Pro Arb Summer 2023

Page 1



Back in business and stronger than ever
Found survives devastating theft
The ARB Show approaches Get ready for your 2023 event at Westonbirt The battle for Plymouth’s city trees Where do you stand on people power? Tripp Wyckoff –an acquisitive American Meet the man who bought Honey Bros and TreeKit

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We have some inspiring content in this issue and that includes the interview with Oliver and Stephanie of Fallen & Found. They are now trading again after having all their equipment stolen – a horrendous experience. Their resilience is admirable, so read their story on page 14.

On page 11, we have an interview with American Tripp Wyckoff, CEO of Vertical Supply Group, who shares some interesting insights. His company recently bought Honey Bros and TreeKit, both fantastic UK businesses.

We’d also like to welcome Dr Luke Hailey as our new tree health columnist, his incisive column on threats from future diseases is on page 16.

Meanwhile, arborists may be facing an increasingly hostile environment if they are felling trees in public spaces; it can be a difficult role as we know readers care about tree preservation. The case in Plymouth is a case in point with strong public opposition, so we’d welcome your thoughts on this matter – see page 26 to learn more.

Then we have plenty of tempting kit on show, including new chainsaws from Husqvarna, a fabulous Stihl blower and

quality woodchippers from GTM. Our Meet the Supplier is A.W. Jenkinson, on page 28, which is keen to work with you to remove surplus wood from site.

Finally, in the business section, we profile VMT Training, on page 45, which is bringing on the next generation of arborists. I hope you enjoy the issue.

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SUMMER 2023 PROARB PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE FOR TREE SURGEONS Back in business and stronger than ever Fallen & Found survives devastating theft The ARB approachesShow Get ready for your 2023 event at Westonbirt The battle for Plymouth’s city trees Where do you stand on people power? Tripp Wyckoff - an acquisitive American Meet the man who bought Honey Bros and TreeKit
• Volume
Issue 02

contents sUMMER 2023



News extra –Q&A with Tripp Wyckoff

The CEO of Vertical Supply Group on his UK strategy


Resilience in action – how a Hampshire arb firm recovered from a major theft

Pests and diseases –expert view

Bartlett’s Dr Luke Hailey on future threats to tree health

CAVAT – understanding tree valuations

Jonathan Hazell critiques the updated method and questions if it is fit for purpose

Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook

Bleeding cankers – diagnosis and prognosis and which trees are most susceptible

Först – celebrating its first decade

Discover how the business is going from strength to strength

ARB Show preview

Get set to attend the event of the year at Westonbirt

City trees –the Plymouth felling

How people power has raised awareness about preservation


The leading forestry products operator wants arborists’ arisings

GTM wood chippers

GTM’s portable option for chipping and shredding

Top tips – Marlow Ropes

Up to the minute guidance to ensure smooth working and safety

Product DNA – Stihl’s BGA 300

It’s quiet but powerful – will you be blown away by this backpack model?

new Husqvarna launches

Peruse three outstanding chainsaws and an innovation in arborist communication systems

Skid steer loaders

Bobcat introduces two electric concept models


At least 20% of adults are neurodiverse –what support is required from employers?

Lantra’s new resource

CEO Marcus Potter spreads the word about careers in arboriculture

VMT Training

This young business is educating the next generation about arb

Rewilding – Dundreggan

Discover a transformative project near Scotland’s Loch Ness

Five minutes with...

Amelia Wilkinson

Meet the 19 year old who’s climbing high for Multevo

news 6 11 14 16 18
22 24 26 > > > > > > > > > > > > > >
from around the arb world
14 30 31 51
28 30 31 35 36 39 > > > > > > business KIT 40 42 45 48 51 28 features



HMRC has backtracked on a decision to allow arborists and forestry workers to use red diesel, which is cheaper than standard diesel.

On 1 April 2022, the government removed the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors. However, since then, industry bodies such as the Arboricultural Association and Confor have been lobbying to have the entitlement reinstated.

However, the rules state that arborists can use red diesel only in machines and appliances but not vehicles for all forms of tree work. HMRC said it recognised the situation created unintended difficultures.

John Parker, CEO of the Arboricultural Association, says: “This is great news for the arb sector and will ensure that the changes to red diesel usage will no longer have a detrimental impact on arborists. The association is delighted to have successfully influenced government on this matter and thanks are due to HMRC and Treasury officials who were open to listen to the concerns of our members.”

Red diesel is the same as normal diesel but is dyed red and allowed a tax rebate – it works out at about 47p cheaper per litre. However, it is illegal to be used outside of designated sectors.



Connick Tree Care has announced the business will become employee owned. The business, which has branches in Surrey, Sussex and Berkshire, was set up 38 years ago, is now part of an Employee Ownership Trust [EOT].

This means it will be owned by its 75-strong team, to include a slice of company profits. The majority of its shares are now held in trust for the benefit of current and future staff, at no cost to them. The business had previously been owned by managing director Mike Connick, who will continue to work with the team as it moves to an EOT model, as part of a long-term future-proofing plan.

Mike Connick, who will still be central to day-to-day operations, believes the shift to this shared ownership model is a logical step and aligns with its principles of care, trust and family. He said: “I’ve been managing director of the business since the start, but without a doubt, it’s the team who’ve built our organisation. It’s their hard work which has allowed us to remain successful over the years and adapt to changing market conditions and business needs. Becoming an EOT means the business will continue as I plan ahead for my future retirement and will see the team directly benefit from our onward growth.”

Connick’s management team and employees remain unchanged as an EOT.

An employee council will oversee business decisions on behalf of the trust.

Jane Newington, Connick’s office manager, and employee council chairperson, says:

“Becoming an EOT will enable everyone to have their say in how the business is run. This model will bring the staff closer together, as they’ll know they’re making positive changes that will move the company forward.”

Scott Cain, Connick team leader and employee representative, adds: “It’s a great incentive.

Now we know that the harder we work, the greater the opportunity for financial benefit for all staff, it makes me feel proud.”


Tree shelter manufacturer Tubex has announced an expansion of its collection and recycling programme. It has set up hubs around the UK where tree shelters can be dropped off and

recycled free of charge. The scheme is a joint initiative with charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, which opened several hubs in 2021.

Tubex says it wants to increase the accessibility and proximity while limiting cost for end users, so that more are encouraged to recycle. The company will cover all the costs of the bags for used tree shelters as well as bailing, washing, recycling and re-pelletising the material so that it can be used to create more shelters.



Meet the newest member of the Timberwolf pack.

The TW 280HB HYBRID offers 62hp of peak power but with Kubota Super Mini Series engine levels of emissions and fuel consumption – ideal for the most challenging of jobs.

• Simple to maintain

Class leading peak power 62hp

• No Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)

• Self-charging system

• Timberwolf quality built-in as standard


Revolution Bike Park, based in Llangynog, North Wales, is to close due to a serious tree disease. It has been hit by Phytophthora ramorum, which affects Japanese larch trees –these make up the surrounding forest.

The life-assisted park – one of the most popular locations for mountain biking – has reportedly shut indefinitely. The park has developed a reputation for its sculpted trails

and covers 100 acres of woodland.

The business was founded in 2012 by brothers James and Tim Foster, becoming one of Wales’ first lift-assisted bike parks and was the training ground for professional downhill racers Tahnée Seagrave and Kade Edwards.

Phytophthora ramorum has now spread across the UK – the condition is a fungal-like organism that causes the death of a wide


Timberwolf has announced three new authorised dealers to join its network: Balmers GM, Russells (Kirbymoorside) and Turner Groundscare.

Balmers GM is based in Burnley, with an additional depot at Wakefield, and will cover Blackburn, Blackpool, Bolton, Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield, Lancashire, Leeds, Oldham, Preston, Wakefield, and Northern Manchester. Russells (Kirbymoorside) is based at Kirbymoorside with depots at Malton, Gilberdyke,

and Boroughbridge and will cover Harrogate, Hull, Yorkshire and selected DN 14 postcodes.

Turner Groundscare is based at Chester and will cover Chester, Crewe, Liverpool, North Telford, Stockport, Warrington, Wigan, and Southern Manchester postcodes.

“Timberwolf is committed to the dealer model, which we believe provides the best local support to arborists,” says Guy Marshlain, Timberwolf’s sales and marketing director.

“Having increasingly recognised the need to improve capabilities in the area the appointment of Balmers GM, Russells (Kirbymoorside) and Turner Groundscare will not only address regional coverage, but our new partners have demonstrated real commitment to providing the best technical service and customer support.”

Current and potential Timberwolf owners looking for their local dealer should visit:


David Armer, 72, from Ulverston Cumbria has appeared in court and been fined after he allowed a protected sycamore tree to be illegally felled. Armer was prosecuted after he broke a Tree Preservation Order that had been in place for over 65 years. He pleaded guilty when he appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court.

He was fined £1,583 and ordered to pay the council’s costs of £3,597, plus a victim surcharge of £633. Armer claimed that he did

not know about the preservation order and that he thought the tree was unsafe. However, according to the local authority, there was nothing to suggest the tree posed a safety risk.

Graham Nicholson, the council’s arboriculture specialist, said: “Information about TPOs is freely available and we would encourage anybody considering carrying out works to first check whether or not a TPO is in place.”

range of trees and shrubs and was first discovered in 2002. It is spread naturally by wind-blown rain and low cloud, as well as unnaturally by cross-contamination of soil spread by muddy tyres and shoes.

It is understood the whole forest will now be felled. Thousands of riders have been arrived at Revolution Bike Park before it was closed.

Revolution Bike Park’s owners have said they have not given up hope of reopening once felling is completed.


Planting has begun at Snaizeholme in Yorkshire, where the restored forest and peatlands will play an important role in combating climate change through absorbing carbon dioxide. Snaizeholme will also provide protection squirrels, provide habitats for otters, kingfishers and black grouse as well as reducing flood risk, according to the Woodland Trust.

The site covers 561 hectares and is an ancient glacial valley that would once have been covered by trees. The Woodland Trust aims to plant 291 hectares with saplings, and the first of 100,000 trees have already gone into the ground.

Tree cover in the Yorkshire Dales in less that 5% and ancient woodland only makes up 1% of this. Planted trees will mostly be native species, including alder, silver birch, willow, aspen, rowan, hawthorn and blackthorn, with species suited to mountainous areas on higher slopes.

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An acquisitive American

bicycle and outdoor industry before joining the arb market in a professional way.

How has VSG grown over the years?

Multiple factors have contributed to our growth – we’ve had strong organic growth in our core US market with our web stores. We’re continuously investing into optimising our technology and improving the performance of our sites. This, combined with overall operational investments, have helped enable us to better serve our customers.


It’s no one single initiative, rather it’s a sum of many initiatives which have helped us to achieve what we have so far and contributed to our long-term success.

Sounds like you are a leading supplier in the US?

I’d like to think that most every arborist or tree care worker in the US has at least heard of us. That said, we’re always finding and meeting new customers as we reach new geographies or new workers join the industry.

How long have you worked for Vertical Supply Group?

I started at VSG in 2015 – it was then called Sherrilltree.

Do you have a connection to tree work?

I worked as a groundie for a summer in 1990, but I also spent 25 years in the

Organic growth has been accelerated further as we have expanded and professionalised our outside sales team. They have done an amazing job of developing new business with multiple exclusive and distributed brands that we resell to other retailers of many types across the US.

Add to this the strategic acquisition of some retail competitors and also a few suppliers.

What were the motivating factors to buy in the UK?

