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PROARB

Winter 2019 PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE FOR T REE SURGEONS

STEERING A COURSE FOR ARB JAIME BRAY – THE AA’S NEW CHAIRMAN

WHO’S READY FOR REFRESHER TRAINING?

B C A’ S D E E V I C K E R S EXPLAINS ALL

H O W T O B E A G R E AT B O S S

WAYNE ELWELL’S TOP TIPS

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INSIDE SORBUS I N T E R N AT I O N A L KEEPING I T IN T HE FAMILY

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AS STANDARD

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WELCOME

PROARB

PROARB

Winter 2019 PROFESSIONAL TREE CARE FOR T REE SURGEONS

STEE RING A COUR SE FOR ARB

JAIME BRAY – THE AA’S NEW CHAIRMA N

WHO’S READY FOR REFRESHER TRAINING? B C A’ S D E E V I C K E R S EXPLAINS ALL

winter 2019 • Volume 6 • Issue 01

H O W T O B E A G R E AT B O S S

WAYNE ELWELL’S TOP TIPS

INSIDE SORBUS I N T E R N AT I O N A L KEEPING I T IN T HE FAMILY

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limbing trees is hard work. But, is managing people even harder? Wayne Elwell is a former climber turned people manager and he has some wise and humorous words about how he learned the ropes of being a boss. The arb sector is one peppered with individuals who don’t want to be micromanaged and juggling your staff’s motivation, loyalty and ability to maintain high safety

ALL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 777 570 Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Features Editor – Rachel Gordon proarbeditor@eljays44.com Subeditor – Kia Wilson kia.wilson@eljays44.com Subeditor – Sam Seaton sam.seaton@eljays44.com ADVERTISING Business Development Manager – Jamie Wilkinson jamie.wilkinson@eljays44.com

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standards is no easy task. Wayne’s way has plenty to commend it – would you agree? Certainly, those who study to become arborists may have ambitions to run their own business. But, once you start taking people on, the landscape changes and HR often has to be picked up on the hoof. At Pro Arb we are providing guidance in each issue in our Business Zone article, which we hope is useful food for thought. There is also some topical learning from seasoned

Head of Sales – Jessica McCabe jessica.mccabe@eljays44.com Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough liam.colclough@eljays44.com PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd

educator Dee Vickers who has supplied an excellent piece on refresher training. In this issue, we also feature an interview with the Arboricultural Association’s new chairman, Jaime Bray. It is fantastic for our sector that he is an arborist through and through and the right man to encourage everyone to raise their game and that includes aspiring to chartered status. Here’s to aiming high!

information contained in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts.

CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: chris.anderson@eljays44.com

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

Pro Arb is published 4 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2019 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and

FOLLOW US ONLINE www.proarbmagazine.com Follow us on Twitter @ProArbmagazine Like us on Facebook Proarbmagazine Connect to our LinkedIn group Pro Arb UK

For careers in arboriculture and horticulture go to www.horticulturecareers.co.uk Every week we send out ‘Pro Arb: The Tuesday Recap’, in which we highlight the most popular news stories from the last week. If you aren’t subscribed to The Tuesday Recap but would like to be, please email Amber Bernabe at amber.bernabe@eljays44.com If you would like to send us press releases to post online and potentially feature in The Tuesday Recap, please email Rachel Gordon at proarbeditor@eljays44.com

PROARB

Pro Arb | Winter 2019

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CONTENTS

s t n e cont W

9 1 0 2 r inte

30 47

44

news & views 6 > News

Happenings around the world of arb

10 > Opinion – Wayne Elwell An arborist on the challenges of being a people manager

13 > Interview – Jaime Bray Meet the Arboricultural Association’s engaging new chairman

features

kit

18 > Jonathan Hazell – going it alone

38 > Meet the supplier

Why self-employment is the right route for some

42 > Technology – Arb Pro

Software that’s tailored to tree surgeons

44 > Q&A with Marlow Ropes

22 > Promoting planting

46 > Chippers and Stage V

Timely advice from BCA’s Dee Vickers

The Woodland Trust’s ambitious strategy

24 > Pests & Diseases – cankers

26 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook

A pictorial guide to damage in its varied forms

Technical manager Paul Dyer shares his knowledge

emissions changes Timberwolf demystifies the new legislation

47 > Commercial vehicles – Hilux Check out the conversion

48 > Chainsaw maintenance Paul George produces some useful guidance

30 > Apprenticeships – the programme continues

50 > Product DNA

33 > Business Zone – workplace policies

51 > Ancient Tree Forum

Modern learning techniques reap benefits

Peninsula’s Alan Price on issues surrounding smoking, alcohol and drugs

CONTENTS.indd 5

The family focus at Sorbus International

20 > Ready for refresher training?

What they are, what to do about them – expertise from Glynn Percival

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46

The handy Echo 58V battery power chainsaw

Royal connections uncovered in Buckinghamshire

Pro Arb | Winter 2019

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NEWS & VIEWS

news ROUNDUP

HUSQVARNA LAUNCHES DIGITAL CHAINSAW ACADEMY Husqvarna’s Chainsaw Academy – an online digital resource – includes stepby-step guides, animations and videos, and is easily accessible through a computer or smartphone. It has been developed with a mobilefirst approach, suiting those working outdoors and helping chainsaw users to get more out of their equipment. It contains basic guidelines on various subjects related to chainsaw usage, focusing on how to fell a tree – from preparation and safety to felling, limbing

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and crosscutting. Husqvarna Chainsaw Academy aims to increase awareness of the safety aspects of chainsaw use with guidance for everyone seeking knowledge. Hanna Nordquist, global brand and communication manager, says: “With the Husqvarna Chainsaw Academy we are digitising our knowledge on chainsaw use and making it accessible for anyone who wants to know more about safety and performance when using a chainsaw. We know endcustomer behavior continues to shift towards mobile, which is why we developed the content for smartphones, so that it is easily accessible whenever, wherever. However, it is still essential to go through proper chainsaw safety training with a qualified instructor and check what rules and regulations may apply in your country.” chainsawacademy.husqvarna.com

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

AA BIKERS ON BIOSECURITY MISSION An intrepid group of four Arboricultural Association members has recently cycled from the Severn estuary in Gloucestershire to the Houses of Parliament to deliver information about the importance of biosecurity to government. The epic bike ride, which took place on 6 December last year, marks the official release of the AA’s Guidance Note 2: Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture. The riders were Simon Cox, the co-author of the new guidance, Russell Ball, the tree research fundraiser at Fund4Trees, Karl Stuckey, director of one of the longest-serving AA-approved contractors, and Peter Wharton, who represented both the AA and Institute of Chartered Foresters. The four rode more than 100 miles in one morning to deliver a unified industry message in support of the document and to encourage further consideration by industry stakeholders and government of the health and wellbeing of the UK’s unique tree stock. The distance was some 112 miles and involved crossing two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty before riding through the streets of London. On arrival, the four met parliamentarians and lords

from both houses, as well as representatives from DEFRA, The Woodland Trust and other crosssector partners gathering to learn more about significance of Biosecurity in Arboriculture. This key issue has gained national awareness since the outbreak of Chalara (Ash Dieback) in 2012. The free guidance enables professionals at all levels to be prepared to deal with current and potential threats to the tree stock of the UK & Ireland. One of the threats is Asian Longhorn Beetle, which could impact on some 3.8 million trees – 31% of the whole tree population. Replacing these trees would cost £23 billion. Donations to the Fund4Trees charity are invited and messages of support can be posted on social media using the hashtag #treesbiosecurity.

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NEWS & VIEWS

FÖRST OPENS DONCASTER DEPOT Wood chipper manufacturer Först has expanded its UK operation with the opening of a new 10,000 sq ft depot in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, following a period of growth. The new depot will have a sales team presence to provide service to customers in the north of England. The facility will also house a hire division and a workshop where engineers can provide machinery maintenance either in Doncaster or on site at customer premises. Initially, one mobile service vehicle will operate from the depot with potential to increase that as the business grows in the region. In addition, the new depot will stock new and demo machinery across rst’s eet of diesel and

petrol-powered woodchippers and a full range of spare parts for the range, ensuring customer requirements can be met. Doug Ghinn, director at Först, comments: “The business continues to make significant strides in the UK market and it’s great to see the presence of the brand continue to go from strength to strength. The opening of Doncaster will give customers in the north of England an enhanced service offering direct from the manufacturer. We have developed an excellent reputation for designing, manufacturing and supplying products that produce outstanding chipping performance, backed up by a first-class service offering and this

depot will make that service to our customers even better. “We are very excited to be expanding our operations and this is the first part of a much wider plan for us to not only increase the level of Först aftersales care and support across the UK, but as we enhance our presence in Europe also.” Contacts at the new depot for arborists in the north are Russell Fletcher and Gregg Owen. Both have been with the business for several months and if required, they can

bring Först products out for a trial. Their contact details are: r ssell etcher orst oodchippers com or telephone: gregg o en orst oodchippers com or telephone:

FREE APP AIDS FUNGI IDENTIFICATION

Environmental consultants Tim Moya Associates has released a free app to help identify treerelated fungi and supplement tree inspections. The app covers the main tree/ fungi associations relevant to tree health and safety in the UK.

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TMA Fungi allows the user to search by tree species and narrow down a search to the crown, stem or root of the tree and the information for the app has been prepared by Christopher Wright, a senior arboricultural consultant at TMA. ‘‘The fungi app was born from a series of internal documents, created through relevant research and additional information from discussions with professional mycologists and arboriculturists. The fact that this app is free is key and I am delighted that the information is at the fingertips of anyone who wants to download the app and use it for what it offers,’’ he says.

Managing director Tim Moya adds: “We decided to release the app for free to contribute to an improved and clearer understanding of tree/fungi associations, helping the wider arboricultural and environmental industry to identify fungi on trees. We have received numerous messages of support and appreciation for the quality and ease of use.’’ Users are encouraged to share their experience of using the app by emailing tma ngi tma cons ltants co k with comments and suggestions. The app is available for both iPhone and Android devices. timmoyaassociates co k

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NEWS & VIEWS

WOODLAND TRUST GALVANISES SUPPORT AGAINST HS2

The Woodland Trust is fighting against the destruction of ancient woodland that is planned as part of the HS2 project. High Speed 2 is a railway under construction which will connect ondon, Birmingham, the East Midlands, eeds and Manchester and is scheduled to open in phases between 2026 and 2033. The charity describes the moves to remove the trees as environmentally caustic and it has secured more than 28,000 signatures in support. HS2 will involve at least 19 ancient woodlands being destroyed. Abi Bunker, director of conservation and external affairs says The tremendous reaction to our campaign shows the overwhelming opposition to the destruction of this rare and irreplaceable habitat. We stand

to lose not just the woodland but the hundreds of species that call it home. No amount of replanting can compensate for the loss. The Woodland Trust started its campaign last October after seeing a draft environmental statement for Phase 2b of HS2 that revealed some 16.7 hectares – equivalent to 25 football pitches – set to be removed, double the Trust’s original estimation. The single biggest loss of ancient woodland is at Nor Wood, near Killamarsh, on the erbyshire South orkshire border (4.1ha). The Woodland Trust wants to see the proposed route to be realigned or for tunnelling to be considered in order to save the threatened irreplaceable habitats. The woods contain many varied species and are home to rare wildlife such as the lesser spotted woodpecker, the willow tit and the wood warbler, bats such as the brown long-eared and eisler’s, butter ies such as the purple hairstreak and silver-washed fritillary, as well as otters, badgers and hedgehogs.

