth (Ferrini & Fini 2011) were only marginally positive, and certainly not convincing enough to support the use of mycorrhizal inoculants. Most manufacturers’ research has been done in controlled environments, on nursery stock and glasshouse crops such as lettuce. Studies have shown that adding mycorrhizal fungi in this type of environment can have some positive short-term results on short-term crops – great for harvested herbs and vegetables. Remember, though, that the main value of these fungi is to help provide plants with water and nutrients, and many nurseries overwater and over-fertilise, thereby cancelling out any potential benefits of the fungi. If woody nursery stock plants are going to receive water and fertiliser regularly, adding mycorrhizal fungi is likely to be pointless. So, too, in their final planting position? As sterile potting soil has no natural fungi, adding mycorrhizal fungi is perhaps just a good marketing strategy. There is no doubt that these products give ‘added value’ when their supposed host plant is sold, but their effectiveness is not proven. While it is well known that mycorrhizal fungi are a vital part of native ecosystems, it is not known, for example, if they will survive in a tree pit in a city street or pedestrian walkway – or indeed in highly managed landscape surroundings, such as domestic gardens, lawns, public parks and the manicured parts of golf courses. If they are not dead on arrival, they can be killed by all manner of human activities pretty quickly after application. When applied at the time of planting young trees and shrubs, or around mature trees, the hosts may not be in the best physiological condition to exploit any benefits offered. Creating a good

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A shovelful of soil dug from around the roots of an existing healthy specimen nearby, of a similar species to that being planted, could be just as good as an inoculant – if not better

Amanita muscaria forms a powerful bond with many of the trees found in temperate forests

environment around a new or stressed tree by mulching may, in any case, attract local mycorrhizal fungi spores into the humus, and so commercial inoculants will be a waste of time and money. In our opinion, mycorrhizal fungi inoculants are unlikely to be useful in a ‘manmade’ and unnatural environment. Horticulturists, arboriculturists and landscapers should take this into consideration when planting trees and other woody plants in artificial situations. A shovelful of soil dug from around the roots of an existing healthy specimen nearby, of a similar species to that being planted, could be just as good as an inoculant – if not better. If you create a mycorrhizalfriendly environment around trees by mulching the surface, adding humus and

creating non-compacted, unpolluted soil conditions, the airborne mycorrhizae spores may just turn up, survive and happily proliferate naturally. That is certainly what they are finding at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in England after some experimentation (Kirkham 2016), and in the streets of Stockholm (Embren 2014). The British Standard: BS 8545 compiled in 2014 states: “The benefits of mycorrhizal associations are well documented and include a tree’s fertility requirement, its ability to absorb minerals and nitrogen from the soil, its rooting habit, and the amount of available fertility in the soil. However, there is little literature to support the value of adding commercial mycorrhizal cocktails to the backfill soil used for young tree planting”.

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Mycorrhizal fungi are ‘woodlanders’, requiring a woodland habitat that includes plenty of cool, moist humus. They dislike many man-made creations – such as inorganic fertilisers, herbicides, hard surfaces, de-icing salt and soil compaction

We have failed to find any papers on successful, well-designed trials that have been peer reviewed and replicated by independent scholars or organisations that would not benefit financially from positive results We, the authors, would be the fi rst to endorse these mycorrhizal products if convinced by peer reviewed or bone fi de scientifi c proof that they ‘work’. What we need is local trialing of local mycorrhizae for local host species. This is exactly what is happening now at the Dundreggan Estate in Scotland, owned by ‘Trees for Life’ (McEwan, G, 2018). Its experts and volunteers intend to incorporate a mix of spores collected on the estate when growing seedlings in their tree nursery, and when planting out. A ‘pinch’ of the

granular medium containing the spores will be added to the planting holes of 20,000 trees in one section of the estate, and also to a selection of seedlings. The results will then be monitored to see if the treatment improves their growth, boosts their resistance to drought and heat, protects against pests and decreases the need for fertiliser application. This is exactly the way forward. Meanwhile, we worry that commercial packets of these important natural organisms may be nothing but snake oil.

Peter Thurman is an arboricultural, horticultural and environmental consultant and landscape designer based in East Sussex. He lectures at The London College of Garden Design and RBG Kew, where he is also an external examiner.

