Pro Arb Spring 2020

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spring 2020 • Volume 7 • Issue 02









ith the UK in lockdown because of COVID-19, this is likely to be a difficult time for many arborists. Everyone is facing uncertainty; for those running small businesses and the self-employed, it is particularly challenging. One fact cannot be challenged, though – there is a great deal of professionalism and resilience within arboriculture, and should you find work is put on hold, there is no doubt that once this pandemic fades away, your services will once again be in demand. This commitment to excellence can be seen in our interview with

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 – Katrina Roy Subeditor – Sam Seaton ADVERTISING Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson Head of sales – Jessica McCabe


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Greg Packham on page 8. He is very much a rising star in the industry and someone who is inspirational in their determination to be the best. Once you’re back out on the road again, be sure to read the towing guide from Timberwolf on page 30. This has plenty of tips and could well act as a useful refresher. We would also like to thank our seasoned contributor Jonathan Hazell, who it was good to see at this year’s Pro Landscaper Business Awards. His piece on page 23 (which was quite unprompted) spells out the advantages of promoting your business via entering awards, and could perhaps encourage you to look at

Horticulture Careers – Ben Cumberland 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 2020 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained


working with other firms within the industry. At the time of going to press, the APF event is due to be going ahead in September. We certainly very much hope so; while these current days are focused largely on remote communication, then should all go well, this will be a standout celebratory occasion, bringing everyone together in person once more. Wishing you all the very best.

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 Hannah Armstrong at

Pro Arb | Spring 2020


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s t n e t con 0 2 0 2 g sprin

42 37 20 43

news & views 6 > N ews

Updates from around the arb world

8 > i nterview

Greg Packman – why London’s trees are in safe hands



15 > D r Duncan Slater’s Casebook

30 > T owing – do it right

18 > I n too deep

35 > H usqvarna – from Sweden with love

Over and out - the renowned academic describes some untimely demises

It’s a far too common problem with planting, says Dr Glynn Percival

20 > W hat3Words – what’s it all about? Discover the geocode app for finding locations

23 > A wards – you’ve got to be in it to win it

Jonathan Hazell explains why winning creates so many opportunities

25 > B usiness Zone – Vegan rights – where employers stand

Peninsula’s James Potts gives pointers to keep vegan staff on side

27 > B usiness zone – Happy Holidays

Advice on the rules surrounding time off from Croner’s Paul Holcroft

Experts from Timberwolf have produced this detailed guide for chippers on the move

Launch of two new chainsaws showcasing the best in battery technology

37 > B oots – best foot forward

Finding comfort and strength with Haix

38 > C ommercial vehicles – take your partner

Check out Mitsubishi’s L200 Series 6 – a pick-up with class

40 > M ewps – access all areas

Handy hints on how and what to hire

41 > F orst – meet the TT6 This new turntable model with low emissions is now available

42 > c hainsaw trousers

Outwear discusses quality PPE with Pfanner’s range of chainsaw trousers

43 > a ncient tree forum

The lovely Victoria’s Ash has captivated Tom Hamments



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AA MOVES ON MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT TRAINING The Arboricultural Association has revealed it is developing an AAapproved Mental Health training course which it hopes to launch this year. The course will be a followup to its Team Leader Skills course, which is aimed at supervisor level and focuses on emotional intelligence as well as communication skills. There is growing acceptance that men in particular – who make up the majority of the arborist community – would benefit from more support. According to the Mental Health Foundation, around one in eight men overall have a mental health problem, but they are more reluctant to seek help or disclose this. The figures from the Office of National Statistics for 2018 showed there were 6,507 suicides – sadly rising by 12%, and were said to largely be driven by more males taking their own lives. Males accounted for 4,903 deaths, compared to 1,604 for females.


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Taking action Some larger arboriculture firms in particular have introduced their own measures. Glendale, which provides tree management services, has introduced ‘Mental Health Awareness in the Workplace’ workshops for managers, covering communication and listening skills. It said this would enable them to have conversations with employees and to help remove any feeling of stigma. Glendale’s HR managers have also passed qualifications in mental health first aid, an accredited course designed to raise awareness and to support individuals. Sue McGrath, HR director, said: “It’s a growing issue and we’re working hard to create an approachable and trustworthy environment where any employee is not afraid to speak up about an issue, big or small. The workshops are our first major step towards achieving this, and by upskilling our HR team we’re able to provide greater support across our sites.”

Meanwhile, Tilhill Forestry is also focused on safeguarding its employees with a new initiative. This is designed to help workers who, like some arborists, may be feeling isolated and have considerable work uncertainty, such as if weather prevents them being employed. Tilhill is now offering a Mental Health First Aid

course, which runs over two days, covering aspects such as: • Understanding attitudes towards mental health • Suicide and how to talk about it • Better understanding of depression and anxiety • Delivering mental health first aid in a working environment

An insider view Pro Arb spoke to an arb sector insider who has knowledge on how mental health conditions impact those working in the sector. He commented: “This is an area that tends to attract young men who feel there is an element of ‘extreme sports’ about it. They may start off enjoying the work, but if they are self-employed, there can be considerable volatility. What’s more, I’ve seen quite a lot of recreational drug use, which in itself can lead to mental health issues. You then have cases where these young men decide to set up their own firms and bring on employees – this can be hugely

challenging, and they may not have much business training. It’s a time of having to learn how to manage people and customers as well as the pressures of winning business, handling balance sheets and dealing with things that go wrong. They need to buy equipment, and this is expensive; soon debts can mount up. All these factors may be coupled with family issues, so no wonder they are stressed. I can only welcome any training and support that is offered and the fact there seems to be greater recognition of problems that for too long have received insufficient attention.”


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New Zealand’s Hansa Chippers are being made available for the first time in the UK, through a distribution deal with Nottinghambased Henton & Chattell. The brand, which was established in the 80s, designs and manufactures brush chipping and shredding equipment. Hansa is a family-run business, which

APF show to go ahead As the UK battles the COVID-19 pandemic, and with many events being cancelled, the APF has announced it is planning to go ahead with its major show in September. A statement from the organisers said it was “full steam ahead” and that its assessment was that “current restrictions and recommendations will have been lifted before” it takes place. APF is due to be held over three days on 24-26 September at the Ragley Estate, Alcester, Warwickshire.

targets professional arborists and uses 3D design, CNC machining, folding and laser cutting within its manufacturing production process to provide durability, efficiency and a solid build. Peter Chaloner, managing director of Henton & Chattell, said: “Hansa products absolutely fit the bill. We believe there is nothing else on the UK market that is this powerful and efficient, and the feedback we gained when we have introduced and demonstrated them to dealers backs that up”.

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RARE TREE TO ONCE AGAIN ENHANCE MANCHESTER A native tree – the native black or Manchester poplar – is being planted in each of the 10 boroughs of the city as part of an initiative by City of Trees and Chester Zoo. Some 80 trees will be planted and 25 of these were grown from seedlings by Chester Zoo. Locations include Cutacre Country Park in Bolton, Boz Park in Bury and Bickershaw in Wigan.

City of Trees is a charity that aims to enhance the local environment and plans to plant a tree for every person living in the city region within a generation. In a statement, the charity said that as the first industrial city in the world, Manchester’s tree stock had been badly affected by pollution. However, the native black poplar was one of the few that had survived.

Andy Long, woodlands officer at City of Trees says: “This most Mancunian of trees is now a rare sight. In 2000, a virulent disease hit the Manchester poplar, and many died out. But with its roots firmly in the city’s history at the heart of the industrial revolution, these trees need to be celebrated and their heritage revealed. We’re thrilled to be bringing them back.”

Thieves raid Wokingham arb firm Thieves have targeted an arborist firm in Wokingham, Berkshire, stealing valuable equipment from Oakland Tree Services. The criminals broke through two main gates, two shipping containers and a van to take a range of chainsaws, hedge cutters, pole pruners, blowers, a stump grinder, climbing harnesses, ropes, and more. The thieves overturned three CCTV cameras and cut wires on a fourth. Police said other incidents involving machinery thefts have also occurred – they are warning businesses to do all they can to deter crime. Dee Vickers heads west to Kingston Maurward Dee Vickers, one of Pro Arb’s most respected contributors, has taken up a new role as head of apprenticeships for Kingston Maurward College in Dorset, moving on from Berkshire College of Agriculture. At BCA, Dee developed and delivered the new arboriculture apprenticeship provision, with her role expanding to encompass management of all land-based apprenticeships.


