Pro Arb Winter 2020

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win ter 202 0 P R O F ES S I O N A L TREE FOR T REE SUR C A R E GEO NS




winter 2020 • Volume 7 • Issue 01


SI MO N O’ RO UR KE Cover.indd






new year is upon us and we have a varied blend of articles that will inspire you for months ahead. There are many different roles within arboriculture, and this issue certainly provides a taste of the diversity it offers. So, be sure to read the piece on page 23 from Dee Vickers, who explains with passion why there are opportunities for all kinds of people, provided they have the right skills and attitude.

ALL ENQUIRIES Tel: 01903 777 570 Eljays44 Ltd 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA EDITORIAL Features editor – Rachel Gordon Subeditor – Katrina Roy Subeditor – Sam Seaton ADVERTISING Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson Head of sales – Jessica McCabe


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Certainly, towards the end of last year, many readers may have felt fatigued by the endless references to Brexit and, at times, a caustic general election campaign. Now is undoubtedly the time to move on and focus on some good news. Green shoots of economic confidence can be seen in the decision of major arb retailer, Honey Brothers, to open a new store and website. When politicians speak of the need for ‘global deals’, they should be aware that these are already

Horticulture Careers – Liam Colclough PRODUCTION Design – Kirsty Turek Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: Pro Arb is published 4 times per year by Eljays44 Ltd. The 2020 subscription price is £95. Subscription records are maintained at Eljays44 Ltd, 3 Churchill Court, 112 The Street, Rustington, West Sussex BN16 3DA, UK. Articles and information contained


happening, with this exciting business in particular expanding and growing its exports worldwide – see page 8. Meanwhile on page 10, former arborist Simon O’Rourke has his talents displayed on the world stage – one of the foremost artists with his tree-carving pieces that will provide inspiration for years to come. Enjoy the issue!

in this publication are the copyright of Eljays44 Ltd and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publishers. The publishers cannot accept responsibility for loss of, or damage to, uncommissioned photographs or manuscripts. MANAGEMENT Managing director – Jim Wilkinson Editorial director – Lisa Wilkinson Business development manager – Jamie Wilkinson FOLLOW US ONLINE Follow us on Twitter @ProArbmagazine Like us on Facebook Proarbmagazine Connect to our LinkedIn group Pro Arb UK

For careers in arboriculture and horticulture go to Every week we send out ‘Pro Arb: The Tuesday Recap’, in which we highlight the most popular news stories from the last week. If you aren’t subscribed to The Tuesday Recap but would like to be, please email Amber Bernabe at If you would like to send us press releases to post online and potentially feature in The Tuesday Recap, please email Amy Fitz-Hugh at

Pro Arb | Winter 2020


16/01/2020 14:39


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news & views 6 > News

Updates from around the arb world

8 > News Extra

It’s buzzing at Honey Brothers, one of the sector’s biggest retailers

10 > Interview

Wielding the raw power of a chainsaw, former arborist Simon O’Rourke creates spectacular sculptures – meet the inspirational environmental artist



17 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook

34 > getting to know GreenMech

It can be tough for urban trees, but as Dr Slater explains, with the right preparation and care, they can become thriving enhancements to built-up areas

20 > Hazards of herbicide

Herbicides are used routinely, but Dr Glynn Percival says too much ‘weed and feed’ can have dire consequences

23 > age diversity in arb

Does equality and diversity matter within arboriculture? Cast aside any preconceived views, says Dee Vickers

26 > Arboricultural Association

Two-rope working is set to become mandatory in many cases – the AA’s Simon Richmond updates readers on the HSE’s more stringent requirements

28 > looking to the future

Much could be done in 2020 to improve arborists’ lots and the nation’s tree stock. Jonathan Hazell talks us through his wish list for the next 12 months

30 > Business Zone – Cold weather working

The Warwickshire-based manufacturer has evolved and innovated since 1993

37 > Timberwolf in Action

Suffo firm add rothers e ains Timberwolf is its preferred choice


38 > Chainsaw maintenance

Boost safety and performance by ensuring your key tool is ready for action

40 > Chainsaw trousers

Arbortec’s latest is versatile and can make working in trees safer and easier

41 > new launches from Echo

Check out the brand’s most powerful handhe d b o er and the first auto choke chainsaw

42 > Commercial vehicles – Citroën Drive ahead with the Relay Ready to Run Tipper

43 > Ancient Tree Column

Elm expert Peter Bourne on the demise of one of Brighton’s ‘Preston Twins’

What should employers be aware of if extreme weather disrupts work? Alan Price explains legal requirements and ho to ensure staff are treated fair y



Pro Arb | Winter 2020


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MYERSCOUGH TO HOST INAUGURAL ARBOR DAY Lancashire’s Myerscough College is to ho d the s first rbor ay , a day of tree ce ebration as well as planting and careers advice on ebruary. The event will take place at Myerscough’s Preston campus and is su orted by the rbor Day Foundation (US) and the ersey orest. There are simi ar events internationa y, but hi e this country’s National Tree Week focuses on planting, there has been no other event to ce ebrate arboricu ture in the . The day is open to all and free to attend, and will feature VIP guests and speakers, tree antin and c imbin demonstrations. isitors i a so


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Pro Arb | Winter 2020

be ab e to see the ne cam us ood and area, rbor ay ood, anted to commemorate the day. Duncan Slater, senior lecturer in arboricu ture, says e an to ce ebrate on this day and e encourage other institutions to et invo ved. e ve a ready received some generous donations of trees from various sponsors, including the Woodland Trust, Mersey Forest and archam Trees, but e ve room for more. Than s must go to the donors so far and the support of our greenspace, oristry and horticu ture teams. mon those attendin i be au o an , director of Mersey Forest, a charity which focuses on Merseyside and North Cheshire and champions the importance of resilient reen infrastructure. www.myerscough.



etition started by a mystery rou to demand the S soften its stance on mandating the use of t o ro es hen c imbin has attracted over , si natures. The etition Sin e ro e c imbin for arborists has been set u on han e.or by o e or s nternationa , but the rou as not traceab e via oo e. The etition has been aunched to cha en e the S s insistence that the arboricu tura industry adopt the working approach as outlined in the Working at Height e u ations . The S announced ast year that it wanted full compliance with its regulations, even though for the ast years there has been a more ra matic a roach. ut it is now insisting that two ropes must be used for c imbin in most cases, on safety grounds, unless there are clear reasons such as an ur ent aeria rescue. However, Ropeworks International said that since the S s re u ations ere first introduced, the industry has had a healthy relationship and understandin ith the S and

that such an enforcement would not ma e arborea or safer and would create a complexity of equipment management that ou d i e y create different ris s that don t current y e ist. t ar ued too there ou d be unfair ressure on trainin bodies such as Lantra and NPTC, and that the focus shou d instead be on research into the or d ide use of arborist e ui ment and techni ues to resu t in uidance on best ractice and safety. Ropeworks International said it would deliver the results of its etition to the rboricu tura ssociation to assist ith the trade association’s draft consultation of the Industry Code of Practice – Tree or at ei ht , hich advises the sector on compliance with two rope working among other to ics. The s mar etin mana er, Steve odsman, says rom s ea in to our members, compliance with two rope working is one of their bi est concerns. e i be feedin bac the consultation responses to the S and a so s ea in to the regulator, as well as other industry sta eho ders, in the comin ee s. We fully support moves to improve safety but be ieve the vie s of our members shou d be considered. For more information visit


16/01/2020 15:20


LARCH DISEASE CONDEMNS TREES Around 2,500 larch trees covering 3.5ha at Healey Nab in Lancashire are to be felled to stop the spread of Phytophthora ramorum, an algae-like organism which causes sudden larch death. Lancashire County Council has been issued with a Statutory Plant Health Notice by the Forestry Commission requiring the trees to be cleared. This is part of a national approach to managing the disease, with the aim of stopping the algae spores spreading and infecting other woodlands. It said after the removal in February, the site will naturally regenerate with native broadleaf species already present on the land, such as birch, beech, holly,

mountain ash and oak. County councillor Albert Atkinson, cabinet member for technical services, rura affairs and aste management, said: “The removal of these trees will have a dramatic impact on the landscape. “However, we have no choice but to comply with this legal notice, and accept that the overriding priority must be to prevent the spread of disease. “While I share people’s sorrow, there will be some longer term benefits as the mi ed native broadleaf species and undergrowth, which will quickly begin to grow over the summer, will provide a better habitat for wildlife.”

EXPANSION FOR WARWICKSHIRE CONSULTANTS Wharton Natural Infrastructure Consultants is expanding its team and moving to new o ces in in s ou hton, Warwickshire. The company manages natural infrastructure projects and provides services in land, tree, ecology and landscape architecture advice. It works with clients incurring architects, planning consultants, property owners and local authorities. It commented that, with the need to plant trees and protect nature has never having been higher on the agenda, it aims to help clients meet their environmental objectives and encourage them to see natural landscaping as a fundamental part of their schemes. According to director Peter Wharton: “It’s about creating spaces that people want to be in and recognising that the natural

environment, when well-planned and managed, adds value. “By looking at a site now, as well as 10 or 20 years down the line, we help planners and developers to visualise the natural spaces that can be created, connecting people to nature.” Wharton tries to achieve biodiversity net gain: an approach to development that leaves biodiversity in a better state than before. “We want trees, ecology and habitats to be seen as assets and opportunities, not planning constraints,” he added. “It’s crucial we create and manage natural landscapes that people can connect with, where they live. It’s about far more than removing trees and re-planting in another area.”