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References and further reading • Appleton, Bonnie et al, “Mycorrhizal Fungal Inoculation of Established Street Trees”, Journal of Arboriculture, 29(2) 107-111. March 2003. • British Standard 8545, “Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape – Recommendations”, 2014. • Carlson, Julie et al, “Can Mycorrhizae Improve Tree Establishment in the Landscape?” Proceedings SNA Research Conference. 45:411-413 (2000). • Dodson, H, “Enhancing Soft Fruit Production”, Journal of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture (Spring 2017). • Embren, B, Tree Officer City of Stockholm, PP Presentation 2014. • Ferrini, FA Fini et al, “Effect of fertilization and mycorrhizal inoculation in the nursery on post-transplant growth and physiology in three ornamental woody species”. Acta Horticulturae, 2016. • Gilman, Edward, “Effect of Nursery Production Method, Irrigation, and Inoculation with Mycorrhizae-Forming Fungi on Establishment of Quercus Virginiana”, Journal of Arboriculture, 27:30-38. Jan. 2001. • McEwan, G, “Highland charity to trial local mycorrhizal mix to boost native tree survival”. Horticulture Week 20/04/18. • Shigo, Alex, “Dictionary”, Keslick & Son Modern Arboriculture, 2008. • Kirkham, T, Head of Arboretum, Gardens & Horticultural Services at RBG Kew – personal communication, July 2016.

Len Phillips is founder of Online Seminars for Municipal Arborists in the USA. He is an American Society of Landscape Architects Emeritus and Honorary Life Member of the Society of Municipal Arborists. www.gibneyce.com

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30u30 FULLPG Pro Arb.pdf

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Are you under 30 and deserve industry recognition? (Or know someone who does?)

If so, then the time has come to enter... C

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Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s recognise the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s leading young arboriculture professionals Head to www.prolandscapermagazine.com/30u30 to find out more

The rules are simple: You must have been aged 30 or under on 1 January 2018 and must currently work within the horticulture sector. You can nominate yourself or a colleague and the competition is free to enter. Head to our website www.prolandscapermagazine.com/30u30 to find details on how to apply. Applications will close 1 September 2018, before being passed on for judging. Shortlisters will be contacted if they have been successful and will feature in the November issues of all supporting magazines.


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Working at

height

TREE WORK AND TREE-CLIMBING OPERATIONS INVOLVE AN ELEMENT OF RISK, SO IT’S VITAL THAT THEY’RE PROPERLY PLANNED AND EXECUTED. LAUREN O’CONNOR OF ZORO TAKES A CLOSER LOOK AT WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN WORKING AT HEIGHT

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hen you work in the tree service industry, there is a regular need to perform work at height – and therefore an increased element of danger. One of the most prominent risks for tree surgeons is a fall from a height, something that was responsible for 28% of fatal and 7% of non-fatal accidents at work in the five years between 2012 and 2017. In this article, I will cover the main points you need to know to stay safe while you’re carrying out tree work at height – including what your employer should be doing and what you, as an employee, need to do to stay within the law. Familiarise yourself with the Work at Height Regulations In the UK, all jobs where there is a risk of injury from a fall are covered by the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which dictate how this type of work needs to be planned and carried out. As there is a lot of work at height involved in the tree service industry, you need to be fully aware of what the law expects from both yourself and your employer. There is not a set height at which these regulations come into force – it’s defined as any height from which a fall could cause

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injury, so you’ll need to use your judgement to decide what is a risk and what isn’t. During any job where there’s a chance of a fall occurring, the regulations apply, and you need to know what they entail.

and they should consult staff during the process – don’t be afraid to inform your employer of any risk you identify that you think hasn’t been planned for. It should be noted that, while your

If you haven’t been issued with PPE, or you think the protective gear provided will be inadequate for the job, be sure to raise this issue Know your employer’s responsibilities Most of the responsibility regarding safety at height is placed on the employer; they have a duty of care to do everything within reason to ensure you’re safe on the job. One of the most important elements of their role as an employer is to ensure that all work at height is properly planned, supervised, and carried out by a competent person who has the relevant training and experience to undertake the task safely. They also need to undertake a risk assessment for any work at height, so that they know what the potential hazards are in advance and what precautions should be taken. This assessment must be ongoing,

employer shoulders most of the responsibility, as an employee you also have a legal duty to take care of yourself and others who may be affected by your actions. Follow your employer’s control measures and use safety equipment An important part of your duty as an employee is making sure that you cooperate with your employer, following any control measures that they put in place. When your employer has identified all the risks involved in the job, they should put measures in place to avoid or minimise risk. This could mean doing things a certain way to avoid work at height altogether, such as

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using telescopic equipment to work from the ground. It could also mean adjusting procedure to lessen the danger involved, such as using a mobile work platform instead of a ladder. It’s imperative that you do everything you can to follow these measures, as they have been chosen to ensure your safety. Your employer will also need to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to act as a last line of defence against potential risk. These can range from a hard hat, which guards against falling objects, to fall arrest equipment, such as a harness and safety line. If you haven’t been issued with this PPE, or you think the protective gear provided will be inadequate for the job, be sure to raise this issue. Though your employer must make this gear available, you also have a responsibility to use it as instructed – no matter how small or quick the task at hand is. Not only will this approach keep you safe, it will ensure that you’re on the right side of the law should an accident occur. Ensure you are properly trained for the job Another of your employer’s duties is to make sure that you are properly trained for any work that must be carried out, as well as in the use of any necessary safety equipment. If you’re asked to undertake a job that you haven’t been given training in, you should refuse to carry it out until you’ve been properly instructed. While basic training may have been issued, it’s worth remembering that some work requires specialist knowledge, which you may not have. If ever you feel you’re out of your depth, go to your employer and request the right level of training. This is in both of your best interests from a safety and legal standpoint, so it shouldn’t prove to be an issue. Report any safety issues you observe straight away As we’ve mentioned, employers should welcome employee input on health and safety matters, as they might be able to provide a new perspective when reducing risk. If you have any safety concerns when it

