Pro Arb Spring 2019

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Spring 2019 • Volume 6 • Issue 02

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ummer is coming and let’s hope for some great weather at this year’s Arb Show. No matter how much work you have on, this really is the one event to make time for. Sorry APF, forget forestry, this is about arb and nothing but the arb. So, pack up your camping gear and head to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum for the event, which happens on 17 and 18 May. For kit fans, there will be a load of new launches and plenty of demos and workshops going on, all facilitated with refreshment from

ALL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 777 570 Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Features Editor – Rachel Gordon Subeditor – Kia Wilson Subeditor – Sam Seaton ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson Head of Sales – Jessica McCabe


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the local Stroud Brewery. And before you go, check out our preview starting on page 28. Next, were you aware that on 4-8 March it was National Apprenticeship Week? This was all about highlighting the opportunities that structured training and work experience present, both for apprentices and employers. Perhaps you have considered taking on a trainee, but have concerns that the formal apprenticeship programme is swathed in red tape? Fortunately, Dee Vickers – who both understands the pressures you are under

Sales Executive – Beth Doran Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: Pro Arb is published 4 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2019 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained

and delivers apprenticeships – is on hand to explain all the ins and outs on page 17. And, to demonstrate the impact that an apprenticeship can have in real life, see page 14 for our interview with Tom Endersby who orks for Artemis ree ervices. e s finding it a world away from his previous job, escorting prisoners – we all need a lucky break sometimes.

in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. MANAGEMENT Managing Director – Jim Wilkinson Editorial Director – Lisa Wilkinson Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson FOLLOW US ONLINE 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 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 If you would like to send us press releases to post online and potentially feature in The Tuesday Recap, please email Amy Fitz-Hugh at

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Introducing another industry game changer, the world’s first fuel injection petrol chainsaw – the STIHL MS 500i. Every forestry professional knows every gram of count weights. Which is why we’ve called upon all our engineering know-how to deliver a never before achieved power-to-weight ratio. Simple and comfortable to operate, with low vibration and exceptional manoeuvrability, the MS 500i provides optimum class leading performance you can rely on, day in, day out. Perfect for handling all disciplines, from felling to cutting timber, the MS 500i is yet another example of STIHL innovation.


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news & views 6 > News

Talking points from around the arb world

11 > News extra

cert s veteran tree care ualification

14 > Interview

Tom Endersby of Artemis Tree Services

17 > Apprenticeships

Expert Dee Vickers outlines the apprenticeship system

kit 32 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook

52 > Meet the supplier

36 > Pests and Diseases

55 > Mewps

37 > Replanting in action

56 > Spotlight on Timberwolf

Uncovering natural bracing

Anthracnose is under Dr Glynn Percival’s microscope

How community collaboration transformed a Plymouth street

hazell 20 > Pro Landscaper Business 40 > Jonathan Decisions on trees vary but acting Awards – winner profile with integrity should be the mainstay Gristwood and Toms, winner of the >£2m turnover category

22 > Pro Landscaper Business Awards – winner profile Tim Moya Associates, winner of the <£2m turnover category

Head to Westonbirt, The National Arboretum for the 21st Arb Show



Understanding Timberwolf’s success over 30 years into its history

58 > Stump grinders

Root removal is in demand, so use power tools to bring in the business

60 > Husqvarna

45 > Business Zone – unpaid leave

63 > Tree pits

The Woodland Trust says dealing with y tipping is asting money and time

46 > Business Zone – insurance 27 > Arb Show – go and see

The right equipment to work at height can also be a valuable differentiator

43 > Fly-tipping

taff anting time off eninsula s Alan Price explains where employers stand


orld class ood chipper manufacturers GreenMech

Arbcover’s Stephen Lewis advises on suitable cover options

49 > Business Zone – late payments

Being paid promptly matters – what can you do to speed things up

The 550XP Mark II and the 545 Mark II carry a host of upgraded features

GreenBlue Urban’s Arborsystem is getting young trees off to a ying start

65 > Boots

Versatile chainsaw footwear from Pfanner and Arbortec

66 > Product DNA

Makita’s new cordless backpack pruning shears

67 > Ancient Tree Forum

The ATF visited Madarcos in Spain as part of the VETcert development project

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PLYMOUTH TREE PARTNERSHIP LEADS STREET REPLANTING PROJECT A residential street in Plymouth, evon under ent significant tree replanting in March thanks to local community involvement, arborists lendale Countryside, the charity Plymouth Tree Partnership and local authority support. Haddington Road had lost around 21 of its 38 original trees because of disease and past complaints of nuisance factors. However, many residents now anted trees replaced and ere illing to support re planting. Plymouth Tree Partnership, orks ith residents and community groups to plant and care for trees. t engaged arborist firm lendale Countryside


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Pro Arb | Spring 2019

and secured funding from charitable funds. Andrew Young, volunteer pro ect co ordinator for lymouth Tree Partnership, says that volunteers had also committed to atering the trees in the summer. here ill be more pro ects like addington oad and tree professionals and volunteers will be kept busy, he adds. n , ork had taken place on another Plymouth street, urleigh ark oad, ith the trees no doing ell. Andrew also says that there ere other ider initiatives taking place and that lymouth Council has launched its lan for rees, hich embraces collaborative orking across sectors. he city is seeking to deliver a vision here trees and woodlands are valued and cared for. veryone ill have more opportunities to e perience their positive benefits. For more on the project, see page 37.



rofessional tree climbers have contributed to an important iomechanics of the ree Climber research pro ect. hen completed it ill provide guidance on the best ays to climb to minimise in ury risks and avoid long term bodily in ury. he pro ect is being run by ree ogic, a specialist arborist training provider, and Coventry niversity s research team. t is e pected to be complete by the end of the year. As part of the pro ect, climbers ere recently asked to respond to a survey, hich sought to find a range of information, including climbing fre uency, e perience, the amount of exertion used, training, systems and aids, details of any in uries and age groups. he pro ect is also concerned ith mapping the body s movements during tree climbing, utilising and comparing different techni ues to analyse the pressure on oints and muscles. his should lead to a better understanding of ho arborists use their bodies in the tree and how potential injuries are sustained. he research uses motion capture e uipment to map the movements of a tree climber ithin the canopy of a tree.

Alexander Laver, who runs ree ogic, says e ant to help climbers understand hich climbing techni ues ill keep them fit and healthy. oo often, climbers careers are cut short because they have sustained in uries. e have to stop losing these skilled professionals. An update on research ill be provided at the erman ree Care Conference eutsche aump egetage in Augsburg, held from May . he iomechanics of the ree Climber is supported by charities und rees and und, the Arboricultural Association and rope manufacturer eufelberger. More information on the soft are being used as part of the research pro ect can be seen at


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TREE SURGEON LEADS NEWARK ANTI-FELLING PROTEST A Nottinghamshire tree surgeon has organised a protest against a local authority’s plans to fell trees to create more parking spaces. Arborist Jason Clarke brought together around 150 adults and children in a bid to protect four mature trees. The council wants these removed to make way for 36 extra spaces at Newark Library. Jason says: “It’s been a great success. We’ve got lots of people here, raising the profile of the issue. It will hopefully make the council re-think their decision.” Newark and Sherwood District Council planning committee considered the council’s own application last year and the committee voted by eight to five to convert green space between the library and the former municipal o ces on Baldertongate into more parking spaces. Council business manager Matt Lamb claimed the car park was busy through the day and extra spaces would ease congestion. A council spokesman also said the proposed development would include four replacement trees plus 16 more nearby. Jason said the four lime and sycamore trees were between 80 and 120 years old: “These trees are the oldest things around here. They are a link between the past and the present. My children will be very old people by the time those newly planted trees have any degree of stature.”


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MAKITA OPENS NEW LONDON SERVICE CENTRE Makita UK has opened a third regional factory service centre in Hounslow, West London, joining its other facilities in Milton Keynes and Glasgow. The centres provide repairs and maintenance services for all mains and cordless construction machines, as well as Makita’s range of grounds care tools. These include 2-stroke and 4-stroke petrol engine products. The new centre will also ensure authorised distributors and operators understand the power tools they own or may purchase in the future. It teaches users how to obtain the best and safest performance from these machines, and how to reliably maintain them for e ciency and productivity.

Also on offer are accredited courses, such as the City & Guilds Correct & Safe Use of Handheld Power Tools. These take place over a day or two, and a user or instructor certificate is issued upon successful completion. Courses are also available to meet individual needs and bespoke power tool training can be designed to tailor it to specific requirements. At each location, the theory elements of courses are held in a lecture theatre, followed by practical work in specially adapted and fully equipped training demonstration rooms.

‘SHE GROWS’ CAMPAIGN TO HELP SAVE MALI’S FOREST Development charity Tree Aid has launched She Grows, a three-month appeal from 1 April to 30 June to help 1,000 women in Mali, West Africa, set up small businesses and give them tools and training to save and replant their local forest. The UK government will match pound for pound any public donations through the UK Aid Match scheme. This is part of its commitment to fight poverty and climate change. She Grows aims to reverse the effects of deforestation and climate change in the drylands of Africa. The women will process and sell shea butter and honey. Mali is two-thirds desert and more than 50% of people live below the poverty

line. The burden of poverty falls hardest on women who have limited access to land and few opportunities to earn an income. Trees are a lifeline, surviving drought, improving the soil and providing fruits, nuts and seeds for food and income. Setou Traoré, one of the thousand women in Mali who will benefit, says ithout trees, e wouldn’t eat. The produce from the fields has reduced. arming doesn’t feed us anymore – the sources of income are weak. There aren’t many trees anymore. I am worried for my children.” Joanna Lumley, who is a patron of the charity, says: “I have been supporting Tree Aid for more than 25 years because it provides such an

effective solution to the urgent issues of poverty in Africa and the environmental decline that so often causes it. If ever there was a time to support a local organisation working on global issues, it is now.” Set up in 1987, Tree Aid has planted more than 16 million trees and is supported by more than 1.2 million people. You can donate at:

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FUTURE FORESTERS EVENT TARGETS ARB STUDENTS Arboriculture and forestry students are invited to attend the second National Student Conference and Demo Day, organised by the Royal Forestry Society. The event takes place on Friday 4 October at Shuttleworth College in Old Warden, Bedfordshire and around 300 visitors are expected to attend. Sponsored by City and Guilds, Sorbus International, Haglof of Sweden and the Forestry Commission, the event will feature talks and demonstrations aimed at college students, apprentices and those who have recently started work.

RFS chief executive Simon Lloyd says: “It is a unique opportunity for colleges and employers to bring future foresters together in a forum which is dedicated to their careers.” City and Guilds industry manager Dr Robin Jackson adds: “This will bring together students who have an interest in the management of our treescape and woodland environment and introduce them to the current and emerging skills and technologies necessary for them to play an active role. Booking and further details are available at: conferences-and-seminars

Sweden’s Husqvarna has launched its first clothing range, Husqvarna Xplorer. The company says it will have particular appeal for off duty chainsa users, ho are either relaxing at home or enjoying the outdoors. The range includes clothing for men and women. Brand design director, Rajinder Mehra says: “Our purpose when developing

us varna plorer as to offer clothes, accessories and bags with the lifestyle of a chainsaw user in focus, regardless if that means relaxing at home, hunting or berry picking outside. The clothes and accessories are made in durable materials to meet the expectations of our customers.” tems include t shirts, ackets, eeces, baseball caps, beanies, a backpack, trolley bag and duffel bag. Clothes include those suitable for all seasons and have long and short sleeves. The collection is available from Husqvarna authorised dealers.