WILDLIFE TRUST ‘DISMAYED’ AT HS2 TREE FELLING The Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust has said it is “dismayed” after workers for the HS2 project cut down trees without permission at Calvert Jubilee, one of its nature reserves. The trust says: “Whilst HS2 would say they have a legal right to enter our reserve and clear areas of rich wildlife habitat, we would have expected them to inform us that they were planning to move in with chainsaws imminently, rather than us find out from concerned members of the public.”


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The incident happened last December and HS2 claimed it was a ‘misunderstanding’. It is understood that workers removed branches and trunks from around 10 multi-trunk trees. Bats are present at the site and it as bein c eared in efforts to encourage wildlife away from the train line. Transport undersecretary Paul Maynard says: “There has been a recent incident in Calvert Jubilee nature reserve where some (nonancient woodland) vegetation

was inadvertently cleared without the landowner’s consent. HS2 believed they understood who owned the land and had obtained their consent in advance of the work taking place. “However, after further investigation it has become clear that their ownership information was incorrect, and that the land in question was in fact owned by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.” Maynard added HS2 has written directly to the trust

to apologise for the mistake and that no further works would take place at the site until an investigation had been carried out. Last October, clearance at 11 ancient woodland sites was suspended, although other preparatory works are continuing. HS2 has said it will plant some 75,000 new trees as part of a ‘green corridor’ programme and there will be 33km2 of new woodland, which would be net increase of 30%.

Pro Arb | Winter 2020


16/01/2020 15:31


Show Me the Honey


news extra

e is ation, and the team at oney rothers or s hard to ee u to date ith this to he rovide customers ith e ert uidance.


oney Brothers has its roots firm y ithin the or d of arboricu ture. The business as founded in by t o brothers, eter and Tony oney, ho ere tree sur eons at its current ocation in easmarsh, a vi a e ust outside of ui dford in Surrey. etai in as not anned initia y, a thou h the business remains based in the same ace here it started. The on , o bui din as forma y an abattoir and as initia y used by the t o brothers as o ces and stora e for the tree sur ery business. Then, in the mid s, it as decided


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

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they ou d move into retai . The resent o ners, artyn ay and Stuart ird er, too over in and have steadi y ro n the com any s retai resence. Today, oney rothers offers a vast ran e of arb e ui ment and rides itse f on sourcin a most a the roducts customers demand. Those or in there a tota of are hi h y no ed eab e, and the team em oys severa e arborists, inc udin sa es mana er oody and ro e s icer ee, ith much of the staff havin been ith the business for many years. ar etin mana er ie heater comments oney

rothers is e no n for its hu e c imbin and ri in ro e se ection, and hen combined ith an in house ro e s icer, this is somethin that sets

Opening the doors The ne store o ened at the end of anuary, ith an o cia t o day aunch anned for arch, and invitations i be sent out soon. ie says f you are a ready on the mai in ist, oo out for yours if not, no is the time to as to be added. The stoc has further e anded to a ea articu ar y to arborists, but a so to oca

Arborists have a lot to contend with in terms of keeping up with training, new trends and health and safety legislation the business a art from its com etitors. rborists have a ot to contend ith in terms of ee in u ith trainin , ne trends and hea th and safety

rounds care teams oo in for s ecia ist it. There are a number of ne additions, inc udin a ar e dis ay area of rofessiona too s, and hi e modern, the store


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a so has some fittin s datin bac to the s to create a rustic fee . thou h many hi h streets are stru in , oney rothers is convinced there remains a demand to sho in erson. e be ieve arborists ove to touch and fee e ui ment before they buy it. hysica resence is im ortant. hat s more, the store is not on the hi h street, and bein around a mi e outside cro ded ui dford means there is enty of free ar in . The com any says t is a destination store here customers can visit because they ant some friend y advice or recommendation. any a so ant to try out ne ro es or other e ui ment, or ic u some ne . There is a ro e area for testin out c imbin roducts, a machine re air or sho , a room for trainin and seminars, a number of trees outdoors that are used for demonstrations for events and o en days. Online moves ahead The ebsite is no mobi e friend y, and inc udes features i e a bar and chain finder, ne s on atest roducts, ivea ay offers, eefo revie s, and in s to a ro in number of videos coverin to ics i e ro e s icin . ie says socia media is favoured as the main communication atform ith customers. t a o s discussions, feedbac and romotion o ortunities. nsta ram is very im ortant for us as e share ne roducts that have ust arrived, share customer hotos, and interact ith su iers and industry contacts to romote and he each other. n , e i be doin even more in this area. The ebsite a so acts as a sho case for the com any s


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ne brandin , hich features a honeycomb desi n ith ots of vibrant ye o . s o ner artyn ay says t is the ri ht time to refresh our much oved brand and ebsite ith a ne identity and rofessiona oo . ith our ne sho no o en, and the ebsite u and runnin , e are in a reat osition as e o into . oney rothers re u ar y e orts to customers ho have bou ht on ine throu hout the and overseas the most o u ar destinations bein ustra ia, a an, the S and S eden. The com any says any customers have been buyin from oney rothers for years no , and the store is uite often su ested as a suitab e ace to buy their first items of it and c othin by co e es. If you want to check out the buzz surrounding the new store and website, then visit

Pro Arb | Winter 2020


16/01/2020 10:13


Carving trees



any Pro Arb readers attending events such as the APF will have watched in awe as incredible art materialises from stumps of wood through the ability of chainsaw carvers. It just so happens that one of the world’s most gifted lives in northern Wales. Environmental artist Simon O’Rourke has been passionate about art from a young age, initially wanting to be a children’s book illustrator. He studied illustration at university in Wrexham, where he still lives. Sculpture and working with wood were not areas he had paid much attention to – he explains that 3D work was only a small part of his degree, and so the inspiration for this only came after he worked as an arborist. Simon explains: “I needed full-time work after my degree, and illustration is a very


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

Interview Simon o'rourke.indd 10

com etitive fie d. A friend of mine had started a tree surgery business and needed help. I ended up really enjoying it!” That business was Acorn ArborCare in Wrexham and Simon worked there for six years, gaining an RFS Cert Arb and completing multiple chainsaw and other tree care courses, while working as a climber and progressing quickly to become team leader. He describes the work as “exhausting but really exciting, except for when leylandii and hawthorn were involved”. He continues: “The positives were days where you’re up a large tree, doing a nice, even reduction on a sunny day, made even better when you could do it all with a handsaw and not need chainsaw trousers!”

He says that while working as an arborist he saw someone using a chainsaw to carve. “That was what really inspired me. The knowledge I gained about trees, the way they grew and their natural shapes also fascinated me.” As time progressed, Simon also became increasingly aware that working as a deskbound illustrator was losing its appeal as he oved bein outdoors, findin or in outside far more fu fi in . e be an carvin more extensively and, for two years, did this under the banner of Acorn Furniture before setting up his own business in 2005.


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“When I started to realise that I was pretty good, my boss began hiring me out to his tree surgery clients, which was a great way of practising. Then I began competing to gain more reco nition, ta in art in my first sho in 2004. I was placed third there out of 50 carvers, and that was a massive boost. That’s hat ave me the confidence to start thin in I could make it as a business.” Simon now has an incredibly varied portfolio, with pieces appearing on screen, in public spaces and private gardens and just some of the work he has completed includes: • Game of Thrones – Simon designed the casing for the dragon eggs as they are resented to aenerys for the first time. • Spirit of Ecstasy – carved from an oak tree that had died to form the iconic Rolls oyce fi urine, at ft hi h. • Meadow Park Sculpture Trail – comprises nine sculptures in a Cheshire park, initiated by a community group who secured Tesco funding. It was based on a story for children he wrote about an owl called Ruby searching for her home in the woodland. • The Guardian – a lion carved to raise awareness for the wildlife charity Born Free Foundation. This is now in the garden of its founder, former actress Virginia McKenna. • The Giant Hand of Vyrnwy – a 50ft hand carved from a tree stump, formed from the former tallest tree in Wales which was storm damaged. The or d ar emoria So dier, commissioned by Chorley Council – created to show through an individual, the ain suffered by many mi ions and Simon also carved a number of poppies. • The Airman at Highclere Castle – and commissioned by Lady Carnarvon – this is one of Simon’s best known works and to commemorate airmen who died as a result of crashes in World War 2. A nearby bench features some of the rec a e from a that crashed on the Hampshire estate. While Simon’s work now tends to focus on ma or or , inc udin T and fi m, he says he began small and sculpted seats was an effective ay of attractin ear y business. Furniture is still available, but Simon now employs a carpenter who “creates fantastic fine furniture from unusua ieces of timber .


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When it comes to tools, he says he has always enjoyed working with Stihl’s chainsaws. “It was a huge compliment when they said they wanted to work with me! I now have an ongoing partnership with them and I can honest y say, havin used so many different saws over the years, I’ve had the least problems with Stihl.” e has a eet of around sa s and tends to use around five of them on a re u ar basis. “I love the cordless saws, they’ve really been a amechan er for me. The reduced vibration and quiet running makes the detail work much more pleasant.” When it comes to the raw materials, Simon has a dee concern for the environment around us and notes that he “hates to see a healthy tree cut down without a purpose”. e notes ost of my timber comes from tree sur eon s or , and most of the time it’s trees that have something wrong with them, or have become dangerous.”