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comes to your work, don’t hesitate to let your employer know. It could well be the case that the issue hasn’t been reported previously, and you’re helping your employer to improve their risk control measures further. If you have any reservations about telling your employer – worrying, for example, that they may resent your input – it’s worth remembering that you have certain employee protections guaranteed by the Employment Rights Act 1996. This states that you can’t be denied a promotion or dismissed for bringing potential health and safety issues to your employer’s attention. In fact, they should encourage you to report such risks, as it helps them to maintain a good safety record.

When you work in the tree service industry, it’s vital that you know your own and your employer’s responsibilities around working at a height. By following the advice here, you’ll be able to go about your job much more safely.

Lauren O’Connor is the digital communications manager at the specialist tool and site safety retailer Zoro, which supplies tools and PPE for arborists. www.zoro.com

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Missing the cut

WAYNE ELWELL SHARES HIS EXPERIENCE OF BEING UNDERCUT – DEMONSTRATING WHY THE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO BE MORE VOCAL ABOUT THE VALUABLE SERVICE IT PROVIDES Brown rot

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eing a professional arborist is not always easy. I want to build a brand that is respected, known for being educated, honest and safe. In my head, it’s the kind of company that I would engage with if I came across it. We all shout from the rooftops that there is no place for cowboys in our industry – so why are there still so many set-ups wanting to cut corners and beat any written quote, without knowing anything about the industry? I had

‘we’ll beat any price’ adverts. Frustration with the fact that tree work is seen as an uninspiring purchase. For many folk, paying for tree work is down there with buying a washing machine in terms of excitement. Quality service I focus my effort on quality from the second I arrive at a prospective job to the second the team leaves the site – tidy, clean and with no mishaps. It has proven to be a

For many folk, paying to have their trees worked on is down there with buying a washing machine in terms of excitement this situation yet again recently, losing a job because I was too expensive. I sound as if I have sour grapes, but really, it’s frustration. Frustration with trying to compete against people who don’t know the dangers present. Frustration with the

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Pro Arb | June 2018

good approach. I think potential clients are already expecting us to be on the higher side of the quotes that they may obtain – it’s where I want us to be, if I’m honest. Our literature is clear, concise and full of decent imagery. I spend a fair amount

of money on a website, SEO and social media, and customers can review us on Facebook, Google and Checkatrade. The trucks are clean, with good signwriting. The lads turn up in branded clothing, with a decent risk assessment and job sheet. Tools are up to date and well looked after. Our quotes are clear and informative, and show the client they are dealing with a company that knows what it is talking about. It’s all carefully crafted in the hope of winning us more work. About Trees is accredited and approved by various quality and health and safety monitoring companies. We should be viewed as professionals, and as such, we should be able to speak with a bit of authority – and demand a price that reflects our quality. Wanting it all My wife of nearly 15 years works in marketing, so I’ve heard all the techniques and theories going. My favourite is the ‘Project Management Triangle’ (above right). Where About Trees aims to be is in the yellow, ‘high quality’ section of the triangle. We stray into the orange section quite often,

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FEATURES

I’m not willing to provide high quality at cheap prices and high priority, and I don’t understand why anyone would be too. This is where I think professionals should be; foolishly, it’s also where I imagine potential clients would like us to be. I’m quite often wrong, though. A large percentage of potential clients are firmly in the blue, ‘low cost’ frame of mind. I don’t mind this at all – but it becomes a little difficult when they also want to add the pink ‘done quickly’ and yellow ‘high quality’ corners to the equation. This is known as ‘having your cake and eating it’. The problem is that this is not sustainable: customers can have the work done cheap, but the trade-off is the priority and the quality. The expert approach I’m not willing to provide high quality at cheap prices and high priority, and I don’t understand why anyone would be. I still think there are customers who want high quality and are willing to accept that it comes at a reasonable price. Take, for example, a tree I looked at this week, a Monterey cypress in the back garden of an impressive contemporary house. Everything about the clients put them firmly in my target audience – ‘Affluent Executives’ in marketing terms, people who will pay for quality. The tree was suffering, with one dead stem and a second stem of low vigour, and it was obvious that the dead stem had been so for a while. The traditional approach would have been to climb the good side and work from there, removing the bad side first and so on. I inspected the base of the tree, and at 1m above ground level found evidence of brown rot. I’m an arborist with more than 20 years’ experience under my belt, so I know how serious brown rot is when you find it – it reduces wood weight by up to 70%, and gives the wood all the characteristics of a digestive biscuit. Furthermore, I know that when brown rot is dry and crumbly, the tree is unsafe to climb. Armed with this knowledge, I formulated an approach to