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VETcert – veteran tree care’s future




Arborists who care about conservation and the future of ancient trees will soon be able to gain a new professional designation through becoming cert ualified. The Veteran Tree Management kills Certification or cert is a pan-European accreditation scheme, and in the UK is being delivered by the Ancient Tree orum. cert aims to harmonise skills and knowledge across urope. t is a uni ue ualification ith t o main strands one aimed at arborists and the other for consultants. The project received European Union funding of €398,000 and was run by a total of 10 partners from seven countries, including the UK’s Arboricultural


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Association, nverde from elgium and eden s ro atura. A career advantage Those with the understanding, skills and ability to protect ancient trees ill gain differentiation in their field, and the cert ualification confirms that the practitioner is competent in this specialist area. he ualification is also expected to become a safeguard against poor work being carried out due to a lack of kno ledge. For arborists, VETcert will be particularly suitable for those who have an interest in conservation and want to boost their professionalism. inal details for the ualification are close to being finalised after three years of

development, but the certification process is planned to be available from eptember . The Ancient Tree Forum held a ‘multiplier event’ in February, aimed at organisations that buy

in veteran tree management services. his meeting sought to encourage these organisations to specify VETcert as a requirement hen letting tenders. t took place at urnham eeches and

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was led by Jim Mullholland and Helen Read, who are respectively training and technical o cers ith the forum. Attendees came from a range of organisations including Natural England, the Woodland Trust and the National Trust. Why launch VETcert? he certification scheme has a number of aims:

examinations, but remember that although rigorous, those taking VETcert can ensure they are well prepared by checking what is required and putting in the hours of extra study. Both exams are a day long. The Practising level includes multiple choice, short written questions in addition to a series of outdoor exercises; there will be no climbing

VETcert will be particularly suitable for those who have an interest in conservation • To recognise skills and knowledge in veteran tree management o define minimum skills and knowledge at two operational levels – practising and consulting • To increase the opportunities for tree work professionals across Europe. Operating at two levels There will be two levels for VETcert – Practising (arborist) and Consulting. Few enjoy


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or cutting assessment. The Consulting level has only short written questions in addition to a series of outdoor exercises. Consultants will also be required to produce a written report on the day of the exam. Required knowledge Both levels require understanding of veteran tree care as listed in two units, which are available on the VETcert website. These are: 1. Veteran trees; recognition and values

2. The development and ageing of trees: the role or physiological function and dysfunction 3. Roots of veteran trees and the soil environment 4. Veteran trees as ecosystems 5. Veteran trees: their value for people 6. Veteran trees; their cultural history values 7. Surveying of veteran trees and veteran tree sites . egislation and o cial guidance in relation to veteran trees 9. Veteran tree risk management 10. Veteran trees: planning for urban development and infrastructure 11. Veteran tree management in all its aspects 12. Personal skills. The skills and knowledge required have been checked and revised by all the partner countries and subject to a public review. Eligibility – Practising and Consulting Being accredited with expertise in veteran tree care requires an accepted level of existing knowledge and experience. For the Practising level, candidates will need to meet a number of prerequisites before applying. These include holding a evel ualification, or comparative knowledge gained through work experience and necessary chainsaw and climbing and/or mobile elevated work platform certificates. There are again prerequisites for the Consulting level, which are to hold a evel ualification and five years’ experience in consulting. Or comparative knowledge gained through work experience and

years e perience five of which are to be in consulting. Prepare to take VETcert Jim and Helen explained that they are on hand to provide guidance to arborists and consultants if they have queries about preparedness. Prior to the launch of VETcert, the Ancient Tree Forum was closely involved in two years of preliminary project work – VETree – resulting in the production of a range of study materials. A two-day training course is being produced as part of the project which aims to help people on their journey towards VETcert.

There is plenty of information for arborists and consultants and this is freely available via articles and factsheets on websites such as the Arboricultural Association, the Ancient Tree Forum and VETcert. inal ualification cost details are due to be announced, but are estimated to be around £450 to take the ractising ualification and around £550 for Consulting. For more information, visit:


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An arborist’s



t’s a chilly February day in grimy Hackney, north east London and Tom Endersby is felling trees on a development site. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea when it comes to their ideal workplace, but Tom says there is nowhere else he would rather be. He’s with fellow crew members from Artemis Tree Services, a thriving business which was founded in by arborist imon ie. he firm covers Hertfordshire, Buckingham and Berkshire along with many London boroughs and was set up as a sole trader. It is now an Arboricultural Associationapproved contractor, employing 30 people. While tree surgery, both domestic and commercial, is a large part of its work, Artemis also undertakes more specialist tasks such as conducting surveys and conservation projects. Tom, 28, is an apprentice arborist and is learning both on the job and by attending Capel Manor College in nfield. t is a t o year programme and he has another 12 months to go before becoming fully ualified. There is a perception that apprentices are typically 18-year-olds who are straight from college, but for om, the situation is different. He has a partner, Mandy, and two sons aged six and three, so it can’t be easy managing on an apprentice’s pay for two years. This is compounded


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I think back to those hours spent in courtrooms and how oppressive it was compared to now, being able to work with great people – you can actually have fun at work and I also really get on with all the staff and lecturers at Capel ManoR WWW.PROARBMAGAZINE.COM

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by the fact that he lives in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, an expensive part of the UK. So the question is, why did he make the switch to becoming and arborist and is it orth the sacrifice n t es es Tom explains he spent the previous four years working for Serco as a prisoner escort o cer taking those being held in custody to jails and accompanying them at court appearances. “The job became increasingly hard and I felt trapped, whether I was in the van or spending hours in a courtroom. It may have been well paid, but it was almost like being a prisoner. I realised I had to make a career change and I wanted to do something that included being outdoors, where there would be good quality training with future prospects.”


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At this stage, Tom says he knew nothing about working as an arborist and he has no family connections within the sector. “I was looking at the jobs website Indeed when the apprenticeship with Artemis popped up. I realised it would mean a massive pay cut, but it was now or never, so I applied.” As a part of Artemis, he has quickly made a name for himself, most recently as Artemis

year and this clearly showed in his recent revie no matter hat the ob, everyone wants Tom on their team.” ety s t e s e Artemis secures plenty of varied work and Tom’s role encompasses climbing, working on the ground and using kit such as a stump grinder and woodchipper, with

I’ve always tried to keep my fitness levels up and when working for Serco, I used to go the gym frequently. I have no need for that now! Employee of the Year, which was voted for by all the staff. According to managing director imon om s had an e cellent first

one day in college every fortnight. The role can be physical and requires working in all weathers, which is contrasted with college study. This includes intensive tuition covering areas like tree science and legislation as om says, an a ful lot of Latin names and types of fungi to learn.” The work can be tough in all kinds of ways, but Tom says he has no regrets. “I really enjoy my job and I can’t think of anything I dislike about it. So what if the weather is bad sometimes, we have waterproofs. “I think back to those hours spent in courtrooms and how oppressive it was compared to now, being able to work with great people you can actually have fun at ork and also really get on ith all the staff and lecturers at Capel Manor.” As for the physical demands of the work, he comments: “I’ve always tried to keep my fitness levels up and hen orking for Serco, I used to go the gym frequently. I have no need for that now!” He adds he wants to keep developing his knowledge and climb the arborist career ladder after the apprenticeship is completed, to develop skills in areas such as quoting for work and surveys. When asked about what he likes doing away from work , Tom’s reply shows why choosing a career as an arborist was the right decision: “Mainly just being with my family doing simple things like all of us being in the woods.”

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Apprenticeships –

an inside guide VIEWS Dee V IC K E R S


t the Berkshire College of Agriculture (BCA), we deliver the Arborist Apprenticeship Standard, developing new talent within the industry. We couldn’t do it alone, though – we need the help of employers as well. Even so, I’m not entirely sure that all employers really understand what it is they are signing up to. The modern apprenticeship is a fantastic deal, particularly for small businesses. But I also recognise that it’s not the solution for everyone. So how do you know if it’s worth considering for your business?


for you, and short courses may be a better option in this case. Apprenticeships work for those looking to expand their business and to develop staff as the business gro s. If you’re willing to work with a training provider as part of a structured scheme, they should be considered. How apprenticeships work Apprenticeships come in two avours frame orks and standards. At BCA, we are

continuing to move all our apprenticeship provision over to standards, which is the new form. Frameworks will be phased out by mid-2020, so it’s worth checking that your training provider is running with the new standards. Apprenticeships are designed to be delivered by training providers working closely with employers in order to develop the apprentice. At the end of the apprenticeship, the apprentice will undertake an independent End Point Assessment (EPA).

Apprenticeships are also designed for specific vocations, so there is a different apprenticeship for an arborist or a forester. An accountant takes a very different apprenticeship to a chef, and each vocational area falls into a particular band. Levy or non-levy? For the purposes of apprenticeships, employers fall into one of two categories – levy payers or non-levy payers. The arboriculture industry generally consists of small

An investment for the future If all you’re looking for is cheap labour, then the apprenticeship route is definitely not for you. Furthermore, if you’re looking to o oad all the training and development of ne staff to a training provider then apprenticeships are also not


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April 1, going from 10% down to of the negotiated rate making apprenticeships even better value for money.

businesses employing subcontractors as and when they are required, although there are a few large companies. If your business has a wage bill in excess of £3m then you will be required to pay 0.5% of your wage bill into an apprenticeship account. If your wage bill does not meet this level, then you will be classed as a non-levy payer. What you’ll pay • Levy payers If you fall into the levy payer category, then you’ll be automatically paying £15,000 a year into an apprenticeship fund and so should definitely make use of this. That money can only be used on apprenticeships and you don t get it back if you don’t use it. So, you may want


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to talk to a training provider about developing your staff. Remember, it doesn’t have to be an arborist apprenticeship. You may have a finance department that could benefit from employing someone to become an accountant or employ someone to become a dedicated resource to repair and maintain equipment. • Non-levy payers If your wage bill is less than £3m a year, then you’ll be classed as a non-levy payer and you do not have the legal requirement to pay into an apprenticeship fund. However, if you want to take an apprentice on, then you’ll need to pay a percentage of the negotiated rate of the apprenticeship. The percentage you pay as a non-levy employer changed on

What’s the payback? he first uestion you may be wondering is, what do I get for that? Firstly, be aware that you may not actually have to pay the amount quoted above as the fee is based on a negotiated rate rather than a fi ed one. For the Arborist Apprenticeship, over the two-year period, there are a number of Certificates of Competence that the apprentice must achieve as well as all the underpinning kno ledge. he Certificates of Competence include: • Chainsaw maintenance and crosscutting • Felling and processing trees up to 380mm • Climbing trees and aerial rescue • Aerial cutting • Safe use of a MEWP • Use of a chainsaw from a MEWP • Safe use of woodchippers ra c management mergency irst Aid at ork (EFAW, or EFAW+F as it covers chainsaw wounds). hose certificates delivered via short courses would cost well in excess of £750 (for non-levy payers) and the apprentices also receive underpinning kno ledge, such as tree biology, soil science, plant taxonomy, and trees and the law. If the apprentice also does not hold a evel ualification in Maths and English, then they will have to pass that too as part of the apprenticeship. The Negotiated Rate The Arborist Apprenticeship is rated by the ducation kills

Funding Agency (ESFA) as costing up to £15,000 to deliver, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to pay this much. Here is what we as training providers don’t want everyone to kno e have to negotiate the costs with the employer. We cannot just base the apprenticeship cost on the full £15,000 without being able to justify it. raining providers have to take into account any prior learning, so if you employ someone that already holds their Safe Use of a Woodchipper and Chainsaw Maintenance & Crosscutting Certificates of Competence then we cannot charge for that as e on t be delivering it. aking account of prior learning can save you hundreds of pounds as well as shortening the full term of the apprenticeship. Be prepared to negotiate My advice to all employers that are engaged with a training provider for the delivery of an apprenticeship is to make sure that you’re not paying the full amount when you simply don’t have to. This is even more important for levy-payers than it is for non-levy payers. This is because non-levy payers only benefit from a reduction in the savings, whereas levy payers will get the full amount of any reductions that may possibly be made. Dee Vickers is Head of Department (Landbased) at Berkshire College of Agriculture, overseeing the landbased apprenticeships, short course delivery as well as writing the arborist apprenticeship provision for the College. Dee can be contacted at


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The STRATO HI-VIZ helmet is very lightweight and comfortable, thanks to its CENTERFIT and FLIP&FIT systems. Integrable with Petzl vision protection, hearing protection and multiple accessories, it is an entirely modular helmet. The high visibility version features a fluorescent outer shell with phosphorescent clips and reflective bands, for optimal visibility of the wearer, in a tree or on the ground. Personalized versions available on demand.

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10/04/2019 08:17:53 10/04/2019 11:04



Gristwood and Toms THE WINNER OF THE ARBORICULTURE COMPANY >£2M TURNOVER CATEGORY IS ONE OF THE MARKET’S BIGGEST NAMES – BUT HAS RISEN FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS. WHAT ARE THE SECRETS TO ITS SUCCESS? this and we choose to instead focus on larger contracts further afield. Apart from our arborist teams, we have 14 specialist surveyors and consultants who deal with areas like planning application guidance, tree protection order issues, risk management, pests and diseases, subsidence reports and insurance work. Another expanding area is tree planting and removal, and advising around these. Veteran tree management is another specialism.


ristwood and Toms was founded in 1974 as a two-man operation. t no employs nearly staff, covering the whole of the UK and with the expertise to handle the largest commercial contracts. The company is known for its work for local authorities, but the remit is now far wider with clients coming from many sectors. The business is headquartered in Hertfordshire and now has eight regional depots across the country. Area manager Matthew Loader and founder Andy Toms talk about the


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opportunities ahead and how the business believes in developing its people. What work is Gristwood and Toms involved with? A huge variety, we are a full-service company. We describe ourselves as a one-stop shop for all tree-related business. Of course, a lot of what we do is traditional tree surgery work, such as felling and pruning, but e also offer more specialist services and demand for these is growing. We don’t really do any domestic work – we are not set up for

What is the background to Gristwood and Toms? The two directors, Dave Gristwood and Andy Toms, were friends and both lived in Hertfordshire. Both were working in tree surgery, but were ambitious and felt dissatisfied ith the companies they orked for. hey both anted to offer clients more in terms of service and quality. Andy had a disagreement with his boss and left, Dave quickly followed suit. They realised putting their skills together could result in a successful business and both have a huge amount of energy and determination. They have never looked back. They also make the effort to remain closely involved ith the business and try and get to know everyone individually. Although e are a large arb firm, we retain a family feel – we never see our employees as numbers.