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

Interview Simon o'rourke.indd 12

Simon deve o ed his re utation in art from competing in carving competitions, but having earned his ace as one of the or d s best, he says he no refers to demonstrate rather than com ete at events. Throu h e hibitions and competing, he has travelled the world and ained enormous y from the e eriences. e e ains that some events i have a c ear theme for carvin , hi e others offer free rein. e adds that he has always coped with the ressure of s ectators, notin that it ma es him thin on his feet. Countries that carving has taken him to include USA, Japan, Canada, Holland, Germany and Denmark. He says: “I never would have thought I would be traveling all over the world, but it has been an incredib e o ortunity, and fee really blessed.” s for a referred event, he says The one event that has a ays been a favourite is the us ycu in ermany. The themes are a ays rea y e citin and it s an o ortunity to work alongside the best chainsaw sculptors in the world.” Meanwhile, when asked what his favourite iece of or is, he has many, but says t s di cu t to say really. I loved creating the giant hand at Vyrnwy, it’s a real honour to hear people reactions when they see it. The ar e faces com eted recent y (one completed at the APF and with both shown at the Cookham Art

Festival in Berkshire) were another that I put a lot into.” e adds that he has a ays oved fantasy boo s and fi ms and, fortuitous y, this has been a theme for a number of his commissions, inc udin ame of Thrones. further interestin e erience as carvin in ice, something he tried at an event in ennsy vania in the S a fe years a o. s he describes: “It’s much quicker to cut than wood and you have to be carefu of the structure. It is much weaker than wood.” o that he has bui t a hi h y successfu career, Simon has brought in support to help him handle the business aspects, using mar etin rofessiona s to or on his ebsite and a b o er to he ee his fans and c ients up to date. Looking ahead, Simon is planning to offer a video course on tree carvin and sees teachin as an o tion for ater on. e a so ans to offer c ients the o tion to buy sma er re roductions of some of his statement or s. When he does not have a chainsaw or other too s to hand, Simon says he re a es by walking and camping. “I also enjoy playing the uitar and atchin fi ms. nythin to try and ind do n, a thou h a ays find it di cu t not to think about work.” is memorab e and often movin scu tures offer the sca e and a hysica dimension that an i ustration is far ess ab e to do in the same ay. Those uc y enou h to see his or in erson i no doubt be e treme y ratefu Simon’s career path took him on this journey. Find out more about Simon by visiting


16/01/2020 10:05


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When you work with numbers like this, you need a chainsaw range that makes light work of the task at hand. The Pro Tree Team at Westonbirt Arboretum use the STIHL range of petrol and battery-powered chainsaws. The facts are in the felling, with 200 trees felled or taken down each year plus the everyday tree maintenance at Westonbirt, using just 11 arboriculture and forestry STIHL chainsaws. And with 300 trees planted each year there’s no sign of the operation slowing down. Robust, reliable and ready for anything, the STIHL chainsaw range is up to the challenge. AVAILABLE AT YOUR LOCAL STIHL DEALER. STIHL.CO.UK



16/01/2020 13:50 06/01/2020 11:25

Š 2018 - Petzl Distribution - Marc Daviet - Cerne Arboricultura

PETZL TREECARE SOLUTIONS Being effective in your daily work as an arborist means mastering advanced techniques and having the best equipment to efficiently move around and position yourself in the trees. This Cerne Arboricultura aborist in Praia de Arneles, O Igrexario, Pontevedra in Galicia, Spain, is here to prove it!

Tree care solution includes a ZIGZAG PLUS mechanical Prusik, a CHICANE auxiliary braking device and a 11.6 mm FLOW low stretch kernmantel rope.

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16/01/2020 13:51

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

17 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook – a healthy start for urban trees

Good soil volume is a key factor when it comes to seeing successful growth rates in urban trees

20 > hazards of herbicides

Despite their popularity, there is a dark side to herbicides – Dr Glynn Percival explores how you can spot the signs of damage and what remedial treatments can be made

23 > is our sector making progress?

Dee Vickers questions whether diversity within arboriculture is as limited as some may think

26 > complying with the HSE

Many arborists continue to work with a single rope, but the HSE now wants full compliance with Working at Height regulations. Simon Richmond of the Arboricultural Association reports

28 > what’s on my wish-list?

onathan a e offers some common sense suggestions that would do much for all working in arb in the months ahead

30 > Business Zone – when a cold day means no pay When severe weather prevents a normal day’s work, employers should have a policy in place


16/01/2020 15:29

Save THE date 17 MARCH 2020 | 9AM - 5PM



16/01/2020 18/12/2019 13:51 16:08


Growing up




n my second set of casebook entries for Pro Arb, I showed several failed tree plantings due to a range of technical errors or misfortunes. Fortunately, trying to establish urban trees does not have to all be dismal and depressing – some trees will grow up fast and begin to contribute quickly to their surrounding environment. In this casebook entry, I am highlighting some examples of good growth rates in trees, with the link between them being a good soil volume inducing good tree ro th. The effect of this factor is pretty obvious from these examples. Arborists and urban foresters need to be ‘guardians of the soil’ as much as they are guardians of the trees that are under their care.

View within a new tree planting



Simply the best It can be expensive to establish trees in the pavement of a busy urban street. Only recently, near to where I live, a town council had a major debate about the cost of putting 10 trees into one of their main streets, as the project came in at around £10k per tree. Understandably, this rattled some of the councillors as it is a high cost to the public purse for a short line of trees. For many reasons, establishing belts of trees or small wooded areas is more cost effective, where it is possible, than planting street trees locally. The costs of planting, establishment and maintenance can be lower, especially if the species planted are selected with care and the design makes use of the space

Twelve years later

effective y. n addition, the ro th rates of the trees can be better than if they are in small pits dug out of a hard surface. Woodlands, however small, are simply the best way to establish trees, as that is where trees have evolved to live. They are out of their comfort zone when in a pavement. The image below shows a shelterbelt established on a bund of builder’s waste as part of a large-scale development with a mixed planting scheme of whips and feathered trees. Some 12 years on, this is now a wooded strip of trees and shrubs, well-established and already attracting a range of wildlife. Such examples show what can be achieved, especially if correct weed control and pest control is put in place. Unfortunately,


I know of many sites that could have established like this but, due to a lack of technical assistance, the planting has failed. These are typically sites on community rounds, schoo ayin fie ds and similar sites, where the organisation managed to obtain tree planting materials for free, but they did not have the technical knowledge or support needed to achieve good establishment of what was planted. It is always such a shame to see this asted effort as, if planted well, such wooded areas can really change the local landscape and contribute si nificant y to the biodiversity. Only a minor setback The next pair of images (page 18) shows an Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides) that was planted at Myerscough College in the winter of 2005. I have scaled this time-lapse image that represents 13 years of growth by this tree. By scaling the two images of the tree relative to each other, you can see the difference that one would see by eye between the tree in the summer of 2006 and in the summer of 2019. In some ways, capturing the growth of trees in this way is more meaningful than measuring their height and DBH (diameter of the

Pro Arb | Winter 2020 17

16/01/2020 10:21


this ro th sta e is an o ortunity that shou d not be missed by those mana in the site.

trun at breast hei ht , because the sca e of the tree in the andsca e is a ey attribute and reat y affects its visua amenity. es ite this, it is uite rare to see such sca ed ima es of trees to demonstrate ho their ro th ou d oo to visitors. There is a so a fair y sur risin sub story for this fast ro in tree as it co a sed three years after antin , ust after its sta es ere ta en off in a ate autumn storm. thou h yin at on the

Catalpa bignonioides June 2006 round, fe t su cient ive roots remained attached to its trun and it as orth re erectin . n youn vi orous trees that fa over at their roots, have enty of e erience of them bein ab e to recover from this and ut on a ood set of roots at the second time of as in . This tree as no e ce tion. e re sta ed it for t o years, and it re bac enou h roots to stand u inde endent y a ain. f on y had ta en a icture of it yin do n at, this ima e ou d be that much more interestin A silver lining The ima es on the ri ht sho the ood ro th of a si ver ime (Tilia tomentosa in South ort otanic ardens over years. ote that it has been anted and has estab ished in a bi semi circ e of soi situated bet een the


Pro Arb | Winter 2020


Se tember

years ater

bui din and the a ay throu h the ar . Soi vo ume is such an im ortant as ect of ettin trees to ro at a ood rate not on y are there many scientific studies that sho this to be the case for trees anted in urban ocations, but my many time a ses of trees a so confirm this is robab y the bi est in uence in ho the tree fares once anted. Trees need soi in uantity and ua ity and for that, they need to have su cient draina e, ore s ace and ater ho din ca acity. ost tree s ecies e ant in the are not that demandin for nutrients and can even suffer if su ied ith an e cess of nitro en ferti iser. t is a decent si ed ro in s ace they ant the most, as they evo ved ithout the root restrictions found in urban andsca e.