ISLE OF WIGHT TREE SURGEON CHIPS FOR CHARITY An Isle of Wight tree surgeon helped local people recycle their Christmas trees by chipping them in return for a 2 donation. Wight Tree Surgery provided the chipping service after Christmas, with local people invited to bring

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their trees to the car park of Westridge eisure Centre in Ryde and at Shanklin Railway Station. The donations were given to Medinaouse School, which caters for children with special educational needs.

NEWS IN BRIEF Stihl produces batteries in-house Stihl has set up an in-house production line for battery products at its headquarters in ermany. Backpack batteries for professional applications will be produced at a highly automated high-tech manufacturing facility in Hohenacker (Waiblingen). Entering into battery pack manufacturing is the logical continuation of the STIH battery strategy, says r Bertram Kandziora, chairman of the executive board. Stihl launched its line of battery products for professional and high-end private use in 2009 and in 2016, the company opened a competence centre for battery and electronics development. The first batteries produced in-house are already being distributed. More protection for urban trees planned Environment secretary Michael ove has announced plans to create greater protections for trees in urban areas. The proposals mean councils cannot fell street trees without first consulting communities and also report on any replanting plans. It is also recommended that the orestry Commission should be given more powers to tackle illegal tree felling and strengthen protection of wooded landscapes. Mr ove said It’s right that the views of local people are at the heart of any decision that affects their community, – and the futures of the trees that line their streets are no different.

Ancient Tree Forum summer conference – book now The Ancient Tree orum (AT ) will be holding its summer conference in Sherwood orest on Thursday 27 and riday 28 June 2019, and booking is now open. Talks will take place at the Clumber Park Hotel in Worksop with a trip to the Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and Nature Reserve. The AT has also requested presentations for a number of 15 and 30-minute slots. Those who are interested should submit papers on themes connected to ancient and other veteran tree management topics. or more information see www.ancienttreeforum. co.uk/events/atf-summerconference-2019-atsherwood-forest Bogus ‘tree fellers’ attack elderly man A man in his 70s was attacked after a caller knocked on the door of his home in Stockport, reater Manchester claiming to be a tree surgeon. The fraudster said he had been asked to come and fell trees. The occupant said he had not requested any such service but agreed to go outside to examine the trees. Once he returned to the front door, four masked men were waiting and forced their way into the property. The man was threatened with a screwdriver and punched, before the men made off with his wallet. The offenders then left the scene in a red car. Police are seeking the men and are warning residents to beware of unsolicited callers.

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NEWS & VIEWS

Leading from

the top

MANAGING PEOPLE IS HARD. BUT IT’S SOMETHING MANY ARBORISTS WILL NEED TO DO IF THEY SET UP THEIR OWN BUSINESSES. WAYNE ELWELL HAS SOME INSIGHTFUL THOUGHTS ON EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT

A

rborists are a special bunch. We’re in the game because we love it – it becomes a way of life. Seldom do you stumble across forums or Facebook pages where other tradespeople are so keen to share techniques, critique new kit and discuss other professionals’ approaches. I’ve been in arboriculture for over 20 years, and clearly this isn’t a one-man job. At some point you’ll have to pay someone to work with or for you. Those who work alone are taking horrendous personal risk in what is already a dangerous profession. So, you may typically start off as a main climber and get a groundsperson or two in to help you out. Business goes well and you cannot dedicate time anymore to swinging around on the latest SRT rigs – people need to be visited and quotes need issuing. You start to rely more on other people. Perhaps like me you’ll also pick up an injury – let’s face it, the chances are high. At 40, I stopped climbing altogether. I’d had too many injuries and was a little exhausted with the sheer intensity of the work. Yep, I’m a soft southerner. You don’t learn HR My focus changed. Suddenly, I became a people manager and a business builder. This

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was never taught 23 years ago at Sparsholt College. So, now like thousands of small businesses, along with payroll, accountancy, purchasing, surveying, secretarial, logistics and face-to-face meetings, I became an HR operative too. I thought to myself: “How hard can that be?” I like to think I’m a pretty decent boss. My mantra is to treat people as I’d like to be treated. I’m laid-back and realistic in expectations. I lack the drive to build a large company – as long as I’m providing for the family financially and am sound of mind to be a decent husband and father, that suits me.

On the move But I do manage people, and it’s tricky. Arb tends to attract a high proportion of transient folk, who tend to be young, capable and can work anywhere. For example, one of our lads ended up living and working in Finland, while another ended up buying a beaten up LDV and travelling around the UK. It’s full of opportunity and learning experiences. If things were different for me back in the day, I’d do exactly the same. However, it does have huge implications when a valued team member leaves you. We’ve had it several times over the past

I do manage people, and it’s tricky. Arb tends to attract a high proportion of transient folk, who tend to be young, capable and can work anywhere I’m not pushy and definitely not into stress. I’ve built a small family-owned company. We have full-time staff and subbies come in when needed. It’s comfortably at the point where a large job could see me have 5-6 people including myself on site. I’m certainly no Richard Branson!

10 years. Whist departures have not been personal, there’s always been a small part of me that took it so. Upheaval is great and the feeling of being unsettled is unpleasant to say the least. Last year my team leader of five years was offered an amazing opportunity, he grasped it and left

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the fold. I was shocked and spent the next four months trying to find a replacement. Could I have done something to keep him is probably a different discussion, but if someone wants to leave, it’s not my job to convince them to stay if we cannot satisfy their needs.

The challenge is managing these people, I was never taught HR; I was trained to be an arborist. How to get the best out of people is a challenge, and so is finding out what motivates them and what they love. At times, I find myself feeling a little bit paternal. I want the team to

I started to go out on site with the team more often. Yes, I got under their feet and tried to impart knowledge that they already know. But at least on those days we are all in it together If someone on the team doesn’t want to be there, it can lead to difficult situations, and often it’s better for them to be able to move on. What really matters The search for his replacement taught me some valuable lessons. There are plenty of good people out there. But few do it the way you want the job done. You have to build on a firm foundation – work ethic and technique are essential. It’s hard to relinquish that finished article to someone else. They will do it differently and often better than you would have done. I find BS 3998 (BSI’s ‘Recommendations for Tree Work’) useful: if your new subbie/team member can prune to this, you can relax a little. You know the knowledge, skill and good practice is there. No team wants to feel at fault, it’s deeply de-motivating. I think clear, concise job sheets can avoid some errors. Sometimes I fear mine are too prescriptive and may come across as patronising the lads or as if I’m treating them like children, which is not the case. I do this to protect them on site, mistakes due to misunderstanding of spec or a client’s wishes are down to me and occasionally, things can go wrong. I’ve also found the new cohort of arborists to be conscientious, hard working and willing to learn. Some of the contractors we’ve used over the past few months have been professional in their approach right until we’ve reached the finished article.

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know I will support them, just as I’m exposed letting them be the face of the company. I’m there for them. I’ve tried my best to help them grow and develop as both people and workers. Be there on site In the past, I’ve enjoyed having a team on site to do the hard work – all I’ve done is issue job sheets and left them to it. The truth is, whilst trying not to interfere with their way of running the job, I don’t want to come across as not being interested, which is far from the truth. I’m aware that my desire to not micro-manage or constantly call for progress reports might be perceived as me just not caring. So, I started to go out on site with the team more often. Yes, I got under their feet and tried to impart knowledge that they already knew.

But at least on those days we were all in it together. I also realised how much I’d been missing. We have tool-box talks: team members feel valued and comfortable enough to raise concerns with things like kit, jobs and timescales. Getting subbies in is a whole new ball game. I feel for sub-contractors and they work hard. Face it, if you’re paying your subbie upwards of £160 per day, you’re going to want your pound of esh. Even so, I’ve tried to resist this urge and generally they do come in on larger jobs, and so the whole team works harder on these days. So, why pay them more? The answer: no holiday or sick pay, no pension and they need their own PPE, tools and more. They work at their risk and not yours. Fair treatment pays rewards When they are working with us they are part of our team, not some pit pony to be overworked. This approach has worked for me, subbies want to come in for me and they’ll change stuff around for us in their diaries. My experience has shown subbies to be amazing professionals who perform, learn how different companies work and adjust accordingly. They are worth the money, so treat them well. It’s much easier to keep existing employees rather than find new ones. Treat people well, understand that they will clock off and not think about work until the next day, and take then take them for a pint on a Friday – sorted.

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17/01/2019 14:19 14/01/2019 11:35


NEWS & VIEWS

An arborist

through and through THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE ARBORICULTURAL ASSOCIATION HAS A PASSION FOR THE SECTOR AND FOR PROMOTING THE HIGHEST STANDARDS – MEET JAIME BRAY so easy when I have spent my life delivering against operational targets. I am looking forward to further developing my skills and encouraging the board in this direction. Do you have a particular goal for the year ahead? Yes, avoid talking about Brexit. Developing the strategic objectives that include, amongst many things, how we can build awareness of arboriculture. Our biggest challenge is probably the word arboriculture, but we need to reach out and help the public realise that trees are good for life.

When did you take over as AA chairman and ho long ill yo e in o ce? Being chairman of the AA is a two-year post. I was elected by the board of trustees in September 2018, having been vice-chairman for two years. What are you most looking forward to as part of the role? The strategic aspect. In my progression within, and outside, the AA I have come to learn that at board level we need to think about, set, and deliver against, strategic aims. That’s not

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maintaining technical expertise. Looking back to just over 50 years ago, when the AA was formed, and you can see how far the profession has come on. The AA has been, and continues to be, the leader in developing, nurturing and promoting that expertise. How long have you been an AA member and why did you join? I first joined the AA when I was at college in 1994. There was a short period between 1997-2000 when I wasn’t a member. I was setting up my business, and every penny was priceless, if only I’d known then that the

Our biggest challenge is probably the word arboriculture but we need to reach out and help the public realise that trees are good for life The AA is noted for its commitment to technical expertise – do arborists feel that it is not for them, i.e. perhaps they are not ‘professional enough’ – do you want to change perceptions? As we look outside the organisation we must be comfortable the AA is setting and

association could have been of assistance in developing my business, it would probably have saved me a few tears in those early days. This was one of the reasons I was so keen for the AA’s Arborist Working Group (AWG) to succeed. Assisting arborists to develop either

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NEWS & VIEWS

themselves and/or their business is a key part of the group’s work. How important is it to have a professional body to oversee the arborist sector? Arboriculture is an emerging profession. The AA was key in developing that professionalism. Those before me have developed the sector and the value of trees, as part of green infrastructure, is recognised more widely now. Now is the time to build on that development and ensure the profession has representation for the next 50 years and beyond. Is the role of the AA to raise standards? It must. It needs to look around it, realise what is needed and bring the industry along with it. Increasing knowledge, improving interaction with others and having a strong voice with decision makers is how the AA identifies the need and raises those standards. You have chartered status – what was it like attaining this and do you think it was worth it? It was a long and testing journey to become chartered. This industry is one of very few

Jaime was elected Chair at the 2018 AA Conference Is there a need for more customer education – what can be done about this? There’s always a need to educate customers. Educating end users is vital to the sustained success of any business, regardless of the industry or product. Raising awareness of the

importance of professional tree management is a key aspect of the AA’s strategy, and will be key going forward. Watch this space!