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Caring for the



here are more than eight million trees in London, and without them, the capital would be a much poorer place. Greg Packman is committed to ensuring that as many as possible remain in good health and continue to enhance metropolitan life. He is currently senior tree officer at the London Borough of Islington, though Greg’s knowledge and expertise are in demand far outside of his day job – he has numerous speaking engagements, both in the UK and across Europe, and much of this has been on his work with London plane trees and dealing with the fungal condition, Massaria disease. As Greg’s career has progressed, there have been increasing opportunities for him to pass on his knowledge as an expert speaker. He is a member of the London Tree Officers Association’s executive committee and chairs two working groups, as well as chairing the

still fairly new in the industry, but although I’m not academic, I wanted to go for this level of qualification due to the knowledge I would gain and the transferable skills.” Looking back, Greg questions whether he would have gained more had he taken the degree later in his career, but overall says it was a valuable experience.

Council – in part to break away from the Xbox and to work outdoors. He found the work with trees particularly satisfying and decided this seemed to offer

there have been increasing opportunities for him to pass on his knowledge as an expert speaker London Ancient Tree Forum group, leading a number of guided tree walks and speaking at a variety of seminars and conferences. Early days Greg knew he wanted to work with trees from the age of 19. He’d been volunteering in countryside and woodland management at The Harrold-Odell Country Park, the large park and nature reserve owned by Bedford Borough


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a better career route, rather than becoming a park ranger, which he’d also considered. But, he adds that without volunteering, trees would probably not have been a consideration, since school “was focused on university and white collar jobs and tree work was never raised as a viable career”. Greg took a degree course in arboriculture at Moulton College in Northamptonshire. He says: “The degree course in arboriculture was

Going it alone When he finished his degree, Greg took the somewhat unusual step of setting up his own tree surgery business. “The decision to go self-employed so early in my career came about after the recession, as few employers were willing to take someone on with little experience. The only option I had was to set up my own business, initially in gardening and arb, to gain the experience I needed to progress. I would sub-contract to larger companies, working on the ground and as a climber so I could get experience. I would use the money earned from gardening jobs to purchase equipment and training. “One lesson I learned is that I’m not wellsuited to self-employment. I have no desires to go back there any time soon, but it taught me a lot that I’ve taken into my later career.” Through gaining practical experience, he realised in his early 20s that he wanted to focus on the tree management side of the industry, either as a consultant or tree officer. “Given where I was at the start of my career, as well as the age I was at, I felt that it was important to gain the experience of


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practical tree surgery before moving into tree management. I finally made the switch because the right opportunity came at the right time, but it was always my career goal to do so.” Plane talking In 2015, a role came up as an arboricultural officer with The Royal Parks, which Greg felt was the right move. “I loved my time at The Royal Parks, even though I left and enjoy my new job, it will always probably be one of the best jobs I ever have. I see the work I did at the parks as taking me from an unpolished amateur into a professional arborist, and I was able to develop my knowledge and tree management skills. I was also able to focus on community engagement and developed a tree walk programme, which helped me a lot with presentations and public speaking. It also opened doors for me to work with organisations such as the Forestry Commission, London Tree Officers Association and the Ancient Tree Forum.” One of his key responsibilities was to manage Massaria disease on plane trees. The condition causes legions on the upper surfaces of branches and increases the propensity of these to fracture, something that can be particularly hazardous in urban areas. The disease is caused by the fungus Splanchnonema platani, formerly called Massaria platani – this latter name has stuck. “Working in The Royal Parks with Massaria has given me an unparalleled experience into the management, identification and development of the fungus having undertaken at least 50,000 ground-based inspections. In October 2017, I also delivered a presentation at the National Tree Officers Conference on the topic, which has been repeated in seminars for the London and also Municipal Tree Officers Associations, as well as at the Forestry Commission. “During the Massaria ‘off-season’ between October to March, I was involved with the general inspections and risk management of trees within the parks, creating and checking work orders, working with contractors, and I was involved with trees around events and construction projects.” His impressive work with trees led to Greg being listed as one of Pro Landscaper


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magazine’s 30 Under 30: The Next Generation in 2018. Moving on After nearly four years with The Royal Parks, Greg moved to his present role for the local authority in Islington. “Massaria remains a focus, but less intensely than at The Royal Parks. It has pretty much been much my life over the last five years, so I feel like I have a vested interest in it and am in the process of updating the guidance document and creating an inspection methodology.” More broadly, he says tree health overall is an interest. “I find tree biology fascinating; all the factors that can impact tree health and how this can be managed is a big focus of my career. Massaria itself cannot be controlled but the healthier a plane tree is, the less it will be impacted by the fungus.” His reason for moving jobs was for career progression. He says: “As much as I enjoyed working for The Royal Parks, Islington offered a different type of career progression that I felt was right for me. Given where I was at the time, I also felt that it was important to open the role up to someone else who could move it forward. I moved to a senior role at Islington where I have much more responsibility and a different challenge. I mainly see myself as an urban arborist and the role of trees in cities is fascinating, particularly in making our cities more liveable.”

of the concerns for the future include a topheavy population in terms of age, dependence on too few species, ever warming city temperatures and increased demand for development. The drought that the summers of 2018 and 2019 had left a negative effect on many urban trees, so if these summer droughts continue, we may lose more trees at a faster rate. The pressure for more housing and infrastructure often comes at the expense of existing or potential trees.” On top of all this is the impact of spending cuts. “It’s no secret that budget cuts in local authorities had a big impact on tree management. This has seen a reduction of qualified and experienced tree officers and too few resources to manage the trees. A continual decline of staffing increased burdens on

Challenges ahead Greg says London has a “brilliant” tree stock, whether in its parks, streets or gardens, but points out that “some

Pro Arb | Spring 2020


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remaining staff, and meant less time to focus on the proactive management of trees. A lack of funding to manage the trees has meant that contractors are paid very little and struggle to retain staff.” Volunteer action One consequence is a greater need for volunteers. “I will always be an advocate of working with volunteers and community groups, but this should always be done through the tree managers. If there are ways for volunteers to be involved, then it builds relations and engagement between the public and tree officers in a positive way. This could be through consultation, tree warden schemes or tree forums.” He adds that projects such as Observatree, which trains volunteers to spot and report tree pests and diseases, is also positive and “builds on a volunteer’s knowledge so that they are able to report in findings on trees that can help with management.” Greg himself continues to volunteer: “When I left The Royal Parks, I signed up as a volunteer and agreed with the education department to continue the tree walks I’d been leading. I’d put a lot of work into these and I didn’t want to walk away from them. They had proven popular with the public and consistently got great feedback. I particularly enjoy the walk on the folklore and mythology of trees, which takes place in Kensington Gardens, my favourite location.”


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When possible, he also presents to community groups on trees in London. “This is something I enjoy very much. It’s important to ‘pay back’ by helping to give opportunities to others. I also believe in continuous education and the need to keep my knowledge as up to date as possible so I can deliver the best possible tree management that I can. The worst thing I could do is to rely on outdated practices that may harm the tree.”

finding a good photograph as well as lighting and shot composition. I bought myself a good camera and editing software and I find the whole process therapeutic, from going out with my camera, finding the shots, and editing the photos. It’s nice to put it on a platform such as Instagram with a good story attached and share them with others. “For the moment I see it only as a hobby, but one that I would like to get more involved in.”

i particularly enjoy the walk on the folklore and mythology of trees, which takes place in Kensington Gardens, my favourite location He also develops his knowledge via the Ancient Tree Forum, saying it has been hugely beneficial. “It’s still somewhat of a niche subject, so there isn’t always a lot of scope to learn about it by other means. The great thing with the forum is that it’s multi-disciplinary, so it covers many aspects like ecology, landscape history, planning policy, and many others.” Mixing business with pleasure Greg admits he works long hours and that “the boundary between trees and the rest of my life is pretty non-existent.” One hobby, though, is photography and this can be seen via his Instagram account, which has some superb images of nature and wildlife. “It’s more by luck than judgement, but without realising, I managed to develop a bit of a knack for

Looking ahead His immediate ambition is to achieve chartered status with the Institute of Chartered Foresters, as well as to continue and build on his community engagement work. “I want to complete the work I have started with Massaria as well as have a couple of journal papers published. Ultimately, though, my dream job – if the opportunity were to arise – would be to go back to The Royal Parks as arboricultural manager. It’s such a special place to me, I’ll always want to go back, but that is quite a way off in the future.” Greg’s career is blossoming, and his skills are needed more than ever. London’s millions of residents and visitors will continue to benefit as the city’s trees are cared for by someone with knowledge, commitment and passion.


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

15 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook When a tree’s life ends, there are lessons to be learned

18 > In at the deep end

Dr Glynn Percival explains why planting must be at the right level

20 > What3Words – location, location, location

It’s the smart geocode app that is taking off in the arb sector

23 > Time to get that winning feeling?