This tree is situated uite c ose to the main bui din of the ardens, a ua ity that has become more obvious as the tree has ro n ar er. ortunate y, there is a si ver inin this tree is a ime tree and these are hi h y to erant of runin . o is the time to rune the tree into a sha e that is com atib e ith the s ace it has. Se ectin the main branches at

Tilia tomentosa Si ver ime

Making the link Street trees are enera y d arfed versions of their cousins that ro in our ar s and ardens this is because of the under round imitations of soi avai abi ity often im osed u on them. here trees ro natura y, their roots often raft to ether in a shared soi s ace. ven if that does not occur, a hysica in is often made by fun i that attach to tree roots mycorrhi ae , both of hich resu ts in the abi ity to ass resources from tree to tree, rovidin mutua su ort. iven that is ho trees have evo ved to ro , here you can ant them in rou s and in natura y com osed soi that suits their s ecies, you are more i e y to et better ro th and on evity. so atin trees in concrete co ns , as often occurs on street tree antin schemes, oes a ainst everythin science has to say about ro in trees successfu y. The above ima es on a e sho a trio of u ri ht or ay ma es Acer platanoides eve and ro in in reston city centre, ancashire. ou can

years ater


16/01/2020 09:50


Line of Acer platanoides ‘Cleveland’ see these trees have done quite well over 12 years of this time-lapse and now are important visual assets in this street scene. They have suffered a scra e or t o from passing delivery vans, but they have a good fastigiate shape, meaning they are not impinging too much on the adjacent highway nor the buildings behind. Why have these three trees done so well? The tree pits they are situated in are close together, and it is likely their root systems have managed to link up under the paved surface as they would have done in the woods. This factor is becoming more recognised by arborists who seek to achieve long trenches of ‘tree soil’ or stretches of suspended pavement to grow a row of trees in, rather than creating separate, small volume tree pits in an urban avenue. On a recent trip to Copenhagen, Denmark, I got to see the progress the Danes are making with planting trees in such long trenches, and the tree growth rates are looking excellent – much like what one ou d find in a forest. Just a little time and effort Contrasting with the extortionate bill of £10k per street tree mentioned previously, the images on the right show a 480m-long avenue of Corsican pines (Pinus



12 years later nigra ssp. laricio) that I managed to establish at a cost of just £200. Looking at the time-lapse of this feature, from trees only 450mm tall to trees that are now, on average, seven metres tall after 13 years, this represents excellent value for money. This avenue of pines is situated at the entrance to Scarisbrick Hall (formerly Kingswood College) and was a successful attempt to re-establish a historic avenue feature that was lost from the estate in the 1960s. When I worked as a tree and landscape o cer for est ancashire, I also had the luck of working on a project involving this old estate,

assessing its trees and woodlands. This involved asking locals to contribute old photographs of the estate that helped to identify previous features of the parkland. By far, the most frequently submitted photos were those of the old pine avenue to the south of the site. The old Corsican pine trees had been eye-catching, especially in the winter months, in a rural area with little tree cover. In re-establishing this avenue of trees, not quite half-a-mile long, I managed to acquire 200 pine trees at £1 each – left over stock from a forest nursery – and I had the help of the caretakers

Planting of 480m-long Corsican pine avenue

of Scarisbrick Hall School and two of its school children in planting them. The early years of establishing these small trees brought a few challenges, especially controlling the rabbit damage done to the trees and getting the site manager to control the extent of strimmer damage. Although this has resulted in a few gaps in this avenue, as it is now, the trees will have to be thinned out as they mature, an operation to even out the lines, eliminating the few gaps. It also helped to have around 10 trees spare as replacements to lessen the effect of some ear y osses. ot on y is the visua effect of the now-established pine avenue affectin the oo of this on driveway to the school, but it also provides shelter, screening and food resources for the local red squirrel population. The soil here is very sandy, making pines a very suitable choice and something the Victorians that planted the original avenue were probably aware of. Duncan Slater is senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College

13 years later

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of herbicides



wat c h


erbicides used to destroy unwanted vegetation have become an integral part of landscape maintenance, not only within our towns and cities, but also within publicly and privately-owned gardens. Yet, while they can have a use, these products can also result in the destruction of trees and create toxicity – this is, in my view, an underestimated problem in the UK. Herbicides are also big business, and it is estimated that close to £100m was spent in 2016 on ‘weed and feed’ garden products by private homeowners trying to keep their lawns weed-free. Chemical weed control is also the primary method of vegetation management in urban landscapes such as industrial areas, car parks, under power lines and along highways. In addition, the malicious poisoning of trees using herbicides has increased in severity and frequency over the past few years. As a side note, am an e ert itness for five different oca authorities re ardin cases of malicious herbicide poisoning of trees.

Herbicide damage in leaves


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

Glynn Percival.indd 20

What are the symptoms of injury? herbicide in ury can be di cu t to dia nose because of other environmental or cultural adversities, as well as infectious diseases and insects which can produce similar symptoms. Likewise, the detection of herbicide residues by chemical analysis is extremely expensive (typically over £400) and therefore is often not economically feasible. The key symptom is that trees decline and die quickly, usually within one to two months,


16/01/2020 10:17


whereas in nature, trees die slowly – and this is over years. For example, Dutch elm disease, which is one of the most devastating

residues and minimise injury. These products must be applied as soon as possible following the misapplication of a herbicide.

trees decline and die quickly, usually within one to two months, whereas in nature trees die slowly and this is over years diseases in UK history, would take a minimum of six months to kill a mature tree. Other symptoms of herbicide injury include: • Leaf distortion: cupping, curling, abnormal elongation of leaf margins

Research shows that these products should be applied at 150 times the amount of the active ingredient per acre of the applied herbicide. For example, if a 100g active ingredient of an herbicide was applied

per acre, then 100 x 150 or 6kg of activated charcoal or biochar per acre, would be required. Herbicides which have shown to be effective y adsorbed by activated charcoa or biochar include 2,4-D, atrazine, amitrole, dicamba, dichlobenil, chlorthal-dimethyl, diuron and picloram. In addition, applications of sucrose and glucose (sugars) have recently been shown to confer a high degree of tolerance to some herbicides and help trees recover from damage, however, more research in this area is required. Despite these remedies, trees which are in a serious decline from a large dose of

(epinasty) and parallel leaf venation • The current year’s shoots may be t isted and attened rather than round or angular • Leaf necrosis/chlorosis, leaves yellowing, burning from the peripheral leaf edges inwards towards the mid-vein • Brown/black spots where droplets come into contact with the foliage • Bleached foliage • Premature leaf drop or rapid defoliation • Severe and rapid crown-dieback. Types of remedial treatment of herbicide-injured trees Mature trees can usually recover from a light herbicide injury. Meanwhile, irrigating and s rayin the tree ith ater ithin the first few hours of herbicide application will aid recovery. However, if the application is applied after hours, it i have itt e benefit. An early irrigation should also help leach root-active herbicides from the root zone of the plant. However, care should be taken not to wash herbicide residues into the root system of nearby uncontaminated plants. If branch dieback results, pruning should be delayed for a least a year to fully assess the extent of the injury. This will avoid additional pruning of dead branches that may result from continued decline. Bear in mind that immediate pruning may be necessary if dead branches ose a dan er to tra c, individua s, pedestrians, or property. urther benefit can come from activated charcoal or biochar applied as a soil amendment, as this may help bind herbicide


Glynn Percival.indd 21

Overdose of weed and feed-based herbicides in Prunus herbicide generally do not survive and removal is usually required. But they should be left standing for at least one growing season after the damage has occurred to fully assess the potential for recovery. It is also important to replant the site after su cient time has assed and the herbicide residues have de raded su cient y ithin the soil. Dr Glynn Percival is a plant physiologist/ technical support specialist at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory, based at the University of Reading.

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Age – just a number

or a reason to say ‘no’?




n article in The Daily Telegraph earlier this year stated that “age discrimination is rife in Britain, with 14% of employees aged 50 or over thinking they have been turned down for a job due to their age”. So, it would seem that in this day and age, ageism is alive and well, but is it particularly apparent in the arboricultural industry? I decided to get a feel for just how hard it is to find em oyment in our industry as a mature jobseeker. This is an interesting issue and there can be a perception that many of those working in arb are youn and fit since or can often be strenuous in nature, but the reality is there are a range of roles. From my point of view, I retrained in my early 30s, moving from IT and running my own small


Dee Vickers.indd 23

business in an unre ated fie d to work in arb and forestry. Men only? We also work in an industry that is stereotypically male-dominated, and this should be even more reason to focus on equality and diversity matters. Sam Eagling-Fernandez is the regional manager for Maydencroft, a and mana ement firm that provides a range of arb services. He tells me that they are more interested in findin the ri ht person for the job and that age is not a barrier. These are not just empty words. Maydencroft already has a number of apprentices of varying ages and goes to great lengths to employ, develop and support those individuals that i fit in ith the ethos of the

company, and those who are prepared to work hard. Some roles are more suited to individuals that have more ‘life experience’, other roles are erha s a better fit for youn er, fitter eo e. ut that s not a hard-and-fast rule and there are countless exceptions. Sarah Maddox, HR manager for Bartlett Tree Experts, adds that not only is age not a barrier to employment – Bartlett’s youngest arborist has just turned 18 and its oldest arb will be celebrating their 72nd birthday in February, gender does not come into the equation either. Bartlett Tree Experts is just one of a number of employers that I have dealt with over the last couple of years that have benefitted from havin a mi of male and female arborists.