How important is training and where did you train – do you believe training should be ongoing? I first started on the National iploma in Arboriculture at Moreton Morrell College. I was fortunate to be taught how to use the chainsaw by the late Steve Brooker. His ability to convey his knowledge to students was second to none. As I looked to gain a higher qualification, I sought the services of Treelife Training in Syston. The work they continuously do to ensure that evel 4 and 6 iplomas are made available to industry is so valuable in my opinion. I personally believe training is important. By being ongoing you could say that it helps people to remain current and up to date in best practice, and therefore assists in sustaining safe working practices.

How long have you been an arborist and why did you choose this as a career? I have been an arborist for 24 years. I dropped out of my sixth form A-levels and went to work for my uncle’s forestry firm. I opted for arboriculture because the wages in forestry at the time were so poor. I know some readers’ eyes will pop out at the concept that wages are any better in arboriculture, but at the time I was working on £15 a day.

What do you love about the work and what are the main frustrations? You do not stay in arboricultural work without a passion for a raft of things associated with the job. Whether it’s the teamwork element, the physicality, the change of environment on a daily basis, the pride you get in completing work to the best of your ability, seeing the results of your work years or even decades later. This is not just relevant when contracting, but also when engaging in consultancy work.

I personally believe training is important. By being ongoing you could say that it helps people to remain current and up to date of best practice where someone like me can start dragging brush, find an interest in what I am doing and then learn more and more to the point of becoming chartered. Would you like to see more arborists work towards this and become chartered? I would encourage anyone in our sector to learn and develop, whatever direction you want to take. For me, as my work became more consultancy- focused, recognising the importance of planning for the future was key. I would say, being chartered was imperative to the development of that aspect of my career.

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our strategy and charitable remit. Making them aware of the rewarding career they can have whilst working with trees will be a key component of that work. But once again, we may need to spend as much time explaining the word arboriculture as explaining what the job entails.

Jaime announces the winner of the Arboricultural Association Award When it comes to business, a key challenge is simply finding competent, skilled staff. Generally speaking, my main frustration is the inability of some people to recognise the importance of trees. Trees are a key component of the urban environment, they are society’s green lungs. Do you refer to yourself as an arborist or a tree surgeon – is there a problem with the latter, does it denote a lack of professionalism? Well, my company name is Treetop Arboriculture. It was originally Treetop Surgery but many years ago, as I sought to demonstrate my professionalism from the outset of a customer’s enquiry, I deemed it valuable to change the business name and incorporate the word arboriculture. I have since spent a lot of the last 15 years explaining to customers what the word arboriculture means. irstly I have to assist the customer in pronouncing the word correctly, then I have to explain what arboriculture is, to which I am then dismayed to hear the customer ask, is that not just tree surgery? Does the tree surgery term denote a lack of professionalism? To some in the industry, possibly yes, to the general public, I really do not believe that it

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does. There are lots of people who are familiar with the word arboriculture, but there are many millions of the public who aren’t. A lot is talked about the risks within the work – have you had any accidents or near misses? I have been fortunate to have not had an accident whilst operating a chainsaw. I am however aware of the dangers of using a chainsaw. Social media discussion on accidents and near misses is a continuous reminder of the risks involved. In my opinion, this is a valuable use of social media. What are your thoughts on apprenticeships – are these helping bring on the next generation of arborists? I think that apprenticeships are valuable to the industry. As with anything of that nature, the particular experience of one person will vary from another. I know that a lot of work was put into the apprenticeship scheme, and that there will be many arborists that have and will benefit from it. Do you think more needs to be done in schools to raise awareness of work with trees? Educating the next generation about the value of trees is a key part of the association’s work as we strive to fulfil the objectives of

Do you have any favourite pieces of kit that you’d recommend? The amount of equipment on the market at the moment is huge. Currently I climb on a Michoac n hitch system, I find this very effective when climbing. The smaller tophandled chainsaws now available are superb. The light-weight nature of them really does reduce fatigue. Carrying an extra few pounds of weight around the tree can be tiring, of course – I refer to the saw, not myself. Do you have a passion for trees and do you feel you have a role to play in their conservation? es, I do have a passion for trees and the broader environment too. I think that society as a whole has a role to play in the conservation of trees as a component of that broader environment. What are your interests outside of work? I would say that coaching my daughter’s rugby team is a big hobby. When I asked my children to list my hobbies, they replied rugby and eating. Happy New ear to all the readers from the Arboricultural Association.

Jaime after attempting the ‘looping bike challenge’ a ARB Show 2017

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S E R U T FEA 9 1 0 2 r e wint

18 > Going it alone

In 2010, Jonathan Hazell took the self-employed route to become a consultant, and he’s never looked back

20 > Get ready for refresher training

When, where and how – being up to date on current methods is essential, particularly when work is potentially high risk

22 > Woodland Trust – planting for the future An ambitious programme is underway to significantly increase the K’s tree stock – Hollie Anderson reports

24 > Focus on tree cankers

Glynn Percival has guidance on prevention, recognition and treatment options for a common but potentially serious condition

26 > Dr Duncan Slater’s casebook It invariably takes something serious to result in a tree’s demise as these powerful examples demonstrate

30 > Apprenticeships – update from BCA

Modern methods help apprentices develop their learning even if they have different abilities and experience explains Dee Vickers

33 > Business zone – straightforward HR

Smoking, drugs and alcohol cause problems at work – Peninsula’s Alan Price has advice on implementing clear and practical policies

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FEATURES

VIEWS

J O N AT H A N HAZELL

U

ntil October 2010 I had spent the first 30 years of my career as an employee. Working with local authorities either as a member of the tree gang or an officer, with a development corporation, a couple of charities – one local and one national – and then a national commercial service provider. The clouds rolled in during the 31st year of my professional career, and in my first one-to-one with a new M , I completely misread the signals and then spent an

The benefits of going it alone IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING TAKING THE PLUNGE AND BECOMING SELF-EMPLOYED, JONATHAN HAZELL HAS ADVICE BASED ON PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ON HOW TO THRIVE AND PROSPER

uncomfortable few months being made redundant. While I would never have had the courage to resign, I was sufficiently bloody-minded to challenge the process until further resistance was futile. So, it was not through choice I became an independent consultant in October 2011, aged 54. It works for me Why am I telling you this or me, being independent has been the happiest period of my career

and is something that has worked out extremely well. I learnt to manage with sharing a car (a company car had been seemingly ever-present) and

the country to an interview as a principal consultant. uring the interview I began to realise that having stepped off the corporate merry-go-round, I was happy and

I know that some instructions are price-sensitive and so I try to offer value for money on half the income. Eventually, I found myself travelling across

could not really envisage being comfortable climbing back on. One of the stumbling blocks regarding self-employment is securing income streams. Being an established sole trader I had begun to develop a client base and former colleagues and contacts were kind in giving me an opportunity in my early days. I was able to name my price and trouser the income while getting to choose the jobs I wanted or was happy to reject. Work hard, play hard or me, the motivation to become self-employed was purely one of personal comfort – the freedom to play badminton on a Tuesday morning and so on. I’m not averse

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FEATURES

to full-time work and during the summer I was doing six and seven-day weeks, but I do enjoy my time off. Being independent has given me the opportunity to explore different markets and gain new experiences and each has opened new doors and areas for learning. When I was employed as a principal consultant, a host of opportunities simply never came my way for commercially sensitive reasons. or example, I was unlikely to be invited to help dress a business for sale, or to write method statements for a competitor’s tender bid, or go on the One Show! There is also more control over what to charge for a particular piece of work, often by non-specialists who did not understand the value of the project. I know that some instructions are price-sensitive and so I try to offer value for money. Not only that, most of a typical report is simply boiler plate text and so it’s a bit steep to charge too much for capturing information about two trees, however far away the site may be. There’s also the opportunity to propose a ridiculous fee for a piece of work you do not want to do, but be prepared to live with the consequences of being instructed. If you really don’t want to do something, then withdraw. What I have learnt I’ve learnt a couple of things that stand me in good stead. One is that there are a host of people and companies out there providing a service similar to mine and so I cannot expect to be on the go all the time thank goodness. Another is that you are only as good as your last piece of work, and maybe not even that good

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if you don’t answer your client’s concerns. Some clients reliably come back for more, others when they have specific issues to address, and some drop off the radar after just one project. I have had to curtail my expectations with some clients, and perhaps have secretly relished the opportunity to skim over a project rather than get deeply drawn into the nittygritty. or example, reporting on an enterprise-wide survey is one thing, but drawing up priorities and a programme of recommendations as a result is something I’m happy to allow the client to develop. I wouldn’t suggest that selfemployment suits everyone, and I know that local service providers despair over the reluctance of cutters and climbers to go on the payroll – it inhibits their ability to plan with confidence to meet client expectations. The constant calls on social media (climbers wanted work wanted) are testament to the ‘gun for hire’ culture that can exist and this may also run counter to the advice I always gave when talking to students, paraphrased here as ‘learn your trade at someone else’s expense’. Unfortunately there are some in our sector looking for a steady income for a few weeks without

Such individuals do us no favours and they are inconsiderate to those who employ them – in fact they too often seem to ‘take the mickey’. I don’t suppose I am truly

you are only as good as your last piece of work, and maybe not even that good if you don’t answer your client’s concerns taking sufficient responsibility in terms of developing management systems, good practice, work programmes, supply chains, third-party accreditation, stability of the undertaking and so on.

surprised – I well remember a former colleague saying, without malice, that some in arboriculture were simply unemployable as they were not prepared to stick to rules in areas like meal breaks,

reporting times and management lines. Being cynical, I suppose I could set up the tree-work equivalent of ber – Arber – and soak up all the labour and machine operators on zero hours contracts and invest heavily in computing to get enough warm bodies to a particular place at a set time to satisfy a client. But then again, as the past years in providing a quality experience has shown, the answer to that ‘opportunity’ has to be a resounding ‘no’.

Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant. jhazell.com

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Why do I need

refresher training? VIEWS

WORK REQUIREMENTS REGARDING KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS NEEDED CHANGE. NOW, ARBORISTS NEED TO ACCESS RELEVANT AND QUALITY COURSES TO ENABLE THEM TO PERFORM WITH SAFETY AND COMPETENCE. DEE VICKERS HAS SOME EXPERT ADVICE ON THIS COMPLEX BUT VITAL AREA

Dee V IC K E R S

pdate training allows you to ‘up-skill’ by extending your knowledge and experience in a specific area

I

t’s a common enough comment from operators: “I’ve been doing this job for [insert number here] years and I’ve never had an accident, why do I need refresher training?” Meanwhile, from managers, the question is frequently: “How often do we need refresher training?”. So, there would appear to be a demand for some guidance in this area, which is why I will be taking

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a look at the world of refresher and update training, from the perception of it, the legal side to how to find suitable courses. et’s get the legal stuff out of the way first. One of the most repeated questions we get asked is: “When do I need to do refresher training?”. It’s an obvious question that should have an obvious answer, yet the reality is not so simple. The basic fact is

that there is no definitive timescale for refresher training. While we could probably agree that 25 years without any updates is too long, and the three to five-year timescale feels about right, how do we know when to undertake a course? What does the HSE say? The HSE website states that “the nature and frequency of refresher

training should be sufficient to ensure ongoing health and safety, so far as reasonably practicable”. This essentially means that it comes down to a risk assessment; but what do we need to consider in order to assess the risk? Here’s where the Provision & Use of Work Equipment Regulations Approved Code of Practice (PUWER ACoP (L22)) helps define potential scenarios

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where update, or refresher, training could be required. Page 32 of L22 tells us that the most likely need for training will be on recruiting an individual but that additional training may be required when: • the risks that people are exposed to changes due to a change in working tasks; • new technology or equipment is introduced; • the system of work changes. Update or refresher training? All of the above would constitute update training rather than refresher training, so courses designed to facilitate learning new climbing methods (SRT, for example) to already experienced climbers using traditional DRT systems, would fall under this banner. Refresher training, however, aims to prevent skills decline. This could follow a lengthy period of absence, or where an operator has been moved back to a particular task they last performed some time ago; you may also seriously consider refresher training for staff following an

HSE’s INDG317: Chainsaws at Work provides useful guidance, and page 6 states that occasional users should receive refresher training every two to three years, and full-time users every five years. Remember though, this is not a legal requirement but a suggestion and your company policy may stipulate a completely different duration. Getting your money’s worth There are many excellent companies and individuals out there who look upon refresher/ update training as an investment in maintaining operator safety… and there are others who perceive this sort of training as a complete waste of time and money. I’m also aware that there are some – fortunately an everdeclining number of – trainers that see refresher training as an easy way to make a bit of money. This feeds the perception that these courses are less than relevant and unnecessary. So how do you, as a business, ensure that you get value for money, meet the (somewhat nebulous) legislation and feel like

As a training provider for nearly 15 years, I’ve always worked with clients and talked through their requirements so that they get want they need incident, near-miss or some other dangerous occurrence. Refresher training is not about teaching new skills but relates to maintaining existing ones. However, are we any closer to answering the question: “Yes, but how much time can elapse before I need to do the training?”. The

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the training was actually worth it? There are two answers to this – either, go down the official, awarding body route, or get a bespoke course. City & Guilds NPTC has long been a source of frustration to training providers as they do not offer a refresher qualification (despite having had

Refresher training keeps workers up to date with tasks carried out both daily and occasionally the qualification guidance written for many years), which leaves LANTRA as one option. However, there’s nothing in the legislation that specifically states that refresher/update training must be backed by an awarding body, although the big advantage is that any course covers a known set of relevant objectives, skills and underpinning knowledge. That is also a downside though, as many times in the past I’ve provided a mix of refresher and update training to clients. How do you know what you’re going to get? Be clear at the outset You have a certain reassurance with the awarding body option that you may not get with the bespoke option. As a training provider for nearly 15 years, I’ve always worked with clients and talked through their requirements so that they get want they need. I suggest that any business that requires this sort of training discusses it in some detail with their selected training provider. What starts out as a ‘climbing refresher’ has on more than one occasion turned into a update session looking at new climbing techniques or introducing more efficient ways to their existing

climbing techniques, then added in rigging techniques such as ziplines or drift-lines. In conclusion, it is up to training providers to listen to the needs of their clients, and for clients to talk about what the business is doing and any future direction. Working closely like this can realise the benefits of refresher update training as it should not be seen as ‘something we have to do’ but instead as an integral investment in staff development. Dee Vickers is head of department (Landbased) at Berkshire College of Agriculture, overseeing the landbased apprenticeships, short course delivery as well as writing the arborist apprenticeship provision for the College. Dee can be contacted at dvickers@bca.ac.uk References: HSE, General Work Equipment – Frequently Asked Questions, available at www.hse.gov.uk/ work-equipment-machinery/faqgeneral.htm HSE, PUWER ACoP, available at www.hse.gov.uk/pUbns/priced/ l22.pdf HSE, INDG317: Chainsaws at Work, available at www.hse.gov. uk/pubns/indg317.pdf

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Putting down roots in

2019

THE WOODLAND TRUST IS PLANNING TO PLANT 64 MILLION TREES BY 2025 AND AS HOLLIE ANDERSON SAYS, THE FUTURE IS LOOKING GREENER

N

ew Year, new start. It’s something everyone has run through their head after the festive period. But, for the Woodland Trust, the winter time is for new beginnings as it’s the height of the tree planting season. Many will know that woodland cover is not what it should be in the UK. In 2018, England’s woodland cover stood at just 10% and the government and Forestry Commission’s targets

Woodland Creation in the South East ©Judith Parry Woodland Trust

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School children planting saplings at Langley Vale Wood, Epsom ©Martin Gandy/Woodland Trust

of planting 5000ha of woodland in the 2017/18 season fell short with just 1500ha created. The Woodland Trust is trying to change that, with the ambitious target of planting 64 million trees between 2015 and 2025. Beginning young The Woodland Trust is well known for its largescale planting projects like Jubilee Woods and First World War Centenary Woods. But, two planned large-scale planting projects will transform whole landscapes in new ways. The first is the Northern orest, through which 50 million trees will be planted over 25 years. This planting will stretch from Liverpool to Hull with the M62 as its spine. It was launched in early 2018, so there is still much change to be seen, with many opportunities for local communities to get stuck in. The second involves a new land acquisition in Derbyshire. 250,000 trees will be planted across a 162-ha site near Heanor to form the first ‘ oung People’s orest’ – giving children and teenagers the chance to put saplings in the ground. Reaching the community The Trust’s free tree packs scheme allows schools and community groups to apply for

packs of trees to plant in their area, creating a sense of ownership over green spaces.

Map of the Northern orest ©Woodland Trust Packs come in a variety of themes and sizes, all of which have been grown and sourced in the UK. So far thousands have taken up the offer to try them out. The Trust is encouraging landowners and other organisations to think more about ‘the right tree, in the right place’. It encourages the creation of local copses, woodland, hedgerows, more trees in fields and planting on water catchment areas. The Trust also offers free advice to landowners who want to know more about how trees can help on their land – whether that is through reducing ooding, sheltering livestock or generating wood fuel. Looking forward, 2019 is set to see the world become a little greener thanks to trees. www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees

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Cankers –

PDEISSEATSE a look inside & tch wa

GLYNN PERCIVAL EXPLAINS HOW TO RECOGNISE AND MINIMISE THESE INFECTED TREE ‘WOUNDS’

Canker on willow

C

Cankers on tree stem of oak

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ankers are dead sections of bark on branches or main trunks of trees, typically appearing as discoloured or depressed areas. They occur because the bark may have been killed by mechanical injuries, fungi and bacteria. Most fungi that cause stem cankers are restricted to bark and xylem tissue that are degraded due to the effects of toxins or secreted enzymes. Such fungi include Nectria galligena, Cryphonectria parasitica, Diplodia pinea and Hypoxylon mammatum. The fungi that cause cankers and extensively invade the xylem causing wood decay are termed canker rot pathogens (for example, Cerrena unicolor). Generally, these are unable to penetrate bark directly, but will quickly colonise open wounds in icted by pruning, frost injury, breakage caused by ice and snow, dead branches, branch stubs, twigs, leaf scars or through leaves and/or insect attack. In addition, plants weakened by environmental stress (drought, waterlogging, salt damage) are more susceptible to attack.

Canker diseases may cause extensive damage to trees when they kill all of the bark in a particular area, girdling a branch or main stem. Girdling results in death of all parts of the plant above the canker. If the trunk is affected, the entire plant may die. Symptoms Cankers are generally classified into one of three to include: • Wound cankers Injury to the base of a tree trunk by lawnmowers or other mechanical equipment can be a cause of bark abrasion, girdling and death. Exercising caution is best, but barriers to prevent this type of injury can extend a tree’s life in the long-term. Mulching around the base of the tree will eliminate the need for mowing close to the stem. • Target-shaped cankers Several species of fungi cause these cankers on deciduous trees. Infections occur through bark wounds or at junctions of dead and live branches. Once established, the fungi grow

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• Diffuse cankers Some canker fungi grow through host tissue so rapidly that the tree has little chance to respond. The cankers are shallow and the bark on the advancing margins is frequently discoloured. iffuse cankers are usually lethal and diseased branches should be removed immediately. Cytospora canker which occurs on many deciduous trees and spruce, Hypoxylon canker on aspen and chestnut blight are typical of this group.

Canker on apple bark slowly through the bark during autumn and winter. During the growing season, healthy trees can respond to the cankers by forming callus tissue in rolls around the edges of infected areas. This alternating growth of fungus and tree results in a target-like appearance. Cankers such as Nectria (wide host range), Strumella (oaks) and Eutypella (maples) are typical of this group.

Botryosphaeria canker on holly

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Management Specific recommendations for preventing cankers and minimising damage vary with tree species and the nature of the canker. However, all management practices should include the following: • Vigorous, healthy trees are able to cope with cankers better than those in poor health or under stress. Be sure to fertilise in spring or autumn to improve plant vitality. • Inadequate soil moisture is the most common stress factor in urban and suburban sites – the solution is to mulch and irrigate during drought periods. • Correct pruning will help to reduce canker problems, so remove dead and weak branches as well as those which are rubbing against others creating wounds.

Stem canker on maple It may also be possible to excise the canker by cutting outside the cankered area into healthy bark and shaping the cut to an ellipse. Take care to avoid infection of the fresh wound with canker pathogens. Pruning tools should be sterlised between cuts by soaking them in water and either 10% household bleach for 30 minutes or 70% alcohol for several minutes. Meanwhile, if canker development is greater than 50% of the circumference of the trunk, monitor the tree’s development for internal decay in subsequent years, as there could be larger issues in the long-term. Finally, washes of copper-based products are recommended during the growing season as they can help prevent bacteria from infecting stems and foliage, protecting your trees from any potential risks they might pose. Dr Glynn Percival is plant physiologist/technical support specialist at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory www.bartletttree.co.uk

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What’s the

VIEWS

damage?