I’ve been friendly with the partner owners of Honey Brothers, Martyn and Stuart, almost since I joined the industry. I first visited Honey brothers in 2016 and they welcomed me to the industry and taught me about the UK market. Since that first conversation, I had hoped to partner with them in some way and finally achieved that in 2022. Although smaller, the UK market

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 11

is similar to the US market and has always seemed like a natural growth opportunity to us. Everyone wants to buy from local people, and partnering with Honey Brothers and TreeKit allows us to enter the market without disrupting the good will and relationships that those teams have built over the years.

What did you particularly like about TreeKit and Honey Bros?

There are a lot of things I can list here, but the number one thing is that they have great teams – knowledgeable, creative people who are intimately aware of the nuances of the market. People are the most important element of any merger or acquisition.

Guildford location. This will free up space in Three Legged Cross in Dorset to add handheld power equipment from Husqvarna and Stihl to our assortment there.

Finally, we’re adding focus to serving not just arborists but also other arborist stores and shops in the UK with any brands or products that we import.

What arborist products from VSG is most popular?

The Rope Runner Pro from Notch Equipment is hands down our hottest item.

Do you enjoy visiting events to promote VSG such as the ArborFest Expo in North Carolina?

I love attending events and I’ll take credit for coming up with the initial idea for Arborfest.

That essentially started as a big camp out of Sherrill – folks, vendors, trainers and arborists who mostly camped out at state park in North Carolina. That was a blast back in the day, but I love what it’s become and still attend the event every year.

What has been the response from UK employees to the purchase by VSG –is there more opportunity for them?

It was mixed at first. Many were concerned about what changes would come to the business and to them. I cannot speak for everyone, but I believe that opportunities have come for multiple folks and most changes are being driven by the UK team.

Will it be business as usual for TreeKit and Honey Bros, or do you plan to make changes?

Some changes are on the way. We will be rebranding the TreeKit store and website as Honey Brothers. This will allow us to focus on one retail brand rather than splitting resources and efforts to build two. We have added splicing capabilities at the TreeKit location and we’ve recently invested in a machine that will enable us to produce sewn splice terminations in support of both locations. We will be consolidating our warehouse and shipping operation into the Honey Bros

Would you buy more businesses in the UK or would you look at other European countries?

We’re exploring the idea of adding a warehouse in the EU to better serve our customers there. I’m hoping to finalise that plan with Max Storey, one of the TreeKit founders, over the coming weeks.

What is the view on arb as a career –what can be done to bring in more recruits?

The arb industry has an overall awareness problem with young potential workers. It’s an amazing space that allows you to work outside, be a part of, or one day, lead a team, take on physical challenges, climb, earn a good living and make the planet a better place. That’s a damn rewarding pursuit that I think young people would join if they knew more about it.

I’ll be in Augsburg, Germany in a couple of weeks checking in with supplier partners and customers at the tree care event. I typically sit in on some of the English-speaking seminars to learn more about differences between the Euro and US markets.

How do you switch off when out of work? I love to ski, mountain bike, and surf (although I’m a terminal beginner) as much as I can.

Are there any other VSG plans you can talk about?

Look out for more investment into technology, product innovation and hopefully an entry into new geographies and channels. I’d love to tell you more about our long-term plans but I’d have to kill you!

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 12 NEWS
out more:
People are the most important element of any merger or acquisition

business Back to


Fallen & Found Arboriculture is now up and running again following a devastating break-in last December when criminals made off with a vehicle and equipment worth £30,000, including a Land Rover, wood chipper, chainsaws and climbing kits.

The Hampshire-based business, which was founded four years ago, is run by Oliver Lower and Stephanie Smith, who are both highly regarded arborists, with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Stephanie explains how the theft occurred: “We had been away on holiday, but believe the thieves had been scoping out our property and seen the equipment, which was all secured. We believe it was taken around 4am on a Saturday. They made off with everything very quickly and

also knew how to disable the Land Rover’s immobiliser and the chipper, which was worth £20,000, was towed away.”

Police inaction

The crime was reported to Hampshire police, but the couple were disappointed with the response. Oliver says: “It was little more than being given a crime reference number. There was some CCTV evidence and the chipper was also spotted by someone we know being driven towards a traveller camp. We provided this information, but it seems there has been no investigation. We feel the police were slow to react and they did not even come to see us. No wonder there is so much theft – criminals must feel confident they can

get away with it, yet the impact on us was to destroy our livelihood.”

The sense of loss is also not just monetary. Stephanie says the specially adapted Land Rover had a great deal of character and they find it extremely upsetting to think that criminals will be able to sell the equipment on, or that they now have their hands on a ready made arb business, which had taken so much of Oliver and Stephanie’s hard earned savings to buy. She comments: “They may have the equipment, but the problem is, they will not be qualified. They are likely to be the sort of people who will knock on doors cold calling for work and rip off vulnerable customers, doing a terrible job and damaging the reputation of the whole sector. It is appalling to think of it.”

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 14 NEWS

This was not the first theft that Oliver and Stephanie have been through. Fallen & Found was initially based in Romsey, Hampshire, but the couple were affected by three other thefts from their former premises. After going through the last one, they decided enough was enough and that a change of scene was essential. They have now moved to Emsworth.

touched that other arb firms got in touch with them, after hearing about their plight on social media and in the local press. “We had several local arb firms get in touch to show support, some had also experienced thefts and knew how awful the situation was. I’d also like to give a shout-out to Först, who’d supplied our original chipper. They showed a lot of empathy and were able to provide a good deal on a replacement – this helped us believe that we would be able to get the business going again.”

Starting again

Even so, Fallen & Found then had the challenging task of having to start from scratch in terms of buying more kit and rebuilding relationships with clients. This is now well underway and the couple are now running on full steam again.

Future plans

Insurance matters

Stephanie explains: “We needed to move. The theft put enormous strain on all of us, including our children. The thought that criminals had probably been watching us was very unsettling. It was a horrendous time and when it happens, you don’t know if your insurance will pay up or if you will be unable to start trading again.”

Oliver says that one insurer – NFU Mutual –did act with great integrity and paid for the Land Rover promptly. “They looked after us and when we got our replacement vehicle from Iveco, I took out cover with them again - they are a good company to insure with.” The other insurer which had covered the chipper, Hiscox, took longer, but also eventually reimbursed the couple. “It was touch and go at one time, but fortunately, matters were sorted. Insurance is a big expense for arb firms, but as our experience shows, it is invaluable if the worst happens,” says Oliver.

The days immediately after a major theft are particularly hard, but Oliver says he was

Oliver acts as the principal arborist consultant and he is highly qualified, having attained Arb Level 4 at Merrist Wood College and is currently working on Dip Arb Level 6 – the sector’s premier qualification. He has gained working experience in the UK and New Zealand and before setting up Fallen & Found, was a principal arboricultural consultant for Christopher Hoare Tree Services, conducting surveys and woodland management guidance within the New Forest national park. Oliver has a strong interest in education and works, when time permits, as a part-time tutor and lecturer at Merrist Wood.

Stephanie also qualified from Merrist Wood and works for Fallen & Found as the contracts manager. She has over 10 years of arb experience and continues to study in her spare time. She is also passionate about supporting other women who want to develop their careers in the sector.

Looking ahead, Fallen & Found is planning for growth and continuing to take on more commercial and domestic customers both for tree work and in providing technical surveys. While they work with sub-contractors on larger jobs when necessary, they are hoping to take on an apprentice in the coming months. They also plan to spread the word about trees and opportunities in the sector, as well as developing an appreciation of nature for children, through forest school work. They also work with a friend who has a sawmill and plan to offer logs as well as more options for customers when a tree is felled, such as wooden furniture or sculptures.

The couple add they will be doing everything they can to keep their kit as safe as possible. Theft remains an ongoing problem for all arborists; criminals continue to target the sector because of the value and demand for the equipment. It is to its credit that Fallen & Found is now on the rise again and the story and professionalism is inspirational.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 15 NEWS
Find out more:
No wonder there is so much theft - criminals must feel confident they can get away with it, yet the impact on us was to destroy our livelihood



Last year I spent six weeks in the future… a potential future that is!

While sharpening my pest and disease diagnosis skills in our North American diagnostic laboratory, I saw a variety of new issues affecting trees and shrubs across the US. Thankfully, these issues are not reported in Europe yet and hopefully we can avoid them. Although there can be no guarantees as with increased global trade and a warming climate, it could only be a matter of time.

Beech leaf disease

This causes thickened ‘stripes’ between beech leaf veins and, later on, distorted and curled leaves. Bud and leaf production are greatly reduced with repeated years of infection, which can cause trees to decline and die, especially younger specimens. It can affect North American, European, and Asian beech species. Nematodes (Litylenchus crenatae subsp. mccannii ), tiny worms, feed and reproduce in the affected tissue, especially buds, causing abnormal cell development.

First found in 2012, the spread has increased rapidly in the last few years, reaching many of the north-eastern states and Ontario, Canada. Management research is underway with some encouraging results but may only be feasible on smaller scales. My US colleagues ponder a future where beech trees

may only be found in managed landscapes. Symptoms may take several seasons to show while nematode numbers build, so biosecurity must be proactive to avoid the spread within North America and elsewhere.

Boxwood dieback

Thread blight

Despite the reputation of our isles as damp, I saw a wider variety of fungal diseases in the US, perhaps due to mixtures of humidity and warmth being uncommon here. Thread blight (Ceratobasidium spp.) kills foliage of a wide range of hosts such as beech, dogwood, euonymus, holly, lilac, and pear. Some fungus is found on the leaves but fungal threads, reminiscent of honey fungus rhizomorphs, lead back to brown cushiony fruiting bodies on the stems. The threads transport nutrition to them and, often, neither directly damage stems. Presumably, fruiting on the stems, rather than fallen leaves, helps spread spores. Cases of this fungus are relatively few, but are apparently increasing.

Another increasing problem was the rather generically named ‘boxwood dieback’ (Colletotrichum theobromicola). This causes pale foliage and dieback on box, with black cankering under the bark. Infection can spread through the whole plant. DNA testing must be used for confirmation as the genus contains many fungi with identical spores. Rather worryingly, after discussing this at a UK plant pathologist meeting, one pathologist said the same fungus had been identified by DNA testing on intercepted imports of palms. However, work is potentially needed to confirm these diseases are the same thing. Sometimes the naming of fungi and identification via DNA testing are not as accurate as we would like, but regardless, we really do not need another box issue in addition to blight and caterpillars.

These are just a few examples from my visit, and I am hoping that increasing levels of attention on biosecurity will stop these issues from reaching us, as unlike in the past, we can no longer depend on only our geography and climate for protection.

Luke Hailey, PhD, is the lead diagnostician and a researcher at the Bartlett Tree Experts Research Lab which services the UK and Ireland. He identifies tree and shrub issues and helps guide their management. His current research focuses on honey fungus management.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 16
My US colleagues ponder a future where beech trees may only be found in managed landscapes
Spreading fast: Beech leaf disease symptoms ©Matt Borden PhD, Bartlett Tree Experts


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Checking out CAVAT


AVAT stands for ‘Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees’ and was developed by arboriculturist Chris Neilan and the London Tree Officers Association in 2008 –an updated method is now available.

Chris was then with Epping Forest Council and had first come up with the idea in around 1997 with the encouragement of a former technical director of the Arboricultural Association –Jonathan Hazell, who provides us with his expert view. The latest revisions are aimed at addressing the under-valuing of those trees that are managed to best fit with their context, such as urban pollards. Additional steps have been added that evaluate the completeness and quality of different elements of the tree crown and canopy to aid objectivity in tree assessment.