Winning an award can bring lasting business benefits, says Jonathan Hazell

25 > business zone – Veganism at work

Be sure there is fair treatment for vegan staff, advises Peninsula’s James Potts

27 > business zone – Help for the holidays The right pay and other rules, explained by Croner’s Paul Holcroft


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Two veteran ash 2013


Time to say



eople don’t like to talk about death – and that’s more than understandable. The death of a friend or relative is a deep loss; your own death can seem like it will involve the loss of everything you know. However, in my view it’s healthier to discuss death on a regular basis, so as to normalise it and not be so traumatised by it. Death is part of life and it is all around us. For this casebook entry, I’ve chosen a few examples of my ‘trees over time’ images that



illustrate different aspects of the theme of death. When it comes to trees, I have a lot of images to choose from on this theme and many show the space left when a tree is cut down. Perhaps you could argue that the chainsaw is a merciful and humane way to take the life of a sickly tree being quick and relatively painless. I’m not so sure as trees seem to have an innate desire to continue to live, whatever their adverse circumstances; they are some of the real ‘triers’ in life.

The view today An unspeakable loss The death or removal of a tree may have few consequences or many. What the tree is, its age, size and setting are all key factors in whether we come to miss the tree as a feature of the landscape. I do a lot of thinning and coppicing of woodland; I don’t regret all the ‘tree killing’ these processes involve as, overall, it brings more life to the woodland. At the other end of the spectrum is the loss of very prominent veteran trees that were part of the countryside for centuries and, of course, they will be missed. The image shows the major visual impact that two veteran ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior L.) had on the road to Caton, Lancashire; particularly as they have now been removed, so one can contrast the two views of the landscape. Both trees had hollow stems, which I suspect was the reason for their removal. Having looked at them myself about five years

before, I could see nothing in their structure that justified their removal and the risks they represented to person or property was low, as they were established quite a distance from the road. What they were, really, was a great (and rare) habitat, which has now been destroyed. In the last decade, both my parents have died. There are no words that can convey such a loss: I find you come to different realisations about the lives and deaths of close relations – a long interlinked set of epiphanies and memories, if you like. In a similar way, I don’t really need to express in words what this image shows as to what the landscape has lost by the felling of these two ashes. This image can only impact upon you in a way that is meaningful to you: and, if you look at it again on a different day, other thoughts will probably be prompted.

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The rise of dread diseases One cause of tree death is disease. However, it’s rarely as straightforward that a tree gets a disease and then dies. Many disease agents have co-evolved with their hosts, being reliant upon the trees for their own lives and so tend to stay at the sub-lethal level. A tree has many tactics to resist the average pathogen, generating tiers of defences at the chemical, cellular and growth unit level. It’s more common for a tree with underlying stresses to succumb to disease, as its resources for defence are diminished. There are two major factors to add to that brief account. Firstly, we repeatedly keep releasing – through global trade and movement of both plants and growing media – novel diseases onto trees that have not coevolved with them. The results of these are often devastating. Secondly, some trees are planted

outside of their biome. If they are moved to a new country without their associated pests and diseases, such ‘transplants’ may grow well for many decades. However, if the pests and diseases eventually do arrive, the stresses of growing outside of their biome become evident and the microbes shout “Gotcha!” As an example of a wrong biome, the North West of England does not have a climate that suits

the growth of almond trees. When it is too damp, the disease that tends to have the most impact is peach leaf curl (Taphrina deformans), which can cause severe and repeated defoliation. This slow, cruel and lingering death by disease can be seen in the image with an almond grown as a street tree in Cheshire. Recently, needle diseases of cedar have come into Lancashire (esp. Sirococcus tsugae). The

biome of cedar trees is dry and hot, with Cedrus species coming mostly from Turkey and the Middle East. Diseases are often part of what set the latitudinal limits on where a tree species can grow, becoming much more frequently lethal when the tree does not fit the biome or location it is planted within. Many cedars have died locally; now these diseases have caught up with these transplanted - and arguably misplaced - trees.

Killed by design All life involves the use of resources that others could be using and most life relies on the death of others, directly or indirectly. So, it shouldn’t

be a surprise that trees kill off other plants through their competitiveness and their own chemical exudates i.e. allelopathy. It is important knowledge for

garden designers, landscape architects and urban foresters so they can plan for co-compatibility in their planting designs. Having visited many botanical gardens, there is a tendency for some arboreta to become ‘stuffed full’ with tree specimens with insufficient thought as to the space they require to mature. It’s understandable, this ‘chocolate box effect’. When you are setting up a collection of trees, you’ll start picking the ones you want. It gets hard to resist having one more, then another. Soon, there

isn’t the space to display these lovely, rare trees as they should be; this is a failure in design and leads to the loss of some trees because of the shade of others. This can be seen in the image. Here, in a well-managed tree collection in a public park, this specimen of silver weeping pear (Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’) was established too close to two larger-growing shade trees: a Père David’s maple (Acer davidii) and a handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata). As a tree that needs direct light to its foliage, this silver pear was destined to die. For small-growing ornamental trees that are not shade tolerant, a very generous allowance of space should be given, if you want their full effect and good longevity.

May 2007


Pro Arb | Spring 2020


Almond (Prunus dulcis) with peach leaf curl

October 2016

Twelve years later...


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Making way for new life Arboricultural practice has come on such a long way from when I entered it in the 1980s. As well as the admirable development of better safety for arborists through instruction, legislation, equipment and PPE, we have improved by incorporating actions of wildlife conservation into our work. A tree’s structure is built mostly from photosynthates with some additions of minerals. In other words, a tree can be considered as a large ‘candy stick’ – only that this ‘candy’ is somewhat tainted by bitter and distasteful chemicals and salts. And, if you were to try to eat it, it would be

Dead copper beech tree by riverside

Four years later...



hard to chew and very fibrous! Nature has developed many organisms that can, however, gain the carbohydrates back from eating the bark and wood of a tree – so a dead or dying tree rapidly becomes a succession of ‘feasts’ for a large series of xylophagous (wood-liking) species. The image shows the slow disintegration of the branch work of a dead copper beech tree (Fagus sylvatica ‘Purpurea’). Smaller twigs and branches have been lost first, as they have become brittle from white rot fungi that quickly degraded their strength. At the base of the trunk of the tree, four different macro-fungi are evident, namely smokey bracket (Bjerkeranda adusta), southern bracket (Ganoderma australe), brittle cinder (Kretzschmaria deusta) and oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus). There are bore holes into the tree in various places and snails are living under the detaching bark. It’s also a popular perching point for local birds. Despite arboriculture’s greater recognition of the value of deadwood, there is still, in my experience, far too much of a ‘tidying up’ approach to the management of trees like this one. We need to spend more time with the cuttingedge conservationists who are pushing the ‘re-wilding’ agenda: Nature needs more wilderness to come back in our landscapes – and each dead tree is, ironically, an opportunity for much new life.

A sucker born every minute Over the last century, our improving living conditions and more sciencebased medical care mean humans in the UK only have an avergae life expectancy of 8688 years. Although some tree species

Robinia ‘Pink Cascade’

also share with us a finite lifespan – the lifespan of a typical pine tree being quite predictable – others have the innate ability to live forever. Ten years later... How do they come to be immortal? The image shows a pinkFirst, it is good to lay down flowering variety of Robinia many dormant buds in your that, when only a young tree of woody structure, if you are about four metres in height, died planning your own resurrection. back due to a bleeding canker This means that when the main that formed at the base of its stem of an elm or sweet chestnut stem. This tree was situated collapses, new life can come back in the ornamental gardens at via the growth of basal shoots. Myerscough, so the dead tree We once scheduled the removal was cleared away. My revisit of a mature common lime tree, shows, though, that this tree is ground out its stump, and it still far from dead; it has produced grew back. We ground it out about thirty suckers that are further and applied a stump killer thriving - and I’m not sure how but basal shoots still proliferated; many have been cut down by this was a lime tree that didn’t the sit-on mower too!. Some want to die. trees are so capable of this type Second, the more reliable of ‘resurrection’ that they can mechanism for tree renewal, is to actually become quite a nuisance have a system of regeneration of in the wrong setting. shoots not limited to your stump’s base but from all your root Dr Duncan Slater is a senior system. Suckering, the process lecturer in arboriculture at of producing new upright shoots Myerscough College. He is from a woody root system, allows a current candidate for an MSc a tree or shrub to grow on an in Environmental Planning, area of land potentially indefinitely, furthering his education in forestry, unless there are adverse changes philosophy, arboriculture and plant in the growing environment. biomechanics to include ecology