Companies such as these, along with the Arboriculture Association and Lantra, actively promote a more diverse workforce to meet the demands of the industry. Can you do the job? As someone that is openly transgender, I have been humbled by how the industry has treated me personally. Far from being a macho-culture, those that I have worked with are much more interested in whether I can do the job and I believe that is the overriding issue in arboriculture. So, hat benefits does a otentia o der em oyee offer an organisation? In my opinion, mature jobseekers often know what they want to achieve and where their careers are going. They are likely to understand the ‘work ethic’, less likely to be on

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16/01/2020 10:35


their phones constantly and more likely to be self-starters who can think through a task and work out what needs to be done in order to achieve it. These are, of course, over sim ifications. But the view that older workers only have a limited work life to a company is surely outdated with an aging population. Let us also not forget that there are plenty who may also have to work longer due to pension reforms.

they look rather than getting stuck into the job at hand. But is this true? From my experience

Young and foolish? Of course, ageism also works the other way too. Although we often associate ageism with discrimination against older people, younger people also suffer simi ar treatment. New entrants into the industry who are in their late teens are often seen as lazy, disinterested and more concerned with how

with apprenticeships, this might be the case early on for some in the programme, but given the right kind of support, this can just as likely be completely wrong. An article entitled ‘What goes on in the mind of 16-18 year olds?’ on the RateMyApprenticeship website described Generation Z as risk averse, practical, pragmatic,


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

Dee Vickers.indd 24

oo in for a career and financia stability, as well as wanting to build transferable skills. These

the view that older workers only have a limited work life to a company is surely outdated with an aging population. Let us also not forget that there are plenty who may also have to work longer due to pension reforms skills will be particularly important to those in Generation Z as they are less likely to remain with one employer during their career. The industry has gone through, and is still going through, a period of increasing professionalism, which has had an impact on every corner of the sector. There is still plenty of work to do in that regard,

but overall, arboriculture is an industry that is open to all, regardless of age or gender. What really counts to an employer is that the individual applying for a job is genuine, hard-working, willing to apply themselves and takes an interest. It does not matter if you are 17 or 52, male, female or transgender. If you can demonstrate the skills necessary for a role, then you have as good a chance at success in the role as the next person. Dee Vickers is the arboriculture programme manager at Berkshire College of Agriculture, developing and delivering the arborist apprenticeship. Dee has also been involved with forestry and arb short courses for the last 15 years. Dee can be contacted at


16/01/2020 10:36

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It takes two



limbing and working with a single rope remains commonplace within the arboricultural sector, and yet research has shown that this can be a key causative factor for falls from height. The HSE now wants the practice to end in almost all circumstances and for climbers to be using two separate and independently anchored lines when doing tree work. The issue has been the cause of much industry debate, and the AA has actively been seeking


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

two rope working.indd 26

clearer guidance from the regulator, since single rope working, provided it is risk-based, may still be appropriate in some cases. The HSE, however, has ta en a firm ine and stated that arborists must comply with rules on two rope working as enshrined in the Work at Height Regulations 2005, even if there may be a few exceptions – for example, if an aerial rescue can be quicker and better conducted using one rope. Furthermore, it is likely that, under certain circumstances, the use of the same rope to create two separate loadbearing anchor points will be acceptable, or when using a work positioning system (moving rope techniques) and it is not reasonably practicable to include a backup, then a single system may also be used. Perhaps even when using a rope access system (stationary rope systems) – and the use of a second line would entail higher risk – then a single system may be used. Even so, the HSE’s stance remains clear. Two rope working must be used in most circumstances, and employers must be aware that if an accident occurs and there is a lack of compliance with the regulations – i.e. it is found that only one rope was being used – then this could be a factor in any prosecution.

More guidance is coming Both employers and climbers need clear information on their obligations if there are to be new working practices, and they will have this during 2020 as the AA works to revise its Industry Code of Practice for Tree Work at ei ht, as e as a series of five technica guides, including use of tools, rigging, crane work and MEWPs. The AA has also produced a timetable showing its work which it’s progressing on and how arborists should plan to ensure they reach compliance: Objective 1. Devise and agree basic principal guidelines for climbing using two lines. To be disseminated to training instructors and the wider industry. 2. Revise and update the Industry Code of Practice for Arboriculture – Tree Work at Height (ICoP) – principal guidelines for the ‘Responsible person’ and ‘Competent person’. 3. Revise existing draft of the forthcoming AA Technical Guide: Tree Climbing and Aerial Rescue (TG1) – including detailed, practical guidance on the implementation of the use of two lines. 4. Integration of TG1 guidance into national training content. 5. Integration of TG1 guidance into national assessment standards.

Complete by November 2019

January 2020

March 2020

Spring 2020 Spring 2020


16/01/2020 15:44


The HSE has agreed that the hierarchical approach, as shown below, should form the basis of planning tree climbing work at height.

These principles will apply to all tree c imbin o erations and offer a anned approach, subject to any detailed decisionmaking if points 1 or 2 are not possible. It is anticipated that situations where the use of a single fall protection system is compliant will be rare and of short duration. So, at this stage, the emphasis is on all fall protection systems, regardless of whether they incorporate doubled or moving rope technique (MRT) or stationary rope technique (SRT), or even a combination of the two. Meanwhile, at a recent meeting of Lantra ards eria Tree or erifiers, a basic set of practical guidance was agreed, which has been disseminated to registered instructors to provide initial direction for training that is being delivered currently. There will be further workshop sessions for instructors. Lantra Awards has also adjusted its tree


two rope working.indd 27

climbing training to include refresher provision, and the AA will also update its seminar and workshop programme in spring 2020. There will also be an industry consultation on the AA’s technical guide once the draft of this has been completed in March. The utility sector has achieved compliance with two-rope working and now is the time for the rest of the industry to follow suit – and the AA will be working hard to ensure all arborists have as much support as possible. Simon Richmond is the Arboricultural Association’s senior technical officer. More two rope working updates and guidance can be found at

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16/01/2020 15:44






o, a new year is upon us and I have been musing over a number of topics that I believe would do much to improve the standing of arboricultural specialists and could help protect and preserve our trees. Certainly, last year saw a major distraction in terms of the general election, and even now with Brexit plans supposedly moving forward, it would not surprise me if we see more political stalemate and stasis. I have written before of my opposition to Brexit – I see it as little short of a ticket to hell in a handcart, but we must also respect the will of the people, and so like others of my persuasion, think that we now have to be resigned to it. I hope everyone received what they wanted for Christmas and that they are sticking to their New Year’s resolutions. One perhaps unwelcome surprise for climbers (and trainers) was that the HSE announced it wanted to see full compliance with the Working at


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

Jonathan Hazell.indd 28

Height Regulations with immediate effect. This as a some hat unexpected move, given that these rules were introduced way back in 2005. Common sense needed for climbers I remember when I was more fully engaged with the Arboricultural Association, we seemed to be in the vanguard with our response to these re u ations. The common sense practical guidance in the Guide to Good Climbing Practice was lauded by many, including the industrial rope access trade association as I recall.

change their ways of working in every circumstance. It may not always be practicable to do so too. However, point 3 of the AA’s guidance to the regulation states: “If, as a result of a risk assessment, it is determined that it is not reasonably practicable or would entail higher risk to persons to achieve points 1 or 2, then one system installed over one load-bearing anchor may be used.” The note is, of course, heavi y caveated, but at east it offers a glimmer of hope to those already in practice. Even so, for those starting out in the industry, they

There are many climbers who do use one rope safely and it may be a big ask to expect them to change their ways of working There are a ot of c imbers ho do use one rope safely and it may be a big ask to expect them to

will need to learn how to install two fall protection systems over independent anchors, or two fall

protection systems over a single anchor point. ore su ort or tree o ers I wrote a hasty note to Santa asking for a number of gifts for the ider tree o cer community in the coming year, and I’d be pleased to hear if his generosity was extended to these much needed, but often underappreciated, public servants. Firstly, I would like to see every tree report concerning trees on deve o ment sites that offered confident decima ace recision over the degree of incursion of a proposed development into the root protection area (such as 3.4% or 16.1%, for example) s ontaneous y combust. This would be before they reached the local planning authority’s re istration o cer, et a one the tree o cer s des . There is no doubt that the whole idea behind such precision is complete bunkum and shows


16/01/2020 13:15


such little understanding of tree root behaviour. Choosing tree species wisely Another gift I sought was guidance on choices of resilient species for development sites, as well as general planting schemes. Should we be asking for Mediterranean species, or Nordic? There was a great deal of interesting information at the recent FutureScape event, and we may be returning to a narrow range of native species. I reluctantly have to accept that there are positive qualities of certain conifers, and while they may be a blot on the landscape,

consultant’s role as the advocate for the tree. It is deeply concerning that some write in support of a development without any critical comment, and we need to look to raise understanding and do as much as we can to preserve our tree stock despite the throwaway culture that is all too prevalent. My view is that there should be a full gathering of evidence before deciding on whether a development should be supported. Those with the requisite knowledge should not be afraid to speak the truth, so let’s see an end to all unthinking and uncritical BS 5837 surveys. Trees are being harmed by the

out about Aspiring Registered Consultants Day, which is run by the AA. Otherwise, there is some great training also available in our sector, whether in short or more extended courses, and e i benefit as a ho e if professionalism improves. I would also welcome any moves that will encourage the number of tree o cers and arborists.