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DONE QUICKLY

CHEAP

FAST &

& QUICK

GOOD =

= LOW QUALITY

EXPENSIVE

LOW COST

HIGH QUALITY

CHEAP & HIGH QUALITY = LOW PRIORITY

get the tree down safely, in a controlled manner and with as little risk to my men as possible. Straight felling was not an option – it was almost touching the gravel board and panels behind it, and had some weight over the rear side. The wood was also so compromised that it would be a guess as to where it would land. It had to be a MEWP. A fair price After weighing up the site, the condition of the tree and so on, a quote was emailed to the potential client. It pointed out the nature of brown rot – the removal of cellulose and hemicellulose from the wood structure, the risk this poses to both the tree and a climber, and so on. The price I gave – £680 plus VAT – reflected the hire of the MEWP, our own IPAF-qualified arborist, two grounds members, a tree dismantled with care and control, and the removal of all arisings from site. It was deemed too expensive, and we didn’t get the job. I know the prospective clients will get other quotes that will be less than ours, and that there is a high chance these arborists

will not notice the tell-tale signs of brown rot. I’m also pretty certain that there will be a climbing arborist up this tree. There’s every chance that he or she will be lucky, the tree will come down perfectly well, and everyone will ask why About Trees decided it was dangerous and provided such an ‘overinflated’ price. It’s not an overinflated price, though – it’s the price for a professional approach, based on professional knowledge. I’m not willing to rely on luck. That’s my lads up those trees. They have children. I’m not taking the risk. That’s why I’m sticking with the yellow, ‘high quality’ side of the triangle.

Wayne Elwell is a tree surgeon, Technician Member of the Arboricultural Association, and owner of About Trees, a CHAS-accredited tree care company based in Kent. www.abouttrees.co.uk

Pro Arb | June 2018 33


FEATURES

The Benefits of Trees

SENIOR ARBORIST AT GROUND CONTROL, ALAN RICHARDSON, TELLS US THE IMPORTANCE OF TREES AND HOW THEY PLAY A PART OF OUR EVERYDAY LIFE, PROVIDING MANY BENEFITS NOT ONLY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, BUT ALSO FOR OUR HEALTH, WELLBEING AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY

trees help to create a welcoming feeling in areas within our town centres, which is believed to encourage people to visit and stay for prolonged periods

I

n one year, two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four, removes pollution from the air and provides a healthy environment for communities with areas for recreation and exercise. Research from Friends of the Earth Europe also suggests living near trees promotes wellbeing, improves mental health and reduces stress. In addition to this, a study by Forest Research on the benefits of green infrastructure suggests that living in an area with lots of trees can significantly

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Pro Arb | June 2018

improve life expectancy. A greener environment makes for a better living and working environment. In terms of improving the community, trees help to create a welcoming feeling in areas within our town centres, which is believed to encourage people to visit and stay for prolonged periods. Biophilia- a term describing the innate relationship between human and nature, workers who have views of trees feel happier according to studies conducted by Dr. Chris Knight

from Exeter University - aiding increased performance and production output which boosts the economy. The Woodland Trust supports that trees are also proven to increase property value. It is believed that owning a house on a street lined with trees can increase the value of a property by five to seven per cent. Streets and parks also look better cared for and have increased footfall, which provides as a deterrent against crime and anti-social behaviour. Having trees in our community also supports wildlife. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well known that they provide homes and food for birds and other animals. Arboricultural Association approved contractors, Ground Control, are responsible for ensuring that work to trees is not detrimental to animalsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; long-term health.

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FEATURES

Streets and parks also look better cared for and have increased footfall, which provides as a deterrent against crime and anti-social behaviour For example, during bird nesting season, it should be assumed that nesting birds will be present and therefore it is our duty to take necessary precautions. As such, we can undertake tree work during this time, but with strict protocols in place. The most widely used approach when inspecting trees is Visual Tree Assessment (VTA). It is a method of tree diagnosis that is legally accepted and used world-wide in order to interpret the body language of trees. It also links internal defects such as mechanical faults, pathogens, pest and disease to the trees own repair structures, assessing them and deducing measures for remedial action. In addition, it helps to avoid unnecessary felling and accidents caused by tree failure. Using Ground Control’s in-house tree management system, known

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as ‘Woodplan’, an expert team of arboriculturists survey trees for their condition and amenity value, carrying out risk assessments with all data recorded. Over time, the associated efficiencies and cost savings of proactive management alongside the social, environmental, economic and ecological benefits that come from a diverse, healthy tree population with assured longevity for the future that will benefit landowners’ businesses and society. Stewart Wardrop, Arboricultural Association CEO, echoed Ground Control’s message and the importance of promoting the benefit of trees. He added: “As an Arboricultural Association Approved Contractor, Ground Control has demonstrated the ability to achieve arboricultural

excellence by completing the rigorous assessment standards. “Their accreditation represents the capability to work to best practice, achieve higher levels of knowledge and skill, and an ambition to promote and raise the professional standards of the industry.”