DUNCAN SLATER

IN THESE LATEST EXAMPLES FROM HIS CASEBOOK, DR DUNCAN SLATER LOOKS AT SOME OF THE CAUSES THAT CAN HAVE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES FOR A RANGE OF TREE SPECIES Trees are highly-evolved organisms and to destroy them it often takes hurricane-force winds – unless they have a substantial defect in their structure. These are a number of examples showing how once rigorous specimens met their demise

Farewell to The Big Old Beech There was a time when every arboricultural student at Myerscough College knew a tree which had the simple, respectful name of ‘The Big Old Beech’. This tree was monstrously large – being an edge tree to a woodland that was part of the original planting for Myerscough Hall, probably dating back to the 1770s. Growing at the southern edge of the wood, this beech had reached massive dimensions. With a trunk diameter of over 2.7m, a crown spread of over 35m and many side limbs that were themselves as big as normal trees. The Big Old Beech was greatly-favoured by our students for climbing purposes. But when this tree showed signs

December 2007

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of decay, we had to stop them accessing it for safety reasons. The swollen base of the trunk of the tree had, for many years, shown signs of Ganoderma fungus brackets – not very large ones and only appearing in a few of the utings on its lower stem. From an old branch pruning wound, it was clear that the trunk was pretty hollow – but The Big Old Beech coped well with that incipient decay for more than a decade. Then, in the spring of 2012, and quite unexpectedly, most of the crown of the tree only produced ‘micro-leaves’ – very small leaves of a chlorotic yellow colour. The Big Old Beech was then very

June 2013

sickly and in trouble. That autumn, a large quantity of the fruiting bodies of the fungus Meripilus giganteus emerged around its base; something that had previously been seen on this tree. The tree died rapidly after that, and the below image from June 2013 shows that there was almost no leaf coverage in the crown of the tree. In hope of keeping the tree as a decomposing remnant of the old estate, the arboricultural students built a post-and-rail fence around this tree. College students, staff and visitors were excluded from the potential fall zone of the massive tree and its now-dead branches. We hoped the branches and limbs

would drop as they rotted, and we might memorialise this famous tree as a natural standing stump. Unfortunately, the rate of the root decay caused by the Meripilus infection proved too much, and The Big Old Beech failed at its roots in February 2014. I was probably one of the last people to see it still standing, as I stood in the rain and wind to listen to the dead branches in its crown clattering down earlier on the night that it fell. What a privilege to have been there, in the last hours of this great tree. I know that I, and many of our students, will always fondly remember it as a Goliath of a tree.

February 2014

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Lightning strike spells destruction When I first came to Myerscough College to teach arboriculture, I would use a semi-mature turkey oak (Quercus cerris L.), as pictured, in the college’s woodland garden to demonstrate the damage that lightning can cause to a tree. There was a long vertical strip in the exposed sapwood, running down the stem for several metres, which is a typical lightning scar to see on struck

June 2006

trees. Additionally, near the base of the tree, a large area of the bark had also been blown off by what is called ‘instantaneous gasification of sap. This occurs when the sap in the outer layers of the tree changes from a liquid into a gas as a result of the high electrical current generated by the lightning strike. Over milliseconds a massive expansion occurs in the tree’s volume and the results of super-

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before I first came across it. As seen in the image, this tree failed only one year on from when I started at the college: the intensity of the wood decay and a strong rainstorm in June took the tree down, snapping its rotting stem. It is often a combination of factors – in this case, lightning and stem decay – that lead to tree failure, considering trees normal resilience to the physical forces acting upon them.

evergreen leaves in the winter in a way the tree itself could not anticipate. Ivy (Hedera helix L.) is a common coloniser of trees in woods, hedgerows and gardens – and can develop a large crown of foliage, especially when colonising a declining deciduous tree. The image on page 28 shows a large and old

alder (Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn.) with a well-developed inner crown of ivy. This climbing plant not only adds to the weight and the wind loading to the tree, but it also acts to obscure structural defects that might be present. In this case, the tree was in decline due to basal decay – and it fell in the

June 2007

Ignore ivy-clad trees at your peril Winter storms are the norm here in the North West of England, and our trees have to be tough and strong to survive them. Deciduous trees have a useful trick up their sleeve: they drop all their leaves in the winter months, which limits the extent to which the winter winds can blow them about. Often, when winter storms

heating the sap in this way are literally explosive. Because of the size of the wound, secondary decay fungi occurred pretty quickly. There were already long tiers of turkeytail fungus (Trametes versicolor, syn. Coriolus versicolor) at the edges of the wound in 2006, related to large areas of white rot in the wood of this tree. This suggests that the lightning damage was several years old

hit our local area, it is notable that pine and Leyland cypress branches and stems fail quite often. This is likely due to the fact that these trees are evergreen and still bearing foliage in the winter, unlike most of the broadleaved trees. However, even a deciduous tree can find itself bearing

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spring storms we experienced in March last year. Ivy-clad trees can often receive less attention by tree inspectors and by our students. Their problems are hidden and their appearance tends to put them ‘into the background’ for many people, visually speaking, especially when that tree is one amongst a group of other trees. However, it’s advisable to check out the structure of ivy-clad trees as quite often you can prevent a tree failure before it happens.

January 2018

March 2018

Making a monolith to last It now seems a common practice in UK arboriculture to create ‘monoliths’ or standing stumps. I’m not really sure why they are called monoliths – as this literally means ‘a single standing stone’. But I’m a big fan of this practice where the whole tree cannot be retained – very often due to extensive root, basal or stem decay in a large tree. Monoliths are potentially a great haven for wildlife – particularly xylophagous insects – and thus make for great feeding venues for woodpeckers. However, as is often the case in arboriculture, practice becomes common before any science develops to back it up. In particular, what types of tree make the best and long-standing monoliths – and what sizes and heights work the best? To the best of my knowledge, there are no standard guidelines for creating monoliths in the UK, so you get to see all sorts of variations in size, shape, location and species used. From time-lapsing quite a few monoliths in my local area,

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it is becoming clear that tree species with more durable woods, such as oak or sweet chestnut, reliably make longstanding monoliths, which is unsurprising. However, creating a monolith that is relatively short also keeps it standing for longer. For example, a monolith made out of a beech tree, if cut to four metres in height, will often last more than 15 years. Cut it to eight metres in height, and due to weight and leverage, it is likely to fall in less than 10 years. My time-lapsed image here shows a sycamore monolith created in a local nature reserve. This was cut to be 11m tall, and, due to basal decay, fell only a few years after its creation. It can seem better for conservation reasons to keep as much of the tree as possible when monolithing. However, I suspect, after research, that shorter monoliths may be proven to provide better habitats for longer to more wildlife – purely because they stay standing up for longer.

September 2014

January 2017

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The cheese-cutter’s victim Trees often fail due to a combination of factors – and those factors can include activities that we do as arborists, tree planters or gardeners. It is quite possible to prune a tree so that it fails, for instance, by crown lifting it excessively, by cutting out a natural brace that prevented movement at a bark-included junction below it, or by heavy crown thinning. Failures can start even in young trees by making poor choices

for tree support. Pictured is a pine tree in a tree collection, but to establish the tree in this spot, those planting it have opted for guy wires as a support system, with a bit of hosepipe around the wire. This is quite an effective system for providing initial support – yet potentially very damaging if it gets left on the tree for too long. In the image here, you can see that this wire-based support system was totally neglected and the wires started to get occluded

into the stem of the growing pine tree (June 2007). If the wire had got fully occluded into the stem of the tree, it wouldn’t have been a major mechanical aw – but, as the wire starts to throttle the trunk, this becomes a potential point of mechanical failure. For this tree, the ‘stress notch’ caused to the stem by these two wire loops obstructing the same point along the stem proved too much and the tree failed in less than two years after my initial

image was taken. The pine’s top completely broke off in the wind, ruining this rare specimen. I’ve seen this type of tree failure far too often, typically relating to cheap tree ties or when wire is used for tree support. Pretty much all tree support systems can cause damage to trees if they are left in place for too long, but wire has a greater chance to cause this sort of damage to young trees – it’s like a cheese-cutter – and this poor tree was the cheese.

January 2009

June 2007

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January 2009

Duncan Slater is senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College

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FEATURES

VIEWS Dee V IC K E R S

S

ince my last article following our apprentices, the first cohort have since been joined by a new member, who is now one of 11 apprentices who work across a wide cross-section of the industry, from micro-businesses to largescale organisations.

In with

the new

THE START OF 2019 SEES A FRESH COHORT JOIN THE APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME AT BCA. DEE VICKERS LOOKS FORWARD TO A PROMISING CONTINUATION OF STUDY AND WORK EXPERIENCE Whilst this represents excellent news for the industry, we have also had to deal with a couple of apprentices withdrawing for personal reasons from the first team. One of the more difficult parts about running apprenticeships is having to decide right at the outset whether

the individual is going to make it through the programme. The new formation brings with them a range of experience, from those that have just joined the sector and have never picked up a chainsaw, to those who already hold several of the required certificates of competence.

Some are already well qualified (in non-related subjects) whilst others have struggled with education in the past. Transforming learning Attempting to create a programme that can deal with these issues is not a simple

The new arborist apprentices start their first block release week at Berkshire College of Agriculture

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task, but now that we have our new training facilities, supporting all of our learners becomes an easier process. We are now able to offer our apprentices the ability to utilise voice typing when writing essays and text-to-speech facilities to assist with reading. I have created a number of podcasts for the apprentices to listen to and they can, in return, also submit some of their assignments as MP3 files that I can listen to. The ability to use these tools, combined with our online classrooms, makes the development of knowledge, skills and behaviours much more accessible.

Corey completing his ‘How Trees Work’ poster, bringing together all the elements learnt so far

Some are already well qualified (in non-related subjects) whilst others have struggled with education in the past The existing arborists have now completed a number of the knowledge-based sessions, covering fertilisation, pollination, seed development, photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration as well as cell structures in woody plants.

The power of images So, it was time to put all this knowledge into one (as I thought) simple assignment. One of the least stressful ways of presenting an assignment is to ask the candidate to create something, so that’s what we did.

Slice through a birch twig – understanding cell structure in woody plants

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Each apprentice had to create a poster which covered all the elements learnt so far, but the posters were not to be heavily text-based and were to demonstrate their understanding through images. In the end, this took a lot longer than I had allowed for, but the results were stunning and the

slices from twigs and roots really helps visualise the important cells. Then, from their understanding of xylem we moved to diffuse-porous and ring-porous woods, showing various examples so they could see the differences. This month, we have a soil workshop that we are opening up to all of our land-based

One of the least stressful ways of presenting an assignment is to ask the candidate to create something, so that’s what we did apprentices really got into the spirit of it. One of them brought in colouring pencils raided from his young daughter’s collection and there was a lot of talk about which colours to use for what! The first group also spent some time looking at cell structure in woody plants and we were able to project images taken from the microscope to bring these structures to life... looking into

apprentices so I hope to be able to report back on that next time. Dee Vickers is Head of Department (Landbased) at Berkshire College of Agriculture, overseeing the landbased apprenticeships, short course delivery as well as writing the arborist apprenticeship provision for the College. Dee can be contacted at dvickers@bca.ac.uk.