CI feel torn – I want there to be a credible system by which a value can be ascribed to a tree, but I am unconvinced the latest iteration of CAVAT is it. Many of the people involved in the current refresh are those within the arboricultural profession I admire and respect, but that still doesn’t make me a believer. If only everyone simply accepted a tree had value because of its unquantifiable majesty, or not, where no value or score was required, simply a binary consideration – yes, it must be taken into account, or no, we can overlook it.

CAVAT seeks to consider publicly visible trees (privately and publicly owned) as assets not liabilities. In its latest makeover, there is a new Guide for Practitioners that has been extended with more steps have been added and photographs have been used to help to illustrate thresholds.

CAVAT begins by generating a valuation that depends upon the cross-sectional area of the subject tree’s stem, uplifted to take account of establishment costs. That base value is derived from the average cost of the 10 trees most commonly purchased from nurseries.

One of my concerns is what if the subject tree is a most unusual species, is it fair to consider it ‘average’? Further, assessor bias will then influence the subjective assessments at steps 3 to 9, compounding the variation in the CAVAT value, further reducing the reliability and credibility of the scheme. But, at least the improved and extended guide seeks to overcome those hurdles by modifying the previous calculator

and is revised to explain more carefully how to apply those steps.

The method has a number of uses. The value represents the assessor’s estimate of the replacement cost of an amenity tree, where a market value was not directly available. Local planning authorities may use the sum when considering development proposals and if one should be allowed to proceed. I know of local and highway authorities that use the scheme to place a value on their tree stock to argue for increased funding and resources.

So why don’t I like CAVAT? For a start, how can you value an asset that cannot be traded? The starting point for deriving a CAVAT value is simply the cost of planting and establishing a replacement, based on the area of the stem of the subject tree, which is then adjusted according to a number of key criteria.

But why would the subject tree’s location influence the cost of its replacement, in an area of high population density (step 2) or where there was low public visibility (step 3) for example? And what influence would the tree’s significance as a habitat or its importance to local heritage (step 4) actually have upon the cost of a replacement? And why should considerations of the tree’s postplanting management bear any relation to the cost of a replacement (steps 5 to 9)?

Assessor bias will also influence the subjective assessments at steps 3 to 9 compounding the variation in the subject tree’s valuation, reducing the credibility of the scheme. It may be a score, but to call it a value is, for me, stretching credibility and for me, it should be seen merely as a starting point in a negotiation.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 18 NEWS
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Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook


A lethal problem

Teaching many students over the years, some do get confused with how a bleeding canker acts on a tree. First, I would blame one of the common names used for Phytophthora infections: ‘Phytophthora root rot’ (e.g., RHS, 2022): which strongly suggests that Phytophthora can rot away the wood of tree roots. That is not the case. Bleeding cankers are devastating because they kill off the inner bark (phloem and cambia) of a tree, which is a critical zone of living tissues in woody plants which envelopes all its supporting wood (which consists mostly of dead tissues – i.e., tracheids, wood fibres and/or vessel elements).

Through this killing of the inner bark by a bleeding canker, an opening is created that can then lead to secondary decay in the tree. So, bleeding cankers are a ‘decay facilitator’ – not meaningful wood decay agents of themselves.

Although it is most-probably human activity and forest fires that cause the greatest sudden losses of trees on this planet currently, there are a considerable number of pests and pathogens capable of killing off many trees. Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi ) and ash dieback disease (Hymenoscyphus fraxineus) being two that have not only destroyed many mature trees, but have also changed our landscape irrevocably. But there is another major tree killer – bleeding cankers. Although many of such infections in trees are led by water mould species – namely, species of Phytophthora (e.g., P. alni, P. kernoviae, P. pseudosyringae, P. ramorum) – there are other causal agents, such as bacterial complexes

(e.g., acute oak decline, Pseudomonas syringae pv. aesculi ) – so I call them ‘bleeding

A key symptom early on in an infection of a bleeding canker is the dark liquid (often a brown creosote-like colour if you isolate a drop of it) oozing from the wound. This bleeding dries up, quite often, to leave minor blackened spots on the outer bark (one must look more closely to identify – they can be subtle) and, if the tree is fortunate, the infection may not return.

cankers’ in general. After all, when you see a bleeding area on a tree’s stem, you are not seeing the microbes causing it – and they are not conveniently labelled with their identity if you look under a microscope either. Exact diagnosis can only be done by an expert plant pathologist using laboratory testing and taxonomic reference resources.

I live and work in Lancashire – a rather damp and cool county – and bleeding cankers are a common finding of tree assessments. This is particularly on maples ( Acer), alders ( Alnus), horse chestnut ( Aesculus) and beech trees (Fagus), but they are also more regularly appearing on birch (Betula) and oaks (Quercus). Hot temperatures of 2022 seemed to exacerbate some existing infections, resulting in the death of many mature sycamore ( Acer pseudoplatanus) on sites near to me.

This leaves a patch of dead bark that will slough off over time, exposing the outer sapwood, and you will find sunken areas on the stem or branches of a tree as a key secondary symptom of these diseases.

In terms of Phytophthora-led diseases, one of the saddest instances is that of P. alni –alder disease. This is a hybrid of two different Phytophthora species (Loos et al., 2006) and affects alders ( Alnus) exclusively. Previously, alders were a very valuable tree for growing reliably on wet ground and other demanding sites. Now, due to P. alni being a risk on most

lowland sites, one cannot plant alder trees en masse to form woodland groups. On a cycle track near to me, a set of Italian alders ( A. cordata) are succumbing to this disease and one can see all stages, from initial bleeding to the disease girdling the tree’s stem, to the tree’s death, secondary decay and then disintegration or collapse. Not all alder trees are affected, but the population is dwindling, and one would not risk putting back the same genus as replacements.

Bleeding canker on Acer Twelve years later...
years later...
Bleeding canker on beech stem
Four years later... New height of bleeding Former height of bleeding
Bleeding canker on Aesculus
Ten years
Bleeding canker on Alnus cordata

Diagnosis to prognosis

There are a range of outcomes from a bleeding canker infection, from my experience – but also evidenced through my collection of time-lapse photographs of trees:

The bleeding infection continues to develop until it girdles the stem of the tree – at which point the tree dies, as the inner bark is prevented from transporting photosynthates to the roots of the tree. The standing dead tree will then decay and fail.

The canker is a one-off infection (at least, in the short-to-medium term), but causes a large patch of inner bark to die, which leads to decay fungi acting in that component part of the tree, which can lead to structural failure. There is often, also, general decline in the crown of the tree – it looks sickly.

The bleeding canker is, again, a one-off infection – but affects only a small patch of inner bark, and the tree copes with this loss, forming sufficient woundwood around the dead patch –and, in young trees, potentially occluding the open wounds completely.

Lessons learnt

It is sad to see so many local trees decline or die from bleeding canker infections. The first step is to observe, the second to monitor, the third to reach an understanding as to how these diseases operate. Ideally, after that, scientists would work on solutions, but this area is highly underfunded in the UK and I do not hold out much hope in that direction.

Although it can seem individual trees are singled out by bleeding canker agents, the problem consists not only of losing current mature trees, but also putting off the planting of the same species back into the landscape, in case the scenario is repeated.

In my woodland creation schemes, I am reluctant to plant alder, horse chestnut and beech, because of how they can be killed,

Unfortunately, there are few scientifically validated treatments of bleeding cankers available – and, I would add, a general malaise in arboriculture in terms of development or enacting treatments on trees. Where a discrete dead patch has formed from a one-off infection, one could attempt to patch this up by grafting in a section of bark (outer and inner bark) from a donor tree or donor component part of the damaged tree. Unfortunately, the average

and this is expanding to sycamore and oak too. Partly, this is due to the dampness of Lancashire, which really drives these diseases to be more common here. Partly, it is from monitoring many trees over time, and finding that bleeding cankers is a common cause of decline and death.

To end on a more positive note, these bleeding canker diseases are not universal. Willows (Salix spp.) for example, are not known to suffer from these in the UK – although P. palmivora has been found affecting Salix in China recently (APS, 2016) –and I am incorporating more species of willow in my plantings on wetter sites, as worthy replacements for the alders I would have otherwise planted. One must work with what works.

Bleeding canker on mature beech tree Ten years later... arborist has not been trained in this technique and does not come equipped to perform such an operation: too often, it is just a chainsaw that is used as a remedial tool. A large tree on a street or in a park exhibiting a large dead patch on its stem or at its base is likely to be removed although, where possible, do consider making it into a snag instead, keeping some of the tree for site biodiversity.

For root-led infections, improving land drainage and increasing the pH of the soil (e.g., by liming) can lessen this problem in a growing area. There are systemic chemical treatments that could be used that show substantial abilities to suppress bleeding cankers – e.g., fosetyl-al (UCANR, 2022) – but many of these are not licensed for use in amenity trees in the UK at present (RHS).


• RHS (2022) Phytophthora root rot. Royal Horticultural Society. UCANR (2022) Phytophthora Root and Crown Rot in the Garden. University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources.

• Loos, R., Andrieux, A., Marçais, B. and Frey, P. (2006) Genetic characterization of the natural hybrid species Phytophthora alni as inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses. Fungal Genetics and Biology, 43(7), pp.511-529.

• APS (2016) First report of Phytophthora palmivora causing Stem and Root Rot of Salix babylonica (Babylon Willow) in Fujian Province, China. APS Publications.

Dr Duncan Slater is a senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College, Lancashire. He holds six university degrees, including an MSc in Resource Management, an MSc in Environmental Management and a PhD in Plant Sciences

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 21
Diseased cup union in sycamore 12 years later... Bleeding canker on trunk of young sycamore Five years later...


Först is proud to be celebrating its 10th anniversary as a manufacturer of high performance, robust wood chippers that are designed to get the job done faster.

The company began in a barn, with a welder, limited resources and a tonne of passion but their vision has always been clear – to be Europe’s number one wood chipper manufacturer.

The past decade has seen Först grow from a fledgling business to an international concern with over 25 dealers around the globe. In addition, the company has a subsidiary business in Germany, operating from two depots and with strategic partners across the country.

To date, the company has built over 9,000 machines and is three times the size of the next largest wood chipper manufacturer in the UK and Europe.

Först has always put its customers at the forefront of everything it does. The company has some core fundamental values and focuses on providing exceptional service as standard and treating every customer as a VIP.

The company’s motto is: “Buy from us once and you’re a customer for life”. The staff at Först have been instrumental in delivering these values and have played a huge part in the company’s success so far.

Först celebrates its first decade

Planning for the future

Först has some exciting developments on the horizon, which involve bringing more prototyping and manufacturing capability in house. This will mean a larger footprint in Andover, Hampshire, where the company’s HQ is based and will significantly speed up the process of getting new cutting edge products to market. A number of new, innovative machines are in the pipeline, ensuring a bright future for the business.

Wayne Mudge, vehicle and asset manager for RSK Hi Line says: “We’ve been with Först since the beginning and it’s been amazing to see them evolve into the company they are today. We took a leap of faith when we first bought their machines as they were new to market, but we’ve never looked back; they’ve got better and better.

Check out the ST6P HD

One of Först’s latest launches is the ST6P HD, the heavy duty version of their bestselling 6” petrol wood chipper, the ST6P. With towing regulations relaxed, it is no longer necessary to keep Europe’s leading 6” chipper under 750kg and this allows for a more heavyweight version to be bought to market.

The all new, no holds barred, ST6P HD brings with it all the performance and speed of the ST6P and packs it into a robust steel construction, which weighs in at just 885kg. The HD version also boasts a heavier duty bonnet, chassis, running gear and jockey wheel making it exceptionally robust and the ideal chipper to

“What really set them apart from the rest was FörstAssist, their after-sales service and we couldn’t live without it now. If you have the slightest technical issue, all you have to do is pick up the phone and the FörstAssist team will sort it out – it’s an absolute life saver.”