Alan is an arborist with more than 25 years experience. He is a technician member of the Arboricultural Association and is now a Senior Arboricultural Consultant at Ground Control, leading a team of 5 specialising in tree/woodland management and arboricultural planning issues.

Pro Arb | June 2018 35


F I R S T

A I D


KJUNI ET2018 38 > toolbox

GCK Treeworks show us around their yard

40 > a guide to arborist harnesses

Guidance from Paul George on selecting the most appropriate harness for your needs

43 > stump grinders

Three key stump grinder specialists talk equipment safety

44 > product dna Isuzu Grafter Green

47 > chainsaws for beginners Tools for those just starting out

48 > arb kit

The latest in arboricultural kit


KIT

TOOL BOX

PRO ARB VISITS THE NORTHAMPTONSHIREHOME OF GCK TREEWORKS TO TALK CHIPPERS, CHAINSAWS AND TRACTORS

PPE

We like our lads to dress smart. We tend to recommend that they wear Meindl boots because they are smart and practical. And generally, we tend to provide the Pfanner high-visibility trousers.”

STUMP GRINDERS We can do every range of stump as we are equipped with a Carlton SP7015, Bandit HP20 and a Greentec Piranha PTO.

C H A I N S AW S Generally, we use Stihl chainsaws, as the boys prefer that type of equipment due to durability. There’s a bit more weight to them whereas other brands seem a bit too plastic. It’s just a professional tool to use.

38 Pro Arb | June 2018

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KIT

TRACTOR We use a Renault Ares and it’s used when we have a winching job or need to remove timber from site with our grain trailer.

CHIPPERS We’ve got a Timberwolf, 350, 150 and a Bandit 280XP. But as a preference, we tend to use Timberwolf wood chippers because they’re a reliable all-round machine.

MEWPS We are wellequipped as a business and even have our own Genie TZ50 mewp downstairs

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES We have three vans at the moment. We have just replaced them to throw out the old as

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they were costing a fortune to repair. We’ve now got a Ford Transit Tipper, Ford Fiesta and Isuzu D-Max.

Pro Arb | June 2018

39


KIT

A guide to arborist harnesses

I

n 2016 the Tree Care Industry Association (TICA) recorded a total of 92 tree care-related fatalities. Of these, the most common injury in 2016 was due to a fall (48 injuries, with 26 fatalities) and this trend has remained unchanged since 2013. A 2017 study by The Arboricultural Association found that 60% of practicing arborists considered poor work positioning to be the cause of accidents in the workplace. It should be clear to any arborist that your harness is front and centre in terms of keeping you safe when you perform any type of aerial work. The good news for arborists is that tree climbing harnesses have evolved massively over the years and now encompass a spectrum of personal preferences and job functionalities, as well as being more comfortable. But how do you go about selecting the perfect harness – one you can trust to fit with your body and your way of working? Types of arborist harness Often, the confusion involved when choosing a harness stems from the wide variety of products available. To make this process easier, it helps to know the

40 Pro Arb | June 2018

PAUL GEORGE BREAKS DOWN THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF ARBORIST HARNESSES, AND TAKES US THROUGH THE CRUCIAL CONSIDERATIONS TO BE MADE WHEN BUYING ONE different harnesses’ intended applications and features.

Fall restraint Fall restraint systems are designed to prevent you from falling, or from getting to a position where you could get hurt. They come in the form of a body-holding device that is then connected to a reliable anchor via a lanyard. This would stop you from reaching any fall-risk zone. Fall arrest Fall arrest systems are designed to protect you after you fall, lessening the

Work positioning Work positioning systems are designed for mobility. It will help you climb, move around the tree, and safely position yourself to carry out your task – with both hands free. They often come with side attachment points called D-rings, which climbers attach lanyards to. These lanyards are attached to one side, go around the branch or trunk, and are reattached on the opposite D-ring. Suspension Suspension systems are the most common systems used by climbing arborists. They are designed to cradle the user in a semi-seated position, and are similar to work positioning systems in that they allow a climber to use both hands to do the job. Most tree climbing harnesses today incorporate features of both work positioning and suspension systems.

At the end of the day, you’re going to spend a lot of time in your harness, so get the best one you can impact of accompanying forces and minimising the pain of any injury. They spread the force all over your body, instead of focusing it on one or two fragile points, and come in the form of full-body harnesses with heavy suspenders, like those used in aerial lifts. To make sure that the harness you’re picking is for fall arrest, find the dorsal attachment point located between the shoulder blades. There should be a deceleration lanyard attached to that point, which will separate under specific forces. This would then slow you down and decrease the force, should you fall.

