Pro Arb Summer 2020

Page 1







13/08/2020 09:53

Untitled-1 1 template.indd Untitled-1 1 Advert Untitled-1 1 1

19/02/2020 09:11 19/02/2020 25/03/2020 13:32 13:12 09:11


PROARB sUMMER 2020 • Volume 7 • Issue 03

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


Leader-7.indd 3

Association, which has done a great job in providing practical support, such as with COVID-19 risk assessment templates. Tom Hamments, managing director of Cotswolds arb firm Stockwell-Davies, says he stopped trading to assess the situation for two weeks, but returned in April with a healthy order book. By then, he had implemented control measures and was using the AA’s risk assessments. “A few weeks went by as we – and the world – adjusted to the new normal. But when the Prime Minister announced the first relaxation of lockdown measures, we had a drastic increase in enquiries, and are now at full

Horticulture Careers – Ben Cumberland PRODUCTION Design – Kara Thomas Printed by Pensord Press Ltd Published by ©Eljays44 Ltd CIRCULATION Subscription enquiries: Pro Arb is published four 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

capacity again; if anything, busier than pre-lockdown.” It may not be plain sailing as we head towards the winter months and cowboy operators continue to be a blight, often targeting vulnerable customers. But professionals should be feeling positive about the future and will remain in demand.

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

Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Cover image ©Martin Onsholm


elcome to the summer issue of Pro Arb. Now, more than ever, we need some good news and it’s hugely encouraging to hear many in the arb community are busier than ever. In fact, there may be some envy that those in other sectors have been able to put their furloughed feet up. Many have also dedicated time to helping local communities and we’ve seen some sterling fundraising efforts. Take Flintshire arborist John Joinson, who climbed ladders to the height of Everest as a charity challenge. There’s also a thumbs up for the Arboricultural


13/08/2020 09:50


DISCOVER THE FULL RANGE OF CPL VEHICE CONVERSIONS CPL are the market leading vehicle converters in the UK for access and all terrrain equipment. CPL, part of the Klubb Group, manufacture vehicle conversions perfect for the Arborist industry. These include all terrain access platforms ranging from 13m - 102m mounted on 3.5t trucks and above. The Palginger Spider range is top class with a working height from 15m upto 25m with the option of a purpose built trailer. CPL also offer the ATAT. A fully type approved Tipper Truck mounted on a Isuzu D-Max. The conversion has been uprated to 3.5t for added payload and can be finished with bespoke options to suit your working needs.

All rights reserved © KLUBB Group 2020. Non-contractual photos.

Contact us today to discuss your requirements with our team!

Advert template.indd 3

For more information contact us

Tel: +44 (0)1536 529876




s t n e t con 0


2 0 2 R E SUMM

37 36

34 17

news & views



6 > N ews

17 > D r Duncan Slater’s Casebook


8 > N ews Extra – Life After Lockdown



11 > I nterview – Climbing High for Charity


36 > p roduct dna

Updates from around the arb world

Tips on meeting the new safety standards

Arborist John Joinson’s epic fundraiser

Meet some real oddities of the tree world

Dee Vickers: Coping with a job change during the COVID-19 lockdown

Glynn Percival on getting a handle on holly leaf and twig blight



Jonathan Hazell: A consultant’s view on the ‘new normal’

28 > B usiness Zone – WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH Peninsula’s Kate Palmer explains how redundancy is not the only option

Q&A with Mark Earles of Makita

Arborist in Action: Josephine Hedger is choosing cordless

The low-down on STIHL’s BGA 200

37 > E quipment Special Check out a range of new launches

40 > timberwolf

aunch of powerful L Stage V compliant wood chippers

42 > C limbers’ Gear Move on up with these innovative gadgets



CONTENTS-6.indd 5

Pro Arb | Summer 2020


13/08/2020 09:34



APF TO RESURFACE IN 2021 This year’s APF event was postponed and is now rescheduled for 23, 24 and 25 September 2021 – it will again be held at the Ragley Estate in Warwickshire. The organisers said they had been forced to cancel for a vast range of reasons, including the ban on mass gatherings, social distancing rules and quarantining, problems for exhibitors needing to order stock and then facing the risk of the event not taking place and possible accommodation shortages. Exhibition secretary, Ian Millward, says: “It is with a very heavy heart that we made this decision, but it became obvious


News-3.indd 6

Pro Arb | Summer 2020

that there was only one sensible option and that was to postpone until September 2021. Everyone in the organising team is passionate about the show and want to make it the best we possibly can. We sincerely hope that in 12 months’ time the world will have returned to something much closer to normal and we can run the event as we and everyone else want.” He added exhibitors would not lose site fees and these would be rolled forward to APF 2021. Any visitors who had already bought tickets can either carry these forward or request a refund.


AA CELEBRATES SUCCESS WITH VIRTUAL ARB SHOW The Arboricultural Association held a successful virtual Arb Show event after being forced to cancel its flagship exhibition because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event was based around a virtual showground, with industry exhibitors offering deals and showcasing equipment along with interactive activities. These included the Arborists’ Workshop, where industry experts shared knowledge on a range of topics; the Tree Climbers’ Forum, providing impartial advice on kit and techniques; and ‘The 3 Knot Challenge’ which featured Richard Hughes of Myerscough College showing how to do this,

with participants trying to beat his time and recording their efforts via social media. A range of figures from the virtual event have been released and are as follows: • Virtual Arb Show landing page – 6,048 visits • Virtual Arb Show – all pages combined – 15,694 page views • Tree Climbers’ Forum – 1,897 page views (most popular was tree climber

biomechanics webinar) • Demo Arena – 1,087 page views (STIHL was most viewed exhibitor stand, followed by Sorbus International). Marketing manager Steve Hodsman said the loss of the

physical event represented a big loss of income for the association; however, they were delighted with the response to the virtual show. “We’re really pleased with these numbers. The response from exhibitors when we announced the show was overwhelmingly positive and we were pleased to be able to give something back for their support of the show in

previous years. All exhibitor pages were set up for free and there was no cost to ‘visit’ the show as there normally would be.”