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How important is your local authority work? We work for a large amount of local authorities and this constitutes around some 65% of our ork, but e re increasingly taking on a ider range of clients and have recruited to enable this. o, e ork for hospitals, schools and universities, private sector companies and housing associations. e also ork for the oyal arks, charities such as nglish eritage and the public body, atural ngland.

and empathy if there is a disturbance – or just letting people know what is going on and what they can e pect can make a real difference. What are your thoughts on apprenticeships? We have taken on apprentices, but we much prefer our trainee system. his is less restrictive and allows us to train people in our way, rather than being tied in to a college. am a firm believer in having plenty of learning on the

We work for around 75% of local authorities and this constitutes around some 65% of our work There is a lot of talk about a recruitment crisis in arboriculture – would you agree? t certainly can be di cult to recruit because the people are ust not there to be taken on. his is hy e focus on being a good employer and offering people to move up through the ranks. ur managers have almost all been promoted internally, and we are always keen to give people responsibility if they are ready. e re also al ays keen to speak to people who would be interested in joining us – we do not use sub contractors because e ant the work and opportunities to be available for our employees. Does Gristwood and Toms see training as important? Absolutely, and as an Arboricultural Association approved contractor it is essential to have the necessary ualifications. e have an in house trainer and ork ith specialists and colleges, looking to upskill where possible rather than ust offer refresher training. e also make sure our people are up to date with regulations and legal issues. ut e don t ust train our people in practical and technical sub ects. e also ant our employees to be confident communicators. n our ork, you need to be able to handle potentially di cult situations. his could be, for example, if local residents are concerned about felling or noise or just work in their area. orking in built up areas in particular can be challenging and clear communication


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job and for people to be out on site to learn, although only when they are safe to do so and ith first aid and safety kno ledge. have met too many college leavers who have unrealistic expectations about what they can do, whereas those who have started work with us and trained while working tend to be far more prepared and competent. Your work with Bristol City Council is widely praised – why? Bristol was fortunate to be in a better position with more resources than some other local authorities, although there were still severe constraints. e ve orked very closely ith Bristol City Council since 2014, as part of a

included the creation of a wood fuel station using chips to convert to biofuel, nearly 40,000 trees planted and helping run community days to raise awareness about trees and the environment and to encourage good ste ardship. ur contract as e tended for another 6 months and we look forward to potentially doing even more together. Has your work been impacted by local authority cuts? ot significantly, because our ork is gro ing else here. e absolutely love orking ith local authorities and see their people as colleagues, but it has truly been di cult seeing some of them struggle because of e treme cutbacks. Ultimately, they have a duty to try and keep people safe and they need to survey trees and carry out ork on them if needed. hey need enough people and resources to be able to do this.

We deliver comprehensive arboricultural maintenance works to more than 100,000 trees across the council’s estate, including streets, parks and green spaces five year contract and the partnership has gone far beyond traditional tree care. We deliver comprehensive arboricultural maintenance works to more than 100,000 trees across the council s estate, including streets, parks and green spaces. he contract is also open to trees in education establishments, and private trees where there is a local authority connection. ro ects have

What are the future plans for Gristwood and Toms? t ill be to continue orking for a ide range of clients in addition to local authorities. e are the only firm that has a truly nation ide presence and we want to maximise the opportunities from this. verall, our plans are to focus on being a great employer and for us to achieve our clients goals.

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subsidence and tree health and safety issues. In the early days, this was time consuming and complex, but also interesting. The opportunity to build a practice where we could work with other like-minded professionals in these areas was too tempting to resist.


im Moya Associates is an arboriculture, landscape and ecological consultancy practice. Work includes planning consultancy, computerised surveys, expert witness, mortgage and subsidence reports and general advice relating to trees, ecology and landscape. Clients include local government, land managers and developers. Managing director Tim Moya has 30 years’ industry experience and has taught arboriculture to consultants and tree o cers through association with Capel Manor College.


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Director Alice McAuley joined in 2002 and has experience in all aspects, contributing considerably to growth, taking the company through the Investors in People process and heading up development of the company database, MyTrees software and 3D modelling. Why did you launch your own consultancy? Tim: The business started in the late Eighties as a small tree surgery company mostly for domestic clients. However, the consultancy side of the business developed in response to requests for advice on development,

What sets TMA apart from others? Tim: here e may be different is in the range of clients for whom we work and the ways in which we use technology. TMA has a history of innovation and technical development which has helped us to keep up with the ways in which other professionals work. Much is developed in-house – our R&D budget runs into tens of thousands each year but pays off in the long term. Alice: Being an IT driven consultancy is key. Examples include the development of MyTrees with our associate company Treework Environmental Practice. This software was born out of the need to survey trees quickly and e ciently in a consultancy environment.


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It’s been an invaluable investment and has also developed into an ecological survey tool. We collect data using the system on tablets and employ staff specifically for and CA . Also, e use My rees as a platform to deliver our survey information from a central server to clients, allowing them to utilise the tree management modules.

Is there scope for tree surgeons to develop their careers once they have fin s e bn Tim: Yes, although they shouldn’t wait until they are done with climbing. Arboricultural contracting has come a long way, with greater professionalism and larger firms opening up career structures.

y e ss n t ees Tim: he magic of arboriculture is that e deal with the relationships between trees and people daily. We’re faced with managing tree populations sustainably to provide long term cover for future generations. his is by no

e es n ss es te n b se t Tim: Yes, very much so. While public bodies should provide good value, spending cuts have resulted in talented tree o cers leaving. hey can find it di cult to meet obligations to the

It’s important that where work is being done at a higher level, less experienced consultants get the opportunity to get involved and not just observe means certain and the threats posed by new pests and diseases are apparent. We need to build tree resilience through greater species and genetic diversity. Alice: My passion lies in a love for our company and the people that ork here. have gained invaluable experience. I love supporting clients to achieve their goals by orking ithin their budgetary constraints. I’m also interested in the tools we have available to help analyse tree stock. en oy stats, so systems like i ree and the value that they bring to future tree strategies interests me. sy ent b se e e e Alice: n the early years e orked on pro ects hen invited and relied on ork quality to gain repeat instructions. Following the 2008 recession, we made a commitment to diversify. his involved establishing ecology and landscape services to offer a more comprehensive environmental service, including large tree condition surveys and the creation of tree inventories and strategy documents for local authorities and land managers, which now accounts for about one third of our turnover. echnology has been vital to support our ork.


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public – it’s a stressful job and I’m impressed by how they meet challenges. Alice: We’ve developed lasting relationships ith many tree o cers, and e look to utilise all our skills and technology to help them manage in these di cult times. t s been t e es nse t n Tim: Our original target was for 2,000 downloads – it has just reached over 4,000. We’ve had a fantastic response and would encourage people to continue to feedback. App development is expensive and timeconsuming, but we’ll be expanding it to include more fungi, associations and photos. Colleague Chris Wright has done a fantastic job providing content. t et e st e n n st t n s e ts Alice: We’re currently involved in some interesting research in relation to tree disease with the Forestry Commission. We also have orking groups for tree modelling, soft are and app development, and the expansion of our company kno ledge database. rustrations come from a lack of investment in the industry. his ould support us to integrate

into design teams in line with initiatives such as M. he profession could be side lined in the future without real solutions to allow us to demonstrate value. Tim: he best is orking ith fantastic colleagues ith a ide variety of skills and kno ledge. e feel able to take on pretty much anything and our projects are genuinely interesting. rustrations include a lack of diversity, graduates, clear professional guidance and both the growth and development of arboriculture as a profession. y es be y ny t e Alice: We want people to feel supported in their aspirations. We’re open about the business and its performance. We value all employees and the range of skills they offer. e ere the first environmental consultancy to achieve Investors in People Gold Standard. Our mission statement is o be a respected, professional and innovative practice; to develop and invest in our staff to be a viable and sustainable organisation; to provide an excellent resultsbased service to clients, and to be a rewarding, stimulating and en oyable place to ork. Tim: e re happy to take on graduate level people. t s important that here ork is being done at a higher level, less experienced consultants get the opportunity to get involved and not just observe. Larger practices could provide greater opportunities for those entering the profession. t ey b t ns t e b s ness Tim: he industry needs some larger consultancy practices in order to set a professional example and to lead in innovative practices. We will continue to expand in order to play our part in this process, yet remain aware that larger is not always better.

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The new Treehog stump grinding guard. Robust design to reduce the risk of damage from flying debris. ● The guard is supported with a weighted bottom edge. ● Three 120 cm x 120 cm panels, covered in resilient mesh and weighted for stability. ● When required, the system collapses into a neat 90 cm x 30 cm x 20 cm bundle (weighing just 11kg) in less than 40 second.

● Comes complete with carry bag. Advert template.indd 6

12/04/2019 08:53

S E R U T FEA 9 1 0 2 g sprin

27 > The Arb Show – your ‘go and see’ guide It’s the highlight of the arborist year! If you’re heading to Westonbirt on 17-18 May, be sure to check out these fantastic exhibitors

32 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook Discover the impact of natural bracing – the main cause of bark inclusions

36 > pest and disease watch

lynn ercival e amines the effect of the highly damaging anthracnose disease

37 > Re-planting in action

How a community project has enhanced Plymouth by re-planting a street

40 > A matter of integrity

In a sector with many complexities and differences of opinion, ethical practice is everything, says Jonathan Hazell

43 > Fighting the fly-tippers

Fly-tipping is ruining nature and resulting in soaring costs for the Woodland Trust

45 > Business Zone – unpaid leave The ins and outs and frequently asked questions are explained by Peninsula’s Alan Price

46 > Business Zone – insurance

uidance from ycetts on finding the right cover

49 > Business Zone – late payments

Small businesses can have troubles getting payments in on time – what can they do?


17/04/2019 09:07

#ARBshow2019 T IC K E T IN CLUDES *

Friday 17th – Saturday 18th May 2019

The UK’s most popular pure Arb Trade Event

Home of The ARB Show

Show Ales & Good Food New Attractions & Arenas

Demos & Competitions

The Latest Technologies Principal sponsor of The ARB Show for the 15th year

Unrivalled Atmosphere Look out for the ARB Show App on the Apple App Store, Google Play and Join us *Free admission to Westonbirt National Arboretum for ARB Show ticket holders, Friends of Westonbirt, Arboricultural Association and ISA members only.

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.

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here is nothing like the Arb Show to bring arborists together, and many are expecting this year’s inspirational event to attract a record number of visitors. The Arb Show 2019 takes place on


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Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May, and will be held once again at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum. The event is now in its 21st year and is uniquely planned to offer an unrivalled e perience in all things trees and kit.

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There will be a host of workshops to choose from, as well as tree climbing forums and a vast exhibition with hundreds of stands to check out. The main sponsor, Stihl, will be running the demo arena and the arborists’ workshop, which has talks from top industry speakers. Another hugely popular attraction will be the 3ATC open climbing competition. To ensure visitors remain well hydrated, there will be refreshments from the local Stroud Brewery as well as an array of food and drinks providers. Many visitors will choose to camp at the nearby Holford Arms campsite, and the eponymous pub will also be holding an outdoor barbecue with live music. Tickets are available on the show dates only and are priced at £10 each for adults with a range of concessions. Entrance is free for Arboricultural Association members. Find out more at:


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stand C10-C11

Global Recycling Global Recycling is the Norwood distributor for portable sawmills and mobile forestry equipment in the UK and Ireland. A sawmill


is usually a once in a lifetime purchase, especially if the user chooses the right one. One of the quickest ways to narrow your search is to consider the logs you are planning to cut. or ood offers mills that handle up to 36” in diameter. Sawmills can be manually operated meaning you do all the work yourself, or hydraulic where the

performance, innovation, quality and aftersales support. Först sells direct to the end user, giving their customers the ability to buy direct from the factory and receive aftersales support from Först’s own people and service partners right across the UK. Först lives by an ethos of ‘every customer is a VIP’. This

attitude towards customers, together with robust, high performance products, makes Först the trusted partner for thousands of UK arborists. From lightweight and fast ST6P to the versatile and agile XR8 Traxion, there is a perfect Först product for every arborist and contractor.

stand B4-B6 Buxton’s has been supplying forestry and arboricultural equipment for over 50 years and has grown to be one of the largest retailers in the industry. Buxton’s shop and warehouse are situated on the side of Cannock Chase and has one of the


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majority of the work is done for you, at your control. If you’re not milling commercially, and a little hard work and exercise doesn’t scare you, then a manual sawmill is a practical choice. Norwood Portable Sawmills are a brand-name reputation you can trust. Global Recycling has units along with accessories.

stand A06-A11, D18-D19

Först Först will be showcasing and demonstrating its complete range of products, including its stage V compliant diesel and petrol machines. At just six years old, Först is the largest woodchipper manufacturer in the UK with several thousand machines working across the world. Först now leads in terms of product


largest displays of arboricultural e uipment in the country, offering a wide choice of products from all of the top manufacturers. These include Arbortec, Yale, Petzl, DMM, Notch, CT, Teufelberger, ISC, Stihl, Husqvarna, Marlow, Haix, Dragon, Buckingham, Oregon, Silky, No Risk, Samurai, Edelrid and Komet.