Doug Ghinn, director at Först adds: “We launched the Först brand in 2013 at the Arb Show and so it’s fitting that this year, on our 10th anniversary, we’ll be the main sponsor at the event. We couldn’t have grown to the size we are today without our loyal customer base, so please, join us on our stand so we can say thank you to you with our famous Först hospitality and a beer or two!”

withstand the hard life of utility arboriculture or for anyone looking for a genuine workhorse.

It also features the FörstGrip feed roller system, the Först flywheel system and the new and improved AutoIntelligence control and ‘no-stress’ system which makes for a fast and efficient chipping speed. The machine utilises the punchy and fuel efficient Vanguard 37HP V-Twin petrol engine, the same as the ST6P which, because of EFI technology, uses fuel on demand, making them fuel-efficient.

All new Först wood chippers come with a threeyear, no quibble warranty and after-sales service from Först Assist.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 22 ADVERTORIAL Find out more:
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Get set for the ARB Show 2023

It’s almost time for this year’s ARB Show, which takes place on 12-13 May, and is sponsored by Först. The event is the longest running arb trade show in the UK and this will be the 22nd time it has been held. According to the Arboricultural Association’s CEO, John Parker: “We’re thrilled to be back at Westonbirt. The ARB Show is our biggest single opportunity to bring together our industry and the public who have such a keen interest in trees. These in-person gatherings are one of the keys to building a vibrant tree care community, with opportunities to share ideas and experiences.”

Nicola Shepherd, Först’s UK marketing manager, said: “The show is an important date in the arboriculture calendar and gives the industry the chance to come together and celebrate all things arb as well as showcase new products and innovations and we’re extremely proud to be supporting that.”

The location for the 2023 ARB Show is Westonbirt, the National Arboretum, which is home to one of the world’s most important tree collections. Leading brands will populate a large showground, along with a number of break-out areas.

The Arb Worker Zone

This is sponsored by leading supplier, Honey Brothers, and allows arborists the opportunity to gain impartial advice about climbing kit and techniques and have a go with daily practical demonstrations.

Top industry experts will be on hand to share knowledge on a range of subjects. For those that want to test their skills and compete, there are knot tying and throwline competitions, which are open to all.

The ARB Show Open Climbing Competition

The ARB Show Open Climbing Competition will be a heated contest and attracts climbers of all levels from across the UK and Ireland.

There are three categories – Novice, Expert and Premier –and advance booking is recommended.

Judges score on safe climbing, speed and task control and activities, including the Work Climb, must be done with the aid of a workpositioning or fall-protection system, including backup system, with more information on the requirements available on the ARB Show website.

Entrants must meet current best practice and industry standard as covered by LOLER and while trainee climbers can enter, they need to inform the organisers in advance.

This event is sponsored by Harkie, which supplies arborist clothing that has the aim of outlasting and outperforming other brands in the harsh outdoor environment.

Tree Care Forum

For the first time, the public-focused Tree Care Forum will take place alongside ARB Show. The area will feature talks and activities on the importance of arboriculture and the tree care community, and is aimed at the general public.

Volunteers wanted

The AA is calling for volunteers to fill a variety of roles, including offering general technical advice and expertise on its stand and helping out at the knot tying and throwline competitions. Taking part means that your ticket, mileage at 50p a mile and meal expenses will be covered. Volunteers need to be members/approved contractors of the AA and can state their preferred role.

Get tickets

ARB Show tickets are now available to book, with free entry available for Arboricultural Association and ISA members. Entry includes access to the National Arboretum.

Find out more:


Go & SEe



Distributors of GL&D tracked bio chippers, towable wood chippers and Valentini heavy duty forestry mulchers, surface mulchers, excavators mulchers and stone crushers.

Plot A15


Teupen sales, service and parts provider for the arb industry within the UK and Ireland. Providing specialist tracked access platforms and service backup. New and used machine sales, breakdown backup and LOLER inspections.

Plot A16


Tree Healthcare Specialists, Specialising in Airspade and Ground

Penetrating Radar work for root surveys. As well as root healthcare through decompaction, compost tea and biochar additives.

Plot T23


Forestry and Arb PPE and equipment. tools and felling aids including axes, pull saws, planting spades, mechanical and felling wedges. Brands including Solidur, Stubai, Koller, Bast-Ing, Ochenskopf and Bushpro.

Plot A14


Sole UK Importer for MultiOne multi function loaders and Sherpa mini loaders. MultiOne offers the broadest range of telescopic multi function loaders on the market and all are light enough for transport by 3.5T Plant trailer. Sherpa sets the benchmark in ‘stand-on’ mini skid steer loaders with over 20 years of development and experience.

Plots D17-D18


Ezytreev Tree, TPO and Asset Management System – designed to be incorporated into a wide range of tree or assets management scenarios and recognised as the market leader in delivering efficient data collection, inventory analysis and maintenance.

Plot T21


Winchester Garden Machinery, trading as Forest and Arb, is a leading supplier of PPE, machinery, climbing equipment, forestry tools, and a main dealer for many of the best known manufacturers in the arb and forestry industry.

Plots E05-E07


Machinery suppliers for forestry, recycling, construction, aggregates and confi-shred.

Plots B10-B11


Providing wood chippers for virtually every customer requirement, including forestry, landscaping, hire centres, environmental clearance, contracting and more. Specialists in the manufacture of professional commercial wood chippers since 1993.

Plots C09-C10 & D06


Creating an alternative to the plastic tree guards that litter the countryside – a robust and durable range of guards that are 100% biodegradable, plastic free, quick and inexpensive to install, manufactured in the UK and kinder to our planet.

Plot C12


A leading British manufacturer of climbing and lowering lines as well as a range of accessories for the arboriculture industry.

Plot B18


The college’s arboriculture department has over 55 years of experience training landbased professionals for their chosen outdoor careers and also a National Proficiency Test Council (NPTC) City & Guilds, Land-based Services Approved Centre, offering a range of training courses as well as assessments for land based qualifications.

Plot T15


Online Tree Inspection Survey

System is a new approach to surveying trees and outdoor assets and built around the use of smart phones, tablets and GPS devices, which sync the maps, photos and survey data with the secure OTISS website. The website is used to review and manage the survey data, and to create maps and reports

Plot T31


A one stop solution including mapping and survey, software and hardware, plus training and support. Enables BS5837, VTA, THREATS, QTRA, TEMPO, outlines or user customised surveys. Pear Technology is an Ordnance Survey Licensed partner and supplies OS map data. Data capture hardware setup and supplied. Choice, down to 10cm accuracy. Modular pricing means only paying for what is needed.

Plot T33


UK distributors of Solidur PPE for users of chainsaws and brushcutters in forestry and arboriculture – on show will be trousers, jackets, safety boots, gloves and waterproofs.

Plot E03


Silky Saws has developed a world-wide reputation for being the best pruning saws available. Okatsune is Japan’s leading manufacture for a range of high quality, simple and durable pruning and gardening tools.

Plot E12


Provider of Stihl chainsaws and accessories, Arbortec Forestwear PPE chainsaw trousers and boots, Teufelberger climbing harnesses and ropes and Climbing Technology arborist helmets and accessories.

Plot T18


Timberwolf was founded in 1986 and provides a range of professional wood chippers. The team will be showcasing their full product range including their industry first hybrid powered wood chipper; TW 280HB HYBRID. With over 40 dealers, there will be a number of sales representatives on hand to cover machine requirements, availability and to arrange demonstrations.

Plots C01-C03 and C16-C18


Tipmaster manufactures arb tipping bodies and is a supplier of new commercial vehicles for the arb industry. Tipping bodies are built to specification for a range of commercial vehicles ranging from pick up trucks to 3.5 ton & 7.5 ton GVW chassis

Plot E04


Tree inspection equipment suppliers and arboricultural consultants. Fakopp Agent: Arborsonic Tomograph, Arbro Electro, Tree Pulling and Dynaroot systems for tree stability testing, and Microsecond Timer. Full training provided. Also providers of Tree Radar services, arboricultural surveying including BS5837, tree risk assessments, health and safety reports, and tree planting specifications.

Plot T22


Professional training provider with excellent candidate support throughout studies. Operating since 1997, Tree Life focuses on providing specialist training for those candidates who are studying towards ABC Level 2 Certificate, ABC Level 4 Diploma and on the replacement for the ABC Level 6 Diploma – Tree Life’s Accredited Training Programme in Urban Tree Management. There are also many short courses available.

Plot T24


Vermeer chippers, stump grinders and mini skid steer loaders with a large range of skid steer attachments.

Plots D08-D09

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 25

On 14 March, 110 healthy and mature trees were felled at night in Plymouth city centre’s main boulevard, Armada Way, to make way for a £12.7 million redevelopment.

Local people had been campaigning to save the trees and in the morning, were horrified to see the damage caused.

Only some 15 trees remained standing and local campaign group STRAW (Save the Trees of Armada Way), subsequently secured a high court injunction to protect these.

The judge Sir Ross Cranston said: “The injunction will continue, the remaining trees cannot be felled at least for the time being.”

He added there was a “serious issue to be tried” over the lawfulness of the council’s decision. The story made national news, being covered by every national newspaper, along with appearing on BBC and ITV television and radio shows with Jeremy Vine, Nick Ferrari, and Adrian Chiles.

The message was clear – most people did not want these trees felled and they were disgusted at the local authority’s actions, which were seen as undemocratic.

Time to go

Since then, Richard Bingley, leader of Plymouth City Council, has resigned. The Conservative councillor had signed the order giving authorisation to fell and he then became subject to intense criticism, including being called a “hypocrite” when it was discovered he lived in a tree-lined street.

He then faced a vote of no confidence tabled by the Green Party, while Labour MP Luke Pollard said: “Richard Bingley is right to resign,

The battle for Plymouth’s trees


because he has overseen a disastrous piece of environmental vandalism.” He also said the council had ignored the public and refused to hold proper public consultation about plans for the area.

There was also anger at the felling having taken place in the middle of the night. The council claimed this was for “public safety reasons” and a spokesperson said: “Given the size of the tree machinery due to come onto Armada Way, we scheduled the works to be carried out at night with as few people around as possible.”

Justification for felling?

The council claimed it needed to access funding from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund, that there were time pressures to do this, and that the redevelopment, to include more space for walking and cycling, could only occur if the trees were removed.

The new development is also due to include 169 new trees, which the council argues would be healthier and more suited to the location. Opponents disagree and say these would only be saplings, which would take 30 years to mature, and that the existing trees should never have been cut down.

People power

A majority of Plymouth’s residents say they wanted to keep the trees and it appears many did not feel losing them was worth it – there appears limited interest in the new development. STRAW had organised a campaign to save the trees, which was signed by 16,000 people, and has argued that the council’s consultation on the development was little more than a “tick box exercise”.

So, will this now lead to more appreciation for city trees? Many will still remember the public

©STRAW Plymouth
Armada Way trees before the felling

anger in Sheffield when thousands of street trees were felled between 2013 and 2018.

In Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, there is currently an active campaign, including crowdfunding, to save a historic avenue of more than 40 lime trees. These are under threat from developer Vistry, which wants to cut these down to provide access to a new housing development.

pointed out that the city needs at least 200 new trees each year because some have to be removed because of disease or old age. There were also efforts to bring on other supporters, including the Woodland Trust and Devon Wildlife Trust, as well as to secure political support – both the Labour Party and Liberal Democrats spoke out against the felling.

raised to bring the case against the council. White also called on local people to ask local politicians for their views and for this to influence their decision when they voted in the forthcoming local elections. “If saving the remaining trees on Armada Way is as important to you as it is to us, ask them if this is something they will commit to,” she said.