11/08/2020 14:07


AA SEES POSITIVE OUTCOMES FROM GOING VIRTUAL The AA has expanded its online learning resources, creating new content, including its first interactive e-learning course. Stephen Hodsman, marketing and communications manager, says: “For interactive e-learning, we’re developing the first of these now on new software, with the aim of complementing existing AA courses and providing low-cost, quality interactive courses. This was part of our 2020 training plan before the pandemic, which has forced us to expedite the process. “Opportunities with e-learning courses are almost endless. Not only does it make our course content accessible 24/7, but it opens it up to parts of the industry who often can’t attend our face to face training due to geographic or time constraints. Our first e-learning course was British Standard 3998 Tree Work

Recommendations – this has been well received with almost 30 learners completing the course in the first month.” Meanwhile, the association’s Arborists’ Question Time, a live fortnightly panel show, will return this autumn. The AA is also showing lectures on applied tree biology, delivered by Dr Andrew Hirons of Myerscough College. Live webinars are taking place each Wednesday, and Stephen says: “Our most recent webinar on Trees and Fungi attracted over 900 registrations and over 500 viewers which, to our knowledge, would make it the most well

attended arboricultural event ever held, virtually or face to face.” While content is free, Stephen says: “We will at some point have to start monetising some of the content to make up for the income lost from the cancellation of the Arb Show and all face to face training courses from March to July and likely beyond.” He concludes: “In terms of membership, the association has not suffered yet from the impact of the pandemic and the economic downturn it has caused. We, actually, have more paying members than at the same time in 2019 – with many more international arborists joining as a result of our increased online content. So, that at least has been a hugely positive consequence of this unfortunate situation.”

SENSORS TO TRACK TREE GROWTH IN CLIMATE PROJECT A new research project involving Vodafone, government department Defra and Forest Research (the research agency of the Forestry Commission) is set to play an important role in promoting the use of trees to help manage climate change. The research is taking place at Alice Holt forest in Surrey and Harwood forest in Northumberland


News-3.indd 7

and involves Internet of Things technology, provided by Vodafone. Sensors will be connected to trees to collect data which will be transmitted to Defra and Forest Research, where advanced analytics will assess the impact of temperature, humidity and soil moisture on tree growth and function. This will enable scientists to estimate the contribution of trees to climate change mitigation as a result of their ability to absorb and store carbon from the atmosphere. The three-month trial is the first of its kind in the UK. Further, Defra and Forest Research will use the results

to inform policy makers and the public about how the changing environment impacts tree growth and on the benefits trees can provide by storing carbon. The trial follows Defra’s 25year Environment Plan, which outlined an ambition to increase woodland cover in England and the government’s commitment to increase tree planting across the UK to 30,000ha per year by 2025. To help reach these targets, the recently announced £640m Nature for Climate Fund will invest in tree planting, alongside other environmental restoration over the next five years.


A local authority is warning elderly and vulnerable residents to be on their guard against rogue operators who are claiming they can carry out work on protected trees and provide the homeowner with a ‘certificate’. West Devon Borough Council said it had been alerted by residents who had been coldcalled by individuals claiming to be tree surgeons requesting cash payments to carry out tree and garden work. They also claimed they could legally carry out works on protected trees and would provide the resident with a certificate that they could submit to the council and this would mean there was no risk of prosecution. However, a council spokesperson emphasised that no such certificate exists and any work to a tree subject to a preservation order, or if it is a conservation area, can only take place if permission is granted beforehand by the local authority. They added that unauthorised works to protected trees can be punished in some cases by an unlimited fine and a criminal conviction.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020


11/08/2020 14:08



Back to worK:




utumn is often the peak working time for arborists. Without foliage, it’s easier to see which trees may need attention. It’s also outside of the bird nesting season and when many want to fix problems such as overhanging branches or have trees removed before winter sets in. Fallen leaves also create work for those offering maintenance services. But, although many arborists have now fully returned to work, picking up where you left off can be far from easy. You may have stopped work or worked a lot less during the lockdown; perhaps you had to lay-off staff, needed to help with childcare, or even found that customers backed off – perhaps because of financial or health worries.


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

News Extra.indd 8

Following the rules So, this may well be the time to beef up your marketing efforts; but before this, it’s vital to ensure you have a full understanding of how to operate safely. Even when working outside, there are still rules, and if you fall foul of these

you could run into trouble with the HSE and suffer damage to your company’s reputation. Read the latest guidance On 23 July, the government published guidance called ‘Working safely during COVID-19

in construction and other outdoor work’, which has relevance for the arborist sector. You should also check out the Arboricultural Association’s website which has useful information. Key points to be aware of include: • Make hygiene a priority Arborists may well clean equipment after a job, but in the current climate, cleaning needs to be taken to a new level. Now is the time to bulk buy anti-bacterial products and ensure that everyone is regularly handwashing and using sanitiser. Ideally, you do not want multiple people using vehicles, but if this is happening, then using a disinfectant on all controls, the steering wheel, seat belts, keys and door handles is a must after each journey.


12/08/2020 12:14


• Have plenty of PPE Stock up on basic PPE such as gloves, masks and aprons, which can be worn when cleaning. Apart from tools, clothing including gloves must be washed after each job and vehicles also require cleaning. Make sure your staff know where they can find a mask if they need one – some may forget to bring one into work.

• Have staff in bubbles where possible If staff can work individually, this is going to be safest – always plan for the minimum number of people to be on site. If you need two or more people to attend a job, then try to ensure that they work in bubbles and that equipment is shared as little as possible. If a larger team is working on one project, stagger breaktimes to avoid people congregating. Conduct risk assessments Arborists will be used to carrying out risk assessments before they accept a new job. This will be to check out the nature of the job, the layout of the land and what employees will be required to do. But risk assessments now must take into account COVID-19 and how the risk of transmission can be mitigated. Remember, if you are viewed to be working unsafely, then your firm could be reported.


News Extra.indd 9

A business could be given an enforcement notice and failure to comply may constitute a criminal offence – at worst, it could result in a prison sentence of up to two years. When conducting a risk assessment, you should take into account issues such as how many employees will be needed to do the work and how they can do this safely, so see if there are ways to avoid working face to face and in close proximity. •M anaging staff communication Be clear that everyone understands what is required of them. Arborists are used to managing risk but you may well need to provide basic training on new ways of working. Your staff will also be used to working outdoors, so can probably avoid having to use meeting rooms – but ensure toilets and communal areas, such as kitchens, are kept clean and there is always social distancing in place. •W ho can work from home? If you employ admin staff, it is safer that they continue to work from home and communicate remotely. •B e clear that anyone who feels unwell must not come into work This can be a difficult issue to manage. Many arborists work on a self-employed basis and if they do not come into work, then they are not paid. However, anyone spreading the virus risks closing down the whole business. If you do have more than one case of COVID-19 in your workplace, you must contact your local PHE (or regional) to declare an outbreak. You will be asked for staff details, so be sure your records on everyone are up to date.