I’m fortunate as I have two roles – for a local authority and as a consultant – and I think the public i benefit from a stron er voice, as will the environment – and not just because ‘climate emergency’ is the Oxford Word of the Year. Jonathan Hazell is an arboricultural consultant.

there are positive qualities of certain conifers and while they may be a blot on the landscape, they have other positive attributes that need to be considered they have other positive attributes that need to be considered when making decisions over their futures. There is also useful guidance in ‘Tree Species Selection for Green Infrastructure’, a book from TDAG, and the Forest Research’s co o ica Site assification Decision Support System’. Both are jolly useful and easy to follow for all who need to make recommendations – as I know from experience – and easy to follow because there are lots of pictures and charts. Let’s champion independence As professionals, our opinions and expertise should matter. An independent arboricultural report that accompanies a planning application should demonstrate an independence of thought and the


Jonathan Hazell.indd 29

paucity of funds within local authorities – too often work is taking place on sites that is damaging and destroying trees. Developers may appear to be well-meaning, but it can take time and money to find out if this is really the case. Local authorities need funding to be able to police development sites and censure those that cause harm or even break the law. Boosting knowledge and numbers Many people see a new year as the best time to focus on improving their career prospects, and for those working in arb, consultancy is something which may well be of interest. Should you wish to hone your s i s, it cou d be orth findin


Pro Arb | Winter 2020 29

16/01/2020 13:17


Should a bad weather day mean no pay?

an etman Shutterstoc .com



rborists are used to turning out for work when there is bad weather and, broadly, the is not affected too severe y. e hard y ever see anythin i e tornados or i dfires invariab y, it is business as usua under our dam , drab and dri y s ies. ut every no and then, the eather turns it u a notch. i h inds, heavy rain and a dustin of hat ritish ai once infamous y dubbed ‘the wrong kind of snow’ and the country can rind to a ha t, even thou h nations i e ce and, or ay and S eden sim y carry on re ard ess. The s infrastructure is often i e ui ed at dea in ith bad eather ub ic trans ort can c ose do n and drivin conditions may be im ossib e, articu ar y if fe er roads are ritted as has ha ened more in recent years.


Pro Arb | Winter 2020

BZ peninsula.indd 30

So, there are oin to be occasions hen em oyees cannot ma e it into or , hich can cause considerab e rob ems if your firm cannot ta e on obs. s a resu t, havin a an

if the conditions are considered too dan erous, ho ever, definin this e act y is not easy. f roads are e ce tiona y sno bound or icy, schoo s are c osed and oca uidance

there are going to be occasions when employees cannot make it into work, which can cause considerable problems for bad eather is a sound o icy and it he s bein c ear on ho to ans er uestions that staff may have. Employed or self-employed? n enera terms, it is e ected that em oyees should try and make it into work, although not

is to avoid trave , then c ear y, staff shou d not try and come into or . o ever, if roads have been ritted and other em oyees have mana ed to come in ithout issue, then you mi ht ant to uestion an individua ho does not is the bad eather bein used as an e cuse


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f you ere subse uent y to disci ine that individua or ater even dismiss them, and the fai ure to come in as a contributin factor, then be sure to retain any evidence to bac u the decision in the case you are faced ith a tribuna . What if the business has to close? f the eather is articu ar y treacherous, such as if there are hi h inds, it cou d be that an arborist is unab e to ta e on outdoor obs. o ever, this does not mean your em oyees can sti underta e some usefu or and this cou d be in areas i e c eanin com any vehic es or chainsa maintenance, for e am e. So, be sure to have a an in ace for such eventua ities. n most cases, it is sno and free in conditions that have resu ted in most or ace and trave disru tion. o ever, recent years have a so seen more conditions thou ht to be connected to c imate chan e, such as armer inters and more oodin . ut, as ith the co d, if a ood causes a business remises to be c osed, then em oyees ou d enera y need to be aid. ain, as ith very co d conditions, oodin cou d sto an arborist oin to a ob, but it may be ossib e for them to find other or for staff. o still need to a staff f your em oyees are on a ayro , and throu h no fau t of their o n, are unab e to come into or , then you need to be c ear on hether

you need to pay them or not. f you are forced to c ose your business because of bad eather, then you do need to ay them. ut, if they cannot ma e it into or , then you do not. m oyers a so have the ri ht to ay off em oyees hen the business is c osed. o ever, doin this has caused rob ems for firms hen c aims have been made under em oyment a . ne method of doin this ithout dis ute is to have a c ause ithin the em oyee s contract that states tem orary ay offs on reduced ay cou d occur in the event of disru tive eather events. urthermore, em oyees ith a month or more of service ho are aced on ay off are not aid fu ay, but they shou d sti receive statutory uarantee ay. ean hi e, for those contractors ho are se f em oyed, then you have fe er ob i ations. f they are ab e to come in to the

remises, and you had boo ed them for a day s or , then you may fee it is orth findin tas s for them to do, even if you both a ree a reduced day rate. ternative y, if they choose not to come in, then they i have to acce t this is one of the uncertainties of bein a sub contracted or er and ay i recommence hen the eather ic s u . further issue is raised if the em oyee has chi dren. f schoo s are c osed, then youn er chi dren i re uire care. s this is an issue that is not the fau t of the em oyee, and if they have not had su cient time to find a ternative arran ements, then S says it is correct to a ree to un aid time off. ood communication about here the em oyee stands if there is bad eather and havin a ro er o icy in ace can he to effective y ensure or re ationshi s continue on ositive terms. eninsu a offers a free tem ate on ho to re are a severe eather an at

Alan Price is Peninsula’s employment law director. Launched in 1983, the com any offers , em oyment a , ta and ayro advice, em oyee assistance ro rammes, and hea th and safety su ort and trainin .


BZ peninsula.indd 31

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16/01/2020 13:52

t i K 0 2 0 2 r winte 34 > Getting to know GreenMech

iscover the ran e and benefits of its disc b ade chipping system

37 > Timberwolf in action

o the T chi er or s for a successfu arborist and andsca in firm

38 > Chainsaw maintenance

us varna and Stih have usefu uidance to increase too on evity and im rove chainsa safety

40 > Chainsaw trousers

nnovative fabrics ensure the ri ht combination of rotection and comfort

41 > new launches from Echo

The manufacturer has deve o ed its most o erfu handhe d b o er to date and the first auto choke chainsaw

42 > Commercial vehicles – Citroën n the road ith the robust e ay eady to un Ti

KIT COVER.indd 33


16/01/2020 15:34


Getting to Know n o s u c o f mech green


ounded in 1993, GreenMech designs, tests and produces its products onsite at its Warwickshire headquarters. It has a woodchipper to suit a wide array of end-users, from arborists and landscapers to local authorities and sports surface managers, manufacturing a line-up that spans 20 units and chipping capacities from 100mm up to 220mm. As a leading manufacturer, it favours producing ideas and component parts inhouse, a o in for more e ibi ity to respond to customer and dealer feedback.

QuadChip 160 reaches any angle

34 Pro Arb | Winter 2020

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SUPPLYING A RANGE OF CHIPPERS TO CLIENTS IN THE UK AND ABROAD, THIS WARWICKSHIRE-BASED BUSINESS HAS PRODUCED MODELS IDEAL FOR A WIDE RANGE OF USES Disc blade discovery A key GreenMech innovation is its disc blade chipping system, which was introduced into the range in 1995. The business was seeking a solution to the vulnerability of conventional, straight blades when contaminants (such as stones or nails) are inadvertently introduced into the chipper. The company developed circular chipping blades to greatly reduce the replacement of damaged blades and the resulting machine downtime. In operation, only one third of the disc blade’s circumference comes into contact with the woody material, while its slicing action makes it less prone to dama e. hen the first edge then becomes worn or damaged, the blades can be turned t ice to the ne t unused edge, before the need to sharpen with GreenMech’s own sharpener unit. y usin effective y three blades in one, the system provides longer blade life. This also reduced maintenance time and cost, as well as emitting lower noise levels when compared to conventional straight blade options.

y hee b ades Making tracks n , reen ech roduced the very first tracked woodchipper. After initially working on a design that utilised a conventional track carrier simi ar to that used on mini e cavators, further research and development led to the introduction of the patented SAFE-Trak system in 2002. According to the company, this is the first chi er that as both trac ed and narro , increasing accessibility and making it ideal for di cu t to reach ocations, as e as or on slopes and embankments. The SAFE-Trak system incorporates two independently adjusted track mounted legs. y e tendin one trac at a time, embankments up to 35° can be traversed safety; and with both track mounts fully e tended, a round c earance of over mm can be achieved. Incorporated on the SafeTrak 16-23 and the larger 19-28 model, this track feature made them popular among de-veg contractors working on power line and railway track maintenance.


16/01/2020 14:23


Green EVO 165 in use In 2018, further improvements were made to the stability and performance of the 19-28 model through SURE-Trak, the industry’s first ivotin trac system. ith inde endent pivoting track assemblies, SURE-Trak allows each track to maintain contact with the ground hi e fo o in the contours of even di cu t terrain, rovidin im roved stabi ity. Access all angles n , reen ech ere the first to aunch a full 360° turntable chipper – the QuadChip . ts abi ity to osition the infeed chute at any given angle enables convenient and safe oadin at the erbside or in restricted s aces. Originally launched in a road-tow format, it as fo o ed by the uadTra in . The combination of its accessibility, along with the tilt and turntable system, provides the operator ith considerab e versati ity. Latest launch Featuring a number of innovations and new features, the EVO 165 – was launched in 2019 and was developed in response to industry demands to deliver more aggressive torque,


GreenMech.indd 35

more o erfu bite and more throu h ut. Together with the disc blade technology and a new horizontally expanding track system (on the 165DT model), GreenMech have paired a wide infeed chute with a new heavy-duty y hee to de iver unriva ed rocessin o er. The EVO also has an emphasis on user safety and the tas of routine maintenance. t is fitted ith a ne safety bar system to minimise nuisance tri in hi e offerin a better in o of materia . The vertica and hori onta shear

bars have been re-engineered to be more accessible and a centralised greasing point has been introduced to make regular servicin easier to carry out. t is a so the uietest machine in the reen ech ortfo io. As the requirements of today’s end users continue to evolve, GreenMech says it is focused on listening and providing customers with chippers that have cutting-edge design and with high quality manufacturing rocesses to meet their demands.