Pro Arb | Spring 2020 17

26/03/2020 10:44


PDEISSEATSE In too & wat c h

Air-Spading To Alleviate Deep Planting


t is now widely recognised that deep planting has long-term detrimental effects on tree health, survival and longevity. Despite this hundreds of thousands of trees are still planted too deep on an annual basis within the UK, even though tree planting



environments, which eventually result in stem tissue necrosis resulting in root starvation, leaves yellowing, premature leaf drop, crown dieback and reduced water and nutrient uptake. It is vital that the roots closest to the surface are able to take in air, use the carbon dioxide and make oxygen. Since tree roots grow horizontally, respiration will then occur naturally. Trees with buried root collars are also more susceptible to pest and diseases. Likewise, secondary invaders such as cankers and insect borer beetles can often invade trees stressed by root collar problems. A further issue is that girdling roots are more likely to develop when a tree has a buried root

hundreds of thousands of trees are still planted too deep on an annual basis within the uk guidelines (British Standards, International Society of Arboriculture, Royal Horticultural Society) all state that the root flare should be clearly visible at the time of planting. Trees have roots that grow horizontally, and around 80% of the tree’s roots are in the top 60cm of the soil. Trees with buried root collars have soil moisture constantly against the stem/tree trunk. The tissue is not designed to resist constant soil moisture and low oxygen


Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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collar. These may cut into the stem or buttress roots resulting in restricted transport of water and nutrients to the canopy and movement of hormones to the roots. Tackling the problem Root collar excavation is a process whereby soil is permanently removed from around the root collar to a depth of where the main structural roots originate. This allows the bark in these areas to dry, reducing disease

infection and making the tree less susceptible to certain pests. Root collar excavation is typically achieved with an air-spade linked to a compressor. It should be noted that if girdling roots are encountered during root collar excavations these should be severed at both ends. Similarly, fibrous roots above the buttress roots should also be removed. However you should avoid cutting tree roots as this may jeopardise its stability. Once root collar excavation has been completed, a number of aftercare procedures should be carried out as follows: • Mulch using woodchip to a depth of 5-10cm. The root flare and buttress roots should not be covered. • During dry periods irrigation should be applied, most trees require 2.5 cm of soil saturation per week during the growing season. Irrigation should never be applied directly onto the stem or root flare. • There should be application of appropriate fertilisers/pH amendments based on results of a soil analysis. When there is extensive tree planting, there can be a temptation to get the job done quickly. However, when trees are planted too deep, experience has shown this to be a primary cause of disease and death and so it is always worth ensuring that advice on the right depth is taken order to ensure they thrive. Dr Glynn Percival is a plant physiologist/ technical support specialist at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory


26/03/2020 10:10


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The power of three WHAT3WORDS IS A GEOCODE SYSTEM AVAILABLE VIA AN APP AND CAN PROVIDE THE EASIEST WAY TO FIND OUT WHERE YOU NEED TO BE AS WELL AS IMPROVING SAFETY, AS FRANCINE CARREL EXPLAINS Example – Land’s End w3w: ///screen.offshore.underline Lat/long: 50.069629, -5.7187290 OS Grid Ref: SW 33996 25461 Google Plus: 379J+VG Sennen Cove, Penzance


The app can pinpoint work sites

any arborists are really good at scribbling directions on a scrap of paper while a customer is gabbling through a crackling phone line. Hands up if this is you. For many in arboriculture, satnav is a godsend, and Google Maps and its ilk have made things even easier. But there’s always room for improvement, and an inventive app is gaining ground in rural industries.

a random spot near my office is cheetahs. avoiding.consoles (excellent). The app is free for most users; it makes money by charging companies for bulk conversions of co-ordinates and works without a data connection. It’s been widely adopted by industries where precision is needed in poorly mapped areas, from emergency services and humanitarian organisations to logistics firms and, of course, arboriculture.

How it works What3words (w3w) has divided the whole world into 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares and assigned each one a three-word ‘address’. Nelson’s Column is and

A user view “I can tell you two completely different stories demonstrating the same point,” says Halley McCallum, who started vegetation management firm bts Group in 1988. He still


Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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heads the company as managing director and has a wealth of experience on-site and managing the operations. He’s well aware of the risks involved in arb work and says w3w addresses are simple, memorable and easy to share, making the app a superb tool for safety. He adds that bts made a w3w field mandatory on risk assessments early this year. “One is a tree cutter cutting through his rope on an aerial job, resulting in serious injuries. Unfortunately, he’s on a remote Scottish island and it takes four hours for help to arrive. “For the next story, a lone worker is walking a power line for a district network operator. He’s surveying, following the line and looking up at it, then he falls down a well.” The man


26/03/2020 11:36


had stepped onto the rotten wooden cover, which gave under his weight. He broke his leg and hip and discovered that his mobile phone had no signal. His colleagues went searching when he didn’t return and found him after five hours. “The point is that it doesn’t matter how near or far you are from civilisation – accidents can happen that take you off the radar.” Fast communication Even if you’re near a town, with a crystal-clear mobile signal, high-stress situations are not the time to faff about giving directions. Trying to communicate strings of numbers over the phone is difficult, and errors in reading or transcribing could be deadly. Sarah Marklove, senior contracts manager at bts, says the introduction has gone well – some of her staff even used it off-the-clock to report accidents they’d seen in public. “They were praised by the emergency services for using the app. It’s more precise than other methods.” How it began Chris Sheldrick, co-founder and CEO of w3w, is the son of a Hertfordshire farmer, so knows the struggles of rural navigation. He grew

The bts head office in Needham Market

Meanwhile, GPS coordinates are more precise but “too complex for everyday use”, as Chris told the National Farmers Union. Mix up two digits and you can end up end up miles away from your intended destination. “Because we specialise in vegetation management for district network operators, our navigation is a bit unique,” says Sarah. “We use transformer numbers to find sites. But some of those sites are landlocked, so we’ll definitely look into what3words as a method of finding and communicating entry points.” The main barrier is integration with existing technologies, though w3w is making progress in that area. TomTom devices now work with

digital map pins, such as Google Maps, are plonked in the middle of a property, usually giving no indication of the entrance up in a small village with a hopelessly vague postcode and, in an interview with Lonely Planet, recounted mornings “waving in the middle of the road’” to intercept deliveries. Postcodes were made to help the postal service sort the mail, not to help people navigate, and a postcode ‘unit’ (the complete code, e.g. W1D 1BS) can cover anywhere from one to 100 addresses, and rural properties are often named rather than numbered.


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w3w, and lots of more niche organisations are bringing the app on board too. Signing up The number of arb-related users is expanding. Arbortrack, a tree mapping software company, has integrated with the API; more exotically, so has Tropical Tree Trace, an NGO reforesting in Côte D’Ivoire. Councils too are taking advantage of a new

tree-finding method such as Neath Port Talbot Council in Wales, which has integrated w3w into its online reporting system. This precise way of calling in fallen trees blocking roads is especially useful in the wake of storms like those we’ve seen in early 2020. Downsides Even so, w3w isn’t perfect. It’s been criticised for the proprietary algorithm, and the many copyright claims the firm has used to protect it. The main downsides are seen as: • w3w can’t differentiate between heights. This isn’t a massive problem for the arb industry, as jobs at the top of apartment blocks are limited, but it does mean you can’t tell if you’ll be slogging up a hill. • The three-word combinations are totally unrelated to each other – you can’t look at two addresses and tell if they’re close. • Homonyms (e.g. ‘red’ and ‘read’) have been removed, but some words sound similar in certain accents. But these issues seem small compared to the potential benefits. Used alongside other navigation methods, it has the potential to save untold hours – and perhaps lives – for those working in rural locations. Find out more: Francine Carrel is content manager at bts Group, which specialises in vegetation management for power networks

Pro Arb | Spring 2020 21

26/03/2020 10:16

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25/03/2020 13:36


Time to get that winning feeling? VIEWS




o, can you remember what were you doing on 7 February this year? I certainly can, as I was at East Wintergarden in Canary Wharf for the Pro Landscaper Business Awards. Perhaps you were also there and enjoyed it as much as I did, and if not, then you missed a treat. The event is one of very few opportunities for an arboricultural business to mix with colleagues and peers from the wider horticultural and landscape

arboricultural, horticultural or a landscape business is becoming irrelevant, but I have also said that the need to recognise the skills of the individual, whatever their craft, has never been more important. The skilled climber and

the need to recognise the skills of the individual, whatever their craft, has never been more important sector. It is all about celebrating achievement and is exactly the forum where all arboricultural firms should aspire to be. I know I have said in the past that the distinction between an