In Plymouth, the plight of the Armada Way trees was kept high profile by the work of STRAW, led by tireless local activist, Alison White.

She has organised petitions and raised funds to pay for the court injunction and been frequently interviewed in the media. STRAW also joined forces with local charity, Plymouth Tree Partnership.

Fighting together

This is an influential volunteer group, which plants trees and runs a network of tree wardens who provide aftercare to ensure they establish well. Together, the two groups raised awareness of the benefit of trees and also

Efforts have also been made to educate people about trees. There were 37 species along Armada Way and having this diversity was possible. The council only planned to plant around 13 new species, which increases the likelihood of them being wiped out by a disease.

Next steps

STRAW is now calling for a judicial review to hold Plymouth City Council to account.

According to Alison White: “This will now, almost certainly be a long and expensive journey we had hoped to avoid, but the shocking actions of our council left this only option. We are proud that we have saved some of the trees and hope that the death of the others won’t be for nothing. Their sacrifice will hopefully save other trees from the same fate and set a national precedent for other urban trees. “We need to understand what’s gone wrong, it should not be so easy for councils to do this.”

She said that some £30,000 needs to be

Meanwhile, Adam Cormack, head of campaigning at the Woodland Trust, said it was “not always easy” to retain trees in a redevelopment. “But there are some really

good examples around the country of where mature trees are retained and they can have a very transformative impact on the look and experience,” he shared. “What we are seeing here in Plymouth is what happens when the value of urban trees is under-estimated.”

Many of the trees on Plymouth’s Armada Way are now gone, but the experience has had a profound influence on local people and beyond. Time will tell if it will indeed be a turning point.

For more information, visit: armada-way and

STRAW Plymouth’s posters
What we are seeing here in Plymouth is what happens when the value of urban trees is under-estimated
Armada Way after the felling ©STRAW Plymouth


meet the supplier


Following a felling or other clearance work, arborists can be left with large amounts of wood products that they need to remove. It could be that chipped product is taken to a local tipping site or if the client agrees, is left in situ to biodegrade naturally. However, a far better way could be to set up an arrangement with A.W. Jenkinson, which is the UK’s leading forestry products company – and overall handles some four million tonnes of wood products annually.

The company has two agents covering the north and south of the UK and they will provide arborists with guidance on an individual basis regarding where they should take their material or on collection options.

The company was founded in the mid-1960s by Allan Jenkinson, who remains involved with the business. He started off using a tractor and trailer to collect unwanted sawdust and wood shavings from sawmills around Cumbria. He then moved this on to local farms where it was repurposed as animal bedding.

Over the years, the has company expanded. It has set up a number of specialist divisions, including for forest products and also in launching a number of joint ventures with partner firms. There are also transport and recycling divisions to ensure complete and connected services. A part of the recycling operation focuses on damaged pallet collection, ensuring that

new timber is not used for these products.

Simon Bullock, senior woodfibre manager, explains that the business works with many independent arborists, providing an income stream and ensuring their yards are kept clear of surplus materials.

In addition to arborists, A.W. Jenkinson also sources wood from forests around the UK. It part-owns Euroforest which is the country’s largest provider of timber harvesting – wood is sourced from a range of sites, including Scotland, Devon and the south coast, from private and state-owned sites.

Simon has been with the business for 14 years, and is well known in the arb sector. He is based at the company’s head office in Penrith, but also attends a number of arb and forestry events around the UK – such as APF – to meet end users.

What happens to the wood?

As a sector we are very aware of the demands on our natural resource and we aim to utilise wood products in the best available homes, whether that be for MDF

and particle board production, horticultural products or biomass. Manufacturing, recyling, and re-using products in a sustainable way is our goal. This has long

28 KIT
Simon Bullock
we are also major suppliers of animal bedding and equine gallop surfaces, including being the approved Jockey Club provider

been A.W. Jenkinson’s mission and Simon explains there are numerous options. “MDF is just one of the possibilities, which is commonly used in construction and for furniture, we are also major suppliers of animal bedding and equine gallop surfaces, including being the approved Jockey Club provider. Recent years have also seen a significant increase in the use of biofuel and this is now a large market for us.”

Energy from biomass

A.W. Jenkinson has a plant in Lockerbie, Scotland, which supplies all of the biomass requirements for Steven’s Croft, the UK’s largest wood-fired biomass station – it is run by E.ON. It has an output of 44MW and supplies the needs of 70,000 Scottish homes, resulting in 140,000 less tonnes of greenhouse gases, compared to conventional generation.

Although biomass releases carbon dioxide, it still has the potential to greatly reduce pollution as it is considered a renewable form of energy as it removes emissions from the atmosphere while in its growing phase.

A solution for diseased wood

Many arborists are currently being kept busy removing trees with serious diseases. The most common is dieback affecting ash trees and Hymenoscyphus fraxineus is expected to kill around 80% of the country’s ash stock, with felling being inevitable if there is a risk to the public. Meanwhile, Phytophthora ramorum affects a number of trees and in particular, larch, with thousands of hectares

needing to be felled around the UK – Wales has been particularly affected.

Simon comments: “We have many years' experience in dealing with diseased trees. We ensure careful handling and safe transport of infected materials to reduce the likelihood of further contamination. Where the diseased wood can't be used in primary processing we will utlise it in our biomass production.”

A home for bark

Tree bark can now be put to specific use as it now has prominent place in horticulture.

According to Simon: “We were largely responsible for developing a market for bark and it is fantastic to see how popular it has now become.”

The company is a leading supplier of

peat-free compost to professional growers, and this product has wood as a primary ingredient. Other products in the range include bark mulch, which is both an attractive addition to pathways and also acts as a highly protective covering, ensuring moisture stays in the soil.

A vast network

A.W. Jenkinson has a national network of remote processing sites, which exist to process material that is delivered by arb firms and other suppliers such as farmers. This offers an environmentally friendly solution and employees at the sites will screen the waste to see what it is most suitable for.

In terms of transportation, A.W. Jenkinson operates one of the UK’s largest fleets, with around 800 vehicles in operation. Typically, these vehicles are replaced every three years, taking advantage of the latest technology to ensure fewer emissions. There is also a highly experienced logistics team to ensure each journey is as well planned as possible to reduce empty running miles.

Simon concludes: “We are looking to connect with more arborists and if you’re looking for prompt and friendly service, then get in touch with us to see how we can work together.”

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 29 KIT
the A.W.
team to find out more about supplying wood products:
Jenkinson arb
We have many years' experience in dealing with diseased trees. We ensure careful handling and safe transport





The GTM Professional range of compact and powerful woodchippers are designed to offer a portable option to expert gardeners and professionals for chipping branches and crops – perfect for tree care, landscaping, forestry, and garden maintenance.

Efficient, effective, and safe to operate due to their chipping system and unique drum design – a rotor with 2 Pro doublesharpened blades that rotate along the counter blade at high speed and ejection through a large discharge chute. The system pulls branches up to 12cm thick into the machine via the extra wide input chute, chips them and ejects clean cut wood chips time after time.

The adjustable deflector can throw the woodchips into a wheelbarrow, trailer or directly onto the ground. The high-alloy steel PRO blades have two cutting edges so that they can be turned around for reuse. The extra wide chute means that it is rarely necessary to remove side branches, which guarantees a high working speed.

Wood chips are perfect to use as a mulch or soil improver for example in a vegetable garden where they provide protection against the effects of the sun and help the soil retain moisture.

Composting also creates valuable resources for the garden. A compo multifunctional chipper like the GTS1300COMPO or GTS900COMPO has two different outputs which will help create the shredded material that accelerates the composting process. The high output is suitable for shredding

12cm” explains Phil Noble, divisional sales manager. “The new GTS1800RH-H is equipped with caterpillar tracks to operate on rough and hard to access terrain. The machine can easily manage steep hills up to 20° incline. There is also the new

In contrast to the disposal of pruning waste, chipping saves valuable space and time as well as turning the carbon footprint of a business around through reducing waste.

branches up to 10cm which will provide the structure and ventilation to the compost. The low output is suitable for soft material such as grasses, hedge shavings or plant debris which will provide the moisture and nutrition to the compost pile.

All the machines are extensively tested for safety and ease of use and meet the highest safety standards. Safety features on the woodchippers include a safety switch to immediately stop the motor, panic bar and rotor locking system. The machines are light and perfectly balanced so that one person can operate and move the machine safely.

“The range includes woodchippers that can deal with branches from 5cm to

GTS1800PTO that is suitable for coupling to a tractor up to 45hp with a 3-point attachment and power take-off. A trailer can be attached to the back of the machine so that the woodchips can be blown directly into the trailer. GTM has a woodchipper suitable for the needs of expert gardeners through to professionals.”

The GTM dealer network can help with expert advice, maintenance and spare parts which guarantee a long life.

For more information and to see the full range, visit:

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 30 KIT
GTM has a woodchipper suitable for the needs of expert gardeners through to professionals






With Springtime upon us, the rope experts at Marlow have compiled a list of good practice tips for ongoing rope maintenance to ensure that your lines last throughout this season and into many more. Here at Marlow, we firmly believe that investing in a quality product means investing in the time, effort and education to ensure you are looking after it correctly so that it in turn it will look after you.


The recommended way to clean your ropes is by coiling the rope into a bucket and soak in fresh water. Add mild soap flakes and gently agitate before tipping the soapy/dirty water away and filling with fresh water to rinse off. Resist using anything too aggressive or abrasive to the rope fibres such as scrubbing or jet washing. Every fibre counts so make sure they all stay together.

Hang up and let your rope air dry naturally in an area with good air flow. Don’t put your ropes in the sun or use heaters to speed up the process.

Certain circumstances may require disinfecting the rope. In this case, submerge the rope in 70% isopropyl alcohol solution for a short duration (2 to 3 minutes) at room temperature. Alcohol solutions can reduce the fibre tenacity for some ropes, so the number of times an alcohol solution is applied throughout the lifetime of a rope should be limited.


Always keep your ropes in a clean, dry place and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. Depending on the technical fibres used, many won’t appreciate being left with direct UV exposure and will degrade and lose performance over time.

Do not allow dirt or abrasive chemicals to penetrate between the fibres of your ropes by dragging over rough surfaces or dirty ground. Abrasive particles like salt and dirt will easily work into the fibres causing hidden damage. Without cleaning or proper maintenance overtime, the longevity of your ropes will be significantly reduced.


In addition to the above abrasion, other causes for ropes to fail are usually as a result of the following, either collectively or in isolation.

• Chafe

• Cutting

• Damage in hardware

• Chemical damage

• UV degradation

• Fatigue

• Tensile overload

It is worth noting that a percentage of strength in your rope will also be lost when a rope is terminated, either in the form of a knot, sewing or splice.


Incorrectly coiling your ropes will put twist into them and if loaded into hardware will cause bigger issues (quite literally) further down the line. The ideal method to coil a braided rope is in the form of a figure 8. This avoids putting twist into the rope and will ensure correct running behaviour when used in hardware.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 31 KIT


At the same time that you are inspecting your rope, it is recommended to inspect your hardware and clean where needed. Any dirt or abrasive materials that get caught inside your hardware is likely to cause significant damage to the fibres of your ropes resulting in your ropes needing to be retired and replaced.


Knots are a very common way of terminating a rope, however significant strength is lost when ropes are knotted:

• Nylon/polyester ropes lose 50% strength

• Covered high strength ropes lose 60% strength

Actual figures will vary depending on rope type, size, the knot quality.

If you do decide to use a knot, we recommend the following ‘Magnificent Seven’ which can be used to solve almost any rope problem. If you only learn one knot, a Figure 8 is likely to be the most useful to you.