Communicate with customers One very easy way to increase your bookings rate is to let customers know you are open for business. You may want to add information to your website and social media pages, and perhaps supply an update to your local community Facebook page if one exists. It also makes sense to inform customers that you are fully aware of the need to enforce new COVID-19-related protocols. So, for example, Rock Tree Surgeons in Stalybridge has said its staff are following “strict social distancing rules” and, where possible,

“All of our amazing staff are being encouraged and are maintaining high levels of hand, respiratory and personal hygiene, as well as are limiting social activity outside of working hours.” Meanwhile, Arborfield Tree Care in Reading opened to offer a complete range of services from 12 May. It states that elderly and vulnerable customers should remain indoors and self isolate, and it may not always be possible to work at properties where the owners have visited a foreign country in the last two weeks, or if there has been contact with

Arborists are used to managing risk but you may well need to provide basic training on new ways of working travelling to jobs in separate vehicles. It added that the majority of its jobs could be carried out by a solo worker and that if any employee felt even slightly ill, then they would be required to isolate for seven days and only return when back to full health. Thor’s Trees, based in Enfield, also informed customers it was running the business as usual “with additional control measures in place to ensure that staff members are not ill and are entirely fit for work.

someone who’s tested positive for the virus or showing symptoms. It added: “Arborists are practising social distancing and are committed to maintaining high standards of hygiene.” The pandemic has not reduced the need for tree care; it has created an opportunity to get the message out that stringent efforts are being made to do this safely. Arborists who are committed to this, for both their staff and customers, will be the ones seeing the rewards as the economy slowly starts to recover.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020


12/08/2020 12:15


3.5 tonne towing capacity

6-speed manual or semi-automatic gearbox option

compact footprint and reduced turning circle

fuel efficient LEZ friendly engine

Isuzu 3.5t Euro 6

Compact footprint, same powerful performance and payload. Due to Isuzu’s forward cab design we are able to fit equivalent body length to that of European manufacturers but reduce the overall length of the vehicle. Tight spaces and narrow roads complement our range of 3.5 tonne products. Available in two engine capacities, all of which are compliant with low emission zones (LEZ) around the country.

Feel free to call us today to get the lowdown...

0845 2267983 /

Advert template.indd 2

11/08/2020 09:46





ike many of us, John Joinson had some time on his hands when the COVID-19 lockdown began. But, while plenty of people had a growing desire to help and support others, he chose to act and has completed an incredible charity challenge, along with his daughter, Hollie. John is an arborist, who lives in a small village in Flintshire, North Wales. He says he initially planned to take things easy and enjoy some well-earned time off. But, as the weeks went on, the activities of a certain Captain Tom Moore caught John’s attention and he began wondering if there was anything he could do to also raise some funds for the NHS. Captain Tom captured the hearts of the nation as he walked lengths of his garden to raise money for NHS charities in the run up to his 100th birthday.


An inspired decision “He was an inspiration,” says John, “and he made me realise I wanted to do something positive. I was in a fortunate position – I wasn’t too worried about taking time off work and I live in a beautiful part of the country. It certainly was a lot harder for many people, who perhaps had to deal with lockdown in cramped conditions, had little if any outdoor space and, of course, cope with the restrictions in seeing friends and family.” He explains that climbing has always been a passion, both upwards and downwards – apart from trees, John enjoys fell and rock climbing and belongs to a pot holing club. He has also completed


Interview-2.indd 11

It made sense to do a challenge that involved climbing, so I thought, why not to the summit of Everest – and back down again – from a ladder at home? Pro Arb | Summer 2020 11

13/08/2020 15:55


the Three and Five Peaks Challenges. “It made sense to do a challenge that involved climbing, so I thought, why not to the summit of Everest – and back down again – from a ladder at home?” Hollie also wanted to get involved and so they decided to do the challenge together. It was agreed she would travel to John’s home and they would climb two distanced ladders. He says that Hollie enjoys cycling but was not exceptionally fit. “She’s a busy working mum with two children aged 13 and two, and taking on the challenge was possible because she was furloughed.” The pair started training a couple of weeks before the week-long challenge began on 7 June.

A caring choice “So many charities like this have had a huge drop off in their funding because of COVID-19 and the Neuro Therapy Centre, which covers North Wales, Cheshire and the Wirral, needs close to £10,000 per month just to keep going. But they adapted really quickly. Their work also helps keep people out of hospital, which is so important during the worst of the pandemic.” The centre has continued to offer virtual and telephone support, including nine exercises a week via Zoom. John adds: “We have chosen the NHS because it is doing a sterling job and deserves our respect and support in normal times, but since the start of the pandemic it has become increasingly clear how much we all need and rely on our NHS heroes.” Both John and Hollie succeeded; they had a target of £2,000 and exceeded this to raise £2,530.46 – with gift aid, this is an impressive £3,074.33. So, how did they cope with the climbing challenge? John says he is someone who has always sought to push himself in terms of

We have chosen the NHS because it is doing a sterling job and deserves our respect and support The ‘Everest 1 Rung at a Time Challenge’ The goal was to reach the equivalent height of Everest, which is 8,848m above sea level, and to do this over a week by climbing ladders of 2.5m around 507 times a day. John and Hollie set up an online donation page and they agreed on raising money to be shared between two charities. These were the NHS Charities funds and also a local charity, the Neuro Therapy Centre, which is based in nearby Saltney. “The Neuro Therapy does wonderful work, supporting around 500 people with serious neurological conditions such as MS, motor neurone disease and Parkinson’s, where there is no cure and they also support the carers too.” Its services include one-to-one and group physio sessions, counselling oxygen therapy and social activities.