SURE-Trak 19-28

Pro Arb | Winter 2020 35

16/01/2020 13:13


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16/01/2020 14:56






Timberwolf joins ‘Made in Britain’ Timberwolf recently became a member of the Made in Britain organisation, which accredits businesses selling goods that have been manufactured in the UK. or over years, Timber o f has desi ned and bui t industry definin ood chi ers from its ur ose bui t faci ity in Suffo . n innovative business approach is at the heart of Timberwolf’s success and longevity, and it is the only UK manufacturer in its sector to use a o ine system, increasin e ibi ity, e ciency and ua ity contro throu h roduction. In-house fabrication accounts for 10 to 15% of components depending on the model of machine, and includes critical machine com onents, such as ro er bo es for hydraulically-fed wood chippers. Using an inhouse team means ua ity standards are e t e ce tiona y hi h. Timber o f machines are renowned for their robustness and strength, and this is direct y attributab e to the s i s, no ed e and dedication of the fabrication and production teams. Timberwolf is committed to supporting local su iers, ith more than a uarter of su iers located within 25 miles of Timberwolf’s Sto mar et base, and of su iers ithin mi es. n addition, a most of e terna y sourced components are supplied by Britishbased companies. hris erry, mana in director, said veryone at Timber o f or s incredib y hard to deliver unbeatable power and performance, and to be a part of a collective promoting ritish en ineerin is very im ortant to us.


Chippers.indd 37


imberwolf’s wood chippers are the machine of choice for the awardwinning arboriculture and horticulture services company Gadd Brothers Trees and Landscapes. The 10-year-old business, based in Great arton, Suffo , is run by brothers ames and Will Gadd, and covers the local area as well as orfo , sse and ambrid eshire. ccordin to ames, Timber o f offers to ua ity, re iab e and e cient ood chi ers, hich ives us the confidence to et the ob done uic y and to a hi h standard. Gadd Brothers began with Timberwolf’s T sub diese ood chi er, eventually replacing it with the TW 230DHB. ames says Timber o f has continued to evolve and improve its products based on customer feedbac and industry demands. or a sub machine, the ca acity and out ut of the T is remar ab e. The current ran e is sim e to o erate. ade chan es ta e a third of the time they

used to, and centralised greasing points are a bi im rovement. aintainin e ui ment to revent brea do n is vita y im ortant, and this is easy ith the Timber o f T . The T is uro e s most o u ar sub diese ood chi er, and at its heart is the industry favourite Kubota V1505 diese en ine. ames says the firm, i e others in the industry, had some concerns about the future of diesel wood chippers following the introduction of Stage V engine e is ation ast year. o ever, Timber o f s the acts, o missions cam ai n sho ed pre-Stage V engines can still be used and traded after the e is ation came into effect. thou h e re a are the e is ation has started to have an im act, e no e can continue to use our pre-Stage V TW 230HB diese ood chi er and se it ithout issue. ames conc udes e i e to oint out to customers that the machines are designed and bui t here in Suffo . e are a ritish com any usin a tru y ritish machine.

Pro Arb | Winter 2020 37

16/01/2020 13:19


n o S U C O F s aw

c h a in c e m a in t e n a n



or many arborists, their chainsaw is the most important piece of kit, but also their most dangerous. This is why a maintenance programme can ensure optimal performance and pick up faults at an early stage. Many colleges and training providers i offer short chainsa maintenance courses, and these should be seen as a must for any chainsaw user. According to the HSE, “proper maintenance is essential if a chainsaw is to be safe to use and will provide protection against ill health from excessive noise and vibration”. The best route is to ensure employees have a level of maintenance knowledge, ith arran ements made for off site servicing when necessary. Arborists that are committed to safety should know how a chainsaw is put together, so they can quickly pick up if there are any faults – components to check should include the on off s itch, chain bra e, chain catcher, silencer, guide bar, drive sprocket and chain lines, side plate, front and rear hand uards, anti vibration mounts and start cord for tension. Even those fresh out of college can forget the basics and pick up bad habits. There is also help online – although this should not be seen as a substitute for a roved face to face earnin . However, one of the most valuable online resources is the Husqvarna Chainsaw

38 Pro Arb | Winter 2020

Chainsaw maintenance.indd 38

Academy, which was set up in 2018 and continues to be improved on. It includes various guides, checklists and animations, always with the emphasis on safety. One aspect of maintenance which arborists can find dauntin is fi in the chain, and us varna provides detailed instructions on this. Filing the chain – Husqvarna’s advice Husqvarna states the chain’s sharpness will always be impaired over time, and even more so if the user accidentally cuts into rock or soil. Only cutting wood will help a chainsaw stay sharp for longer, but it recommends checks are made every so often, such as when refuelling it. If the user feels the need to ‘lean in’ more, then this is a sign of a blunt chain.

Key points • Chain type You should only use the guide bar and chain that is recommended by the manufacturer. • Chain replacement A chain should be replaced when the longest portion of the cutting tooth has been worn do n to ess than mm, or if you find crac s. • Chain tension The chain must be correctly tensioned – a s ac chain can um off the uide bar and cause injury. When properly tensioned, the chain should not hang under the guide bar but be in contact with the underside, yet can still be pulled around easily by hand. • Ensure stability It is often easiest to use a vice on a workbench to secure the guide bar. The chain should ideally be tensioned harder while cutting to prevent movement. The chain break can be activated for extra stability.


16/01/2020 09:41


• Cutting tooth angles Teeth on the chain must be fi ed accordin to s ecific fi in an es, hich vary de endin on the ty e of chain. f you use a fi in au e, fo o in the instructions i ensure the ri ht an es on the cuttin teeth. us varna a so advises on ho to shar en the chain hen or in outdoors, recommendin a fi in vice is used and fastenin this secure y in a stum or o , usin an a e or brea in bar. i in can a so be carried out usin a sma er tree ith a vertica bore made in this at a suitab e or in hei ht or sittin astride a tree trun . There is a so advice on freehand fi in and on fi in the de th au e. e sure to chec out the academy a es for fu instructions.

ta e a short brea before usin a ain. Three red ashin s mean there is a fau t and it i need ta in to an a roved dea er, hi e four red ashin s mean there is a battery fau t that re uires a dea er s dia nosis. • Keep batteries dry thou h arborists or in un redictab e eather, if the battery ets et, it shou d be removed from the chainsa and i ed ith a dry c oth. • Keep tools clean ean and ubricated too s enhance erformance and, if dirt ets into the battery casin , c ean ith a soft brush. • Charge at the optimum temperature are shou d be ta en to moderate the battery s tem erature before char in . This

is because the char in rocess is more de icate than dischar in and e treme co d and hi h heat can reduce char e acce tance. The o timum tem erature for a ithium ion battery durin char in is bet een and de rees. • Understand the LED charger display ith Stih , reen means the battery is char in as norma . f it s itches from reen to red after bein u ed in, the char er is carryin out a se f chec ana ysis. f it ashes red, there is a fau t that a dea er shou d assess and if it does not i ht u at a , then it is most i e y fu y char ed. • Store batteries correctly ithium ion batteries are most e cient hen used re u ar y. f they need to be stored, they shou d be e t in dry ace and out of sun i ht and at room tem erature, referab y in an airti ht container. dea y, hen stored, the char e eve shou d be at to . atteries, char ers and cord ess chainsa s shou d be stored se arate y and not fitted to ether. so, do not store them ith conductive materia s, such as sma meta ob ects i e a er c i s or nai s, as these cou d short circuit and dama e the battery. ee in chainsa s in to or in condition i do much to e tend its ife as e as reventin accidents investin matters, both for your va uab e it and your eo e.