Jonathan Hazell.indd 23

his crew are a highly trained and experienced unit and can add huge value to a landscape, in the same way as a skilled designer or plantsman or craftsman can, and it doesn’t really matter which

company T-shirt they wear. But we should promote the best; that is why these awards are a superb opportunity for you to put your brand front and centre as well as being able to meet others in a social, rather than a business setting, and to begin to break down any stereotypical barriers. Many of you may be thinking you are too busy to enter awards and that it will be far too much work. Well, I would challenge you on this as connections are so important. I expect a good proportion of your work comes from individuals and businesses in the wider horticultural industry and so this celebration is the ideal way engage with them. It’s

a good opportunity for you to meet buyers and contacts from the other side of the fence and to try to demonstrate to them that you really are worth doing business with because of your knowledge. This could indeed help to bring a scheme together, as well as parties who could work together in the future. It’s always so easy to complain that “someone other than me always gets that work from so and so”, but have you ever stopped to think why, and what you might do to change that relationship? Both sides are probably ignorant of the other so why not sit down together and chat over a shared meal and a few glasses of wine,

Pro Arb | Spring 2020 23

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while preparing to see a wide range of achievements in both the arboricultural and landscaping world? Without doubt, you will be able to learn from each other. Be in the running for next year So, how should you go about winning one of these awards? As they say about the lottery, you’ve got to be in it to win it. So, make some preparations now about what you want to include in your entry. There are a number of categories that you might enter; all you need to do is select the category that best fits you and your business then respond to the simple questionnaire. If you have experience of completing tenders it may help, but for the sake of this competition remember that while some information about finances and legal compliance is important, the judges will probably want


Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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to read a few human tales that demonstrate your values and why you are so good at what you do, rather than a treatise about daily adherence to regulations. I can let you into a secret, but keep it to yourself – all the judges will admire your efforts and will be wanting to help you, so give them the chance to lift your pitch above the others, by making it a good read, with plenty of real life examples, rather than a factual dossier! Raising the standard So, why do I think you should enter? Firstly, it would be fantastic to see arboriculture as a recognised skill within the wider industry and this event is one of the few where this opportunity is given. Secondly, far too many within arboriculture are in silos and much more needs to be done to interact with other professionals

and be fully engaged with the changing marketplace. The consequences from this are a lack of understanding of tree behaviour to the detriment of the treescape, with wider implications for amenity and environmental impact and for climate change.

category winners this year, CGM, built its success on the back of a family-run grounds maintenance and landscape construction business in rural north Norfolk, not in friendships created in the classrooms of colleges. There is something to take on board here;

Far too many within arboriculture are in silos and much more needs to be done to interact with other professionals How many in arboriculture know about basic planning law and processes, or the logistics of working a development site? My belief is that a great many of you have that basic grasp; spin that around and ask yourself how many planners and developers you know who have an understanding of trees or know the lingo and shorthand we use? I would think this would be a very low proportion. Who is to blame for this knowledge gap? The answer has to be the arboricultural community, of course. It seems to me that for far too long the spokespersons for the industry have been too introverted and complacent and so remain stuck in the silo. It should be noted that one of the very worthy arboricultural

this should be a wake-up call to arborists to make sure they are in the running for the 2021 awards. By the same token, there should be a lot more interest from the arborist in FutureScape in November, especially as it is moving to a new home at the ExCeL. I’ve tried to encourage the wider arboricultural community to engage with this event over a number of years as it’s an ideal vehicle for the tree profession to reach out and show their expertise to a large and relevant audience. This could be an opportunity for people to sit up, take notice, and hear what you can do for them and the wider environment. Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant.


26/03/2020 15:05




©dominika zara/

eganuary may be over but employers should take note of a recent tribunal hearing which gave ‘ethical veganism’ protection under the Equality Act 2010. The case involved Jordi Casamitjana. It found he was unfairly dismissed by the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS). He had asked his employer not to invest his pension contributions in funds that tested on animals and compromised the environment. Once he found out the charity had not honoured this request, he informed other employees and was subsequently fired for gross misconduct. Jordi took legal action, with the result being a landmark ruling. The judge said ethical veganism was a philosophical belief and had the right to be protected. Following the tribunal, LACS switched its fund to one that contains ethical investments. The ruling was the first time a tribunal has dealt with a case about ethical veganism under the Equality Act, making it unlawful to treat workers less favourably because of a protected

characteristic. So, if you discriminate against an employee, you could face similar action. What this means for employers? The key point is that vegans should be entitled to the same legal protections at work as those who hold religious beliefs. There can be variations, though, as to how strongly someone feels about a particular matter; some may choose to have a plant based diet for health reasons, whereas others try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation, such as avoiding wool or leather. Could it go further? Some commentators have questioned whether we could see more extreme cases. Could a supermarket worker refuse to handle meat? Could a barista refuse to serve dairy? These would appear to be overblown examples, but it is better employers are thinking about what might happen and look to see what steps could be appropriate for their firm. But keep

©dominika zara/

a sense of proportion and you are not expected to remove all traces of animals – such as leather seating – from your business. At the same time, you should give proper consideration to an ethical vegan’s request to opt out of a work duty. While you don’t have to agree straight away, think about the cost and impact the change will have on your business and give the worker a considered answer. Some effort is reasonable – if providing a team lunch, offer a vegan option and ask in advance about dietary requirements. As for clothing, most employees will provide their own PPE, but should you need to provide someone with boots, for example, and they ask for them not to be made of leather, see if you can accommodate this. There is a growing range of vegan clothing, including workwear. There is a perception many arborists are ardent meat eaters, but veganism is growing. You should also be aware that if someone is vegan, they should not be subject to mockery or banter. Given many arborists have an interest in environmental issues more could be considering a switch to plant based. When all feel valued and included, morale goes up and so does productivity. James Potts is Peninsula’s associate director of legal. Launched in 1983, the company offers HR, employment law and health & safety support services to businesses across the country, as well as tax and payroll advice, employee assistance programmes, and HR and health and safety training.


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Pro Arb | Spring 2020 25

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here are changes to employment law coming in from 6 April. This relates to improved rights for permanent and temporary employees, including those on zero-hours contracts – it could also mean employers need to fund holiday pay. The key issue for those running arborist firms is to be crystal clear on the status of their employees. If you employ those who are registered as self-employed – meaning they pay their own tax and NI and work for a range of employers – then they do not have the right to holiday pay. But if you employ workers who work for you on a temporary but regular basis such as on a zero-hours contract then this can be a different situation. High profile cases such as those involving Uber and Pimlico Plumbers ruled that some who had been classified as self-employed were in fact ‘workers’ and so were entitled to holiday pay. This might be relevant for some arborists if they employ staff on a full time seasonal basis. Previously, a worker’s holiday entitlement was calculated with reference to the prior 12-week period they have worked for an employer. However, the change to the law


BZ Holiday Pay.indd 27

was introduced as it was found that those who had worked fewer hours than normal in the last 12 weeks could lose out. Under the changes being introduced from 6 April 2020, the reference period used to

Many companies align their leave year with the calendar year, running from January to December; this approach may help avoid any confusion. However, employees can often find themselves in a position where they need to

the reference period used to calculate temporary workers’ holiday pay will increase from 12 weeks 52 weeks calculate temporary workers’ holiday pay will increase from 12 weeks to 52 weeks. This means a worker’s holiday entitlement will be based on the total hours they worked over the previous year, which is intended to provide a fairer reflection of their normal working hours. You should also be aware that under the UK Working Time Regulations employers should give their staff 5.6 weeks of holiday leave every year (calculated pro-rata for part time employees). Meanwhile, there’s also the issue of when to start and end a holiday year. Arborists may well be busier in the summer, and so be reluctant for staff to all go away at this time. The good news is that there is no hard and fast rule for employers. They are free to decide on their approach, as long as they give individuals 52 weeks to take their minimum annual leave entitlement. When a leave year should fall will vary depending upon the specific needs and requirements of the business.

use up untaken annual leave towards the end of the leave year. This can lead to a rush to use up entitlement over the Christmas period. Another option is to align the leave year with the company’s financial year, a vast majority of which run from April to March to coincide with the tax year. But what matters most is that employers clearly state when their leave year falls and, specifically, ensure their employees are aware of it. If employees are not provided with an opportunity in which to take their full entitlement by not being informed then, at worst, there could be a costly and unwelcome tribunal claim. To find out more information on the subject, please visit: calculating-holiday-pay-for-workerswithout-fixed-hours-or-pay Paul Holcroft is an associate director at Croner, which provides employment law, HR and health & safety services for UK businesses

Pro Arb | Spring 2020 27

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t i K 0 2 0 2 spring 30 > Towing – hit the road safely Know the rules for towing a chipper – guidance from Timberwolf

35 > Husqvarna is ready for action The Swedish giant has launched two cordless professional chainsaws

37 > Putting the boot in

Long hours and tough conditions – why arborist footwear matters

38 > Commercial vehicles – Mitsubishi’s L200 Series 6 Is this the perfect pick-up?