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Interview-2.indd 12

endurance, but found the last day particularly gruelling. “I realised we were going to do it at the end of the sixth day and so I took my eye off the ball. If you lose focus, it is a lot harder, but I got there. Hollie probably found the climbing harder than me and when you’ve done a hundred or so flights, it gets tough. But she dug deep and pushed on – we finished early, completing the challenge in six and a half days. Once it was over, we had our family round for a – socially distanced – celebration.” With lockdown easing, John and Hollie have now returned to work, but they certainly have good memories of their climb. So, would he, or indeed both, do it again? Given how much they, and their chosen charities, gained, it may well be on the cards – and let’s hope it doesn’t take another lockdown to make it happen.

From cabs to trees – John’s route to becoming an arborist Before he was an arborist, John worked as a Black Cab taxi driver in Chester, but it was not a career path he wanted to continue. “I knew I wanted to get out, so when I had an opportunity to work for a local tree surgery and landscaping firm, I took it. I knew at once this was what I wanted to do – I love being outdoors and enjoy nature, even if working in pouring rain is not pleasant. I also studied at Rease Heath College in Nantwich and this was a great experience, too. I then decided I would go self-employed and 16 years ago, I set up my own business, Chester Oaks. I don’t miss cab driving at all, although the local knowledge is helpful in finding out where I need to go.” John either works on his own for smaller jobs or brings in extra workers if needed on larger ones. He adds that business has grown steadily, which means he rarely needs to travel outside a 20-mile radius to work and much comes in through recommendation.

Video 1

Scan the QR codes below to watch videos from John and Hollie’s fundraising climb

Video 2

Video 1

Video 2

If you’d like to donate, you can do so here: JohnJoinson1


13/08/2020 15:51

Advert template.indd 4

11/08/2020 09:54

Advert template.indd 5

11/08/2020 10:13

S E R U T FEA 0 2 0 2 R E sUMM

17 > Dr Duncan Slater’s Casebook Meet some real oddities of the tree world with inimitable insights from Pro Arb’s renowned academic


What’s it like to move jobs just as lockdown strikes? Dee Vickers reveals her experience of a job change during the COVID-19 pandemic


Glynn Percival on getting a handle on holly leaf and twig blight


Will new, positive changes remain in the industry after lockdown? Jonathan Hazell: A consultant’s view on the ‘new normal’

28 > business zone – When the Going Gets Tough Peninsula’s Kate Palmer explains how redundancy is not the only option and offers guidance on some alternatives


12/08/2020 17:37

(36V) TWIN 18V BRUSHLESS TOP HANDLE CHAINSAWS DUC256CZ 25cm carving bar Body Only DUC256PG2 25cm bar 2x 6.0Ah batteries & twin-port charger DUC256Z 25cm bar Body Only DUC306PG2 30cm bar 2x 6.0Ah batteries & twin-port charger DUC306Z 30cm bar Body Only

500 25% 45%

Cuts Per Charge Without Torque Boost 2x 5.0Ah Batteries

Faster Cutting Without Torque Boost

Faster than 30cc engine model

TORQUE BOOST MODE Pass through harder materials with ease. You can use the saw in the Torque Boost Mode for up to 60 seconds depending on the usage conditions.

Faster Cutting With Torque Boost

Faster than 30cc engine model

- Soft Start - Electric chain brake - Kickback brake - chain speed equivalent to 33cc petrol saw at 20m/s Pro Arb.indd 1 Advert template.indd 6

03/08/2020 11/08/2020 12:56 10:16



weird and



rees are a fantastic topic to teach about as there are so many aspects to their planting, establishment, growth, ecology, sex lives, ecosystem services, decay, management, assessment and removal. Should you have the ambition to more fully understand these glorious woody plants that adorn our planet, you can learn new things about trees each day of your adult life. As a teacher, I like to include some of the odd things that trees or fungi do as part of my lessons and bizarre facts are the easiest ones to learn. For instance, scientists have found that the fungus Schizophyllum commune ‘Split Gill’ exhibits more than 20,000 different sexes. By having so many genders, it makes it easier for one fungal propagule to find another compatible propagule when they are distributed in the wind. Put another way, this fungus has much better odds of meeting a suitable partner than if they were someone going to a local nightclub. Clever! There follows more odd things that trees do, as captured by my ‘Trees Over Time’ photographic project.

Facing up to wrinkles The image shows changes in the bark of a Populus tremula ‘Aspen’ over 14 years. I must admit, this image makes me feel quite old. With age, of course, comes wrinkles, and we can see Bark of aspen (populus tremula)


Duncan Slater.indd 17

this on the tree, just as much as I can see it in myself! It’s common to think of the outer bark of a tree as dead material – and that’s because it is. However, the outer bark undergoes a lot of changes over Fourteen years later...

time that makes it more interesting than a slab of dead tissue. The most obvious changes are to the bark’s texture and hue as it ages. A big driver for this is that the trunk or branch of the tree is expanding underneath the bark through the process of secondary thickening, so continuing expansion inevitably causes the outer layer to stretch and crack, with some bark types breaking into smaller sections, known as bark plates. It’s a bit like a loaf of bread being baked in the oven - the internal expansion swells and alters the outer crust. Those are not the only changes that one can find

in a tree’s bark. Bark is adorned with ‘lenticels’ – pores that allow gaseous exchange to the inner living tissues of the tree – and these often change in size and appearance as the outer bark ages. In addition, although dead material, the outer bark of some tree and shrub species changes noticeably in colour throughout the year. Species such as Cornus ‘Dogwood’ and Salix ‘Willow’ are used as cut ornamental stems for that reason, with cultivars whose outer bark on younger shoots go strong yellow, orange and red colours in the winter. It turns out that even the outermost dead layer of a tree is more interesting and odder than one might first think.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 17

11/08/2020 16:15


A hairy hunchback The main structure of a tree can tell you a lot about the environment in which it grew into maturity. In a woodland near me, there are several oaks growing in a dense section of the wood, surrounded by yews, hollies, and sycamores. However, these oak trees have long, low branches – identifying they were once open-grown specimens, and those other trees developed around the oaks later. Similarly, you can often tell a mature tree that has been growing alongside another large tree for much of its life, due to a lack of branch development in the direction where the other tree was growing. When that other co-dominant or dominant neighbouring tree

In the name of science Working at an educational institution with several woodlands and in excess of 1,000 individual trees at the students’ disposal, we do occasionally do odd or cruel things to trees for the sake of science. One group of MSc students under my charge were given the task of investigating the effectiveness of the ‘fractometer’,

Increment borer holes in birch


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Duncan Slater.indd 18

is removed, the remaining tree can look spectacularly one-sided and gawky. This effect is often worse in scale-needled conifers, where removing one reveals a large area of dead twigs in the neighbouring one that the owner wants to keep. The image shows an oak tree, a Quercus x rosacea Bechst, in a public park that has been subdominant to a beech tree for many decades. The bigger beech tree became decayed and then had to be removed, resulting in the one-sidedness of this oak becoming obvious. However, it’s making the most of the new space that has been opened to its growth; note how much of the new growth is acting to re-balance the crown. Even so, it’s not as simple as thinking trees ‘grow towards the light’ –

a wood testing tool that works by virtue of an internal spring attached to a lever that bends wood samples to assess the sample’s strength and flexibility. In one of our woodlands, I allowed multiple wood core samples to be taken from Betula pendula Roth birch trees, and Alnus glutinosa Gaertn alder, that would eventually be thinned out – so it didn’t really matter

Ten years later...