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stand D10

Hi-Line Training Developed over several years from its beginnings as an inhouse training team, Hi-Line Training is a young and exciting training provider based in the south-west. i ine offers all the ground and aerial chainsaw unit courses plus specialist utility arb and FAW+F training, as well as bespoke courses, such as team leader training and introduction to arb work days. Its team is

passionate about providing high quality training and is establishing itself as a leading training provider both in the south-west and further afield. Hi-Line’s instructors are all experienced arborists who have worked across all sectors of the industry. To maintain current commercial knowledge and awareness, it ensures its instructors continue to spend time either working with or

Marlow Ropes

mentoring cutting teams on a regular basis. Training and assessments can be given at both its training

stand B04-B06 via Buxtons Limited E10-E11 via Forest and Arb Marlow Ropes is exhibiting at the Arb Show 2019 through stockists Buxtons and Forest and Arb. Marlow Ropes will be showcasing the everpopular Vega climbing line and its Draco lowering line, along with a selection of its popular arb accessories. Marlow’s arboriculture

Petzl Petzl is a favoured brand with many arborists and, as the company says, helps them “access the impossible”. Petzl specialises in kit for working at height and is in regular contact with professionals to ensure it creates the right solutions to meet their needs. There will be a range of exciting new products for 2019 to discover including the Vertex, Vertex Vent, Strato,


Pro Arb | Spring 2019

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centre and woodlands or at your premises and is offered to both individuals and organisations.

range is manufactured in the UK and used by arborists around the orld. t offers premium rope solutions for arborists and working-at-height professionals. Be sure to visit the stands and also share your ‘My Marlow’ story this summer on social media using the hashtag #equippedwithmarlow.

stand E14 Strato Vent helmets, all now available in hi-vis versions. There is also an extensive selection of accessories such as visors, nape protectors and nametag holders. Look out for the new I’D descenders for rope access, which have an auto-lock function, and the international versions of the Avao and Astro harnesses. In addition to, the Sequoia harnesses with accessories have been overhauled and there are

now two versions of the popular Zigzag and Zigzag Plus mechanical prusiks. The Chicane will also be on view to allow for single rope use and knee ascents. Safety is always a Petzl priority. There will be a new Jag Rescue Kit and another new launch, the Pixa X1 headlamp, which helps when working in hazardous areas.


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Timberwolf Timberwolf is showcasing its full range of petrol and diesel professional wood chippers on its stand. Taking centre stage ill be the black , a variable gradient tracked machine which launched at last year’s Arb Show. Featuring Timberwolf’s renowned 280 performance coupled with the impressive WolfTrack variable gradient tracking system, the

stand C01-C03, C16-C18 280TVGTR makes tackling di cult conditions easy ith the ability to move the tracks in and out, ad ust the height of the machine off the ground and navigate slopes up to . Also displayed will be Europe’s best selling sub kg, inch wood chipper series – the TW 230PAHB and TW 230DHB. Available in petrol and diesel models, these light eight machines are the wood chippers

Tipmaster Are you in the market for a new commercial vehicle? If so, ipmaster can supply an


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you can also discover all the facts on Stage V engine legislation.

stand E09 unrivalled range of arb tippers and chassis to suit your unique re uirements, so be sure to visit the stand to view a selection built for the arb industry. Tipmaster is a tipping body and conversions manufacturer, specialising in vehicles for arboriculture,

Tree Diagnostics Tree Diagnostics’ product range for advanced tree assessments is expanding. The company now offers tomography systems, sonic and electronic, tree static and tree pull test e uipment, through to the Dynaroot for dynamic testing. The sonic tomography system allows quick 3D scans to be created. Be sure to check out Tree iagnostics ne product, the Arborsonic Digital Caliper.

of choice for arborists, delivering unbeatable performance with no compromise on results. Visit the Timberwolf stand to see Timberwolf’s choice offers on selected road towable petrol and diesel wood chippers and

forestry, building trades, councils, grounds maintenance, tool and plant hire, utilities and aste management industries. It provides a range of quality tipping bodywork and hydraulics. It is able to supply vehicles with conversions on a national basis and specialises in bespoke conversions. Most of its arb tippers are manufactured in aluminium and it uses aluminium sheet, hich is fully elded,

giving the strength the body needs along with being as light as possible to ensure pay loads are the best they can be. ipmaster is able to fit hydraulic rams, and body styles and tool boxes are all made to customer specification. t also has many ancillary items available for arb tippers, along ith its own in-house painting and sign writing facility.

stand T33 This is used to take quick measurements for the Fakopp ArborSonic tomography system of the Arbor lectro, hich provides data measurements via Bluetooth. Clients can buy the smaller base unit and add on extensions. There will be one for visitors to try out. They can also find out more about bespoke training for tree surveyors which Tree Diagnostics provides.

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I have been researching and reporting on branch junctions in trees for over eight years, having completed a PhD on this topic. The major breakthrough in my research has been finding that ‘natural bracing’ is the primary cause of bark inclusions in a wide range of tree species. A natural brace is a branch or stem configuration set above a branch junction that restricts or prevents its movement. This finding is confirmed not only

Natural bracing –


by separate surveys of three large cohorts of trees, but also by creating new man-made bark inclusions by bracing young junctions of populus with horticultural wire. There are two key pieces of knowledge for arborists to take from this finding 1) In a young tree, if you prune the tree to prevent natural bracing occurring or remove any natural braces early, you can prevent the development of unwanted bark inclusions.

2) In a mature or largesized tree, do not prune out a natural brace if it is associated with a bark inclusion without first thinking it through. If you do cut out such a natural brace, you will be opening up dynamic movement to a weak branch junction that has probably not experienced such movement for more than a decade.

Bark inclusion

Natural brace


Pro Arb | Spring 2019


s ee e t his finding is revolutionising how arborists see both branch junctions and the management of tree form. It is also keeping me very busy delivering training around the world. Spotting natural bracing in trees is addictive, but you do have to remember a tree is a 3D object, so you often have to view the tree from several directions to confirm hether a natural brace is associated with a bark inclusion. In a Greater Manchester park, I found a semi-mature tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) with a weeping, seeping bark inclusion at its first unction. ie ed from one side, you ould not find any natural brace go to the other side of the tree, and the natural brace that caused the bark inclusion is very obvious. Given its importance in tree management and tree assessment, I am sure natural bracing will become a standard part of an arborist’s training sometime soon. We are already teaching about natural bracing in trees to all our students here at Myerscough.


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kno ledge of natural bracing is very valuable in being able to assess a tree s structural integrity and in making the right pruning decisions. his is hy intend to pass on this very important research to as many arborists as ill listen.

ark inclusion in lime Blast from the past hrough my efforts to record trees over time images, going back to trees and features of trees that took pictures of a decade or more ago, it has been possible to track the development of many branch unctions including those ith included bark. here are a considerable number of theories available to arborists as to the causes of bark inclusions in trees as ell as causes for their failure. ut, if you look into these theories ith discernment, you ill find that very fe are backed up ith any scientific ork most are ust speculation. ne common and damaging belief is that a bark included unction in a tree inevitably fails mechanically because there are strong internal gro th pressures generated hen the t o stems or branches press together and continue to press together year after year. f you believed this to be true for all bark inclusions, you ould have to remove a very large number of trees to keep members of the public safe from falling branches. ortunately, having done a lot of data collection on this topic, can confirm that the failure of a bark inclusion is not inevitable and that it is highly improbable



years later... that the failure of a bark included unction could be caused by internal gro th pressures, if it ever happens at all. Mostly, as the living inner bark tissues get occluded into the bark inclusion, they are essentially asphy iated and die off. his is a very different outcome than the old theory that these tissues are still gro ing strongly so strongly they can break apart a tree he images above sho the development of a bark included unction in a semi mature

Associated natural braces small leaved lime Tilia cordata over an year period. ote that the bark inclusion has persisted for such a long time in roughly the same form it has not bulged substantially nor split apart. hen took the initial picture of this inclusion, as una are of the relationship bet een bark inclusions and natural bracing, but years later as able to identify three natural braces associated ith it, e plaining hy it had formed and hy it persists. aving a good orking

Analysing axillary wood A key discovery in my research has come from analysing the ood that is formed in the centre of the oin bet een branches. A botanist ould say this ood is formed in the a il of the oin, so this ood is called a illary ood . A illary ood has very different properties from the surrounding ood formed in the stems and branches. t is typically much denser, e hibits a t isting and mi ed ood grain and sometimes circular ood grain is also visible. f you do your o n ood splitting by hand, you may ell have e perienced that trying to split the centre of a mature tree fork can be very di cult and sometimes the splitting maul ust



2 1

2 1

ulging bark inclusion in birch

years later...

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keeps bouncing off this tough ood. Chie y, this is because the ood grain has no primary direction in this location it s certainly not ust running up and do n the fork. A illary ood is tough stuff and it is the ood that provides the ma ority of bending, torsional and sheer strength to a tree fork. urthermore, a illary ood is a reaction ood and is only formed hen t o or more branches are free to move and s ay and so apply mechanical loads to the tree fork. here a bark inclusion is formed in a tree, this occurs most often because a natural brace or more than one has formed above that fork, greatly limiting the s aying of the branches, and so little or no a illary ood is formed ithin the fork. hen natural bracing is removed from a bark inclusion, this is hen the fork responds by bulging. hat happens is the s aying of the branches, released from their natural brace, stimulates the gro th of a illary ood either side of the bark inclusion. Watching a tree fork grow he images on page sho a bark included fork in silver birch Betula pendula oth . he first image left sho s a bright barked bulge at the base of the bark inclusion. he second image right sho s ho over years, the tree has added more a illary ood to this eakened unction. ote ho the fork has gro n in height over this period. he hite arro s on the stem indicate these changes. n my opinion, this effect is highly under reported in arboriculture te tbooks. Most discussions about ho trees gro their ood omit a


Pro Arb | Spring 2019


discussion about ho a tree fork increments up ards. have several time lapse images that sho this effect, but you can also ust cut a tree fork up and you ill find the annual rings ascending to the top of the fork from here the pith originally divided into t o piths. f you do that, the denser ood at the centre of that fork ill be a illary ood. Props cannot always be relied upon atural bracing is a common phenomenon that affects the structures of trees. have found it at every venue have been given to train arborists. o, that s over sites have used for training purposes and have al ays been able to sho multiple e amples of natural bracing in trees on each site good evidence that natural bracing is very common. atural propping is not something have researched, and

eaning beech tree

have found it to be much rarer than natural bracing, but it is very interesting and hope to study the effects of this at some point. or a natural prop to occur, one tree needs to come into contact and become reliant on the support of another tree stem, hich reaches do n to the ground. he image belo sho s a mature beech tree Fagus sylvatica . that has been leaning on the stem of a sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus . for many years. A tree s structure is strengthened through e ercise and in the , this mostly comes from the forces of gravity and dynamic movement in the ind. cientists call this process of trees ad usting to their loading thigmomorphogenesis or thigmo for short. esting on this sycamore stem for some time has resulted in a number of dire mechanical conse uences for this la y beech tree. he shape of its lo er stem

and the uality of the ood it ill have formed there ill not be strong enough to support the tree in a storm, if the propping sycamore is removed. imilarly, the anchoring root system of this naturally propped beech tree is also unlikely to have developed normally and ill be of inferior strength because it has not been e ercised . t is common sense, really. A tree is not going to develop strength if it has come to rely on support from another structure. nfortunately for this leaning beech tree, its natural prop has died uite some time ago and is beginning to decay. eaning on a friend so heavily it has resulted in its demise as this friend is eventually going to let the beech do n. hope to capture this failure hen that happens. Duncan Slater is senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College