40 > MEWPs – advice from on high

When climbing doesn’t cut it, what are the golden rules for hiring this specialist kit?

41 > Forst – introducing the TT6 This new turntable model with low emissions is proving revolutionary


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ervicing your wood chipper is important, but how much consideration do you give to transporting it safely to and from the work site? There are a number of variables depending on the type, but this guide should help you get things right. Who can tow? In the UK, anyone with a full driving licence with category B entitlement can drive a vehicle with a gross weight up to 3,500kg and tow a wood chipper (or trailer) up to 750kg. It’s an important consideration to include the weight of any fuel in your wood chipper within your allowance. For example, all Timberwolf sub 750kg models remain under this benchmark towing weight, even when full (i.e. to 80%) of fuel.

30 Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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Drivers with a category B entitlement can tow a wood chipper or trailer with a gross weight over 750kg, as long as the combined gross weight (maximum permitted weight) of the vehicle and trailed equipment does not exceed 3,500kg. So, a vehicle with a gross weight of 2,500kg can tow a trailer with a gross weight of 1,000kg – a total gross weight (maximum permitted weight) of 3,500kg. For combined vehicle and trailer gross weights exceeding 3,500kg, where the wood chipper (or trailer) weighs over 750kg, drivers require a category B+E on their licence. Those issued before 1 January 1997 had B+E entitlement automatically included, but after this date, drivers must pass an additional car and trailer towing driving test to obtain the entitlement. With a B+E entitlement, your vehicle and trailed equipment weight must

not exceed 7,000kg as the maximum vehicle weight is 3,500kg and the maximum weight of a trailer with overrun brakes is 3,500kg. If your total vehicle and wood chipper/trailer gross weight exceeds 3,500kg (and is no greater than 7,000kg), a maximum distance of 100km, as the crow flies, from your work base is allowed without the need to adhere to a tachograph and UK Government drivers’ hours rules. Always be aware if travelling with a full load, then combined vehicle and trailer gross weight will significantly increase. Check towing equipment Just as you would check your vehicle, check your wood chipper (or trailer) is roadworthy: Tyres – check they’re correctly inflated, have UK legal tyre tread (1.6mm across central three quarters of the tyre) and show no damage.


26/03/2020 10:01


Lighting board – check brake lights, reverse lights and indicators are working correctly. Condition of trailer or machine chassis – check no signs of excessive wear or cracking. Hitch, jockey wheel and breakaway cable – make sure they’re in good condition. Trailer ramps and securing points – ensure they’re also in good condition Latches – secure the panels or tailgates on the trailer so they work correctly. If using a trailer to transport your wood chipper, ensure it’s legally capable of carrying the weight. Most trailers have a chassis plate showing the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), so ensure your vehicle is capable of towing the wood chipper or trailer when fully laden. The towing vehicle GVW and the Gross Combination Weight (GCW) are stated on the chassis plate on the vehicle, the vehicle handbook and the V5C registration document. A towing vehicle with a maximum GVW of 3,500kg can tow a trailer no larger than 7m long by 2.55m wide. Vehicles with a 3,500kg plus GVW can tow trailers up to 12m by 2.55m. Road tow wood chippers and trailers over 750kg are required by UK law to have their own brakes and a breakaway cable. Before setting off, ensure brakes are in good working order and the breakaway cable is

wood chipper or trailer loosely attached to the vehicle should the towing coupling fail. With no brakes on the trailing equipment, the only safe way to bring it to a controlled stop is by using the towing vehicle itself. Always make sure the breakaway chain or cable is short enough to prevent the nose of the trailer hitting the ground should it become detached.

road tow wood chippers and trailers over 750kg are required by uk law to have their own brakes and a breakaway cable undamaged. Should the trailed equipment become detached from the towing vehicle, the breakaway cable is designed to pull on the handbrake and bring the detached wood chipper or trailer to a safe stop. Before departure, always ensure the breakaway cable is correctly attached to the vehicle framework beyond the towing coupling. Trailers and wood chippers under 750kg are not required to have brakes installed, which means only the towing vehicle brakes are used for stopping. In UK law, a securing cable or chain must be fitted and looped over the tow ball of the vehicle and is designed to keep the


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Get properly hitched Load your wood chipper on a firm, level surface. If towing with your vehicle, check the tow hitch is firmly latched into the hitch fitting. Most couplings have an indicator, so familiarise yourself with the towing set-up so you can easily perform a visual check. Once the latch is fully closed and latched on to the tow hitch, unwind the jockey wheel so you can provide an upward force to check the latch is secure. Clip on the breakaway cable and plug in the lighting board cable, checking it’s functioning correctly. Ensure the jockey wheel is wound up to the top position and clamped into place with the top

rotating handle fully tight. Finally, ensure the hand brake on the wood chipper is fully off. When loading a tracked wood chipper onto a trailer, it’s recommended to reverse up on to the trailer bed with the operator riding or walking ahead of the machine for two main reasons. Firstly, loading the wood chipper in reverse means the feed funnel points towards the rear, creating less wind resistance during towing. Secondly, if the wood chipper slips, the operator is away from the sliding machine. The same hitching checks for a road tow wood chipper apply when using a trailer for your wood chipper. The exception is the positioning of the wood chipper on the trailer; it should be centrally located from side to side with a positive nose weight and even weight distribution on the trailer axles. By first attaching the trailer to the vehicle then loading the wood chipper, you can check the height of the rear suspension on the towing vehicle and gauge good positioning of the equipment. If there’s too much weight on the rear, it will be impossible to tow safely. If there’s too much weight on the front, it will place excess load on the tow hitch coupling and the rear axle of the towing

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vehicle. It can also cause the towing vehicle to have light steering, impaired braking and headlights pointing dangerously high. Once positioned on the trailer, ensure the wood chipper is well strapped. Use good quality straps of the recommended rated level, renewing if they become damaged. To summarise: Before departure, ensure the wood chipper is ready for transport – check infeed chute is folded shut and securely latched, check the discharge rotation clamp is locked and in safe orientation, make sure fastenings are secure, and finally, ensure the trailer is correctly hitched, all lights function correctly, the breakaway cable is correctly attached and the handbrake is disengaged. Keep your distance When towing, consider that additional weight will extend your safe stopping distance, so leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front. Not all wood chippers or trailers have brakes, so these stopping distances are even greater. If you own a braked road tow wood chipper or trailer, check the brakes work correctly before travel. Be aware too that the weight of your vehicle increases when full of chip, which increases stopping distances.

32 Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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Watch your speed In the UK, for speed limits up to 50mph, the same rules apply as for cars, but in 60mph zones you’re limited to 50mph, and in 70mph zones the limit is 60mph. On carriageways with three or more lanes, such as motorways, you’re prohibited from using the outer most lane if towing. In urban areas, there are traffic calming measures, such as speed bumps, tables and cushions. Travelling too quickly over these can damage the suspension and chassis of your wood chipper or trailer. Unlike your vehicle, trailed equipment does not have shock absorbers, so reduce speed to drive over these obstacles. For dual carriage ways and motorways When towing on dual carriageways or motorways you may be overtaken due to speed restrictions. If you need to overtake, there are important considerations. The extra weight of the wood chipper or trailer reduces your vehicle’s acceleration. Therefore, consider the additional time to get up to speed and perform the manoeuvre, and only commit if it’s safe. Also consider the additional length of your combined vehicle and wood chipper/trailer before overtaking. Another consideration is buffeting caused by high winds or passing large vehicles. These cause a big displacement of air, which is then forced sideways into nearby vehicles. Be prepared for the instability, and if necessary, gradually reduce speed.

Also watch out for troughs caused by the wheels of HGVs – these are likely to be wider than your vehicle or your trailed equipment – so try to remain in the troughs or out of them, and be aware it’s illegal to tow in the outside lane of a carriageway with three or more lanes. Unloading your wood chipper Unload your wood chipper on a firm, level surface. Road tow wood chippers can remain attached to the towing vehicle when in use. If the wood chipper needs to be positioned away from the towing vehicle, apply the hand brake or wheel chocks and unwind the jockey wheel to take the weight off the towing mechanism. When unloading from a trailer, often the rear of the towing vehicle will lift as the machine moves onto the rear of the trailer. If you unload on a slope, this can result in the handbrake on the towing vehicle no longer functioning, as the handbrake on almost all vehicles is applied to the rear wheels only. If you need to unload on sloping ground, apply the handbrake on the trailer and place chocks under the wheels of both trailer and towing vehicle. Once unloaded, ensure these extra safety measures are removed prior to departure. Timberwolf does not recommend chipping with a wood chipper while it is still on the trailer, as it means the operator needs to lift material up to a greater height to load the wood chipper infeed hopper. If there is a folding ramp the operator walks up, it creates an increased risk of slipping or falling. For more information on Timberwolf visit


26/03/2020 10:04


MOUNTAIN 2.0 Sturdy and robust class 1 chainsaw boot with new durable and slip resistant outsole

High quality functional footwear for WORK & LEISURE!