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FEATURES | BUSINESS ZONE

Avoiding substance misuse – what bosses need to know

©cdrin Shutterstock.com

AS AN EMPLOYER, CAN YOU RESTRICT YOUR EMPLOYEES FROM SMOKING? OR, DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS THAT SOME COULD BE USING ALCOHOL OR DRUGS DURING WORK HOURS? ALAN PRICE HAS SOME USEFUL GUIDANCE ON MANAGING THESE POTENTIALLY DIFFICULT ISSUES

S

moking, drugs and alcohol can have a negative impact on the health and safety of a business, and they can also affect productivity and profitability. While these can be sensitive topics to raise, firms that have well defined and well communicated policies are more likely to protect themselves and have informed and more understanding workforces.

outside during their designated break time. Generally speaking, as an employer you can implement rules that you find suitable for your industry or organisation, including smoking, by way of a well-constructed workplace policy. However, when challenged you may have to show that any ‘smoke free’ policy is reasonable. When constructing a policy,

When constructing a policy, you should outline exactly why you want to prevent employees from smoking on their breaks Can you be truly smoke-free? Smoking at work can be a contentious issue at times. While an indoor smoking ban has been in place since July 2007, some employers may look to go a step further and impose a ban on staff smoking

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you should outline exactly why you want to prevent employees from smoking on their breaks. This might be for the benefit of the company’s image, particularly if the employee works in a customer-facing role. Either way, it is important to be able to rely

on a valid reason for any ban, which is not simply your own personal dislike of the practice. Beware of enforcing break-time rules Ultimately as an employer, you have the right to ban employees from smoking during their breaks. However, for this to be a success it is important to ensure any ban can be seen as reasonable and proportionate. Employees’ break-time is considered to be their free time, therefore any attempts to control their behaviour during this time is unlikely to be well received and could have a detrimental impact on morale. or that reason, you should ask yourself why you want to ban smoking during break times, and is this really necessary? An employer may be concerned that staff smoking outside a business premises where tree work is taking place, or near a customer’s home creates a negative image. It is also worth considering how identifiable employees are when smoking. Tree

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BUSINESS ZONE | FEATURES

to tests on occasion and outlining the consequences of being found to be under the in uence. Arguably, implementing a clear no-tolerance policy on drug use within an organisation can act as a strong deterrent to employees who are considering taking drugs and assist in maintaining a safe and secure working environment.

surgeons may well be wearing a company uniform and/or PPE and as such, can be easily identifiable and so asking smokers to avoid congregating near entrances and smoke just a few yards away may be sufficient and act as a reminder. Health reasons are not enough If you want to ban smoking due to health concerns you should consider that although the act of smoking has scientifically been proven to be bad for an individual’s health, it is possible for employees to smoke and still lead a healthy life. As a result, this reason is perhaps most likely to be objected to by employees as being unreasonable and you should consider other measures, such as offering support for any smoking cessation programme they are on, this is less intrusive and are less likely to place a constraint on the employee. Drugs can pose serious risks rugs can jeopardise an employee’s health and workplace safety. This is particularly true for workers whose job involves tasks

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such as operating machinery or driving a vehicle, both of which are core to tree surgery. Although there is no legislation

Drug testing policies Employers can approach the testing process by conducting the check at random, taking care that the unsystematic testing does not unfairly single someone out as this can lead to claims of discrimination. rug tests can be undertaken in various ways including urine, blood, hair or saliva samples but should always be approached in a manner that assures the dignity and confidentiality of the employee. If an employer has reason to suspect that an employee is operating under the in uence or has been involved in a workrelated accident that raises concerns about their conduct, they can also seek to test them directly. Employees can refuse to be tested and this should not be processed as an

Drugs can jeopardise an employee’s health and workplace safety. This is particularly true for workers whose job involves tasks such as operating machinery or driving a vehicle, both of which are core to tree surgery which states that employers have the right to test employees for drug use, it is clearly recognised that certain job roles require this type of monitoring and therefore it is legal to carry out these tests. In particular, common areas where drug testing takes place is usually within industries where safety critical decisions need to be made, such as aviation, construction or medicine. A place for zero tolerance? However, it is essential that employers maintain a written policy on the use of illegal substances within their workplace, specifying that employees may be subject

automatic assumption of guilt, however wherever it is a contractual obligation to provide a sample, the refusal should be dealt with via a disciplinary procedure. Employers may also allow the employee to be accompanied during the test. If a test is returned with a positive result, employers should allow the employee the opportunity to offer an explanation. An employee taking medication prescribed by a doctor can sometimes give a positive result in a drugs test so it is important they determine the source of the result. Where the result is evidence of drug taking, they should deal with the employee through

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FEATURES | BUSINESS ZONE

their usual disciplinary procedure and, in circumstances where this is warranted, dismiss the employee. Results of a drug test will be classed as personal data in relation to the employee, so all information regarding the test should be stored correctly, in line with your data protection policy.

Employees should also be aware a member of staff may have problems with alcohol dependency. In some cases, different approaches can be taken. The employee’s situation should be treated confidentially and support offered should they seek professional help. Care should also be taken that they avoid undertaking

In the event of a breach, then managers must ensure there is a proper investigation before they impose a disciplinary sanction and be aware they will need to appear reasonable and have evidence of misconduct Daytime drinking – becoming outdated? Some organisations choose to ban staff from drinking during the working day, whereas others may take a more liberal stand and even keep alcohol on the premises. iven that driving when over the alcohol limit can be extremely dangerous, as can operating equipment such as chainsaws, then owners of tree surgery businesses may want to make it clear to their staff that they do not allow alcohol to be consumed during working hours and there is an alcohol policy outlining this in place. This could also state that consuming alcohol during work hours constitutes gross misconduct and could result in dismissal. This can also protect employers, who have a duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, to keep staff safe. Alcohol can affect people in different ways. In some cases, being under the in uence could exacerbate ill feeling between employees, leading to altercations and potential disciplinary issues. Certainly, many firms would not want to ban alcohol at social events or if employees go out for a drink at the end of the working day. However, a ‘drinking culture’ can be highly damaging, allowing some to feel they can ‘get away’ with driving over the limit and again, employees who appear to have been drinking and if wearing a uniform, will not appear professional and could be offputting to future clients, as well.

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any work where they could be at heightened risk if they have consumed alcohol. Simply announcing a ban will not be effective – while not everyone will always agree, trying to secure employee buy-in is always going to achieve better levels of adherence. What is more, if there is a company-wide policy, then it should be clear that those at the top of the company will also abide by this.

In the event of a breach, managers must ensure there is a proper investigation before they impose disciplinary sanctions and be aware they will need to appear reasonable and have evidence of misconduct, should an employee take the matter to a tribunal. Some employees will not welcome their employer taking a too heavy-handed approach, whereas others will support moves that boost wellbeing and safety. These are difficult matters, but if not addressed, then problems can build up, from absenteeism to accidents at work. Well-drafted policies with clear explanations are increasingly being used as businesses seek to improve health and safety and boost their efficiency and productivity. Alan Price is Peninsula’s employment law director. Launched in 1983, the company offers HR, employment law, tax and payroll advice, employee assistance programmes, and health and safety support and training. www.peninsulagrouplimited.com info@peninsula-uk.com

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Kwinitter 2019 38 > Meet the supplier

Sorbus International – it’s a family affair

42 > Arb Pro’s software for tree surgeons

Multi–tasking made easier with technology

44 > Q&A with Marlow Ropes

Interview with technical manager, Paul Dyer

46 > Chippers and Stage V emissions legislation Timberwolf provides guidance

47 > On the road – Toyota’s Hilux A choice conversion package

48 > Chainsaw maintenance

Pointers from Landmark Trading’s Paul George

50 > Product DNA

Check out the handy ECHO 58V battery chainsaw

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17/01/2019 10:03


KIT

e h t t e e M supplier

Keep it in

the family

SORBUS INTERNATIONAL HAS GAINED A REPUTATION FOR THEIR MODERN APPROACH TO ARBORICULTURE. PRO ARB SPOKE TO KERRY WADE ABOUT FAMILY, TECHNOLOGY AND HOW THEY STAY ON TOP

S

omerset-based Sorbus International was founded in 2008 by current directors Nicky and Phil Wade. Their daughter Kerry is offi ce manager and son Tom is a sales executive. Nicky’s brother, Mark Vestey is sales and service manager for technical products. Youngest sibling Ben Wade certainly has a relevant job outside of the family business, working as an arborist for a local Arb Approved contractor. Kerry adds: “Alongside us we have an amazingly dedicated, hardworking team. From road sales to graphic design, web management, warehousing, internal sales and accounts staff, we’re a family. What’s in a name? Nicky and Phil spent a long time deliberating over the name of the company and ‘Sorbus’ came about when Googling names of trees. As Kerry explains: “Sorbus is a genus of about 100-200 species of

Internal sales team

38 Pro Arb | Winter 2019

Meet the supplier.indd 38

trees and shrubs in the rose family. It sounded great and fitted in well with the business. It was also a generic name for the parts of the business which are not arb-related so they both felt it was a great choice. In fact, Nicky and Phil named their home ‘Rowan House’ after a member of the same genus. In terms of gaining experience of arb, both Nicky and Phil worked for a Japanese company Fujikura. It was picked up that arb suppliers were a rarity and Phil was approached a number of times for specialist forestry

equipment. It also became apparent that there was an opportunity to bring kit into the UK from countries like Sweden which produces quality arb equipment. Says Kerry, “Back in the early 90s, Fujikura was one of the first companies to bring in climbing and rigging equipment for tree surgery into the UK. Now, it’s widely imported from all over the world. Wide open spaces Sorbus is now known for its large premises in Frome, Somerset, and in late 2015 they relocated just around the corner to a much

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KIT

larger purpose-built space. In the last three years, the business has seen a huge increase in footfall through its doors. Despite the growth of online, Kerry says: “We often receive feedback from customers about the convenience of being able to come in and try things on instead of the hassle of having to return items if they don’t fit. Although our website sales continue to grow sometimes there is no substitute for face to face interaction.” Sorbus is also not just about retail. ”Having the facilities, we now have has enabled us to offer a regular series of arb specific events, such as our highly interactive first aid courses, SRT workshops, modern climbing technique workshops and college trade days. These are growing in popularity with much positive feedback. We also offer O ER inspections, repairs, calibration of hi-tech equipment, as well as ongoing support and advice.” Sorbus is also often out and about at events. “We attend many seminars, conferences, industry related shows and trade days throughout the year. This helps to raise our profile and we’re involved in other industries as well, such as landscaping for the ARS pruning range or forestry for the Haglof range of survey equipment – and this

Sorbus warehousing helps us to promote new products also. It is always useful for us to see how the market is changing. Biosecurity and worthwhile first aid training are definitely topics which spread across a multitude of our industries.” Sorbus will again be exhibiting at the Arb Show in 2019, as well as the Confor Woodland Show at ongleat. Boardroom discussions

Big showroom brands

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Specialist climbing/rigging gear

Pro Arb | Winter 2019 39

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Extensive displays As for arb and future trends, Kerry says there is an ever-growing range of new equipment and the utilisation of devices such as mechanical aids to help prevent body fatigue. PPE and clothing is another area that has seen major changes. “There is more of a ‘lifestyle’ ethos among the available products now.” Kerry says. “Gone are the days when there was just two choices of chainsaw boots and trousers. Changes in the fabric technology has seen so many advanced new products become the industry norm compared what was available 15 years ago.”

Protos headgear on show

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Sorbus also supplies products aimed at arb experts such as the PiCUS range and IML Resi-PD microdrill, both of which are market-leading products for testing decay in trees and wooden structures. There is also increasing use of survey devices, and as our native trees continue to come under attack from various organisms, there’s rising interest in the BITE tree infusion system.

web team who are constantly adding new content and improvements. One aspect which has really helped us reach far and wide is our social media channels, such as Facebook and Instagram. They’re great platforms for businesses and we really are only just beginning to learn the potential.” She adds that high quality customer service is at the heart of the offering. “For many years we have been ISO:9001 approved, this ensures we monitor and evaluate our customer service and improve areas which require it. The important thing is we’re working hard to rectify issues as smoothly as possible.” Kerry concludes: “We’re fortunate to be surrounded by many who share our passion for the industry. We’re extremely grateful for the support we receive from some of our manufacturers and suppliers, even if it can be challenging to keep up to date with new products and staying current. Alongside the same issues many businesses face, we cannot predict what impact this year may have for us, but all we can guarantee is that we will do our best to make it a great one!”