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PDEISSEATSE the fungi & tch wa

Anthracnose canker on willow


nthracnose is a term applied to a group of foliar diseases hich affect many hardwood tree species, including London plane and willow. It is caused by the fungi Marssonina salicicola and Apiognomonia veneta. The diseases are most prevalent and destructive in early spring hen cool, moist weather conditions aid their development. Infection results in leaf and shoot blight, defoliation and twig dieback. Consecutive years of defoliation ill severely eaken trees, predisposing them to invasion by insect pests and secondary disease, causing organisms such as canker and root decay fungi. Symptoms oliar symptoms include irregular bro n to purplish lesions dead areas that usually develop along leaf veins. Alternately, discrete circular or angular lesions may occur on leaves and twigs (shown above, left). Lesions on the foliage often coalesce, resulting in distortion, blight, and defoliation. light and defoliation usually occur in early spring. Cro ns of severely diseased trees appear thin and scrubby sho n above,


Pro Arb | Spring 2019

Pest and disease - glynn percival.indd 36


Anthracnose of willow right). Often, the foliage is tufted on ends of branches, while the tree’s centre is defoliated. illo s and ondon planes defoliated by anthracnose usually produce a second set of leaves in late spring or summer – these new shoots may also be killed. Cankers can also form on twigs and small branches, resulting in distortion and dieback. Causal agents he pathogens causing these symptoms Marssonina salicicola and Apiognomonia veneta – overwinter in twig cankers and within specialised structures on diseased, fallen leaves. Coinciding with bud-break in the spring, massive numbers of spores are produced, disseminated by ind and rain splash onto susceptible plant tissue. Under cool, moist conditions, spores germinate and infect susceptible plant tissue. hortly after lesions develop, spores are produced on the diseased plant tissue. These spores then spread and cause new infections. Providing moist weather conditions prevail, summer spores are produced from the lesions, causing infections that occur in late spring and summer, after hich anthracnose may

continue to grow on the twigs during the autumn and in the spring prior to bud-break. Control Cultural practices include sanitation which eliminates sources of the overwintering fungi and will provide some degree of control. Diseased leaves should be collected and destroyed in autumn, and diseased t igs and branches should be pruned out and destroyed. Periodic pruning will allow optimum light and air penetrations of the crown, which will inhibit disease development by allo ing more rapid drying of plant tissue follo ing rain fall. Fertilisation will maintain tree vigour and help offset the detrimental effects of any premature defoliation from anthracnose. Research shows that high nitrogen soil amendments can help suppress anthracnose following infection. Chemical control, including synthetic fungicides registered for the control of willow and plane anthracnose, provide high degrees of control. Dr Glynn Percival is plant physiologist/technical support specialist at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory


17/04/2019 09:32






addington Road in Plymouth is similar to many other residential streets in the UK, comprising late-Victorian terraced housing. It was built by 1894 and its pavements planted on both sides with Tilia x europaea, also known as the common lime. Of the 38 original trees, 17 remain and they are maintained by Plymouth City Council, which involves regular pollarding and trimming of epicormic growths. There appear to be a variety of reasons for the tree removals. Those undertaken most recently were to maintain safety in the wake of advanced fungal decay. Further into the past, though, when the value of urban trees was less appreciated, it is believed the council may have felled trees in response to complaints about minor nuisances, such as honeydew drip. Whatever might have happened, today the council only fells trees when strictly necessary. The situation in Haddington Road has certainly occurred elsewhere in the UK, but there is a big dierence here, the residents wanted to do something about it.

to plant and care for trees, and asked for assistance with replacing the missing trees. As project co-ordinator, I contacted arborists Glendale Countryside, which had undertaken similar projects. In February 2018, the company carried out a survey to identify locations of services and other obstacles showing that replanting was feasible. Discussions with the council’s senior tree o cer and the high ays maintenance manager followed. It was recognised that the ground under tarmacked

pavements would be compacted and getting the new trees established would depend on their roots being able to follow the root runs of the decaying old ones. The approach had succeeded in other places and there seemed every reason to believe it would work in Haddington Road too. An alternative approach to excavate the pavements and install root-cell systems was also considered. This would be the preferred solution if the street were being built today as it would provide the best growing conditions

Getting the ball rolling In 2017, one of the residents approached Plymouth Tree Partnership, a local charity that works with resident and community groups


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and minimise the risk of future growth damaging hard surfaces. However, as a retrofit, it as agreed that it ould be too expensive and, after 125 years, the existing trees had not caused any significant problems. Species selection nce a provisional plan had been agreed, lymouth Tree Partnership invited all households and ard councillors to a meeting in May . his as to e plain hat as being proposed and a follo up uestionnaire as distributed soon afterwards. Most responses were positive but there were a fe ob ections too. n line ith lymouth ree artnership s purpose to ork ith people, nobody as made to have a replacement tree in front of their house if they did not want one. Tilia cordata ancho the small leaved lime as selected for the replacements

Raising funds unding for similar pro ects has been raised by inviting donations from residents. This time, it as planned to use the online platform Cro dfunder as lymouth City Council supports local cro dfunded pro ects ith its City Change Fund. In the event, it proved unnecessary as lymouth ree artnership as able to secure charitable grants, ith the largest coming from the smee airbairn

pits, hich took an angle grinder and a steady hand to make the 1200x800mm openings. n a fe places, the remains of old tree roots had to be cut out, hile soil conditioner and mycorrhi al compound ere added to get the trees off to a good start. nce planted, openings ere capped ith self binding aggregate, brushed thinly ne t to the stem, to leave a tidy finish that can be easily kept clear of eeds. he challenge no is to get the trees established and a small core of people in the road have committed to keeping them watered in summer. lymouth ree artnership s volunteer tree ardens ill remain available to advise and lead on obs like tree tie ad ustment and formative pruning. n a ider front, lymouth launched its lan for rees in March. his embraces collaborative working across sectors as the city seeks to deliver a vision here trees and oodlands are valued and cared for, and everyone ill have more opportunities to experience them. t means there ill be many more pro ects like addington oad to follo , and tree professionals and volunteers ill be kept busy.

the situation in haddington road has certainly occured elsewhere in the UK, but there is a big difference – here, the residents wanted to do something about it because of its upright growth pattern and general street friendliness, especially being less prone to aphid infestations. Also, it is smaller than Tilia x europaea at maturity. There is some hope that the smaller si ed trees may be manageable ithout pollarding in years to come.


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oundation, given to assist ith developing a more effective and e ual partnership bet een the community and voluntary, public and private sectors. Work begins A final lea et as distributed a eek before planting at the start of March to e plain hat the ork ould involve and to re uest that parking spaces be kept clear. otices ere displayed a fe days in advance and tra c cones ere put out the day before so that the lendale Countryside team could get straight on ith the ork after arrival on site. he main difference from most other standard tree plantings as the need to remove the tarmac surface over the old tree

Andrew Young is a chartered mechanical engineer and a volunteer tree warden who has been planting and tending to urban trees for over 25 years. He obtained a foundation degree in arboriculture at Myerscough College in 2008.


17/04/2019 08:50


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A matter of integrity


discipline – those involved in education and training – frequently reiterate.


he theme of this article – integrity in business – was triggered by a throwaway comment made recently to a client of mine by a third party. It harks back to the age-old snipe against a consultant in any discipline. Typical comments such as: “They would say that, wouldn’t they? You’re paying them.” Or as Groucho Marx said: “The secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you’ve got it made.” Arboriculture can be a double-edged sword as in most cases there is no right or wrong.


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Jonathan Hazell.indd 40

rovided the ustification is logical, reasonable and well-argued, a plausible case can be made for a wide range of courses of action. How far that veers into Marx Brothers’ territory is a moot point. I split commercial arboriculture into three broad areas – the contractor, the consultant and the custodian. But the glue that binds the professionally-minded in all three areas should be the desire to act as an advocate for the tree and as an ambassador for the arboricultural community as a whole. I would like to see this as something the fourth area of our

What was the brief? We all come across sloppy tree work, yet few of us are in the privileged and informed position to kno hat the specification or brief was that gave rise to the output. Recently a friend of mine referred to a photo I had taken of some savagely pruned trees on a roundabout – an image that I showed on screen at an RFS Conference back in 2010. I was asked: “If this is the answer, what was the question?” More recently, I saw a crew taking the tops out of some birch. The execution was woeful with

at a suitable growth point to leave a smooth, natural looking o to the limb with no stubs that may attract decay organisms. A further issue is the stream of posts on Facebook and Instagram that seek approval for work of a low technical standard. Despite this, it is impossible to raise the barriers to entry as the delivery of tree work is inadequately regulated and the buyer lacks understanding and so is happy to accept the solution offered. The fault can lie with the client. Quite often, a householder will want relief from shade or overhang, and a passer-by who just so happens to have a chainsaw in his boot will be only too willing to help. Few members of the general public

A further issue is the stream of posts on Facebook and Instagram that seek approval for work of a low technical standard no tra c management and the technical standard poor with stubs left. Even on a birch when reducing a limb, care must be taken to make the pruning wound

appreciate the pain an arborist feels when seeing poor quality tree work. Meanwhile, more knowledgeable clients who either voluntarily seek


10/04/2019 11:31


out a consultant to provide a solution, or are advised to do so, have a right to be aggrieved if the report that is produced is sloppy or poorly edited. Pressures with planning reports In my role as the tree consultant to two local planning authorities, I see many reports and am required to analyse and comment on them, often to make an unacceptable development acceptable. Frequently this will depend on the quality of the arboricultural input to the application. Poor input will result in the report being rejected or the application being refused. For one local planning authority, I made an error recently. The arboricultural narrative proposed one outcome for a tree adjacent to a development site – its retention – while the drawing in the appendix sho ed a different outcome its removal. I accepted the narrative and then had some hasty negotiations with the developer when the tree gang arrived to fell the tree in question. Mea culpa,

yes, but the confusing tree report did not help! Cookie cutter reports Other authors produce a more or less identical report for every client with only very slight differences. o me, that appears to be lazy. I acknowledge my own outputs tend to share three common and generic appendices, but I strive to tailor the narrative to make it case and site specific. suppose the authors I refer to are realistic enough to suppose that it is extremely unlikely that clients would compare their reports. There are also occasions where the custodian has acted inappropriately. I try hard to be pragmatic and observe the spirit of the regulatory framework while occasionally overlooking the precise wording. Because I wear a number of hats, I try to approach each role with an understanding of what the receiver of my product (be that a report to achieve an outcome or a response to a submission) might

want to know and am quite happy to be evidence-led. We all appreciate that at a microscopic level there is much that can be said without equivocation about trees and their likely behaviour, but that at a macroscopic level, it becomes much more di cult to predict an interaction, be that with nearby trees or structures, or the soil or the wind for example. We also know that BS 5837 is not predicated upon any science at all, but a collective

harm to retained trees is established. Considering all parties ome enlightened tree o cers accept this approach, others do not. I also try to accept that if consent for development is granted then some poor sap has to build whatever structure has been consented. To do that, access will be required to build safely and e ciently from the scaffolding, and depending upon the complexity of the build, that

Sometimes errors are made, not through malice, but simply through pressure of work or simple oversight experience of what feels right. So, when I write as a consultant on behalf of a client in support of a development proposal, I suggest that evidence of tree root presence in critical areas is sought before the need for control measures to prevent avoidable

scaffolding may be uite intrusive and so to achieve the consented outcome may need to be e ible over facilitation pruning. Sometimes errors are made – not through malice, but simply through pressure of work or a simple oversight. For example, a client was asked for an arboricultural method statement to discharge a condition, even though the consent that had been granted had identified the tree in question for removal prior to development. e ent n ns As ambassadors, we will all have a different vie and perspective, and no one view is wrong. But by the same token no one view can be right either, so whether you are the contractor, the consultant or the custodian, my advice must be: prepare to justify your opinion and act with integrity. Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant.