Factors to consider Choosing the perfect harness isn’t just about your body shape – it’s also about the kind of work you do. Below are some of the important things to consider when choosing a harness: Legs You have two options for leg-strap harnesses: ● Sit harnesses – These will carry your weight via a strap beneath your buttocks, with the help of a batten or stiffener. When used, it feels like sitting on a swing. This is best used for cabling, bracing,

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KIT

Take your time when it comes to choosing your next harness – it could literally save your life one day

and crane operations – all of which involve hanging for long periods of time. ● Individual leg straps – These will carry your weight via padded leg straps, which gives you more freedom to move around. Leg straps are best used for mobility purposes.

harness that slides or moves along. ● Fixed – This type comes with a single attachment point in front of the harness but also has multiple attachments in various spots to distribute your weight. It feels more secure, so many beginners prefer this over the sliding attachment.

Attachment Central attachments also come in two forms: ● Sliding – Also called a sliding D, this type will give you more lateral freedom, as it comes with a strap or rope in front of the

Fit Before purchasing any new harness, it’s always best to try it out first. If you can, borrow a colleague’s harness and see if it would work well for your tasks.

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Also consider your own body structure. Take advantage of stores that allow for personalisation, as your comfort and safety should come first – rather than the aesthetics. Cost Well-designed, high-quality harnesses do not come cheap, but a good tree climbing harness can last you up to five years when it is taken care of properly. Although it can be tempting to go for a cheaper model, this is often a false economy. What’s more, it may not give you the comfort you require. At the end of the day, you’re going to spend a lot of time in your harness, so get the best one you can. A good rule of thumb is to break down how much your preferred harness costs for each day that you climb. If it works out less than your daily cup of coffee, then surely that’s a great investment. Do your research If your current harness shows signs of wear and tear (e.g. cuts, broken stitching, cracked or damaged metals), it’s time to retire it. Before purchasing, do your research. Make sure that your harness is designed for tree climbing, and that it will fit your task requirements and your body type. Take your time when it comes to choosing your next harness –it could literally save your life one day. For a more detailed breakdown on accidents in the arb industry and what arborists and tree surgeons can do to prevent them, read our guide, ‘Accidents in the Arb industry’, which can be found on www.landmarktrading.com.

Paul George is the managing director of Landmark Trading Ltd, and has worked in the arboriculture industry for 14 years. Landmark Trading is one the the UK’s leading suppliers of arborist equipment. You can connect with Landmark Trading on Twitter @LandmarkTrading, on Facebook @LandmarkTradingStamford, or call 01780 482231.

Pro Arb | June 2018 41


KIT RICHARD WASSELL OF WASSELLS ARBORICULTURAL SERVICES SAYS THAT STUMP GRINDER TRAINING IS “VERY IMPORTANT” TO ENSURE A SAFE WORKING ENVIRONMENT

FOCUS ON

Stump grinders

“Stump grinders can be extremely dangerous, so you must take proper safety precautions.” With safety always at the forefront of Wassells operations, Richard tells us his key safety tips when using a stump grinder. “It’s pretty self-explanatory, but when the stump grinder is on, do not go near the base or blades,” he added. “Before you start working, make sure the area is clear of garden decorations, toys and other tools.

Wassells Arboricultural services

B

oasting a respectful 40 years’ experience within the arboriculture industry, Wassells specialises in tree surgery and landscape management.

Wainwright Stump Removal ALEX CORKILL OF WAINWRIGHT STUMP REMOVAL TELLS US WHY SAFETY AND TRAINING ARE KEY WHEN OPERATING A STUMP GRINDER

42 Pro Arb | June 2018

“Carefully inspect the area around the stump and remove rocks and sticks that could fly up from under the blades or even damage the machine. “It can be helpful to trim the grass or plants around the stump so it’s easier to see and remove. “And most importantly, always make sure you wear the correct PPE – sturdy boots, long pants, gloves and goggles will do.”

For more info visit www.wassells.co.uk

W

ith over 25 years’ experience within the arboriculture sector, Wainwright Stump Removal is one of the most recognised stump removal operators in the north west of England. Armed with several stump grinders, company director, Alex Corkill, says safety is his “main priority” when using the machinery. “We have four stump grinders including the pedestrian access FSI ST20B, the hugely popular Bandit ZT1844, the grass friendly and first in the UK, FSI D74, and finally the beast that is the Bandit 2900. “It should be at the forefront of all

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KIT arboricultural companies to take every precaution possible in order to reduce all risks and by doing so, it increases productivity and staff morale.” Being conscientious of safety while operating stump grinders is imperative. Stump grinders are powerful pieces of equipment that remove tree stumps by chipping away at them with a cutting wheel – making them dangerous tools if not used correctly or with adequate training. “As a business we frequently come across people hiring stump grinders without any relevant experience or certification,” Alex added. “Stump grinders can be one of the more dangerous arb machines, and if handled incorrectly, can easily cause serious harm and even death – both of which as a company director – never want to experience. “Because of the dangers they possess, we require our staff to obtain a City & Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Stump Grinders before they can get their hands on one. “In our company, it’s a mandatory requirement for our employees to wear chainsaw boots, chainsaw trousers and a full arb spec helmet with ear defenders and protective visors. “We have forged a reputation for efficient, quality work, delivered professionally and with integrity, as we pride ourselves on providing a personal service.”