Online growth As with many retailers, the Sorbus online presence has continued to see strong growth year-on-year. “We have a dedicated

Hi tech displays IML Resi-PD

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Tree Care Group Senior Manager South West London Up to 50k pa DOE Kingston Landscape Group are an award-winning landscape contractor based in Southwest London, specialising in commercial landscape installations and grounds maintenance. We are currently expanding to add a tree care division to complement our existing services. In light of this, an exciting opportunity has now opened for a Tree Care Group Senior Manager. The successful candidate will be a highly experienced leader with ambition and drive. The role will include sourcing staff and building relationships with suppliers prior to the business going live and continuing to manage the day-to-day operations going forward. For more information email: camila@klg.com

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

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Horticulture CAREERS Register online now for free and take advantage of the following features:

New user-friendly interface. A modernised design means that the site is easier to navigate, with simplified job application features. Follow your favourite companies. You can follow some of the biggest companies in the industry to be notified of the latest vacancies as they are uploaded. Register a CV. Upload a CV and let employers find you!

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Tel: 01903 777570

TRAINING High quality arboriculture, forestry, first aid and chainsaw related training Industry recognised qualifications Tailor made training and workshops Tree surgeon fast track courses t 033 345 678 86 e training@hi-line.co.uk w hi-line.co.uk/training f hilinetraining i instagram.com/hilinetraining

17/01/2019 15:29


KIT

n o S U C O F l o gy techno

Power up

your business TECHNOLOGY THAT IS PERFECTLY TAILORED FOR TREE SURGEONS CAN BOOST PERFORMANCE AND EFFICIENCY, AS ARB PRO SOFTWARE’S MARK HINES EXPLAINS – time which can instead be used far more productively.

M

y interest in technology started when I worked in local government as a tree officer. Technology was new to me then, and I fully embraced it, learning much about how it helps you better manage data and improve efficiency. As soon as I left local government and rejoined a contracting business, I put my new skills to work. I soon discovered there was no specific software programmes for tree surgeons in business and this really surprised me, so I set about building and developing appropriate software – almost 15 years ago!

Tree Surgeons typically use a number of common programmes to run their business. Typically, a mix of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, but using these differing programmes to do admin and manage data is time-consuming and inefficient. A key benefit of using Arb Pro is that you can perform many work-related tasks in

Arb Pro.indd 42

Getting started Arb Pro users typically have a two-week window where they start not knowing a single part of the system, yet by the end of the second week, they have reached a good stage of competence. We find those users

Our users have a mobile app that they use to capture data on site and have the ability to send quotes from site. Just this one part of the system saves hours of time every day minutes that would otherwise take you hours. Speed matters and we typically save our users at least two hours a day on admin work

42 Pro Arb | Winter 2019

Just one example is quoting for work. Our users have a mobile app that they can use to capture data on site, and have the ability to then send quotes directly. Just this one part of the system saves hours of time every day and enables users to send quotes straight away, which means they can win more work and avoid having to catch up with paperwork.

who make a real effort to get to know the software and keep in contact for support pick it up the quickest.

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Yes, there are some technophobes out there, but we’ve have had plenty who have come to us unconvinced and then found that technology can make a huge difference to they way they work. It becomes like an extra pair of hands in the office. The advantage with Arb Pro is that we have industry knowledge and someone

these, capture any TPO information and to draw on any tree image to show where pruning should occur. Users can also view attached documents such as site plans and drawings, record what tools they need for a job and conduct risk assessments. Tree surgeons spend many hours working outside, but using the

Arb Pro means it is possible to capture a picture of every tree, map the location of these, capture any TPO information and to draw on any tree image to show where pruning should occur who understands how tree surgeons work, meaning we can provide expert user support. If necessary, we can log into the user’s computer remotely and show them exactly how to perform a particular task or how something works. When I get a call I can

talk to our users about anything tree related. Often a five minute call about the software leads to talking about marketing, or a tree disease, or some big job the contractor just completed with a brand new bit of kit. As well as live remote support, we have over 100 training videos available right within the software, so users can find what they need help with 24 hours a day. What better than to be guided by an arborist who understands the nature of running tree contracting business?

software means they can conduct jobs that would typically be conducted in an office wherever they are. So, with a few clicks, they can provide instant quotes, capture data and then upload back to the office, saving hours of work. Keeping clients in the loop A new feature is the online page for users’ clients. So, whenever our users send their clients a quotation for work, they also send a unique link. When the client clicks on this, they can see all the information associated with their quotation, such as tree work, pictures and map including the treading terms and conditions of work. Keeping clients involved is a great way to improve both communication and loyalty and

we will be introducing more features to make procedures seamless, such as invoicing and paying invoices.

A passion for trees and technology Arb Pro is now being used outside the UK, specifically in the K, which is a new chapter for us. 2019 will see further improvements and also bringing on our other app, Arb Work, which was launched at the end of last year and is for teams working on projects. The arb industry is my passion and it was without doubt the best thing I ever did all

those years ago and that included studying at Merrist Wood for a national diploma. The emphasis now is on evolving the software and our user feedback drives development – there are some exciting times ahead. www.arbprosoftware.com

Focus on features Among the most popular feature is the mobile app and in particular, the one used for quoting as this regularly saves a great deal of time. The app also allows new client details to be created on the move and data capture. Arb Pro means it is possible to capture a picture of every tree, map the location of

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Expert view Q&A

Learning

the ropes PRO ARB CAUGHT UP WITH PAUL DYER, TECHNICAL MANAGER FOR MARLOW ROPES TO FIND OUT HOW THE BUSINESS SERVES THE ARBORICULTURAL COMMUNITY

Is the arboriculture sector an important area for Marlow? es, it represents a significant proportion of the company’s turnover and like the sailing sector this is a very brand-aware market that is both growing and open to innovation. How long have you worked for Marlow and how did you learn about the arb sector? A long time I started at Marlow in 1997 as a product development engineer. In 2000, I became technical manager of Ibex Ropes in Manchester where the focus was much more on small assemblies for the aerospace and automotive sectors. Then in 2004, I took over as the technical manager of Ibex (part of the company group portfolio) and Marlow’s cordage division and then I came back to Marlow exclusively in 2007. So, it’s been 21 years in the business in total but not all for Marlow or in Hailsham, East Sussex, where our headquarters are located. Marlow has been involved in the arb sector

for all of this time, although back in 1997 it was mostly three strand and multiplait nylon ropes. Where would tree surgeons typically learn about ropes? In our experience, we do work closely with arboriculture colleges and this collaboration includes product trials with the experienced users and factory tours for the students to get an insight into what goes into rope production. For climbers, what should be included in their core rope kit? At its most basic, a climber can do the job

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with a simple double-rope technique and so will only need: a rope (probably a larger 13mm type), a cambium saver, throwline to install the cambium saver and Prusik cord or Prusik loops. Beyond this, however there’s a whole world of more and more technical equipment, such as smaller lighter ropes, mechanical ascending and descending devices, and so on. Why should tree surgeons be aware of the need to buy quality? Ropes are literally a lifeline so quality definitely matters. What sets a Marlow rope apart from others that may be less good quality? All our arb rope innovation, design and production takes place at our factory in Sussex, so we are able to maintain complete control over every stage of production. We are proud to be a UK manufacturer and we work closely with our end users and key players in the industry to get product feedback and help us develop and improve. Experience in other industries, such as rope access, military and leisure marine, also allows us to understand the intricacies of rope engineering and we take lessons from the various products that we engineer for each of these sectors.

probably the biggest change. Coming from a rock climbing and caving background myself, I’m surprised it’s taken this long to become mainstream. I suspect this

What differences can great ropes make to your work? A great rope is going to be easy to work with. For example, the Vega with its low

We are very proud to be a UK manufacturer and we work closely with our end users and key players in the industry to get product feedback and these insights help us to develop and improve trend will only continue with more devices reaching the market that allow seamless up/ down progress on a rope. Do you think tree surgeons should consider refresher training for using ropes effectively? Additional training is always a good idea and we would definitely support this. We don’t get involved in training ourselves, but we’re seeing new techniques being adopted. Refresher training may be a good way to learn these new methods safely and without picking up bad habits.

elongation is going to be less fatiguing to climb, the Venom has the additional security of great dynamic performance, while they both work really well with the new generation of climbing devices. A great rope is something that should work with ease, so that you’re not even aware of it. Are there any future plans tree surgeons should be aware of with Marlow for 2019? That would be telling there’ll definitely be new stuff launched so be sure to keep a watch out!

Have there been innovations in this sector over the last five years or so? The wider adoption of SRT (single rope technique) climbing methods is

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Stage V – what you

need to know

TIMBERWOLF’S CAMPAIGN IS PROVIDING CLARITY FOR ARBORISTS ON THE NEW RULES AROUND EMISSIONS AND DIESEL ENGINES

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ood chipper manufacturer Timberwolf has launched a campaign ‘All the acts, NoOmissions’, to help the arboriculture industry understand the key information surrounding the latest round of emissions legislation, known as Stage V. The legislation is part of the government’s commitment to reduce engine emissions and non-road mobile machinery, including wood chippers, will be affected in the latest round of changes.

The campaign is setting out facts and information about ‘Stage V’, which came into force in January and can be seen on Timberwolf’s social media channels, and aims to make the facts around the legislation clear and accessible to everyone. Timberwolf, which has more than 30 years of industry experience, says it is taking the lead in providing clarity over the legislation because it believes there is speculation and misinformation surrounding the new rules. What will change? The important point for many arborists using a wood chipper is that they will feel very little impact. However, pre-Stage V diesel engines used in machines above 25hp, such as wood

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chippers, mowers and skid steers will no longer be made after 2018. Timberwolf has invested in a significant number of these engines and from January, legislation allows 18 months to install them into products and place them on the market. This means the current range of Timberwolf’s wood chippers will be available while stocks last. The manufacturer is also investing heavily in research and development to help manage the move to a new eet of Stage-V compliant machines. Diesel engines are not banned Timberwolf’s product marketing manager, Antony Alexander says Our ‘All the acts, NoOmissions’ campaign is about giving the facts about the new legislation, as lots of people are being told that diesel machines can no longer be used, which is totally wrong. This isn’t the end of diesel, far from it – it’s the start of a new wave of innovation in our industry. We’ve invested in a large stock of pre-Stage V engines so that we can produce our market leading wood chippers for some time to come, but we’re excited to be leading the way in designing Stage V compliant machines with unrivalled performance. What about second-hand stock? He clarified that second-hand machines with pre-Stage V diesel engines can continue to be bought and sold and owners can continue to access parts and servicing for their current diesel machines. When you need to buy a brand new diesel wood chipper, if all dealers

have sold out of machines with pre-Stage V engines, you will have the choice of newer, Stage V compliant models or the petrol alternatives. Working in low emission zones It should be noted that Stage V has no impact where diesel wood chippers are used in low emission zones. The rules affecting nonroad mobile machinery in these zones apply to development sites only. All diesel wood chippers below 50hp can be used if they are registered with the relevant authorities.