• Figure 8

• Alpine butterfly

• Reef knot

• Sheet bend

When knotting a rope, strength is lost due to:

• D:d ratio – (the diameter of the bend compared with the diameter of the rope)

• Compression

• Friction

• Twist

Collectively, this will affect the performance of the rope. To avoid a lack of strength you must make allowances for strength reduction and as a rule, we recommend splicing over knotting.


Maintaining the care of your spliced eyes is important, ensure any spliced climbing lines have been CE/UKCA

approved and spliced by a certified rigger. Inspect whether it is slipping or pulling apart as this may indicate short tails in the splice. Following our recommended use, cleaning and inspection procedures, your rope’s performance should not be impacted (elongation, strength, weight, or diameter) allowing you to continue using the rope and maintaining your investment.


Regularly inspect your ropes for signs of damage and to ensure they are still fit for service. The entire length of rope should be examined. The following are some of the points that should be checked:

abrasion then there could be some exposure to abrasive particles or there may be inter yarn abrasion.

Glazing: If a rope has been subjected to excessive heat then there may be glazed or glossy areas of rope. The glazing is caused when the yarns melt, if this has happened then the nearby yarns will also have been exposed to elevated temperatures and will have been affected. This type of damage is often seen if ropes slip on winch barrels or capstans.

• Clove hitch

• Round turn & 2 half hitches

• Prussik knot

External abrasion: When a multifilament rope is subjected to abrasion the outer filaments will quickly become broken and a furry finish will develop. This furry layer will protect the yarns underneath preventing further abrasion. If this condition does not stabilise and continues to develop then there may be excessive abrasion that could lead to significant strength loss.

Internal abrasion: The rope should be opened up so that the condition of the internal yarns can be assessed. If they show signs of

Discolouration: This could indicate the presence of dirt that may cause internal abrasion or could be an indication of chemical damage. If chemical damage is suspected then the amount that the rope has been weakened is very difficult to assess and the rope should be retired.

Inconsistencies: If any section of the rope is found to contain lumps, flat areas or thin bits then this could indicate that the rope has been damaged internally. This type of damage is often caused by overloading or shock loads.

No rope will last forever and it is important to ensure that if there are any risks if a rope fails then it should be retired after an appropriate period.

For more expert advice, tips and technical know-how, please performance/rope-care-advice/ or talk to them in person at the forthcoming Arb Show on stand B18

KIT PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 32
Buccaneer – available as SD and HDX options Hurricane – available in 3 different working widths Proven Landscape Technology Tel +44 (0) 1789 773383 E-mail Website Follow us Bomford Turner offer a range of heavy-duty forestry equipment. The powerful Buccaneer is capable of clearing and mulching wood up to 200mm (8”) diameter meaning that large areas can be cut, mulched and cleared quickly in a single operation while the Hurricane is suitable for a variety of forestry clearance applications and fitted with either chains or blades. Built to perform Forestry clearance made easy Take your climbing to the next level with our NEW Vesper line Visit us at The Arb Show on B18 & take part in our competitions for free Marlow merch! An essential for all Arb kits ! Arb Show Ad Arb climber May 2023.indd 1 19/04/2023 11:15
TOW BARS | FULLY WELDED ALUMINIUM BODIES | SIGN WRITING | TOOL BOXES | LED LIGHTING BODIES FOR NEW AND USED VEHICLES CUSTOMER SUPPORT | CONVERSION TO FACTORY TIPPER FINANCE AVAILABLE ON NEW VEHICLES 020 8539 0611 | New vehicles complete with bodywork for the arb industry. Nationwide delivery. OUR TESTED FUEL NEVER FAILS YOU Aspen alkylate petrol is continuously tested to guarantee high-quality fuel in every can - resulting in equipment that starts easily, engines that won’t clog and fuel that doesn’t deteriorate over time. Count on your machine to do its job so you can focus on yours. Seeus ARBShow‘23 A08StandNo. atthe



Taking away the strain

• It has a slim design and comfortable carrying system that optimally distributes the weight of the backpack device and reduces strain on the user when used for long periods. Other features include wide feet for secure footing while on the ground, a hook for the blower tube for easy transport and storage, as well as compatibility with the Smart Connector 2 A.



• There is an LED power display and cruise control function to enable energy management and comfort.

Turn up the power

• The BGA 300 has a maximum blowing force of 26 newton, making it the most powerful in the Stihl cordless range – it is effective even when leaves are wet and heavy. Max force can be selected from three power setting options via a switch, allowing for efficient energy management and longer runtimes. Boost mode can be used for the toughest clearing jobs. It uses Stihl’s professional AP System AR 2000 L or AR 3000 L backpack batteries.

Right angle

• For the optimum blowing angle, the BGA 300 has a curved nozzle as standard. The blower tube length can be adjusted to meet different requirements and operating situations. A straight nozzle is available as an accessory.

Quiet please

• The Stihl noise reduction system results in fewer high pitch frequencies often associated with cordless blowers, meaning operation is less intrusive when working in residential areas and is well-suited for use in noisesensitive areas such as schools, parks or around public amenities.

For more information, please visit:

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 35 KIT
Stihl BGA 300 Battery-powered Backpack Blower



New generation 560 XP and 562 XP chainsaws

The new 560 XP Mark II and 562 XP Mark II have been developed on a new platform, with the key objective being to further enhance manoeuvrability and increase productivity.

It features improved power to weight and durability, along with a better start system. According to Husqvarna, both new chainsaws are designed for superior movement. The narrow chainsaw body allows greater manoeuvrability as this brings the front handle closer to the centre of gravity of the saw, meaning it is easier to move from side to side.

“Manoeuvrability is all about

control and working becomes less tiring at the end,” says Anders Lundberg, who currently serves as Husqvarna’s product director for tree professionals.

equipment that can withstand the demands of our industry. The new chainsaws are designed for professionals and are sure to exceed their expectations,” adds Lundberg.

The chainsaws also have a redesigned engine with an improved torque setting at a lower engine speed. This means that users will be able to put more pressure on the saw during cuts without stalling the engine.

Further benefits are improved cooling and filtration which ensure smooth working in tough conditions, while easy operation is provided through the manufacturer’s Simple Start Technology and AutoTune 3.0. “At Husqvarna, we understand the importance of creating robust high-quality

The engine has a better combustion efficiency, which will be noticed in the fuel consumption with up to 8% reduction of fuel compared to the first-generation models. The new engine design also ensures higher productivity and lower cost of ownership compared with the previous generation.

The 560 XP Mark II and 562 XP Mark II will be available for purchase through authorised dealers from August 2023. Both models will

KIT PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 36
560 XP Mark II chainsaw 562 XP Mark II chainsaw

World’s first battery chainsaws with clutch Husqvarna has launched the T542i XP and 542i XP, which are the world's first battery chainsaws with a clutch.

Suited to climbers and ground workers, the chainsaw features an innovative centrifugal clutch, which gives users kickstart energy and powerful cutting capacity.

The battery-powered saw also ensures low noise and vibration, without any CO2 emissions during use and without compromising on efficiency. The new chainsaw comes in two versions, a top-

X-Com Active - keeping tree workers in contact

a rear-handle 542i XP. This is a reliable machine, according to Husqvarna that provides provides operators with increased power and productive workflow. The clutch allows for smoother starts and stops, allowing kick-start energy in each cut and improved efficiency in stop-and-start sequences. There is also an improved clutch cover, providing optimised sawdust removal for less clogging and fewer interruptions. Additionally, the new chainsaw is equipped with more power for increased cutting capacity and has the option of handle heating to keep hands warm for comfort and focus.

"We are excited to introduce the world's first battery chainsaw with

This new lightweight communications system is designed specifically for arborists and uses peer-to-peer communication for up to 10 people simultaneously. The full duplex intercom system ensures comfortable and robust hearing protection.

The new system is also designed to further enhance teamwork among working in the treetops, providing superior sound quality because of the boom microphone and ambient listening even in a noisy environment. The headphones provide clear and crisp audio quality that is essential for effective communication among team members. The real-time lip-sync provides the precision and sound quality needed for workers to feel their team members are in close proximity. They are IP45 rated and built to withstand rain, wind, cold and heat. They also feature three private channels if it is necessary to divide the team into smaller groups.

X-Com Active has a range of beyond 400 metres, which allows users to communicate easily with each other on large job sites. In addition, the headphones also feature Bluetooth connectivity, which enables users to make calls or just listen to music or a podcast.

The ability to make calls using the system when working is also useful to contact those who are out of range or who do not have access to X-Com Active.

a clutch. This new product is a result of our commitment to innovation and our dedication to providing arborists and tree professionals with the best tools for their job. With the clutch, additional power and improved design features, arborists can work more efficiently, while the option of a top or rear handle provides flexibility and convenience,” says Martin Håård, Husqvarna’s product manager battery saws and accessories.

The T542i XP and 542i XP

“We are thrilled to introduce the new headphones to the tree care community. We understand the unique challenges faced by arborists, and we are proud to offer a solution that meets their specific needs.

We are confident that X-COM Active will enhance the communication and productivity of tree professionals, and we look forward to seeing it in action,” says Carl-Magnus Lunner, product manager and head of PPE and climbing equipment for Husqvarna. X-Com Active comes in two versions, headband and helmet mount, and both will be available from August 2023.

KIT PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 37 Find out more:
T542i XP chainsaw 542i XP chainsaw


● Compact, powerful and portable

● Efficient, effective and safe to operate

● Perfect for chipping branches up to 12cm thick

● Unique drum design; pulls branches in, chips them and ejects clean cut wood chips

● High and low outputs to create the shredded material for accelerated composting

The most reliable and comfortable sprayers on the market

The most reliable and comfortable sprayers on the market

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PRO CONFORT ELECTRIC VERMOREL 1800 VERMOREL SPRAYING SPECIALISTS SINCE 1895 HOZELOCK-EXEL - 891 route des Frênes - ZI Nord Arnas - BP 30424 - 69653 Villefranche Cedex France SAS au capital de 2 600 000 euros - SIRET 77965877200024 - APE 2830 Z - RC Villefranche B N° TVA intra-communautaire : FR 02 779 658 772 - Photos et images non contractuelles.


loader, we are excited to take the machine that created the industry and reinvent it all over again,” said Joel Honeyman, Doosan Bobcat’s vice president of global innovation.

Autonomous functionality

Bobcat has recently unveiled the world’s first electric skidsteer loader, showcasing the concept model, called S7X, at the CONEXPO 2023 event, held in Las Vegas.

The S7X is all electric and powered by a 60.5-kWh, lithium-ion battery. It features electric drive motors and utilises ball screw actuators for lift and tilt functions.

Together, the battery and electrical powertrain enable strong performance with instantaneous torque that is as much as three times greater than traditional loaders. The loader balances sustainability and performance with zero emissions and is equipped to outperform its diesel-powered equivalent.

Work in comfort

It also ensures operators have a smooth and comfortable experience with minimal vibration and nearly silent operation. The S7X can operate for up to eight hours on a single charge depending on the application, allowing most operators more than a full day’s work when breaks and downtime are considered –a full charge takes approximately 10 hours.

“As the inventor of the original skid-steer

“The S7X is an incredible product with real-world application that can support operators on environmentally sensitive sites, in noise-restricted areas and for indoor operation.”

“RogueX was concepted with consideration for the worksite of the future and how a customer’s needs may evolve - with a focus on ease of use, remote operations, autonomous functionality, sustainable operations and features that allow operators to accomplish more with one machine,” said Honeyman.

As jobsites change and operators turn to remote operation, Bobcat took its concept further by fully eliminating an operator station. The machine explores the idea of operating where humans cannot go to tackle more work in more places than ever from a remote position.