For more info on visit www.wainwrightstumpremoval.co.uk

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Tree Stump Solutions DAVE WILLIAMS OF TREE STUMP SOLUTIONS SAYS SAFETY “ALWAYS COMES FIRST” AND FOLLOWS RIGOROUS SAFETY GUIDELINES WHEN OPERATING A STUMP GRINDER

F O C UgSrinodenrs

stump

B

ased in Northampton, Tree Stump Solutions has over 20 years’ experience of dealing with unwanted stumps. The Bandit 2550 has quickly become one of Bandit’s most popular stump grinders and Dave explains that its safety features allow him to get the job done to a high standard. “I currently operate and own a Carlton 900, Alpine Magnum and the Bandit 2250. “The main machine we tend to use is the Bandit which is equipped with an emergency stop button, clearly labelled warning signs on the machine, rubber debris guards to deflect grindings and full hydraulic operation.” Making sure your work space is safe is the first thing Dave looks for before operating a stump grinder. “Upon arrival, I take a few precautions such as scouting the environment for any potential underground services such as cable TV, telephone cables, gas, water and

electricity cables,” he added. “It’s also a good idea to carry out a scan for any buried services by using a cable avoidance tool and generator – this will locate anything which has an electric pulse and we’ll then mark the locations on the ground with spray paint. “Once these measures have been carried out, we place additional warning signs, cones and debris guards around the tree stump and machine in order to contain as much grindings as possible.” Dave also added the importance of wearing the right PPE for the job. He said: “PPE is an important part of the role too. We wear a helmet complete with face visor and ear muffs, steel toe cap boots, safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask.”

For more info on visit www.treestumpsolutions.co.uk

Pro Arb | June 2018 43


KIT

product

dna

44 Pro Arb | June 2018

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KIT

I S UZ U

GRAFTER GREEN

I

suzuâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brand new Euro-6 compliant cabover is a 3.5 tonner with a downsized 1.9L engine. With this new model, Isuzu has maintained its reputation for providing practical and reliable trucks. The downsized 1.9L engine has 123hp, 320 newton-metres of torque, a four-cylinder engine, and a brand new six-speed gearbox. The new independent front suspension has coil springs and rack and pinion steering, making it closer to the conventional van. The rear suspension is semi-elliptical steel suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers. It has a capacity of 1,898cc and maximum power of 123PS at 32,000rpm.

www.isuzu.co.uk

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Pro Arb | June 2018

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You will love the performance of the CAMON SG30 Stump Grinder, fitted with the hard wearing Greenteeth® system. You’ll be equally impressed by the low running costs, simple teeth changes and excellent build quality.

Our UK built SG30 Stump Grinder cannot be beaten on performance, reliability or price.

Honda GX390 banks engine Fitted with 8 Greenteeth Reinforced chassis Only 63cm wide Folding handlebars Made in the UK Find out more by visiting

www.tracmaster.co.uk or call 01444 247689.

Invest in the Vermeer BC190XL 8” chipper

Commercial Vehicles with Body Conversion

TO GET TOUGH TREE WORK DONE

New vehicles for the Arb industry supplied throughout the UK

• • • •

• 8” (20 cm) X 12” (30.5 cm) infeed opening • 34.9 kW (48.8 PS/48.1 hp) 4 cyl water-cooled Kubota diesel engine • Automatic drive belt tensioner • Offset oversized horizontal feed rollers • Smartfeed with infeed auto reverse • Push-button throttle control

Available with fully welded aluminium bodies, Arb conversions to used & factory tippers Tow bars, tool boxes, LED lighting & sign writing available Finance options available

07879 600050

Call 020 8539 0611 www.tipmaster.co.uk

www.vermeer-uk.co.uk

leslie.goodman@vermeeruk.co.uk


KIT

n o S U C O F b e g i n n e r ss c h a i n s aw

Beginners chainsaws H U S QVA R N A 550 XP TRIOBRAKE Advanced high performance mid-range XP chainsaw offering excellent ergonomics and a number of innovative features. Includes TrioBrake for optimum ergonomics and safety.

• X-Torq • Low Vib • RevBoost • Air Injection • Autotune • TrioBrake

RRP: £700 www.husqvarna.com

COBRA CS420 • 14in Oregon chain/bar • Powered by a two-stroke, air-cooled 42cc Cobra engine and is fitted with a carburettor from Walbro, one of the world’s major manufacturers of carburettors and ignition systems.