Should you buy diesel or petrol? Timberwolf is emphasising that it is very much up to the individual. Antony says We will continue to offer a wide range of high performance and reliable products in 2019 and beyond. The full range will continue to be available across our dealerships. Stage V has given us the opportunity for an exciting new phase of innovation, and we’re developing the most exciting range of diesel models to date.

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A clever

conversion ARB TRAnsport

THE TOYOTA HILUX HAS A ONE TONNE PAYLOAD AND IS GROWING IN POPULARITY AMONG THE TREE SURGERY COMMUNITY – SO, COULD IT SUIT YOUR BUSINESS?

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oyota is seeking to prove its credentials in the light commercial sector and is promoting authorised conversions as part of its Trade Plus programme. This enables Hilux buyers using Toyota dealerships to have the conversion to a tipper completed by an approved supplier. The Toyota Authorised Converter status confirms that a business meets Toyota’s quality standards in every aspect of the build process and conversion delivery and it comes with a five year warranty or 100,000 miles. Toyota says it is particularly suited to those who require a more compact tipper and if they need off-road capabilities. The converted model is robust, and the tipping

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frames are fully galvanised to reduce corrosion. The sideboards are anodised aluminium and there’s a dropside function for additional load area access. The rear features a two-way tailboard hinge mechanism. Safety is enhanced with a prop in place when the tipper bed is upright, and a wander-lead to activate the hydraulics from a safe distance. An audible warning can be heard during operation. The tipper unit has an internal length of 2,140mm and width of 1,900mm. The vehicle is available as either a two-door single cab or a four-door extra cab. The recommended retail price for the conversion is £3,595, plus VAT, payable on top of the cost of the Hilux, which starts from £24,155 on the road.

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Chainsaw maintenance – why it’s a must FOCUS ON

MAKING SURE TOOLS ARE SAFE AND FIT FOR PURPOSE IS ESSENTIAL. PAUL GEORGE HAS SOME HANDY GUIDANCE TO GET THE JOB DONE

chainsaws

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hainsaws are highly powerful tools for carrying out some seriously tough jobs. Whether you are managing woodland or dismantling a dangerous tree, a chainsaw is one of the essential tools you can’t do without. A chainsaw that is badly maintained or running a blunt chain is not only going to be less efficient, it’s also going to be dangerous. If you have to exert more force on the saw when cutting, or the saw isn’t slicing smoothly into the wood, then it’s likely that it needs some attention. A blunt chain is more inclined to catch or kick back. If you have to apply more pressure, this increases the likelihood of the bar slipping and an accident occurring.

and that it has been properly lubricated. Your saw should regularly be serviced and any worn or damaged parts replaced. The chain is the principle wearing component of the saw, and therefore requires the most attention. Chains can be sharpened, but once they become too badly

A blunt chain is more inclined to catch or kick back. if you have to apply more pressure, this increases the likelihood of the bar slipping and an accident occurring Keeping your chainsaw maintainedr will not only make your work easier, it will also help to ensure your own safety. Concentrate on the chain The basic maintenance of a chainsaw means ensuring that all parts are running smoothly

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worn, they need to be replaced. This will extend the life of the saw and will be far more cost-effective than having to replace the whole saw. You should inspect the chain thoroughly. If you find any teeth that are chipped or bent then the machine could be dangerous to use

and the chain should be replaced. If the teeth are worn unevenly, you may be able to have the teeth evenly reground by a dealer with professional sharpening machinery – a chain can be sharpened multiple times before it needs replacing. Chains usually carry a mark on the teeth showing the minimum usable depth. If your chain has already been sharpened down to this mark, then will you need to replace it. Looking sharp Some will opt to have their chains professionally sharpened, however you can do it yourself with the right sharpening tools. Sharpening a chain is not necessarily difficult, but you do need to make sure you have the right tools to do the job. Chains come in various different sizes and it’s essential to have the correct size files and guides to suit your specific chain. Check the owner’s manual to determine the size of the teeth.

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Some brands also have an identification number stamped onto the chain itself which can help you to identify it correctly. Armed with this information, you can buy the correct sized file, with 4mm, 4.8mm and 5.2mm being the most common sizes on the market. ou will also need to get a file guide. This ensures that you work to a uniform depth when sharpening each cutting tooth. ou’ll

with the file guide)and a at file. Do’s and Don’ts Now that you have assembled To ensure that you do the job properly and safely, all the tools, you can start on the here are some reminders as to the key points sharpening process. Do: Secure the saw in place with your replace damaged chains – they are unsafe clamp and you are ready to start secure the saw with a clamp or fix the blade in work. Some chains will have a a vice before starting work ‘lead cutter’ this is usually shorter count the file strokes to ensure you remove an than the other teeth and is where equal amount of material from each tooth you should start filing. If all your check the chain tension after you have finished saw’s teeth are the same length, Don’t: you can start anywhere you like, use a standard rat-tail file, the coarse teeth and but it’s a good idea to mark your tapering body will damage the saw’s teeth starting point with a scratch or try to correct a saw where the cutters are a blob of paint so that you know uneven by filing. Take it to a professional to when you’ve reached the end. have the teeth reground The cutting tooth is the notch at the front of the at chain link. Position the file in the tooth then mount the file guide to be sure that way. After every five or six teeth, you’ll need you have it at the correct angle, both to move the chain. Wear gloves to ensure horizontally and vertically. you can do this safely. When you start filing, count the number of When you get back to your starting point or strokes you make and ensure you make the lead cutter, turn the saw around and repeat same number on each cutter. ile steadily the process, working on the cutters that are angled the opposite way. ou can use a caliper to check that the at top of each of the cutters is the same. This ensures that the saw will bite equally into the wood. When you have finished filing, use your depth gauge to check the ‘rakers’. These are the links between the cutter and have and push from the short side of the angle. a hooked shape. Position the depth gauge ile every other tooth so that you are only on the cutter, if the raker is too high, you working on those that are angled the same should use your at file to reduce its height. Once you have finished sharpening, you should check the tension of the chain. This needs to be done regularly anyway as newer chains will inevitably stretch with use.

Sharpening a chain is not necessarily difficult, but you do need to make sure you have the right tools to do the job need a clamp too (this holds the saw in place so that you can work on it safely), a depth gauge (these are sometimes incorporated

or more information on working with chainsaws, check out the HSE’s website at www.hse.gov.uk

ABOUT Paul George is the managing director of Landmark Trading and has worked in the arborist industry for 14 years. Landmark Trading is a leading suppliers of arborist equipment. Connect with Paul via Twitter or Facebook or call Landmark Trading on 01780 482231.

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product

dna

IT’S OH

SO QUIET USING APPROPRIATE EQUIPMENT IS A MARK OF A PROFESSIONAL TREE SURGEON. A NEW ECHO 58V BATTERY CHAINSAW COULD OFFER A CONSIDERATE CHOICE FOR THOSE IN BUSIER ENVIRONMENTS

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CHO has introduced a new 58V battery chainsaw as part of its lithium ion outdoor power equipment range. It’s likely to be particularly suited to where there is a need to cut logs or fell small trees with a minimum of noise, so this could be in urban areas, business parks, schools and college campuses and other estates that are used by the public. The CS-58V4AH has the cutting performance of its petrol counterparts, with additional benefits of battery power. It makes little noise when running, while the lack of vibration compared to a petrol model reduces stress and fatigue for the user. A further environmental advantage is that with battery power, there are no emissions when the device is in use, no fuel filling with twostroke and no more stress when it comes to storing petrol. Ease of use The CS-58V4AH is straightforward and uses a 4Ah battery which provides plenty of run time for logging and felling small trees and the charger works rapidly to reduce downtime. The lithium ion battery also fits other 58V battery products in the range such as the strimmer, hedge trimmer, lawn mower and power blower. Additional batteries can be purchased if multiple tools need to be used at the same time. The chainsaw’s 0.043 gauge cutting bar results in a sharp and smooth cut and the automatic oiler gives the chain optimum oiling for longer life. There is easy side access to the chain tensioner to allow quick chain adjustment and the oil tank is translucent for

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clear level checks. Power comes from the long-lasting brushless motor which requires minimal maintenance due to non-wearing parts, which means saving on servicing costs and petrol bills. The chainsaw comes with a one-year professional warranty and the 58V battery carries a two-year warranty – find out more from your local authorised ECHO dealer, by visiting www.echo-tools.co.uk or call 0800 597 7777 for further details.

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ANCIENT TREE COLUMN

A royal column

favourite

A WONDERFUL OAK SPECIMEN IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, WITH CONNECTIONS TO THE MONARCHY, IS DEPICTED BY JULIAN HIGHT OF ATF’S WESSEX GROUP

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here has been a manor house at Chenies, in Buckinghamshire, since at least 1180, when it was owned by the Norman Cheyne family. The manor of ‘Isenhampstead’ Chenies, which had been in the family since the 12th century, descended to

John Cheyne through his father, who was the Sir John Cheyne who had sat in Parliament for Bedfordshire in 1372, and for Buckinghamshire in 1373 and 1381. A deer park was established by 1335, although its boundaries are difficult to define today. Surviving features from that period include a dungeon, a well and a priest hole, but perhaps most remarkable of all is an ancient Oak (Quercus robur) named after Queen Elizabeth, that stands on the lawn just south of the 15th-century manor house – seat of Sir John Russell – the 1st Earl of Bedford. Elizabeth stayed at Chenies and is said to have lost some jewellery whilst sitting beneath the tree, hence the oak’s denomination. It was said that a couple of small enamelled blue gold aglets (fastenings), are recorded as going missing from a queenly gown during a visit to Chenies, although there is no real evidence they fell off close to the tree. However, several stories describe Elizabeth’s penchant for resting under oak trees, all of which have been attributed to her. Supposedly she heard of her imminent rise to sovereignty whilst reading her bible beneath Elizabeth’s Oak at Hatfield House, she shot a deer under Elizabeth’s Oak at Midhurst Park, and

‘hung her slippers’ beneath Elizabeth’s Oak at Ninfield, en route to Brighton. Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s father Henry VIII visited in 1534 and 1542 as a friend to John

Russell, and an earlier name for the tree (King’s Oak) was likely named for him – as evidenced by the image of the same tree from an early 20th-century postcard. Still producing acorns, the oak has seen Charles Macleod Matthews, current owner of Chenies, plant several on the estate for succession. In its decay, the tree provides habitat for moss, lichen, invertebrates, a hornets’ nest and a roost for little owls. While a 6.5m trunk circumference may not appear to uphold a local belief bestowing 1,000 years on the tree, the archive Edwardian photograph and evidence on the ground of a once much larger footprint – I estimated it to have previously measured around 9m. It could be argued that Queen Elizabeth’s Oak should rank alongside the 120 or so other 9m plus champions of the British oak world. Julian Hight is a designer and musician and has held a strong interest in trees from a young age and is an active member of the Woodland Trust. He is the author of Britain’s Tree Story and recently, World Tree Story – a collection of stories about important trees in terms of their history, legend and mythology globally. The ATF champions the biological, cultural and heritage value of Britain’s ancient and veteran trees and promotes best practice. www.ancienttreeforum.co.uk Text and images ©julianhight.co.uk

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