In 2022, Bobcat launched the T7X, which was the first electric compact track loader. Bobcat has also revealed a new concept track loader, the Bobcat RogueX. This is described as a next-generation machine in terms of its electric power, autonomous operation and dual lift-arm geometry.

The Bobcat RogueX combines technologically advanced features and while it most closely resembles a track loader, is very different in appearance and functionality.

As a research and development project,

By building the loader without a cab and using advanced kinematics, the RogueX features next-generation unique functionality including both vertical-path and radial-path lift capabilities in one machine. The all-electric and autonomous concept machine produces zero emissions as it features a lithium-ion battery, electric drive system and no hydraulics.

“After our successful development of building an all-electric loader [the Bobcat T7X], we wanted to think bigger, broader and take a leap far into the future,” said Matt Sagaser, director of innovation accelerated at Bobcat. “Our dedicated innovation team took a bold approach and designed a machine that breaks all of the rules. RogueX sets a framework for what is possible, and our team is just getting started on what is next.”

RogueX is in the early research and development stage at Bobcat.

Find out more:

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 39 KIT
Bobcat S7X concept RogueX concept S7X snowblower Bobcat RogueX concept

- it has a place at work Neurodiversity

Everyone is different, and the term ‘neurodiversity’ relates to the idea that there is variation in the way people experience and interact with the world. Around a fifth of people have a diagnosis of a condition such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Tourette’s syndrome, dyslexia or dyspraxia, while many may be undiagnosed.

Make reasonable adjustments

However, they may also have particular needs that employers need to address. Because of this, there may be a need to make some reasonable workplace adjustments. This can be a difficult area to navigate, because the employer needs disclosure from the employee so that they can understand what support is needed.

In some cases, neurodivergence might be classed as a ‘disability’ and that individual must not be discriminated against at work. If they are, then the employer could be in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

● Autism – this encompasses a spectrum of conditions, including Asperger’s syndrome – and can affect social communication and interaction along with restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests.

● Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition and those affected can be restless and have problems concentrating.

● Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition that causes involuntary movements and sounds called tics.

If someone is neurodivergent, this does not mean they will have less ability, in many cases they could be exceptionally talented. This could include having higher levels than average of concentration or perhaps being extremely persistent. They could have an excellent memory and great attention to detail – certainly qualities that are valued in an arborist.

However, if the employee is in most ways a good fit for the job, then adaptations may be straightforward. It could mean ensuring they understand instructions and are given support with written material - such as including diagrams – if they are dyslexic, for example. It could also mean ensuring they have a quiet place to work should they need to complete administrative tasks.

Even before someone joins a business, the employer can also try and be as welcoming as possible to neurodivergent applicants. This could meaning making their firm as accessible as possible in terms of any job advertisements and giving clear information about what is expected at interview – and providing any relevant details in advance if necessary.

Mental pressures

While there is now greater acceptance and understanding with neurodiversity, some cover up their condition because they fear

● Dyslexia, this mainly affects reading and spelling ability.

● Dyspraxia – also known as Developmental Coordination Disorder – affects motor coordination and can include difficulties with movements, planning and speech.

discrimination. Because they put themselves under pressure, this can mean they are also more likely to face mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

Avoid assumptions

It is important that employers do not assume that someone who is neurodivergent will always display ‘typical’ characteristics associated with their condition. There needs to be open communication with the employee and an understanding of what support is required. Let team members know – if the employee agrees – so that they will be understanding if a team member finds it hard to pick up on social cues.

Just because someone is neurodivergent does not mean they won’t be a great member of staff. The most successful workplaces are often the most inclusive – and open discussions and acceptance from the employer and workforce will help ensure that diversity works for all.

If someone is neurodivergent, this does not mean they will have less ability, in many cases they could be exceptionally talented
RETURNS WESTONBIRT 12–13 MAY 2023 Featuring Top Industry Exhibitors Arborists’ Workshop Talks Knot Tying Competitions Throwline Competition Includes the Tree Care Forum Main sponsor of The ARB Show Tickets are now on sale The-ARB-Show The biggest tree care event of the year The ARB Worker Zone with demonstrations, guidance and climbing workshops The ARB Show Open Climbing Competition open to all skill levels Sponsored by Sponsored by

Many industries are struggling to recruit new talent at present and arboriculture is no different. In a recent skills shortage survey by the Oxford Economics for Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable Group, 57% of arboriculture businesses contacted said they had critical labour shortages.

57% of arboriculture businesses contacted said they had critical labour shortages

The aging workforce is a key issue, with some estimates predicting that 20% of workers could be lost to retirement by 2030. Meanwhile, the government has targets to increase tree cover to 16.5% of the total land area by 2050. The aim is to provide a blue or green space within a 15-minute walk of every home. As such, the dearth of tree expertise is a major threat to boosting nature and leaving the environment in a better state for future generations.

A new careers resource

To help address this, Lantra has launched a new online careers resource for school leavers, as well as those looking for a change of career, to find out about roles in arboriculture. This helps promote the sector as a positive career destination and will help attract a younger, more diverse workforce. In particular, many younger people want to fulfilled by doing jobs that make a difference to the world in terms of the biodiversity crisis and climate change.

Lantra’s new website highlights the pathways in arb, which can provide rewarding, lifelong careers, with something different to do each day.

It showcases more than 250 roles across landbased sectors, including key positions in arboriculture,

Spreading the word ABOUT arb careers



and provides detailed information on the qualifications and training needed and how to get it.

Expected pay and conditions, day-to-day tasks and career progression routes are also shown. When starting out, it emphasises that arb recruits should expect to undertake a range of practical activities before progressing into various roles as they upskill, or indeed reskill, and develop a clear idea of their career aims.

They might start as a groundworker assisting aerial arborists working at height, enabling them to develop the skills to become a tree surgeon, or a utility arborist managing trees around infrastructure such as railways.


Knowledge-based roles

There are also far more knowledge-based opportunities in arb and raising awareness of this is the key to unlocking the sector’s appeal and reach to the desired diversity of recruits. Community foresters, arboricultural surveyors, tree officers and consultancy are just a few

examples on the website of roles, which involve more than physical ability. All this information is displayed in an interactive map on the Forestry and Arb careers page.

One of the big benefits of working in arb is being outdoors in nature. It also appeals to those who like a challenge and can work as part of a team.

New recruits can discover how trees grow in different environments, both rural and urban, and how they respond to natural and man-made pests, diseases, and damage. This

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 42
Lantra’s new website highlights the pathways in arb, which can provide rewarding, lifelong careers

engenders an appreciation of how trees must be managed to keep them healthy and safe for the public.

If a potential new entrant enjoys practical work in an outdoor setting, and has a passion for our environment, then all the technical skills necessary can be gained with the right training and qualifications. Related courses, such as degrees and foundation certificates in arboriculture and urban forestry, as well as practical training in areas such as health and safety, chainsaw use and tree inspection, are all detailed by Lantra for each role within arboriculture.


For Josephine Hedger, a passion for climbing trees and being outside in nature means she is a natural fit for arboriculture and as a female, has found her route to the top trouble free.

Josephine hopes her story, and resources like Lantra’s careers information on its new website, can inspire a diverse range of people into very rewarding work with trees.

As a climbing tree surgeon and running a tree care business, is Josephine’s main role, She carries out commercial pruning and tree removal, advising clients on the correct approach to tree management, She also heads up a Lantra-accredited training provider, working from a training centre in the New Forest that equips new arborists with the skills they need to succeed.

“I feel it is a huge benefit for me to be an active arborist and an instructor, as I keep myself up-to-date with current techniques and systems. Typically, I’m working with groups of four students on practical training courses, assessing them to an industry recognised qualification, which is a requirement in forestry and arboriculture,” she says.

She has clocked up 20 years in the industry, and while it is rare to see female arborists and training instructors, her achievements highlight that it is an industry open to men and women.

Promoting apprenticeships

Information on apprenticeships is also provided, which is useful for recruiting and retaining staff. As well as helping career seekers, and those wishing to develop their careers in the sector, it shows arboricultural employers the skills and training their employees need and how to find courses.

Lantra hopes the new website and other activities will help shake off dated preconceptions about working in arb. Further, diversity is generally low and more needs to be done to attract talent from a range of backgrounds.

One example of this advocacy to change perceptions was the inaugural networking day to celebrate women in the industry.

Held earlier this year at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew, the event, chaired by Lantra and in partnership with the Arboriculture Association, attracted over 120 passionate

Josephine has even managed to win five World Tree Climbing Championship titles in that time and she says it is important to keep developing through training to become the best version of yourself. “Gaining knowledge from others will always improve your daily work and learning safe and efficient systems means you don’t put yourself and others at risk,” she adds.

supporters. And after a gap of eight years, Lantra is delighted to be restarting its research into land-based skills and workforce issues.

Having accumulated a surplus from its core training business, part of this has been used to redesign the website and the remainder to resurrect its land-based industries skills and careers research. As well as improving

understanding of skills and labour pinch points in land-based industries like arb, the research will also provide an evidence base to help influence policy making. The insight gleaned from this work will help us improve our training services and identify areas where Lantra needs to work with specialist third parties to deliver on industry needs.


Lantra is at the Arb Show on 12-13 May 2023 at the Westonbirt Arboretum, Tetbury, Gloucestershire. If you would like to learn more about careers and training opportunities in arboriculture or other related land-based industries, go to the Lantra stand or demo area and speak to one of its experts.There are also opportunities for arborists or related workers to volunteer as case studies on Lantra’s new website, helping to promote the positives about roles and opportunities within the sector.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 43
Josephine Hedger
As well as helping career seekers, and those wishing to develop their careers in the sector, it shows arboricultural employers the skills and training their employees need
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Vegetation Management Training

(VMT) is rapidly making a name for itself in the arb training sector, having only launched in June 2020 – it was initially set up largely to provide courses for its parent company, but has since found many other businesses now want to access its expertise.

The parent company is Vegetation Management Services (VMS), which delivers services for a range of sectors, including the rail network, water companies and a broad range of other commercial operations. It provides vegetation management, tree care, ecology consultancy, site clearance and fencing.

VMT provides training across a wide range of arboricultural and landscaping skills and was set up by the team at VMS with Lead Instructor Phill Escritt, who was already a Lantra-accredited Trainer. Helen Mallett, Provision Manager, joined shortly afterwards and together have developed a close knit group of respected trainers and assessors to meet the needs not just of VMS but also of an ever widening range of external clients.

Helen comments: “VMT has grown exponentially both in terms of the number of people trained and the range of courses offered. As clients have requested extra services, we have extended our provision through our trusted network of trainers and assessors or referring out to others where we feel that we aren’t in a position to fulfil that need. Our office team work tirelessly to understand what everyone needs and to find the best way of doing it and no two days are ever the same.

Why VMT is top of the tree

Choice of courses

In excess of 40 courses are typically delivered each month and many are repeat bookings as VMT expands its client base. Courses include the use of chainsaws and other powered tools such

instructors with different areas of expertise and interests, allows us to be able to meet a wide range of needs within the industry. Our most popular courses include our chainsaw, climbing and aerial arboriculture but we also regularly hold first aid and ROLO health and safety courses for operatives, supervisors and managers. Additionally, we also offer mentoring and development packages to help with staff development.”

She adds that health and safety training is paramount, given that this can be such a dangerous sector. “Health and safety is key to what we do and teach. Industry best practice is about ensuring that everyone is working safely as well as efficiently.

as pole pruners, health and safety and first-aid, climbing and tree surveying and inspection. Courses are delivered by Phill, Neil and Tom, VMT’s full-time instructors, but also there is an expert core team of trainers who work on a freelance basis, and an admin assistant.