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Scourge of



n the past five years, more than m has been spent by the Woodland Trust on clearing up y tipping and littering from the s oods. Just last year, the bill was £200,000, and in 2018, there were 1,290 individual tipping and littering incidents recorded, 998 of these in nglish oods. e st en e s igures from sho the orst region for dumping mess in England was the north, here the charity recorded clean ups in total at a cost of over , . his as followed by central England with 255 incidents costing , , the south est ith incidents at , , and the south east ith incidents at , . he orst ood for clearing up mess in the UK was Livingston in Scotland, where almost £16,000 had to be spent on clean ups last year. Mean hile, one of the most severely affected oods in England for mess was the Smithills Estate in Bolton, where over £11,000 had to be spent t s be n e ome of the items dumped by y tippers and found by the Woodand Trust include: • fridge/freezers • carpets • bricks • baths • mattresses • oil drums • tents car shrine ith a sheep s head


Woodland Trust.indd 43

on clearing up what was mostly mess caused by y tipping. In addition, just over £8,000 was spent clearing up Hainault in London, and almost £6,000 at Windmill Hill near Runcorn in Cheshire. As in previous years, green tipping remains a serious issue. or e ample, the aforementioned oods in cotland s ivingston have been plagued by a deluge of commercial garden waste, such as grass clippings, hedge trimmings, eeds and leaves. Although many would think this is harmless, the additional nutrients carried by these plants throw delicate ora into a state of unbalance as plants become smothered and non native species, such as rhododendron, colonise the area. A waste of resources According to Darren Moorcroft, director of estate and woodland outreach for the Woodland Trust: “Reaching over a £1m spent in the last five years on clearing up mess in our oods is clearly not a milestone to celebrate. This money could have helped us plant many trees or protect woods that are in desperate need of help. ly tipping is an illegal activity. hile it is costly for the charity to take offenders through a legal process, it holds that right and has prosecuted in the past, which can lead to substantial fines.

Getting the message out The Woodland Trust has over 1,000 sites in its care, covering some 22,500ha, providing free access to everyone. ith over , supporters it is the s largest oodland conservation charity, championing native oods and trees. The charity has three key aims that run through all the ork they do. irstly, to plant native trees and woods to create resilient landscapes for people and ildlife. econdly, to protect ancient woodland which is rare, uni ue and irreplaceable. hirdly, they aim to restore damaged ancient oodland. ly tippers should not be damaging the core work of the Woodland Trust, and so it is important that awareness is raised about the current high levels of spending on cleaning up and dealing ith y tipping. The charity is also urging people who witness large scale illegal dumping to report it. hey recommend calling Crimestoppers on . An oo

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any employers will be aware of a worker’s entitlement to paid annual leave. However, fewer will be aware of an individual’s ability to take a period off ork hich is unpaid. here are in fact a variety of specific instances here individuals can take unpaid leave, some of hich are transcribed in la , hile others are do n entirely to the employer s discretion.

take time off to care for their child. his is available to parents ho have a child under and have at least one year s continuous service ith their current employer. ligible individuals are entitled to weeks of unpaid parental leave, limited to a maximum of four weeks per year under the default scheme for each child they have under the age limit. nlike time off for dependants, employers have a limited ability

It is important that the rules are made clear to employees to avoid any confusion on entitlement y fi st erhaps the best kno n form of unpaid leave is time off for dependants. his is transcribed in the mployment ights Act and entitles eligible employees to a reasonable amount of time off to care for a dependant, hich ill typically be a child, relative or other individual for hich an employee provides care. hat is considered reasonable is not defined in legislation. o ever, in reality, this is usually no more than t o orking days per instance and is designed to simply allo the employee the freedom to deal ith an emergency situation involving a dependant. ent ts Another form of unpaid leave protected by legislation is the right to parental leave, designed to give employees the ability to


BZ Unpaid Leave.indd 45

to postpone re uests for this leave to a more suitable time, providing there is a valid business reason. ss n te n s Although it is not a statutory re uirement, employers can choose to offer staff the opportunity to take a period of compassionate leave should they suffer a bereavement or e perience some other particularly distressing episode in their personal life. hile some employers do in fact choose to pay their staff during this time, others may refrain from this practice given that there is no legal re uirement for them to do so during this e tended period of leave. n s bb t Career breaks and sabbaticals are other

forms of unpaid leave hich can be made available to staff. his usually comprises of a single period of e tended leave but may comprise of short, fre uent periods of absence or regular time off. uch periods are typically used for study, travel, or voluntary work and are often recognised as a good ay to retain skilled staff ho may have other interests outside of ork, allo ing them to pursue these ithout needing to leave the organisation entirely. As there is no legal obligation to offer this leave, employers are free to create their o n conditions around things such as the length of the leave and any eligibility requirements. mployers may, of course, set other rules for unpaid leave in their organisation but it is important that the rules are made clear to employees to avoid any confusion on entitlement. As ork life balance continues to gro in importance for employees, employers ould be ise to consider ho their o n approach to this can be beneficial to the success of the organisation in the long term. Alan Price is Peninsula’s employment law director. aunched in , the company offers , employment la , ta and payroll advice, employee assistance programmes, and health and safety support and training.

Pro Arb | Spring 2019 45

10/04/2019 11:15




very business comes with its risks but the hazardous nature of tree surgery and relatively high rate of life-changing or fatal accidents makes it one of the riskiest professions. o, it is not di cult to see hy having the right cover in the arborist sector is vital. But what are the key considerations for arborists when planning insurance cover? e t es e fi s Firstly, the importance of having the correct and appropriate level of cover cannot be underestimated. Using potentially dangerous equipment at a height makes tree surgeons particularly vulnerable to serious injury and the last thing a policyholder needs after an incident is an insurer withdrawing cover because of policy exclusions. Policyholders should check if there any restrictions on what they can do or how they can do it, including if there are any height limits on the policy, if it excludes damage or injury within a certain distance from the tree or if it stipulates that work should be undertaken in a certain way.


Pro Arb | Spring 2019

BZ Insurance.indd 46

sub-contractors do not need employers’ liability cover. However, any subcontractors that work under the control, supervision, direction, or using the equipment of the company, would be deemed a temporary employee. Businesses could unwittingly leave themselves open to prosecution under health and safety legislation and be footing the bill if an incident took place. The cost of personal injury claims continues to rise so having the right level of cover is also a key consideration. We have seen claims settled in excess of £9m following a fall from a tree. Although larger claims from injury are well known within the industry, smaller claims should not be forgotten about. Third party property or loss of or damage to tools and equipment are more likely scenarios so policyholders should ensure they use a specialist with a good claims service. Seek expert advice Tree surgeons – experienced and new – should avoid going it alone and seek expert advice when it comes to insurance. For those starting out in the industry, insurance experts can help guide them on attaining their first policy, so that they fully understand the cover they are buying and why. Insurance specialists can also identify gaps in cover or unnecessary cover for those already established in the industry. For example, often there is an assumption that businesses which use labour-only

e t n s ety fi st Risk management should sit at the heart of an arborist’s business processes and this diligent approach should be shared by insurance specialists. For example, our health and safety consultant, who has experience of running his own arboricultural business, undertakes telephone audits and requests documentary evidence from clients to ensure there is wealth of evidence that proves risk assessments were carried out and health and safety practices adhered to. Proving compliance with health and safety regulations can help secure competitive discounts for clients – an even more compelling reason to be proactive about risk. For more information about Arbcover, call Stephen on 01483 489 291 or email stephen.


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t is elcome ne s to hear that the government is taking the issue of late payments seriously. maller firms in particular are less able to absorb cash o problems and e tracting payment on time can be e tremely challenging. very year in the , some , M s go out of business because they are not paid ithin their terms and Chancellor hilip ammond has recently announced that action ill be taken. here are plans to make large firms ho are slo to pay up publish details in their annual accounts. hey ill also need to appoint a non e ecutive director ho ill be responsible for reducing late payments to M suppliers. According to Mike Cherry, chairman of the ederation of mall usinesses mall businesses are sick and tired of being left out of pocket by some unscrupulous big businesses taking advantage of this imbalance in po er to improve their o n balance sheets or mask their o n financial failings. obody should ant to see small business o ners turning to personal credit cards or overdrafts because of late payments, or even orse for a business to go under as a result of not getting paid. n the government s plans, he says he end of late payments could finally be in sight. t can t come soon enough, to bolster small businesses at a time hen


BZ Late payments.indd 49

they are in great need of support and a lift in confidence. Cherry goes on to say that four out of five small businesses are paid late and mean hile AC ayment chemes, hich handle bank payment transactions, have reported the country s . million M s ere o ed about bn in total. According to Close rothers nvoice inance, there are a range of measures that firms can use to minimise the pain of late payments or even orse, failing to be paid at all: 1. Know your customers M s should run credit checks hich can be done online on ne customers to identify those that other businesses have found problematic. 2. Be clear about payment terms nclude your payment terms on every invoice you send and keep them consistent. Al ays outline terms verbally to ne customers. 3. Avoid cheques Ask customers to pay using cash, electronic transfer or direct debit so that there is no opportunity for payments to be re ected. 4. Invest in credit control Credit control staff should be consistently firm but polite, resilient and organised.

5. Make a courtesy call f you ve issued a customer ith a large invoice, call them up before payment is due to make sure it has been received and that there is no uery. 6. Start chasing right away on t delay in chasing a late payment it is best to start the process the day after the payment as due. he longer it is left, the further do n the ueue your invoice ill drop. 7. Claim interest here is a statutory right to claim interest on late payments at over the ank of ngland base rate. ou can also claim compensation for debt recovery costs. e e be n larger outstanding amounts, be prepared to offer e ible payment terms, such as regular instalments or by simply splitting a bill into t o manageable portions. n some circumstances this may be your best chance of payment. ns e n e fin n e nvoice finance enables money that is locked up in unpaid bills to be released and can help manage cash o despite late payments.

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Kspriitng 2019 52 > Meet the supplier – GreenMech

The Warwickshire-based and family-owned manufacturer is focused on quality and innovation

55 > MEWPs

Is it time to take your business to new heights?

56 > Spotlight on Timberwolf

his based business offers a ide choice and has a strong emphasis on service

58 > Stump grinder

When clients demand results, this is the power tool to create the perfect level finish

60 > Husqvarna

New chainsaws for the #newchainsawgeneration

63 > Tree pits

Guidance on town and city planting from specialists GreenBlue Urban

65 > Boots

Check out Arbortec’s popular Scafell Lite and a versatile range from Pfanner

66 > Product DNA

Makita’s cordless backpack pruning shears is a handy tool for arborists

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e h t t e e M supplier


ritish manufacturing is alive and well, and one of the best examples can be found right in the heart of England. GreenMech’s thriving wood chipper business has proven that if the product is a cut above the rest, there will be plenty of demand. reenMech s head uarters and o ces are outside the quiet Warwickshire market town of Alcester. But the peaceful surroundings belie the fact that it houses a factory that is a hive of industry, with people and machines hard at work producing wood chippers, from the initial design to delivery orld ide of the finished model. Early days The business was founded in 1993 by Tony Turner, a local engineer and entrepreneur. He had previously developed a range of agricultural machinery, but launched

52 Pro Arb | Spring 2019

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Chippers that

mean business


GreenMech to focus solely on his new range of woodchippers. GreenMech has since become the provider of choice with a range of arborist and landscaping firms, as ell as local authorities. n , the firm on he Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade, and in 2009 another Queen’s Award, this time for innovation for the SAFE-Trak system. This has become the preferred wood chipper where there is uneven terrain, particularly alongside railways. Tony is now 84, but is only partially retired and retains a close connection as GreenMech’s chairman. The company is run by his son Jonathan, while David Turner, Jonathan’s cousin, is operations director. The business also has companies in Germany and France, the latter run by Tony’s grandchildren, Guilhem and Emma Pages-Turner.

Today, the business employs around 110 people, based in Alcester; approximately two thirds are local and a third have come from a variety of countries to take on manufacturing roles. “We have an excellent workforce. but it can be challenging to recruit people with the right skills, hich is hy some of our staff come from abroad,” explains Jonathan. Production does literally start from the dra ing board. A team of five designers with mechanical engineering backgrounds provide the initial prototypes from drawings which are then tested and later built at the Alcester factory. The process begins with raw sheet metal which is cut using automated lasers and then each element from welding and pressing takes place on the production line until it is ready to be taken to the powder coating paint shop. Engines and wheels are bought in, and all the assembly is handled in-house. rom base materials, the finished chippers are finally polished and labelled ready to


17/04/2019 09:17


be despatched to their new customers. The majority of customers order models in GreenMech’s vibrant green, but but some customers opt for machines in their own corporate colours. GreenMech has gained a worldwide reputation and sells around 1,000 chippers annually, with about 300 of these sold to customers. n his o ce, sales director Martin Lucas has a map showing where GreenMech chippers have been sold. The geographic spread is impressive, ranging from across Europe to South America and even a tiny island in the outh acific. A cutting edge Martin explains that a key GreenMech selling point is its patented ‘disc-blade’ chipping system. In contrast to straight blades, the GreenMech disc-blades mounted on the y heel are circular and this means only a third of the cutting edge is in use at any one time. When this section becomes worn, the blade rotates to a new sharp edge and it remains considerably longer in use before it needs replacing. Focused on dealers GreenMech products are sold through a network of some 22 dealers covering the UK as well as global agents. Two in-house sales managers ensure dealers are well serviced in terms of product availability and training. According to onathan, dealers offer a personal


Meet the supplier.indd 53

and local service, which he believes is preferable to selling direct from their Alcester headquarters. Best sellers The product range is varied and there are models suited to arborists in many different settings. he most affordable and smallest chippers are the CS-100 gravity-feed models, which are well suited to landscape gardeners and arborists working in urban locations where access, such as through side gates, can be tight and these can be transported in the back of a van. Meanwhile, the Arborist 130 and 150 models are firm favourites and come ith disc blade technology, offering a choice of petrol or diesel engines. There is also the 200 model for undertaking the largest jobs. The ArbTrak range is the ideal tracked solution for those working in challenging locations and while substantial, these robust machines remain easy to use.