Battery power tips sin cord ess too s is ro in in o u arity. ne of the most o u ar roviders, Stih , has rovided the fo o in uidance on ho to et the most out of your battery. • Understand the warning system This indicates hether there are any rob ems and ho much char e there is eft ith Stih , this ou d sho as a reen for char e and red for fau ts. • What faults can exist? ne red sho in means the battery is either too hot or too co d. f too co d, store in a arm and dry ocation, but not on a radiator as this may resu t in overheatin . f too arm, coo do n usin an a ro riate char er. f there are three red s sho in , this means the overa machine is too arm and the user shou d not be o eratin it, and


Chainsaw maintenance.indd 39

Pro Arb | Winter 2020 39

16/01/2020 09:44


Legs be

T I K c h a i n s aws having you rouser t


hen working long hours outdoors and whether on the ground or climbing, comfortable chainsaw trousers that offer hi h eve s of protection are a must. Arbortec’s trousers are made at the company’s factory in Portugal, with high eve s of ua ity contro and ith each air being handcrafted. The outer shell is made of a technical fabric called Climasphere,

The new stretch denim style

40 Pro Arb | Winter 2020

chainsaw trousers.indd 40

WHY IS ARBORTEC’S BREATHEFLEX PRO SUCH A POPULAR CHOICE FOR SO MANY WORKING IN ARB? WINSTON BROTHERS HAS THE ANSWERS deve o ed ith techno o y and offerin a ay e . This rovides reat comfort in terms of e ibi ity and is a so moisture ic in , encoura es roductivity and rovides hi h eve s of safety. einforcement comes from t o s ecia ist materia s ev ar and yneema which are light, and typically, a Type A trouser would only weight 128 grams. New styles for 2020 Not least because of the rise of social media like Instagram, Arbortec is also mindful that arborists want to look good as well as ensuring their e s are rotected. The brand offers a wide range of colours, and 2020 will also see ne aunches. The first t o sty es, hich are due out in the comin ee s, are reathe e ro i i and reathe e ro denim. The reathe e ro stretch denim is an industry first, brin in a c assic, ifesty e trouser and chainsaw trousers together. Appearing on YouTube Those wanting to see reathe e ros in action should watch Arbortec’s YouTube channel, where there are videos sho in how the trousers hold up in working conditions, including showing ‘cut tests’ with Stihl and us varna chainsa s. e a so as ed e known arborist trainer, Tony arbyshire, to rovide a revie . e said sa Pfanner enthusiast, I was

keen to compare the difference between the t o different manufacturers. It soon became obvious that they were two com ete y different products, so I had to try them and not be judgmental about making comparisons. s e no , fanner has been doin a great job for a long time. So I wanted to know, who was this new kid on the block? As a training instructor for many years, I tried lots of types of trousers and boots, as well as seeing hundreds of students wearing all manner of PPE. In the last few years, have noticed more eo e earin rbortec roducts. t s obvious that the reathe e trousers are more of a tai ored fit, and havin the e tra on e air made a hu e difference to ho much sa dust ended up in my boots. The small hook at the bottom of the trousers which pulls your leg onto your boot aces ma es a bi difference very much i e a sno s irt on s i trousers. I’m also glad to say they are no warmer than any other chainsa trousers ve orn. vera , day on comfort and e ibi ity ma e the trousers a pleasure to wear.” The reathe e ro is avai ab e in both Type A and C, regular and tall leg, and from si e S to . Winston Brothers is marketing manager for Arbortec.


16/01/2020 14:31




new product


Blown away The PB-2620 is Echo’s most powerful handheld power blower to date and part of its X Series, which is designed to be industry-leading in terms of performance and tested in extreme conditions. The manufacturer says it is the most powerful in its class. It features a 25.4cc two-stroke engine with an output of 0.91kw, producing a maximum airs eed of . m sec hen usin the at nozzle, with a dry weight of 4.4kg. A secondary handle improves manoeuvrability and the ergonomically grouped controls, including a throttle with cruise control, are easy to reach. The throttle can be locked at a variety of settings for added comfort, while

the overa desi n reduces the yro effect on the rist. urther benefits are the rubber ri and counterweight, which are also designed for reduced vibration. Meanwhile, a tooless air fi ter cover a o s strai htfor ard access for chan in the air fi ter, ma in a further contribution to reduced downtime and increased productivity.


new products.indd 41

Auto Choke all-rounder The CS-352AC is an all-round rear handle chainsaw with Echo’s patented Auto Choke feature, which allows easier and safer starting. It would well suit those looking for an additional jobbing chainsaw to be used for lighter jobs, such as pruning and cutting smaller logs. Auto Choke means just one pull is needed to start first time and ithout the ris of oodin the en ine. t means the usua ste s of pulling and pushing the choke, starting with partial throttle and pulling the throttle, are dispensed with. It comprises a solenoid valve on the engine’s carburettor to control

the amount of fuel depending on the engine temperature. The chainsaw utilises a 34.0cc professional-grade two-stroke engine with low emissions and low noise levels. Another feature is the professional-grade anti-vibration system, which improves user comfort without reducing power. The inboard clutch enables easy bar and chain replacement and maintenance. Further, a cassette-type air fi ter, ith an aerodynamic air assa e, reduces dust dischar e enterin the air o into the engine. The chainsaw comes with a 90PX (0.043 gauge) chain for smoother cutting. Also, Echo’s tools come with a twoyear professional warranty. Find out more at

Pro Arb | Winter 2020 41

16/01/2020 14:27


A tip for

KmIeTrcial success m

co vehicles


i ers offer arborists the e ibi ity to hand e the trans ort of ar e too s, aste or heavier items for de ivery such as o s. The itro n e ay eady to un Ti er is a o u ar o tion ith arborists, inc udin for those ho a so offer arden maintenance services. The eady to un Ti er comes in t o versions the Sin e ab or the re ab. The sin e cab mode s are fitted ith a dua assen er seat, and the cre cab can rovide seatin for the driver and si assen ers, ith four individua seats ma in u a second ro . ast Se tember, itro n announced it had added uro . com iant o ertrains to its conversions ran e, offerin a ne . diese en ine uro . , a on ith ne driver assistance, safety and e ui ment o tions. o er out uts of h for variants and h for us variants feature automatic sto and start techno o y. are e ui ed ith us features, and most are o ered by the h en ine as standard, re ectin the varied, heavy duty nature of o erations. si s eed manua transmission is fitted as standard on both. us mode s are e ui ed ith a ran e of standard e ui ment, inc udin air conditionin , a heavy duty battery, e tended irin at the rear of the vehic e, and a tri function aeria housed in the door mirror. hassis cab and chassis cre cab mode s a so benefit from heavy duty

42 Pro Arb | Winter 2020

commercial vehicles.indd 42


reinforced rear sus ension. mon the o tions no avai ab e is the Touchscreen avi ation ac , hich incor orates radio ith steerin mounted contro s, a co our touchscreen, uetooth hands free for ca s and a S soc et. ustomers can a so choose the rive ssist ac , hich inc udes an active safety bra e, co ision a ert, ane de arture arnin , smart beam head i hts and s eed imit reco nition. i

er ene ts ti er s o en body a o s ta er and bu ier machinery to be carried, and, if re uired, a ca e can be fitted to he ith the trans ort of arden aste materia s. aste can either be o oaded manua y or by ti in the body from the rear throu h raisin it at the front. The under oor ti in ear incor orates over oad and hose burst rotection. The mechanism is desi ned to be maintenance free for ife. manua y

o erated body ro rovides safety su ort hen the body is in the raised osition. The ti er s atform is made of hi h tensi e stee , hich he s it resist dentin from ar e oads, but this a so resu ts in a vehic e that is re ative y i ht and robust. The ay oad is from , for the cre cab to , for sin e cab mode s. Since arborists or in a eathers, an o tion i e y to a ea is ri contro techno o y, hich ma es the vehic e easier to use in conditions such as mud and sno , by o timisin the traction off the front hee s. The eady to un comes ith a three year, , mi e arranty, as e as a year arts su ort commitment and is desi ned to meet uro ean standards. or more information, visit usiness itroen o u ne ans itroen on erted e i les


16/01/2020 13:07


Loss of


Ulmus minor



n ish e m is never seen as a fu y mature tree outside of any of ritain s utch e m disease contro areas no adays. The demise of the s ecies be an in hen an a ressive strain be an its ra id s read across n and, carried on the bac of m ar eet es Scolytidae . The city of ri hton and ove is one of the ast bastions for the s ecies that once raced our andsca e, ins irin many artists, oets and andsca e architects. The reston T ins ere the o dest air of n ish e m Ulmus minor tinia remainin in the or d after the demise of s ecies in the ear y s even thou h contro measures and constant vi i ance to ensure their safety ou d never entire y revent them from unfortunate y ettin infected by . as actua y res onsib e for namin the air of trees bac in , so it is not as ancient a moni er as some be ieve. oth trees ere over years o d in the s and had been o arded for decades as


Ancient Tree.indd 43

a giant


emains of the east tree gradually the heartwood was eaten away by decay. They were sited on an ancient fie d system hed ero in the vi a e of riest Stone , no no n as reston, on and once o ned by ueen i abeth . reston ar is the main reen s ace in the city suburb. The reston T ins radua y made their mar on the andsca e hen they became reen screenin for the nearby reston anor. n , they became art of the Coronation Garden and were blessed with a ne nei hbour hich has become the ar est e am e of Ulmus en aa in the . endro o ist an itche measured the trees in , findin that the est tree as then the ar est of the air. y measurements rior to the storm ere consistent ith an s records ho ever, after the storm, ro th rate of the est tree s o ed, ith the east tree ta in the ead. easons for this ere never made c ear. y , ans eybroe a on ith severa internationa e m e erts visited the reston T ins. Then in , after b i ard conditions earlier in the year, the growth

rate of the east tree be an to s o down slightly. nother visit in , hen the trees ere visited by the ayor of ashin ton rove, S , sho ed that the east tree seemin to ean to the south. n , after a ni ht storm, a hu e burred imb fe off, eadin to another imb fa in off. These events further roc ed the stabi ity of the east tree, hich became ea , attractin m ar eet es. n une , as noted low in the crown, leading to the tree’s fe in in ecember . The remainin est tree no stands as a monument to many venerated iants ost to this hi h y destructive disease, eavin our andsca e much the oorer. Peter Bourne is a volunteer elm curator for the National Elm Collection and is currently part of an international research group on elms. He can be contacted at or at 07478 313443.

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