Ten years later

One-sided oak tree in public park they are far more sophisticated in how they develop their branch architecture. This was a particularly pleasing time-lapse image to capture. I hope to revisit this oak in a decade to see how its form has changed further. You’ll see ivy has developed up the tree’s

trunk over the last 10 years too. For the sake of the tree’s further development, I would be regularly ‘coppicing’ this ivy so it didn’t come to disfigure or adversely affect this ‘old hunchback’ of an oak. This tree has been waiting long enough for its own ‘time in the sun’.

that they would have several bore holes in their trunks. Despite good intentions, I didn’t Increment get around to bore hole ‘Plug’ of callus thinning out all four of the affected trees – and one Discoloured New sapwood sapwood birch and one alder every borehole as shown in the persisted with these image. There was almost no increment borer holes in them decay present, but the boring for 10 years. Both trees had had caused a lot of dysfunction continued to grow in height and to the sapwood in the tree, diameter, and all the bore holes which is seen by how much were still discernible as darker of the section had become marks on the outer bark. discoloured. This plugging is an Out of interest, I got around important mechanism for trees to thinning out the alder tree to overcome minor injuries and and split the section that had defend against the potential been bored multiple times. damage that could be caused I found a little plug of callus by woodboring insects. growth was growing down


11/08/2020 16:22


Too much, too soon Some species of tree have sex at a very young age; as early as year two for a fast-growing birch tree! However, this can cause some trees problems, because of the subsequent fruit-bearing that then occurs. This Sorbus aucuparia ‘Rowan’ became bent over in this planting scheme just one year after planting because of the heavy fruit it developed high up on its whippy young stem. Now, trees have means of correcting their stems and branches through a complex set of mechanisms. To right a bending stem, trees can grow a specialised type of wood – known as a ‘reaction wood’ – that acts to push up (compression wood) or pull up (tension wood) a stem or branch

Bent over rowan tree into a more advantageous position. In simple terms, trees have ‘posture control’, which is informed by phototropism (orientating in relation to the light) and gravitropism (orientating in relation to gravity). But trees are not perfect organisms that optimise themselves all the time. Rather, like all other living organisms, they are a complex compromise. Over just one growing season, this rowan has managed to raise its bent stem considerably upward, but

Ten months later... it is far from being straight as yet. I hope to keep time-lapsing this tree to see how its form develops in the longer-term. It seems that a small side branch will take over as the ‘leader’ for this tree, with what was the main stem becoming a curved side branch. One can learn a lot more about trees by observing them carefully than one can from just studying pure theory – such as phototropism and gravitropism – as trees don’t follow any of these theories to the letter.

Let’s get together This time-lapse of a Aesculus hippocastanum ‘Horse chestnut’ picked up the oddest change in a tree that I have yet found. Look closely and you’ll see what I mean. Two competing leaders of this tree had met each other, forming a natural brace. Over this 11-year period, the two stems have not been able to move away from each other because of the natural bracing; instead, they have become fused together to become one single stem, albeit with some bark included in that join. This behaviour is very common in Taxus baccata, yew trees.

March 2007 Wired in wood Odd external growths on trees are quite common. For nearly all the parks I visited in Greater Manchester, I was able to find at least one large gall, burr or unexplained protrusion. The concept of a ‘body language’ was developed from too-much of a mechanical/ engineering perspective. This is a shame, as a tree is not solely a mechanical object; it is a living entity, and doesn’t necessarily produce its wood to

Bulging on oak stem


Duncan Slater.indd 19

provide mechanical support to its structure. That can be seen in the case of these burrs, galls and so on, that stick out from the shape of the tree’s trunk and limbs. In the case of a gall, the external growth is due to an infection; but there can be many other reasons for odd growths. For Quercus robur oak (image below), what would be the correct interpretation of the bulges seen? Some arborists trained in the 90s might be tempted to say these

Seven years later...

were signs of previous ‘fibre buckling’, meaning the tree’s trunk had failed previously, resulting in odd swellings. But, what type of loading or bending could cause such an even amount of bulging around the tree’s trunk, and at two different heights? Rather, there’s a much simpler reason for these bulges (which haven’t increased in size over this seven-year timelapse). The tree is situated at the edge of an old estate, and has undoubtedly been used as a fence post with strands of wire nailed to it. A key lesson learnt here is that bulges in trees can have a wide range of causes, and often they are not explained by biomechanics.

July 2018

Perhaps, if you’ve ever milled trees into boards and planks, you’ve come across some odd and long sections of included bark in the stem of a tree or two. You may not have realised this has occurred because two or more stems have fused together as part of the tree’s earlier development. It’s finding changes like this one that keeps me still immensely interested in trees – even after studying them for more than 30 years. Trees do some amazing things, about which we know too little.

Dr Duncan Slater is a senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College. He is a current candidate for an MSc in Environmental Planning, furthering his education in forestry, philosophy, arboriculture and plant biomechanics to include ecology

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 19

11/08/2020 16:24

Š 2020 - Petzl Distribution - M Daviet

PETZL HEAD PROTECTION SOLUTIONS Essential for working at height, helmets provide efficient and effective impact protection in the event of a fall or from a falling object.

Very lightweight and specifically designed for work at height, the STRATO VENT HI-VIZ helmet easily integrates the VIZIR visor and its protector, as well as the TACTIKKA CORE headlamp.