Available from your dealer and at the HAIX® webshop


TECHNICALLY BETTER Introducing our new Blue Ocean rPET range of Arborist ropes. A first in the Arb industry.

Made from recycled plastic bottles.

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25/03/2020 13:38


PFANNER | PROTOS | WOOLPOWER Distributor for UK & Ireland

New vehicles complete with Arb Tippers, supplied throughout the UK.


Tipping Body Manufacturer & Specialist Body Builder

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25/03/2020 13:38





usqvarna unveiled two new chainsaws at a recent event at its headquarters in Sweden. The company says it is setting a ‘new standard for power and performance’; so, how do these new products measure up? The T540i XP top-handle and 540i XP rearhandle chainsaws feature a new design and were developed together with professional arborists to provide an optimised system that delivers better performance. When used with the newly released BLi200X (T540i XP) or BLi300 (540I XP) batteries from Husqvarna, these chainsaws have capabilities equivalent


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to professional 40cc class petrol chainsaws. This makes them suited for tree removals and smaller felling tasks. With the redesigned system, power has been increased by more than 30% compared to previous Husqvarna battery chainsaws, and the company says this allows work that could previously only be done by petrol chainsaws. The company said there is growing demand for battery power on environmental grounds, and the new chainsaws are being marketed via social media using the hashtag #WeAreBatteryPower. The T540i XP, with battery technology, the X-Cut chain SP21G and X-PRECISION bar, offers cutting capacity for drop cuts of thick trunks and branches and is also suited to smaller tasks. The rear-handle version – the 540i XP – has the same power, but is more ‘all-rounded’ and suited to groundwork. Andreas Rangert, vice president for Husqvarna’s tree professional unit, said: “This is the most exciting battery launch we’ve had in many years, and I am

confident these chainsaws will be game changers. The T540i XP and 540i XP saws have been designed for cutting capacity and convenience for the user, meaning the battery power is complemented by manoeuvrability, ergonomics and a userfriendly interface with quick control.” What’s behind the new design? The company aimed to provide easy handling with a new user-friendly interface. According to head of design Towe Ressman, a team of some 30 designers based in Sweden, Germany and the US, worked on the project. The goal was to create chainsaws that added value, were useable and desirable. “That is how you create a great user experience,” she said. It was pointed out that an arborist’s work position is either high in a tree or on the ground, so versatility is important and the ‘big buttons’ make for quick control, while offering the manoeuvrability needed for difficult cuts and regular stopping and starting. The battery status is also easily visible via a window on the interface. Absence of direct emissions is a further benefit of battery-powered chainsaws and there’s also less noise and vibrations. The chainsaws are said to be made of robust materials and can operate in wet weather. RRP is £589 (inc. VAT) with availability from Husqvarna dealers.

Pro Arb | Spring 2020 35

26/03/2020 14:22

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Tel: 01903 777583 25/03/2020 14:34 14:08







ew items of PPE are quite as ‘personal’ as your choice of footwear. For whatever reasons work boots are chosen for, they are one of the few items of protective clothing worn from the start to the end of a working day. So, it is vital that boots work as hard as you do, providing comfort, protection and support all day, every day. What is more, few sectors demand as much from their footwear as arboriculture. Working outdoors across varied terrain and all weathers, climbing trees and working with chainsaws and other cutting equipment, arborists and outdoor professionals are perhaps the ultimate wear-testers. Haix is a specialist manufacturer of functional and protective footwear. The company has taken wearer feedback on board when designing its latest range of boots aimed at arborists and outdoor professionals. New launches The new Trekker Mountain 2.0 and Protector Pro 2.0 feature the tried, tested and trusted elements of the original versions, combined with advances that offer increased levels of protection and comfort. Design has been approached from the ‘sole up’, with both boots featuring a new highly functional sole unit that guarantees grip, even in challenging outdoor environments, on the ground and in the tree. Both boots offer high levels of durability


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and protection and a 2.8mm full grain leather upper material backed with Class 1 cut protection means operators can work confidently with chainsaws and cutting tools without concern of injury. In addition, an anatomically formed steel toecap guarantees protection from stubs and falling objects. High levels of protection are a necessity, but comfort is also a crucial factor. The Trekker Mountain 2.0 and Protector Pro 2.0 feature a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane, keeping feet protected from the elements and allowing them to breathe throughout long periods of wear, no matter what the season. Foot comfort is also supported using the Haix ‘climate system’, which works with the movements of the wearer to circulate air with every step. The upgrades and features added to the Trekker Mountain 2.0 and Trekker Pro 2.0 are seen as an example of the company’s ongoing commitment to perfecting its designs, resulting in a range that makes arborists both safer and more comfortable.

ABOUT Haix is headquartered in Bavaria, Germany. It is a functional footwear specialist, known for producing boots which are safe and long lasting. These are available in Europe, North America and Asia. The company has an established research and development facility, and in its test laboratory Haix engineers develop functional features and set new trends and standards for safety footwear, which is manufactured in the company’s German and Croatian factories.

Pro Arb | Spring 2020 37

26/03/2020 11:40


n o S U C O F rcial comme s v e h ic l e

Power to the Pickup



ow a sixth-generation vehicle and with a 40-year legacy, the latest Mitsubishi L200 has arrived in the UK. The manufacturer has built over 4.7 million of these workhorses since 1978, but the latest version offers the expected toughness along with considerable comfort. The pickup has a new exterior design based around its ‘Dynamic Shield’ concept which is focused on the front fascia and has the aim of showing performance and protection. This includes a 40mm raised bonnet for more presence and is described as being “car-like” in terms of driving style. It offers a number of advances including increased payload of 1,080kg and gross train weight of 6,155kg, plus a significantly upgraded 4WD system to further enhance the L200’s off-road ability and include a hill descent control system. LED headlamps and LED daytime running lamps are on the majority of the range. The new 2,268cc diesel engine is Euro 6d compliant and there is a new six speed automatic transmission with revised suspension and larger brakes on most models. Further innovation can be seen in a range of safety features, which includes blind spot warning system with lane change assist function, a rear cross traffic alert system, a forward collision mitigation system and hill start assist. The interior has upgraded seating with improved bolstering, a heated steering wheel, new instrumentation with full-colour LDC display and more storage. Pricing starts from £21,740.

38 Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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25/03/2020 17:19

heights safely Save money with our powered access solutions

Reaching heights safely Quick and easy access for roof repairs, both internal and external

Compact machines able to access difficult to reach areas Manoeuvres through standard gateways and narrow paths Low ground Save money with our pressures avoiding ■ Extensive range of compact damage to drives, powered access solutions

tracked ‘Spider’ access platforms

paths and lawns Quick and easy access for roof Dual powered repairs, both internal andfor external silent, or internal ■ Compact machines able to access fume free working difficult to reach areas Site to site Manoeuvres through standard transportation on gateways standard and narrow paths plant trailer ■ Low ground pressures avoiding Full range of damage to drives, vehicle compact paths andmounted lawns access platforms ■ Dual powered for silent, or internal Avoids costly hire fume free charges working

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Promax Access Ltd Avoids costly hire charges 01226 716657 Unit 8, Acorn Phase 3, Cost effective High Street, Grimethorpe, 01226 716658 investment Barnsley, South Yorkshire S72 7BD solutions / low cost of ownership Tel: 01226 716657 Email: A full range of compact vehicle mounted access platforms which can be quickly set up on a standard driveway or Web: Fax:Insulated 01226 716658 single lane carriageway. cage options available. Unit 8, Acorn Phase 3, High Street, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S72 7BD

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Promax Access Ltd Unit 8, Acorn Phase 3, High Street, Grimethorpe, Barnsley, South Yorkshire S72 7BD Email: Web:

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01226 716657


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Members of the International Powered Access Federation

27/07/2016 10:23

COMPACTION AND WATERLOGGING STOP PLAY. DOWNTIME COSTS MONEY. Terrain Aeration’s long-term treatment reaches one metre deep where compressed air blasts the compaction. The soil is opened up for good drainage and a healthy sward with minimum disruption. We have been successfully aerating sports turf, bowling greens, golf courses, parks, trees and gardens for over twenty-five years.