The QuadChip range makes roadside chipping effortless and also includes rak models – both feature a turntable and tilt feature, allowing chipping at any angle. Looking ahead GreenMech has secured a record for producing best of breed wood chippers, but Jonathan says the business never rests on its laurels. “We’ve always sought to produce machines that fit in ith our customers business needs. This has meant being aware of environmental legislation, reducing pollution and noise levels, re ecting on the fact there is higher demand for petrol machines as well as ensuring our wood chippers are as safe as possible. We also put a strong focus on high standards of service after delivery – this is vital to build loyal customer relationships.” He concludes that development is in the pipeline, good news for both UK manufacturing and the arborist community.

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* High quality arboriculture & chainsaw related training * Arb focused Level 3 Emergency First Aid at Work +F * Specialist utility arb training * Industry recognised qualifications * Training for both individuals and organisations * Tree surgeon fast track courses

t: 033 345 678 86






6”, 7.5” & 8” Tracked Chippers

6” Towed Chippers Stump Grinders - 28hp, 50hp & 75hp Tracked Access Platforms 14m, 15m, 19m & 20 Metres

Telephone: 0118 940 1740 Email: web:

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17/04/2019 14:12


You raise n o S U C O F ps mew

me up



he Arboricultural Association advises that a MEWP should always be considered when planning ork, pointing out that there are times hen climbing is simply too di cult or risky or when there are many trees to be worked on. There are plenty of arborists who will hire a MEWP – or cherry picker, as they are often called – but for those who want reliable equipment on hand, there is no substitute for owning.

Raise the bar with Niftylift

Simon Maher, marketing manager with Niftylift, says self-drive MEWPs are popular as they are compact, lightweight and ideal for multiple terrains. eatures include telescopic booms, y booms and platform rotation. here is a range of power options, including battery, petrol, diesel and bi-energy (battery and diesel). Simon highlights: “Our lifts can be towed to and from site. Hydraulically operated outriggers mean they can set-up and operate on uneven terrain. round surface on site ill rarely be at or level, if ever. Niftylift has safety as a priority. The use of sensors can stop operation immediately if necessary. “Niftylift’s multi-award-winning ‘sustained involuntary operation prevention system , or i , is available on all iftylifts. Also, Simon recommends new users undergoing IPAF training, which Niftylift can provide via a one-day course. “The machine’s design give the operator confidence in the kno ledge that their safety is paramount. imon says ith competitive finance packages available and a thriving second hand market, purchasers can be confident that their iftylift ill ork hard for them throughout its lifecycle and hold a good residual value. itted trackers are effective at ensuring the M stays ith its rightful o ner.

Hinowa’s versatile tracked booms

Hinowa’s Lightlift tracked booms are mounted on a compact crawler chassis, making them suitable for soft and uneven ground. With extremely low ground pressure, they are increasingly used for working at heights in sensitive areas such as a Site of Special cientific nterest . The booms are self-propelled, meaning the operator can drive them from the platform or by remote control. When combined with the rough terrain capabilities of the crawler chassis, they are ideal for picking a path through woodland. Once the work area is reached, the boom lift’s four stabiliser legs – outriggers – unfold at the touch of a button, stabilising the machine even on uneven or slightly sloping ground. Hinowa’s Lightlift MEWPs range in height from 13m to 33m. The articulated boom configuration is designed to provide up and over access, such as over fences. his also enables operation ush up against a all particularly useful in confined spaces. A is the e clusive dealer for ino a and offers comprehensive after sales support, including replacement parts, service and repair, and refurbishment or part-exchange of old machines. A also offers a ide range of pre o ned ino a access platforms.


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17/04/2019 09:21


Think wood chipper,



ith more than 30 years industry experience, Timberwolf is the UK’s leading manufacturer of professional wood chippers. Combining in-house design, a UK-based manufacturing facility and the industry’s strongest support network, Timberwolf really is more than a machine. he uffolk based company has the largest selection of wood chippers on the market, designing and manufacturing

56 Pro Arb | Spring 2019

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products for those working in arboriculture, ith a reputation for offering customers unrivalled product support and a complete choice of petrol and diesel wood chippers. To date, Timberwolf has manufactured more than 13,500 machines in their purpose-built facility, using the very best production and quality control techniques. Before they have even turned the key in their machine, Timberwolf customers

know they have the extra reassurance in the strength and support of the dealer network and Timberwolf-trained technicians. Guy Marshlain, sales and marketing director at Timberwolf, says: “We work hard to build strong relationships with our customers and dealers to ensure our products and services are at the cutting edge of our industry, offering po er, strength and support that no other manufacturer can.”


10/04/2019 11:38


Engineering excellence with end-to-end support Renowned for engineering excellence, Timberwolf manufactures Europe’s bestselling sub-750kg road-towable wood chipper, which has become the professional wood chipper of choice, due to unparalleled performance, with no compromise on quality, strength or power. Designed to combat all challenges faced by the modern-day arborist, the TW 230 is a lightweight powerful machine, delivering unbeatable performance and reliability with the option of either petrol (37HP Briggs & Stratton Vanguard V Twin) or diesel (35HP Kubota V1505) engines. These


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machines offer users a choice of products to best suit their business needs and the demands of the trade, delivering unbeatable performance, strength and reliability. Timberwolf owners also have access to the highest quality of service and support, with a network of 16 dealers, 38 depots and over 225 Timberwolf-trained technicians, ready to give support, help and advice. In addition, Timberwolf’s ‘All the Facts, #NoOmissions’ campaign brought clarity for the arboriculture industry, highlighting that pre-Stage V diesel wood chippers, including the popular TW 230DHB, can still be used, bought and traded in the same way they always have been with no restrictions.

The Timberwolf team At the heart of Timberwolf’s success is the dedication of the people behind the products. From R&D and design right the way through to service and support, the quality of the Timberwolf team has resulted in large growth in the UK and Europe, with sales increasing by 200% since 2013. “With our innovative R&D processes we continue to drive the highest levels of performance and quality within the industry to meet the developing needs of our customers,” says Timberwolf’s product marketing manager, Antony Alexander. “All our machines are designed and built at our facility in to market, uffolk, using the latest technology and processes, giving us unparalleled design innovation and product quality. “In the ever-evolving arboriculture industry, Timberwolf’s blend of constantly seeking to improve our machines with new technology combined with over 30 years of industry experience and heritage enables us to deliver the market-leading products of today, develop the next generation of exciting and innovative machines and reinforce our position as industry leaders.” For more information visit or follow @MyTimberwolf on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Pro Arb | Spring 2019 57

10/04/2019 11:38


n o S U C O F mp stu grinders

Profit from the



tump grinding can be lucrative, providing you price correctly. t also means offering customers a complete, e ible service. Making the right choice should prove an e cellent long term investment, since there can be a lack of choice and uality if hire shops have to be relied on. o, if you re ready to make the investment, these options could ell fit the bill.

Approved Hydraulics

Adam Hindle of Approved Hydraulics says ease and e ciency are core, and there is a trend to ards less manual labour via an attachment. here is a lot of interest in e cavator mounted stump grinders and Approved ydraulics have been

58 Pro Arb | Spring 2019

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supplying these units for some years no ith increased sales year on year. he t o models produced are the A for machines from . to and the A for machines from to . e points out that simply opting for the most po erful grinder is not al ays the right move. he bigger and more po erful the stump grinder, the bigger and more po erful the e cavator has to be to run it and ne users may not realise that the bigger the machine, the further a ay they ill be from the stump. ou don t ant to be using binoculars hile trying to grind a stump, after all you are typically only removing to . at a time. hile e cavator mounted units do not have the po er of a full engine driven unit, they come into their o n on the smaller machines. his is proven in our sales history, ith the A out selling the larger A unit. he smaller machine such as the . are also great for landscaping and maintenance ork at road sides. Adam adds that most picture an e cavator stump grinder ith the main tooth cutting heel in line ith the cab. his is ho it has traditionally been done. o ever, our models have the disk side

on to the cab, and not by mistake. y turning the disk onto the cab, not only does it provide great visibility of the ob, it ensures the cuttings ill not be ung to ards the cab but left or right of the cab and out of the operator s ay and visuals. hese, ho ever, are only by products of its main function of being to the cab. f the cutting heel is in line ith the cab, it usually means you have to use the machine s sle function to go back and forth across the stump. his turning action on the machines as never designed to be a orking function but merely a positions function before orking. his means this action on the machine can be a little umpy and sometimes a bit uick for a controlled feathering ob like stump grinding. y placing the cutting heel to the cab, it allo s the user to use the cro d ram to ick the unit back and forth across the stump in a much smoother controlled action.


17/04/2019 09:38


Predator Power

Predator has powered up its 38X (manual) and 38RX (radio controlled) stump grinder with a 38hp engine, which was previously 37hp. Head of sales, Simon Bradshaw, says: “We have just upgraded our most popular stump grinder with the new Kohler 38hp engine, making it a more refined, fuel e cient, and po erful machine. t s still the most compact, high performance stump grinder on the market, but with a more refined engine and has more po er.

The Toro Company

o erful yet simple to control, oro s tree care range goes from the manoeuvrable SGR-13 handlebar stump grinder to the advanced performance of the STX-38. Toro SGR-13 is the smallest, a compact and lightweight option that can access stumps in hard to reach, tight spaces. The innovative grinder teeth shear rather than shred for a smoother and more e cient stump cutting e perience. The STX-26 is the smaller of the Toro STX range of stump grinders. It utilises the same type of grinder teeth and has a Dingo TX-style control system with two easy to operate levers, as well as an armrest to reduce operator fatigue. With its Intelli-Sweep™ cutter head control feature, it automatically slows the sweep speed of the cutting head based on


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The 38X is popular with tree surgeons because of its size. It can be transported ith ease on a pick up truck and no offers enhanced power. The radio control option allows strong visibility as well as improved safety and position, as there is no need to stand behind the machine when grinding. he controller has a range of yards and

the frequency cannot be interfered with by other units – it shuts down if interference ever occurs. redator o er, founded in , is a leading supplier of tracked narrow-access machinery and specialises in designing and supplying rugged, reliable and compact kit.

the load of the wheel. With speeds e ceeding mph, the provides ample power and increased productivity with a light footprint. The STX-38 is the largest and most powerful of the stump grinders but is easy to operate through the STX-control system, which utilises two levers. Like the STX-26, it features a zero-turn steering system to offer control in the toughest conditions. The STX-38 has great traction and grip on slopes. With hydraulic cutting operation, there is no risk of belts breaking or slipping and no need for tension adjustments.

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17/04/2019 09:39


n o s u c o f aw s chains


t the start of 2019, Husqvarna took a number of arborists and journalists to Sweden for the unveiling of two new 50cc chainsaws. Its message was clear – the company is ready to take on any competition and, crucially, to brand itself as the model of choice for the next generation of arborists. The two chainsaws are the 550XP Mark II and the 545 Mark II. These are being marketed both traditionally, such as on large billboards, and via social media using the hashtag #newchainsawgeneration. Though Husqvarna is now in its 60th year of chainsaw development, the company is using every opportunity to

Anton Pettersson logging with 550XP Mark II

60 Pro Arb | Spring 2019

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Cutting longer,


stress it is forward-looking, and its new hashtag is epitomised by its use of four young professionals to demonstrate the chainsa s. inn Arvidsson, the first female World Champion at the World Logging Championships 2018, was joined by fellow Swedish professionals Anton Petersson, Olivia Eggen and Germany’s Martin Götz, who all put the new launches through their paces. This is a proud Swedish brand and the company manufactures its chainsaws in a highly e cient factory close to its headquarters, which dominates the town of Huskvarna. Quality control is an absolute priority and it produces some 6,500 chainsaws daily to exacting standards.