For Petzl, head protection represents more than simply wearing a helmet. We work tirelessly so that professionals have comfortable helmets that fit well, as well as an entire range of accessories to address the needs of all professionals in any situation.

Advert template.indd 7

08/11/2019 09:28 12/08/2020 11:46




’ve recently taken on a new role as head of apprenticeships at Kingston Maurward College in Dorset, after nearly 15 years as director of land-based training – and managing the arborist apprenticeships – at Berkshire’s BCA College. Starting just as lockdown hit has proved ‘interesting’ and it meant joining with hardly any opportunity to meet the team as the college closed and all training providers were forced to rethink their models of delivery.

Why Kingston Maurward? I was attracted to work at Kingston Maurward College as it was planning to improve the quality of the apprenticeship provision and streamline the offering. With a focus on improving processes, completing the move


Dee Vickers.indd 21


THE NEW WHAT’S IT LIKE TO MOVE JOBS JUST AS LOCKDOWN STRIKES? DEE VICKERS SHARES HER EXPERIENCE. SHE HEADED WEST AND WAS FACED WITH AN UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION AND NUMEROUS CHALLENGES; ALTHOUGH, AS SHE REFLECTS, THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE WAS, IN PART, A POSITIVE ONE to apprenticeship standards, along with rebranding and relaunching short courses, I knew that it would be an exciting career move. However, lockdown was both a complete nightmare and, in some ways, an opportunity rolled into one. It was hard not being able to meet all the team or know what everyone’s responsibilities were, yet also be required to manage the provision, work with clients and support the team in uncertain times. Fortunately, the team proved to be just fantastic and rallied round. But just how does a college go from a traditional apprenticeship delivery, with apprentices coming into college for learning and support, to a ‘new normal’? Our usual programme was for the arborist apprentices to come into college for two days a week, learning new skills and underpinning knowledge, or completing their Certificates of Competence. Along with all training providers, we went from the comfort of standard teaching methods to something totally different.

Suddenly, we had to find a new way of working with employers and apprentices New ways of working Suddenly, we had to find a new way of working with employers and apprentices alike. We kept the employers informed of any potentially useful announcements made by the government about what grants and schemes they may be eligible for and tried to facilitate the apprentices’ learning by moving to an online platform.

With all practical sessions shelved for the foreseeable future, the decision was to deliver as much of the knowledge-based subjects as possible, which was not a simple task, demanding a shift in expectations from all concerned. However, we found that things became a lot more complicated with the arborist apprentices

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 21

11/08/2020 16:03


as many of them worked in micro-businesses and found themselves being furloughed. Like many businesses out there, the priority for many of the arb employers was to find ways to survive and furloughing workers made a lot of sense. How did they cope? I would love to say that the apprentices were all fantastic and used their new-found ‘free time’ to log on and work towards completing their apprenticeships – some did, while others did not. We saw a couple that lost their jobs, others just gave up communicating to their employers and us, while some went off working elsewhere to earn some money. If all this sounds very negative, it’s not supposed to; these were difficult times to say the least and everyone had to cope with matters in the best way they could, while at the college, we

tried to piece together a new system of delivery. As a college, we supported both the employers and apprentices, putting in place a new way of working, which was seen as increasingly positive and the apprentices started to re-engage with learning.

As a college, we supported both the employers and apprentices, putting in place a new way of working, which was seen as increasingly positive and the apprentices started to re-engage with learning


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Dee Vickers.indd 22

Making use of technology Kingston Maurward uses OneFile as its online portfolio system and is making use of the newly available integration with Microsoft Teams to aid delivery. There is also more use of video and audio recordings, which facilitates the apprentices being able to hand in their work. When lockdown started to ease, the college put in place a risk-based system to provide a limited amount of practical sessions to help arborist apprentices complete climbing and aerial rescue certificates. The arb team made a rescue mannequin so that rescuing a casualty in the tree canopy, or on the pole, could be achieved without needing a live casualty. The arborist apprentices were the first apprentices back on campus, although there were severe limitations on what could be done – numbers needed to be limited and equipment had to be disinfected after use. It has certainly been a difficult time for everyone involved in further education and

apprenticeships, but I believe we have come out of it with a more streamlined process of working which allows for more individualised training going forward. Although this was something never envisaged, and certainly not wished for, we have improved processes and that, at least, will prove a long-term benefit.

Dee would love to discuss apprenticeship delivery across the board and particularly the arborist apprenticeship. She can be contacted at dee.vickers@ Dee started managing forestry and arboriculture short courses at Sparsholt College back in 2005 and has, since then, run her own training and assessment company (Drivelink Training) before turning to apprenticeship delivery at BCA in 2018 and, in March of this year, taking on the role as head of apprenticeships at Kingston Maurward College. She is a qualified teacher, holding a BA (Hons), and is a member of the Arboriculture and Forestry sub-group looking into industry apprenticeships.


11/08/2020 16:06





wat c h




ases of holly leaf and twig blight appear to be exploding in 2020, with the condition being seen in many locations. This is indeed a common disease in the UK and Ireland. It is caused by a funguslike organism called Phytophthora ilicis and the past 20 or so years have seen it become increasingly prevalent. The disease causes leaf fall and twig dieback, and there are many well-known pathogens in the genus Phytophthora, most of which cause root rots or trunk cankers, including the ‘Sudden Oak Death’ pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum. Phytophthora species require free water – either in the soil or on the plant surface – to complete their infection cycle as their spores are able to swim to new host tissue and infect. Excess moisture is, therefore, an important factor in any Phytophthora disease situation. In the UK, the disease primarily affects the Ilex species: Aquifolium, Crenata, Ilex x altaclerensis, Dipyrena and Kingiana. It has also been found on Colchica, Pernyi var. Veitchii and some clones of Apaca. What are the symptoms? Symptoms of holly leaf and twig blight normally begin as small purple to black spots on the leaves (see the image) or necrotic clusters of berries. As the disease progresses, the spots develop into purple or black blotches – often along the leaf midrib – and the infection will also move into the twigs and stems, causing dieback, defoliation, and cankers (see the image overleaf). Cool temperatures and moist weather favour disease development.