Helen says: “We’re proud to be able to offer a broad range of courses. Choosing

She also points out that while initial training is vital, refresher training can be particularly important. “People often attend with a view that they are ticking a box, but they rarely leave without reflecting and making changes to their own practice.”

Helen explains that students come from a range of backgrounds, ranging from those

Choosing instructors with different areas of expertise and interests, allows us to be able to meet a wide range of needs within the industry

with experience who want advanced training to those without previous knowledge. “Many are looking to expand their skills and to ensure they are meeting the HSE’s best practice requirements.” She adds that beginners could be looking for a career change and want to gain knowledge of the basics before applying for a job, or those who have recently started with an employer.

While there is training provided for VMS, growth has also come from external companies, with there being strong demand. She says: “It can be difficult to manage the intricacies and expectations of competence within a company and our knowledge gives us the ability to help many of the clients meet the training needs in a planned and ordered manner. We are also able to offer onboarding packages to newcomers to the industry so that they are able to work on site safely and usefully within a short space of time.

“Knowing the needs of the client is vital for this as we understand the cost implications of having staff members who are unable to complete their work. While we do have excellent training facilities available, we are also able to travel to client sites, which can save travel time and costs for them, as well as meeting PUWER requirements by training on their own machines.”

Expanding facilities

VMT has three training facilities - its main teaching site is in Islip, East Northamptonshire and Helen comments: “We make the most of our rural surroundings with a main office, large classroom and workshop. Here we hold our landscaping, basic chainsaw maintenance and crosscutting, health and safety, first aid and classroom-based courses such as the Lantra Level 4 Award in Thorough Examination of Arboricultural Lifting Equipment and the Basic Tree Inspection.”

She adds that the second site provides access to over 11,000 acres in the grounds at stately home, Boughton House in Kettering, with a well managed forest and woodland, an ATV and 4X4 area and ample space for tree work, climbing and stump grinding. There is also a third site located in West Northamptonshire, which consists of established woodland where VMT contributes to its woodland management plan.

supported by our experienced extended family of instructors and assessors, some of whom are verifiers for Lantra.”

Preparation matters

Developing trainer talent

It is well documented that there are shortages of quality arb trainers, however, VMT has secured a strong team. According to Helen: “Great trainers need a combination of relevant industry experience mixed with an ability to pass this knowledge on in a way that a range of learners can access. Finding a good trainer relies on knowing the industry and relying on a combination of word-of-mouth recommendations, appropriate qualifications and a shared ethos when we meet. Finding new trainers can be challenging due to high demand and their need to be the right fit for our team, so we have recently brought on two new instructors.”

Training can also ensure that someone can stay working in the sector, such as when climbing becomes harder due to age or injury. As Helen says: “There are a range of options for those wishing to take on more varied work and develop. It might mean adapting the way they work such as through using MEWPs, for example, to access the tree canopy or changing their climbing technique.

“For others this may mean developing new skills that tie in with their strengths. This could be in management or supervision, allowing them to lead teams and mentor less experienced staff who will benefit from their extensive knowledge. For those wishing to change roles, courses such as the Lantra Level 4 Award in Thorough Examination of Arboricultural Lifting Equipment, Woodland Management and plant and machinery courses can enable skills to be developed, facilitating the next stage in a career.”

Focus on the next generation

She shares that both were experienced operatives with different areas of interests. “We took the time to nurture them through the verification process to a point where they are expanding the skills that they can share with our learners. This was a huge learning process for both ourselves and them and we were

As VMT’s market presence and reputation continue to grow, Helen says the team will also focus on spreading the word about arb. She comments: “There is a lack of knowledge that the industry is actually out there and of the options. We have been working with local secondary schools to highlight tree work. I think this is a vital issue for the whole industry – many of the students we talk to know nothing about arb and we all need to do more to increase knowledge, especially in the lower age ranges –and this is the time for the arb industry to work together to bring on the next generation.”

Find out more:

this is the time for the arb industry to work together to bring on the next generation
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the S c o ttish Highlands R e wilding


The Dundreggan Rewilding Centre in Glenmoriston, near Loch Ness is now open – it is a world first and apart from the environmental benefits, is also creating jobs and encouraging people to move to and remain in the area.

The project was developed by charity Trees for Life and it showcases how large-scale nature recovery can give people inspiring experiences as well as benefiting rural communities. It is cited on the 10,000-acre Dundreggan estate, where the charity is restoring the Caledonian forest and its wildlife.

too,” said Steve Micklewright, Trees for Life’s chief executive.

“This is a place of hope. We want to breathe life into the huge potential of the Highlands to help nature return in a major way – providing people from all walks of life with fantastic experiences while supporting re-peopling, boosting social and economic opportunities, and tackling the climate and nature emergencies.”

The centre, eight miles from Loch Ness on the main road (A887) to the Isle of Skye, opened its doors fully to the public on 15 April with a celebratory weekend of special events and activities.

how rewilding benefits wildlife such as golden eagles, red squirrels and wood ants, and learn about Gaelic culture and its deep connections to the landscape.

Sculpture on show

A place of hope

“For 15 years, Dundreggan has been a beacon for rewilding our landscapes. Now it will be a beacon for rewilding people

It was developed in consultation with the local community and the free-to-access centre was made possible thanks to the support of major funders. Visitors, families, schools and those with specific needs will be able to enjoy year-round events and experiences, discover

The centre features a tree sculpture of reclaimed metal, created by artist Helen Denerley, and offers a gateway to the wild forest, with fully accessible trails, child-friendly forest experiences, and more adventurous walks. Displays in English and Gaelic introduce rewilding and the Gaelic language, while a storytelling bothy shows local history and heritage.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 48
Birch trees at Dundreggan Dundreggan Rewilding Centre Steve Micklewright, Trees For Life CEO and Kat Murphy, Visitor Experience Manager Rewilding Centre images ©Paul Campbell Photography ©Paul Campbell Photography ©Trees for Life

There is also a café and events space, offering locally sourced food and drink and entertainment areas and a purpose-built and accessible 40-bedroom accommodation building to allow people to stay for longer experiences.

Some 20 new jobs have already been created, employing local people, and the multi-million-pound investment will generate an ongoing economic boost for local suppliers and services. The period of design and construction has already involved local businesses from architects to plumbers.

Laurelin Cummins-Fraser, Dundreggan Rewilding Centre’s director, said: “Whether a visitor has just an hour for a quick visit or wants to stay with us for an immersive rewilding experience, our centre will welcome people to discover stunning landscapes, unique wildlife and Gaelic culture, while connecting with the wonders of the natural world.

“The Rewilding Centre is embedded in the landscape and the community. Its design is inspired by Gaelic heritage and history, and by the Caledonian forest – with verticals representing trees, changing light to reflect how

Restoring nature

Dundreggan is part of Affric Highlands, the UK’s largest rewilding landscape which will potentially cover over 500,000 acres – restoring nature while strengthening landbased livelihoods and creating economic opportunities. Trees for Life launched the Affric Highlands initiative in 2021, in partnership with Rewilding Europe and an initial coalition of communities and landowners.

the European Regional Development Fund; National Lottery Heritage Fund; Bòrd na Gàidhlig; Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Program; SSE Sustainable Development Fund; Audemars Piguet Foundation; Improving Public Access Fund; FERN Community Funds; Fort Augustus Community Council; Highlands & Islands Enterprise; and Garfield Weston Foundation.

light plays in woodlands, and materials and colours conjuring up bracken and forest bark. It’s a really special place for people to enjoy.”

Funders of Dundreggan Rewilding Centre included the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, led by NatureScot and funded through

Individual donors and investment through the Triodos Bank crowdfunder platform also contributed substantial funds.

out more:
For 15 years, Dundreggan has been a beacon for rewilding our landscapes. Now it will be a beacon for rewilding people too
Dundreggan tree nursery from above Golden Eagle Dundreggan tree nursery Volunteer planting trees Volunteer with Scots pine seedling Red squirrel, Scottish Highlands ©Trees for Life ©Trees for Life ©Trees for Life ©Ashley Coombes ©Scotland The Big Picture ©Mark Hamblin,

Location: Leicestershire

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council is looking for independent and self-motivated arborist climbers to join the Green Spaces team. It is seeking qualified candidates with previous climbing and chainsaw experience and the skills to work safely and effectively. Arborist climbers play a vital part in the care and maintenance of trees at parks and green spaces across the borough, and applicants must be committed to improving public open spaces and working with local communities to make a positive difference to

For full details on jobs, please go to Call 01903 777 570 or email ARBORIST CLIMBER (TWO VACANCIES)
is £31,099
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Amelia Wilkinson


What’s your role with Multevo and what does it involve?

I’m currently working as a tree surgeon at Multevo. My day-to-day work involves, cutting, pruning, removing, and chipping trees mainly alongside the highway. At work, I enjoy the variety of jobs we get and the challenges that come with this. My teammates and colleagues play a massive part in my work life; they are always so supporting which makes us one big family.

What’s your favourite item of kit and why?

Traditionally, I’m a Stihl type of girl when it comes down to the job. But since starting to work across utility sites I have gravitated towards Husqvarna saws due to the slightly more power it has, even though it weighs slightly more than a Stihl when fully fuelled. A Husqvarna saw tends to have a better fuel efficiency and reduces emissions, hence why it’s one of my favourite types of kit.

Do you prefer climbing or being a groundie?

Since starting to work in this industry, I’ve always been a groundie. But recently, I’ve been slowly introduced to climbing. Since I first climbed, I’ve loved it and whenever I get the chance to get up a tree, I love it more each time!

What made you choose to become an arborist – does more need to be done in schools to promote jobs with trees? A friend of mine is in arb, and he offered

me a job when he saw me working on my grandad’s farm. I thought it was a risk to take the offer because I know how hard the industry can be, but I wanted to try something new and it was a risk I was willing to take. As soon as I took that offer, I realised it was the best decision I’ve made for my future.

Sounds like you’ve had great training with Multevo – do you have more coming up?

Yes, the training is excellent here. I’m currently working through my NPTC Level 2 Certificate of Competence in Felling Small Trees up to 380mm and my NPTC Level 2 Certificate of Competence in Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue.

I think more schools should promote jobs within arb – there’s a vast number of roles within this industry and you’re learning something new every day which keeps it exciting. Schools need to open children’s minds and show them that there is so much they can do with their future. It was the best decision I’ve made, and school never showed me that.

Did you need to study arb at college?

I didn’t study arb, I actually studied catering at Runshaw College. I’ve been fortunate enough to join a company that values my personal progression and is allowing me to obtain the skills and qualifications I need to do my job to the highest and safest standard.

Does the arb sector need more role models – are you ready to be one?

Yes, currently at Multevo we have plenty of role models, but when the time comes, I would happily step in and take on the role – especially to encourage more women into the sector.

Do you play sports or work out to stay fit – or is the job enough exercise?

In my spare time, I go the gym regularly. The job keeps me fit and healthy, but I enjoy training in the gym, it helps me with my mental health, and I can be more social outside working hours.

What are your ambitions?

My ambitions are to just perform the best to my abilities, with the tools and training Multevo have given me to succeed.

PROARBMAGAZINE.COM Pro Arb | Summer 2023 51
there’s a vast number of roles within this industry and you’re learning something new every day
For more information, contact us now: email or tel/WhatsApp: 07385 955301 WE BUY ARB RIGHT ACROSS THE UK Woodchip, brash and offcuts wanted We can collect or you can tip at one of our sites across the country Competitive rates Modern fleet of specialist vehicles Full site solutions including mobile chipping
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