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26/03/2020 11:22


KmewI Tps

Access all areas



orking with AFI specialist rentals division incorporating Wilson Access and Facelift Access brands will help you find a safe costeffective solution in your industry when working at height. Should I hire a MEWP and operator? There are times with tree work when climbing is too dangerous, for instance a dead or diseased tree can make climbing extremely hazardous – this is that time to look at using a mobile elevating work platform (MEWP). MEWPs, also known as ‘cherry pickers’, are one of the safest ways to provide temporary access to working at height. While some arborists may own their own MEWP, this is invariably a costly capital investment and hiring may be far more practical. Apart from lower cost, renting from a reputable specialist means the equipment will be well maintained and checked, along with a trained operator to get you up to the work area. The operated truck mounted cherry pickers we provide start at 14m and go up to 61m. All operated hires include up to eight hours working on site per day as standard, plus an onsite risk assessment carried out pre works by trained operators. What equipment is preferred by arborists? Both truck and track mounted MEWPs offer safe ways to access canopies or trees. There are multiple platforms available to

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a recognised operator. Both Facelift Access and Wilson Access offer IPAF training from locations across mainland UK. The industry standard is the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) which can be found at On successful completion, they will receive there IPAF photo ID card that lists the categories they have completed. Familiarisation should also be carried out on the controls before use, according to the specific model being used.

hire, however, one the most popular platforms supplied by Wilson Access for arborists are articulating booms, sometimes knows as ZED booms, as these allow up and over access into the tree canopy. This type of machine allows the operator access to the canopy horizontally rather than coming up from underneath. Approaching from the side of the work area leaves the drop zone clear and safe and prevents damage to the boom itself. What about training? Anyone operating a MEWP, whether employed or self-employed, must have had training from

What are tracked mounted platforms? A popular choice for arborists is our track mounted range, sometimes known as spiders. These machines are particularly good at accessing areas of soft ground with their tracked capabilities. Tracked units can be as narrow as 780mm which allows access to rear gardens and through narrow pathways. These, too, come with the one-day operated hire option or self-drive multi-day hire. What self-drive options are available? Facelift Access offers 3.5t to 7.5t self-drive truck mounts, with working heights ranging from 17m to 22m. It is a national company with a fleet of more than 100 machines based around the UK. Wilson Access Hire – operated hire and Facelift Access – training and self-drive.


26/03/2020 11:46




örst has launched a turntable version of its ST6P woodchipper. The new TT6 is aimed in particular at those working in urban areas and offers considerable versatility with a number of safety benefits. Machine capacity is 6x8 inches. The TT6 weighs 750kg and has a 360⁰ turntable, along with a 37hp EFI petrol engine, which complies with Stage V emission regulations. This is a much lighter engine than the equivalent diesel engine, but puts out more horsepower and is equally fuel efficient. It can be legally towed too, providing existing regulations are complied with, and its weight means that no special licences or tests are required.

anti-corrosive coating over steel car bodies, resulting in a durable finish that is also environmentally friendly. Suited to confined spaces Först says the TT6 is ideal for those working in towns and cities, providing them with performance, manoeuvrability and convenience. It was developed by Först’s in-house engineering team and its

introduction follows months of testing to ensure a strong and robust product. As with other models in the range, the TT6 is available direct from Först via Andover or Doncaster, as well as through the manufacturer’s partners in Glasgow. Först also provides a service network of its own people and approved service partners across the UK. For more information visit

Autointelligence The electrics on the model are managed with ‘autointelligence feed control’, a control system which is water and vibration proof. It also makes the user aware when servicing is due and recommends routine maintenance. The model is compact and measures 2,800mm in transport position and 2,250mm when turned 90⁰. It incorporates the chipping chamber and engine from the Först ST6P, with a wide hopper down to the FörstGrip feed, which in turn gives a strong grip on timber. The Först flywheel system clears chip and green material with ease and efficiency and the machine is easy to service and maintain. The exterior is treated with Först’s E-coat paint process, which was originally developed for applying an


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chainsarws trouse


he forestry and arb industries are some of the most demanding on the PPE clothing which is required to be worn. Working in all weathers and in a variety of environments, you and your kit take a beating. You need to trust that the investment you have made in your chainsaw trousers is going to keep you safe and last a good amount of time. Durable fabrics and quality manufacturing Pfanner is an Austrian company. Its chainsaw trousers are made in Europe by experts. Each pair is made by hand by seamstresses who have mastered their craft over many years. The quality control and small batch runs ensure Pfanner can maintain its industry leading reputation of producing trousers that last. Pfanner works in partnership with the best textile manufacturers to develop leading fabrics that outperform the market. The patented Gladiator ® fabric offers tear, water and oil resistance, while the StretchAir ® fabric delivers fantastic

understanding quality ppe WHY DO PFANNER CHAINSAW TROUSERS HAVE SUCH A GREAT REPUTATION FOR ARB WORKS? OUTWEAR FILLS US IN stretch and breathability. The special Gladiator ® Extreme trousers feature a fabric on the front which is reinforced with Gladiator® Extreme yarns, which are not challenged by thorns, oil, heat or water. The visual design for the Gladiator ® Extreme fabric was designed by Pfanner to represent the honeycomb pattern used on the Visors and Koroyd® Crash Absorber of the Protos Integral helmet. The quality of cut protection is very important With any chainsaw trousers, the cut protection is the most important aspect. Pfanner works with EngTex, the company that invented the technique of blocking the saw with fibres. The whole range of Pfanner’s chainsaw trousers features the Avertic™ Pro range of cut protection from EngTex. All of Pfanner’s chainsaw trousers feature the same high quality materials. If you are using a chainsaw, the risks are the same for everyone. With Pfanner you have peace of mind that all of our trousers feature the best cut protection available in the world. Special features Pfanner spends time focusing on the details

42 Pro Arb | Spring 2020

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of its products. Here are some little touches we add to make our trousers special: • P fanner trousers feature a functional fibre lining to ensure comfort while being worn in all climates. • Pfanner’s Type A trousers feature zip-out detachable gaiters with lace hooks to help protect against ticks and sawdust from going up the inside of the trousers. • Our special ventilation waist band helps to enable warm air to escape from the trousers, an unfortunate side effect from wearing chainsaw trousers. Sizing options and where to buy Pfanner trousers are available in standard, short and long leg options, and sizes XS to 3XL. Special sizes can be made on request. To find a stockist near to you, please visit find the product you want and click Find Your Local Stockist. Andrew Hunter, managing director, Outwear Ltd. Outwear is the UK and Ireland distributor for Pfanner and Protos.


26/03/2020 10:21


A view on column

The Veteran Ash


’d like to have laid claim to finding this tree, since I’ve lived within a distance that can be measured in metres for two years. I also didn’t spot it when driving or walking past the adjacent hedgerow that somewhat camouflages it for nine days out of every 10. Instead, the credit must go to my partner Victoria, who stumbled upon what is an epic tree by any measure whilst traipsing around the countryside trying to entice our baby son to sleep. Sat on the edge of Gloucestershire, Victoria’s Ash can be found in parkland overlooking Chastleton House, now owned and managed by The National Trust. This common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) exhibits most of the idiosyncratic features we assign to a veteran of this species, but does so with some style. It’s completely hollow, with numerous windows of daylight apparent when poking one’s head through the longitudinal cavity opening to the south. A sight to behold It has incredible reactive growth, with basal diameter over double that of the stem just a metre or so above ground


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Inonotus hispidus on ash level. In September 2019, it was sporting two-tiered fruiting bodies of Inonotus hispidus of fantastic form and colour – these are still in situ but are somewhat desiccated. Its crown is vigorous, with a small proportion of dead wood for such a tree. It’s open to suggestion as to whether its current form comes by way of historic management or by natural failure – both are entirely plausible. If the former, I believe the last cutting to be so historic that signs of such work are not easily interpreted. There are also other ash trees of a similar age in the locality that would have perhaps been managed in the same way – these are certainly maiden. The field it sits within is accessible to the public, but the frequented paths follow routes between destinations that have diverted people away and around the tree in such a fashion that it can be completely unseen from most angles. Because other trees may be better suited as shelter for grazing animals, it doesn’t appear to have suffered from extensive compaction which is often a problem for trees in comparable settings.

Desiccated Inonotus hispidus Join us This leads me nicely, albeit slightly tenuously, onto promoting the newly formed Ancient Tree Forum Gloucestershire regional group. As well as running regular field visits, ATF Gloucestershire plans to deliver training courses, attend regional shows to promote the work of the ATF and have an active role in advising tree owners on management. The official launch of ATF Gloucestershire is due to take place as part of the national ATF Spring fieldtrip. For more information, please email: Tom Hamments leads the ATF Gloucestershire group and is also managing director of arborist firm Stockwell-Davies. The ATF champions the biological, cultural and heritage value of Britain’s ancient and veteran trees and promotes best practice.

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01926 484 673 25/03/2020 13:39