Glynn Percival-5.indd 23

Black necrotic spots on the leaf symptomatic of Phytophthora ilicis

It is caused by a fungus-like organism called Phytophthora ilicis and the past 20 or so years have seen it become increasingly prevalent Inoculum most likely persists in soil and is also produced on infected plant parts. During wet and cool spring or autumn weather, spores splash onto leaves from the soil or other infected areas, penetrate the tissue, and cause the initial leaf spot symptoms. Often, the symptoms will be worst on the lowest leaves and branches where inoculum from the ground has splashed up onto the foliage.

Suitable treatments There are several simple cultural methods which can dramatically reduce the severity of this disease. Pruning plants to increase air circulation and light penetration will help avoid moisture on the leaf surfaces, which is necessary for infection. Also, overhead sprinkler irrigation that wets foliage should be avoided. If the affected holly is grown as

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 23

11/08/2020 14:58


a tree, the lowest branches can be pruned in order to reduce the likelihood of inoculum splashing up from the soil. In addition to cultural control methods, there are some chemical control options that may help reduce infection. Phytophthora ilicis management can be achieved through an application of the soil drench fungicide, such as Subdue, in early spring, followed by a soil drench application of phosphite fertiliser in mid to late summer, so August to September. An application of the bio-fungicide Bacillus subtilis, such as Serenade, is also advised; one application should be applied annually in early

Pruning plants to increase air circulation and light penetration will help avoid moisture on the leaf surfaces which is necessary for infection

autumn or late spring when the soil is warm and moist. Repeat applications of phosphite can be made throughout the year – up to three applications per year if the disease is severe. Where bleeding cankers are present, a stem drench with phosphite to a height of two metres in addition to the soil drench is advised. A long-term approach Keep in mind, however, that conditions conducive to disease development must be corrected before stopping treatments in order to manage this disease long term. Soil moisture is of particular importance where soils are poorly drained and prone to flooding. In these cases, improve drainage or, if possible, use species that are tolerant to waterlogged/ flooded soil conditions. Further tips to keep holly as resistant as possible are: • Ensure that the root collar is exposed and free of soil and mulch. • If the soil is compacted, prepare the planting area by cultivating and incorporating organic matter. • Use soil moisture probes to monitor soil moisture conditions. • Collect and destroy fallen diseased leaves. Check the plant, and any other Ilex (Holly) plants nearby, for cankers. If possible remove and destroy infected stems, sterilising your tools between cuts. • Avoid excessive mulch on susceptible tree species. A 5cm maximum mulch depth is recommended, and you should favour coarse mulches such as coarse wood chips. Avoid shredded bark products that tend to compact and hold water.


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Glynn Percival-5.indd 24

It is also important to check there are no signs of the disease when plants are bought from nurseries – knowing the supplier is important as it may be possible to find out if they have had outbreaks. Even if fungicides are used, these may suppress the condition, but it can still return.

Dr Glynn Percival is senior arboricultural research manager for Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory at the University of Reading.

Distinctive “arch” shaped infection symptom on holly hedge associated with Phytophthora ilicis


11/08/2020 14:59



Lightweight lower cut safety boot with class 1 chainsaw protection

High quality functional footwear for WORK & LEISURE! Available from your dealer and at the HAIX® webshop


PFANNER | PROTOS | WOOLPOWER Distributor for UK & Ireland

Advert template.indd 12

12/08/2020 11:44




e’re now more than four months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and so this seems a good time to ask what we have learned so far and what we can expect going forward. Looking at the global picture, it’s tempting to say “very little” as cases continue to rise worldwide (in midJuly). In the UK, there are continued outbreaks, such as those which have been reported in Leicester and the vegetable farm in Herefordshire. If we look at the situation globally, a number of reasons can be put forward, including political

that some continue to have utter disregard for the risk. I’m only aware of a few cases of the virus among those I know, and the consequences have covered the spectrum from full recovery, to, very regrettably, the opposite extreme. There remains so much uncertainty, and I think we may well see a resurgence in cases later this year. So, it appears likely we’ll remain in a perilous position well into 2021. Adapting to new ways of working For those who were not furloughed, many of us were faced

many of us have tried to adapt to new ways of working, as well as far stricter hygiene and distancing regimes. ineptitude, commercial pressures, poverty and a refusal to believe in science. In the UK, many did abide by lockdown rules and certainly played a vital role in containing the virus, but we have also seen public protest and highly risky behaviour in pubs as well as too many flocking to crowded beaches, showing


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Jonathan Hazell-3-ELJ023.indd 26

with uncertainty about how our work routines would continue; whether it meant working from home or going into a workplace. After initial uncertainty over what we could and couldn’t do, many of us have tried to adapt to new ways of working, as well as far stricter hygiene and distancing regimes.

I work for the planning service of two local authorities, and one took the opportunity to simply close the corporate HQ and allow everyone to work from home, while the other allowed more agile working with a mix of office space and home. It was quite a shock on my first visit to the office to find the place was unrecognisable – everywhere had been subjected to a deep clean and the usual rubbish piled on desks had been stacked into ballot boxes that burnished brightly under the light. They, in turn, were stacked in the meeting rooms and corridors. One unfortunate casualty was an office chair – that I used to call my own – had disappeared! Anti-bac gel dispensers were everywhere and now, rather late in the day, face coverings are commonplace. My working pattern had to adapt quickly, and my routine became much more agile, dipping in and out of the planning work by logging on from home to see what was urgent and what could be resolved conveniently. I was hugely impressed that both authorities



could lay their hands on hardware and bandwidth at incredibly short notice to allow the bulk of staff to work effectively away from the

office. Having said that, I still can’t get hold of a new keyboard as they are continuously ‘not in stock’. Rather than spending named days in clients’ offices, I now simply do what is required remotely while gazing out into the garden from my window. I had rolled all my fieldwork into one day as soon as I was given a letter of authority as a quasi ‘key


11/08/2020 15:33


worker’ – so you could say the world was my oyster! The one thing that did need to be resolved, being a man of a certain age, was welfare – how could I plan my route so that I could take a toilet break or find a coffee? This was actually fairly easy with a rural authority, but not so in town. Now that the lockdown has eased, I am going out more often, sometimes two or three days a week in response to particular requests or enquiries. But, will the easing of the restrictions have damaging consequences for public health? New normal Do I miss the old days? The answer is “not really”, and they seem long-forgotten already. The

If they are one of those organisations that judges quality of output by timekeeping alone, then people will need to report back, just so they can be seen. There are also some who cannot be trusted to toe the corporate line the further they are from HQ and so will have to be reined in. Will the environment suffer? Some chums of mine from school days have been working on massive national infrastructure projects and, like me, wonder why we are investing in ‘hard’ infrastructure – whether that’s HS2, Crossrail or new roads – when the need this year has been for ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as 5G and extra bandwidth? Of

why are we investing in ‘hard’ infrastructure – whether that’s HS2, Crossrail or new roads – when the need this year has been for ‘soft’ infrastructure, such as 5G and extra bandwidth? occasional chat has now become more organised and diarised with Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams meetings or a simple WhatsApp video call. It means that formal meetings have just changed in their manner of delivery. One colleague identified one key difference between sit-down and virtual meetings on video calls as ‘needing to maintain a blank expression on screen because you’re on view all the time’ – whereas you can probably get away with the odd smirk in a meeting room. Do I think the old days will return? For me, I certainly hope not. But in large measure, that depends on your boss and the character of the organisation.