• Safety chain brake to stop the chain from rotating around the bar • Two-year warranty RRP: £154.99 www.cobragarden.co.uk

STIHL MS 462 C-M

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A light and powerful chainsaw, ideal for arborists starting their professional career that will serve them well throughout their development.

• Anti-vibration system • M-Tronic engine management controls optimum performance • Long-life air filter system • Electronically heated handle

• Versatile bar lengths • Lightweight

RRP: From £750 www.stihl.co.uk

Pro Arb | June 2018 47


KIT

ARB KIT

STIHL Bluetooth Ear Defenders Advanced high-quality face and ear protectors equipped with built in microphone and bluetooth – allowing professionals to take calls while on the go. • Bluetooth 4.0 • Built in speakers

• Compatible with mobile phones and tablets • Three button electronic interface • 38-hour battery life • Lightweight RRP: £85 www.stihl.co.uk

MEINDL Airstream Rock Chainsaw Boots Chainsaw boots that promise all day comfort at work – imbedded with multi-grip rock rubber to ensure extra grip on slippery surfaces. • Gore-Tex waterproof and breathable lining • Lightweight aluminium toe caps • Memory Foam System • Flexible ankle cuffs • Removable soles • Cut Protection RRP: £265 www.meindl.de

GREENMECH Arborist 150p A versatile, go-anywhere wood chipper, complete with a highly manoeuvrable track system allowing its operator to reach hard-to-get-spots in all kinds of ground conditions. • 37hp Vanguard air-cooled petrol engine • Disc-blade chipping technology • Bottom bar safety mechanism • Twin hydraulic feed rollers • 150mm chipping capacity • Power control • LED lights RRP: £TBC www.greenmech.co.uk

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IT WORKS OVER 20,000 JOBSEEKERS VISIT OUR SITE A MONTH

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on average there are strong candidate applications per job

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● Weekly jobs mailer ●  Feature jobs inside relevant print magazine ●  Jobs featured on weekly news and round up emails ●  Different solutions to secure quality applicants

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visit the website at horticulturecareers.co.uk call laura today on 01903 777580


ANCIENT TREE COLUMN

EACH MONTH WE FEATURE AN ANCIENT BRITISH TREE. THIS MONTH THE ANCIENT TREE FORUM INTRODUCES US TO...

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T

hese two oaks were the focus of the Ancient Tree Forum’s activities at the Arboricultural Association’s annual trade show, the ARB Show. Unassuming in appearance, these trees perfectly illustrate several key issues in veteran tree management. In arboriculture we make comparisons; Mattheck’s Visual Tree Assessment works by comparing the tree being inspected with the ‘ideal tree’. Arborists will have an image of a veteran tree in their mind’s eye; it most likely has a large girth, a retrenched crown, a hollow trunk and aerial deadwood. We compare all trees we survey against this image. In Britain we are privileged to have a wealth of old trees – the result of our unique history of land management. We see these trees on an almost daily basis, so we undervalue their importance, and the ‘veteran tree’ that we have in our mind’s eye has been corrupted due to the wealth of veteran trees that we have. The bar is often set too high when

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ARB show oaks – Westonbirt, Gloucestershire

determining whether a tree is a veteran, so we undervalue the ‘lesser’ veteran trees, even though they are still valuable. With a full, healthy crown and stem diameters of 1m, these trees may not jump out as veterans. They don’t exhibit obviously hollow stems, retrenched crowns, aerial deadwood, tears or scars in the crown – but despite this lack of obvious veteran characteristics, these trees provide a valuable habitat. A tomogram undertaken of one of the trees showed it to be almost two-thirds hollow, despite there being no external signs of decay. This may raise concerns for arborists who have their inspection hats on, but the tree statics data for this tree show that this hollowing only presents a 11% reduction in strength. Moreover, we know from Raimbault that, as trees age, they begin to hollow naturally. This hollowing progresses slowly from the inside to the outside, starting with the central heartwood. A hollowing stem is one of most

valuable wood decay habitats, and an increasingly rare one. With an intact outer ring of sapwood, there is limited oxygen in the centre of the stem, resulting in a slow rate of decay – which produces a stable habitat for a huge range of valuable saproxylic organisms (those dependent on decaying wood). Identifying veteran trees is not about ticking all of the boxes for visible habitat. Instead, it should be acknowledged that not all veterans provide the same type of habitat, and that, consequently, they don’t all look the same. Some of the most valuable habitats are those that aren’t visible from the outside. Using our knowledge of how trees grow, age and hollow, we can make informed assessments relating to the decay process happening inside a tree. The next time you look at a veteran tree, think beyond what is visible, and use your knowledge of how trees grow and age to assess the habitat the tree offers. Thanks to Paul Melarange from Think Trees for undertaking and providing the results of the tomogram.

The Ancient Tree Forum champions the biological, cultural and heritage value of Britain’s ancient and veteran trees, and provides advice on their value and management at www.ancienttreeforum.co.uk ©Ancient Tree Forum

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