Linn Arvidsson and 550XP Mark II What’s new? Husqvarna says the two new chainsaws were redesigned from scratch, resulting in a new level of cutting capacity, manoeuvrability and endurance. They have many similarities, although the 545 Mark II is less powerful. Meanwhile, the company said it has conducted internal tests, which have shown that the 550 XP Mark II provides best-in-class cutting capacity when compared to the closest competitor in the 50cc segment. Key benefits There are a number of advances over Husqvarna’s previous 50cc chainsaws. This includes the cooling capacity, which is improved by 13% compared to the previous models. This has been achieved by three enhancements an optimised air o the addition of more cooling fins in critical areas that contribute to more effective cylinder head dissipation and an insulating heat


10/04/2019 11:24


At a glance: 550 XP Mark II/550 XP G Mark II LowVib® Air Injection® or ® AutoTune™ eated handles and carburettor only Mark ngine displacement . cm o er output . k Chain speed at peak po er . ms ecommended bar length cm eight . . kg e cluding cutting e uipment

us varna


shield which provides sealing against the cylinder area and minimises heat leakage. A ne mu er also keeps temperatures do n. here is also a ne air filter design, which comes from the combination of a new design with higher capacity and improved sealing and an upgrade of the air injection. They are equipped with a new optimised version of Auto une, us varna s ignition module software and carburettor calibration. eated handles are a further addition, as are t o felling sights, one vertical and one hori ontal, both of hich are moulded into the plastic for clear aiming and permanent guidance. The chainsaws come ith us varna s or technology,


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545 Mark II/545 G Mark II LowVib® Air Injection® or ® AutoTune™ Smart Start eated handles and carburettor only Mark ngine displacement . cm o er output . k Chain speed at peak po er . ms ecommended bar length cm eight . . kg e cluding cutting e uipment

improving fuel economy by up 20% and reducing exhaust emissions by up to 75%. Handling The chainsaws have been designed to be easy to handle, ith smaller gyroscopic forces and as little resistance as possible when moving the saw around during limbing. They are relatively lightweight meaning they should have plenty of appeal for climbers. The chainsaws are now available in the UK and stores from April 2019. Recommended prices start from £710. or more information, visit



ood stump

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10/04/2019 11:25

Access for Arborists APS 91x118mm_Layout 1 4/11/19 11:20 AM Page 1




t tT s a Plo it u Vis Show RB 07

Update your skills We offer a wide range of Arboriculture courses for those starting out in the industry or looking to update their skills - including short courses, full-time and part-time programmes and Apprenticeships. Aerial Tree Rigging Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting Chainsaw Refresher Day Chainsaw Use from a Rope and Harness Emergency First Aid at Work with Forestry Element

Fungi and the Management of Trees of All Ages Manually Fed Wood Chipper Operations Safe Use of Stump Grinders Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue Tree Felling


Tre for CeraSurgery 9 week ftsmen inten

Start earning NOW with Predator performance stump grinders.

course sive

Come and see us at the Arb Show!

WWW.PREDATOR-MFG.COM 01189 404 739

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Visit: or Email: Merrist Wood College Holly Lane Worplesdon Guildford GU3 3PE

17/04/2019 14:13



Tree pits


successful streetscape design or urban landscape project comes down to an understanding of the benefits that urban trees offer, and the importance of having mature tree populations in our cities. GreenBlue Urban’s Arborsystem brings together the key elements of successful tree pit design and simplifies the design and installation process for specifiers and installers. hrough the use of CA , it is possible to combine root management, structural soil components, aeration, irrigation. t simplifies choosing an appropriate above ground surface grille and vertical guard in a single package and suit the tree planting detail. or tree planting, species selection matters, so consider the mature size that you would like the trees to achieve and plan the tree pit layout to accommodate this gro th, in accordance with best practices. Soil structure Healthy tree growth is strongly in uenced by soil structure, as it affects the movement of air, ater, and other nutrients required for trees to mature.


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GREENBLUE URBAN’S ARBORSYSTEM MAKES A SEAMLESS PROCESS OF SPECIFYING AND INSTALLING TREE PITS, AS MARKETING MANAGER LOUISE PAGE EXPLAINS n a natural environment, a root system can extend to three times the radius of the tree canopy. The simplest way of calculating minimum required soil volume is to take the projected canopy area of the mature tree and multiply this by a depth of 0.6. The shape of this area can be configured to suit the site and you can establish a target soil volume per tree using GreenBlue Urban’s online soil volume calculator as a guide. aving installed the orld s first tree pit system using proprietary developed soil cells to provide uncompacted soil volume for root gro th underneath a paved surround, GreenBlue Urban became the pioneer for all future soil cell modules. Continuing care Without compromising or damaging the structural integrity of paved surfaces, urban trees need to be adequately provided for in their setting. This could include load-bearing soil cells to create structurally adequate soil systems that are also conducive to root growth. Mean hile, reen lue rban s oot pace is the third generation soil support system, designed for maximum soil and rooting volume. t is utility friendly , ith economic freight and industry-leading strength characteristics. To determine the si e of the tree pit re uired, their online configurator is free and simple to use.

Drainage mplementating sustainable drainage systems using detailed applications and design submissions is now a prerequisite of planning considerations. GreenBlue’s ArborFlow stormwater management solution has been developed as an environmentally robust means of managing surface ater run off. t is ideal for urban areas where space is at a premium. Anticipating the goals of any given project can entail many design elements. Consider what you would like to accomplish in these areas prior to design planning. GreenBlue’s technical advisers are always on hand to provide guidance, every step of the ay. ou can find out more at

ABOUT GreenBlue Urban was founded in 1992 to research and provide solutions to help trees establish in urban spaces. It is the UK’s market leader in specialist tree pit products and provides continued support from initial design to installation.

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17/04/2019 09:41

Plantoil ad 118x91 Sept'14_PROARB 25/09/2014 14:44 Page 1

Bartlett Tree Experts was founded in 1907 by Francis A. Bartlett, and is the world’s leading scientific tree and shrub care company. We pride ourselves on providing a quality tree service to help both residential and commercial customers maintain beautiful, healthy trees. Arborists / Crew Leaders / Plant Health Care Technicians We have opportunities for experienced Arborists for our offices in the UK and Dublin to work in teams undertaking a wide variety of tree work and plant healthcare services. For more information call Sarah Maddox on 07850 649443 or apply via the website at

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Go to the app store search ‘PRO ARB’ download the free app choose and download your issue

17/04/2019 14:15


As tough as

K I Tt s new boots boo



uality chainsaw boots pay dividends when it comes to protection and comfort. Although online offers convenience, there s still no substitute for trying before you buy and being guided by an e pert, particularly hen it s a ne brand. u tons managing director eale opley e plains that it s about the right boots for the ork. f you re orking in a cold, et environment, you need aterproof and insulating boots. f there s danger of slipping, look for a reliable sole. As for toe caps, steel ranks highest for protection, although they re heaviest and the least comfortable. Alloy toes should provide ade uate strength and are lighter, hile composite toe caps are lightest but provide less protection against impacts and compression yet are ideal for environments with electrical hazards and static electricity. rgonomic design is also the ay to go f you re constantly on your feet, you need increased ankle support, so look for a sturdy shank and a higher shaft. eale recommends fanner ilatus boots, commenting t s rare for boots to tick all the bo es for an arborist, but these do ust that. fanner claims the ilatus is the first boot designed specifically for arborists. They include features such as specially designed rivet eyelets that do not damage Pfanner Pilatus boots ropes when climbing and uni ue riveted uppers for durability. hey offer Class protection, metal toe caps, a aterproof lining, shock absorbing ibram soles, breathability and comfort. e is also a fan of the ne ly launched fanner ntis boots, designed for durability and performance. hey have ibram soles, ceramic coated Cordura upper and smooth ball bearing eyelets. The high rubber rand makes them easy to clean. is for the ilatus and for the ntis.


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Chainsaw boots – key facts

u tons eale advises checking the follo ing Chainsa safety boots need to meet the standard able to ithstand . tons laying on the toe territory and look for oil resistant soles penetration of at least resistant to static electricity and have an energy absorbing heel ater resistant uppers • outsoles resistant to water and penetration • rubber or polymer construction. oots are rated for one of three classes, depending on ho resistant they are against various chainsa speeds Class is capable of resisting a chainsa speed of m s, Class up to m s, and Class a ma imum speed of m s.

Spotlight on the Scafell Lite

Arbortec s upgraded cafell ite is one of the most popular on the market. he boots include a steel toe cap, roller ball lacing system and four density sole unite. They are packed with many features to ensure correct protection and comfort. t s aimed at those orking both on the ground and in trees, is aterproof, and has Class certification. Arbortec says he cafell ites are our best selling boots. the boots have been designed ith cut protection and anti perforation midsole to stop your pinkies from being punched. here are a lot of ha ards, you need protection. ome find the cafell ites uncomfortable to begin ith, but like all the best foot ear, once these have been broken in they are the most comfortable boots to be wearing. We provide a pair of technical socks with them. roper lacing is also vital, and e have put together a tutorial on this, available on our ou ube channel. ime and black is most popular, but the boots are available in six colour ays at a of .

Pro Arb | Spring 2019 65

17/04/2019 09:00





akita’s twin 18V LXT pruning shears, model DUP361ZN, has recently launched and are yet another example of the growing battery-powered professional tool armoury. The shears provide 36V of power and feature a two-stage blade opening adjustment, which varies according to the size of the branch. The blade can be interlocked with the trigger, providing smooth blade movement similar to that of a hand-pruner. They have a maximum cutting capacity of 33mm and a maximum blade opening of 54mm.

66 Pro Arb | Spring 2019




Early users of the new launch include workers at the 150-acre New Hall Vineyards in Essex, which needs to carry out spur pruning in the early months of the year to ensure optimal grape quality at the harvest. The backpack harness has an arm band and the cord holder prevents the connection cord from dangling around the operator’s body and potentially getting caught. It uses two Makita 18V lithium-ion batteries, housed in the water-resistant backpack harness that fits into the small of the back, supplying energy to the 36V DC motor drive. There is an electronic current

limiter for overload protection, a motor protection circuit and a twin LED battery fuel gauge positioned on the switch box. The run-time is around three working days and the full charge time using a Makita fast charger is 45 minutes. The model weighs in at 3.3kg and features low sound and low vibration levels. The body-only machine comes with oil supply, rench, diamond file and shear blade set and is packaged in a weatherproof tool bag. For more information on Makita products, visit:


10/04/2019 11:37


Memories column


of Madarcos


remote village situated about an hour north of Madrid and at an altitude of 1000m was the picturesque location for a partner meeting for VETcert. This is the pan-European project developing a certification scheme for those involved in veteran tree management. Representatives from the Ancient Tree Forum visited the small village of Madarcos in January, with the meeting focused on the trialling of the examination procedure for VETcert.

Fortunately for the landscape surrounding Madarcos, interest in this kind of tree management has been reignited through the conservation movement combined with a resurgence of interest in wood fuel. Tree management has recently been recommenced with trees being cut for the first time in several decades. Continued tree management is essential to ensure the longevity of this important landscape. Pasture woodlands or wood pasture provide an ecologically rich habitat and productive agricultural landscape – a win-win scenario.

Resurgence of wood fuel The attraction of Madarcos was the pasture woodland surrounding the village. Large numbers of ash pollards and oak candelabras pepper the fields that are grazed by local villagers. Like many places, this cultural landscape is under threat due to a cessation of tree management in this area. Wood, once a valued resource, fell out of common use with the popularisation of fossil fuels.

Tailored cuts At Madarcos, different tree species are cut differently, recognising the differing values of each species. The ash is cut as a pollard, a well-recognised form for most British arborists. They are cut in this way to produce wood for burning due to their natural oils. The oaks, however, have a somewhat strange form. Speaking to the local land managers, we were informed that cutting in this way develops an open


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structure that lets in the maximum amount of sunlight, encouraging the development of acorns. These are then fed to livestock as winter food. This management on oak trees is not commonplace in the UK, though. The rights to cut the trees for wood or fodder is retained by the village and allocation of trees to individual residents is decided by means of a lottery. The trees are numbered and each villager is able to draw numbers from a bag. Whichever tree they draw, they can cut and keep the wood from themselves. Some villagers are lucky winners. The ash trees, for example, have lots of regrowth near to the ground and are easy to cut. Others are not so lucky. The oaks are particularly fragile, with little growth at the end of long branches. The link these local people have with trees and their products is fascinating. This connection between people, trees and land management has been lost in modern times. Next time you’re cutting a pollard or worked tree, perhaps give a thought to how the land was once used, and how much things have changed. Jim Mullholland is training and technical officer for the Ancient Tree Forum. The ATF champions the biological, cultural and heritage value of Britain’s ancient and veteran trees and promotes best practice.

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