Jonathan Hazell-3-ELJ023.indd 27

course, there is engineering and science behind that, as well as manufacturing, but it will introduce far fewer scars to the landscape. The shape of the new normal? In the early days of the crisis, I was amused to hear that an acquaintance went to a ball and the top prize in the raffle was a single loo roll – perhaps it was welcome as they were the target of panic buying.

But it all felt beyond me that individuals seemed to temporarily lose whatever appreciation they had for the wider society in an attempt to self preserve. It was an over-riding genetic response, of course, but one which was met with distaste by the chattering classes, perhaps because they got pushed out of the queue at the tills. One thing that has become more apparent: the longer the pandemic has continued, the more frankness there has been to talk about mental health. To an old codger like me, this seems slightly anathema, but of course I was brought up in a time when you simply ‘made do’ and got on with it. But, the pandemic will undoubtedly lead to troubled minds and some scarred individuals, as well as the possibility of wider societal damage, so the emergence of talking therapies can only be seen as a force for good. I know that a lot of school-age children have found it difficult to deal with the cancellation of everything that they were looking forward to, whether it was good or bad – holidays, exams, outings, hobbies, clubs, camps or whatever. It is indeed sad to hear some young people, particularly in further or higher education, will have lost out on part of the college or university education, which can be such an enjoyable and formative time.

Look to the positive Certainly in the early days of lockdown, many at home enjoyed reconnecting with nature and the reduction in air pollution. One positive development, local to me and almost certainly in other areas, is that a number of small commercial developments have seen a boost in take up. It’s not possible for everyone to commute or work from home, so renting an office close to home can be a convenient and greener option. But it wasn’t good news to hear the Prime Minister say he didn’t want to see wildlife rules or socalled ‘newt-counting delays’ hold back building projects. There’s little to no evidence to suggest this is happening, and the UK is already seeing major capital projects getting the green light. I also want to see more emphasis on biodiversity, and there is some evidence it is creeping up the political agenda; there’s a consultation on a tree strategy for England, and another will introduce a mandatory requirement for biodiversity net gain with any development. I’ll be remaining cautiously optimistic and until my next column, I hope all readers are coping well in these novel and uncharted waters. Jonathan is an arboricultural consultant.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 27

11/08/2020 15:37


When the Going Gets



rborists may be slowly emerging from the lockdown, but the UK faces an uncertain future, with very real fears that a potential serious recession is on the horizon. Employers might believe that the only way to keep their business afloat is to reduce the size of their workforce – and this could become a necessity, But you may have other options as it is possible to reduce staff costs without enforced job losses. These include the following. Change pay and conditions The most obvious way to cut costs is to reduce how much you pay your employees. That means either cutting staff salaries or reducing their working hours. It may be a difficult choice, but it is one more firms are making as they seek to emerge from the lockdown. To make changes, you need a specific term in your employees’ contracts. If you don’t have this, you need to get your employees’ consent first. And even if you do have the necessary contract terms, you should still follow a good procedure and seek agreement from staff.


Pro Arb | Summer 2020

BZ peninsula.indd 28

You may want to look at where there is most demand for business services and ensure people are deployed where possible to meet this You should also be clear in your communications if you want to pay your self-employed contractors a lower rate. No one wants to receive less pay but when there is a risk of the business going under and when there is rising unemployment, staff may be willing to make the sacrifice. When the economy – and hopefully your business – improves, you can always bump up wages and bring back workers on full hours. Reorganise job roles Rather than cutting jobs, consider reorganising roles – it may be possible for some staff to job share, for example. This is where a role is spilt into two with the hours and salary shared. Again, this will need to be incorporated into contracts if necessary and you should have the consent of employees first. You may want to also look at where there is most demand for

business services and ensure people are deployed where possible to meet this. So, if this is for garden maintenance or stump grinding, for example, then staff should be moved into these roles, providing they have had appropriate training. Withdraw job offers The COVID-19 crisis has put a stop to recruitment for many businesses. So, if you’ve already agreed to take on new staff, think carefully about whether you still need them. However, if these are roles where you have offered a job contract, then you need to be cautious, as withdrawing the offer could be a breach. Remember, verbal agreements are binding, too. If you do need to withdraw an offer, the safest approach is to give your new employee a notice of termination and consider whether


11/08/2020 14:42


any notice pay is due. You may have to pay out in the short term, but you’ll avoid the risk of being taken to a tribunal for breach of contract. Implement short-time working Short-time working is where you reduce staff hours on a temporary basis. This can be a good option if you expect work to pick up again soon, but it’s only a short-term solution. This is because staff placed on short-time working for a period of four consecutive weeks – or six weeks in total in a 13-week period – can claim statutory redundancy pay. You should also note that a ‘week’ of shorttime working will only count if you give your employee less than half a week’s normal pay and staff only have the right to redundancy pay if they’ve worked for your company for at least two years. You need a term in your staff’s contracts to put them on short-term working. If you don’t have this, your employees will need to agree beforehand. Make layoffs A layoff is where you don’t provide your employees with work or pay and is often the last step before redundancy.

You need a specific clause in the employment contract to allow layoff without pay. If you don’t have this clause, your staff will need to agree to a change in their terms and conditions. Even with this clause, laid off staff who have been employed for at least a month may be entitled to statutory guarantee pay (SGP). This is currently £30 per day for a maximum of five days. As with short-time working, laid-off staff can claim redundancy pay after being laid off for four weeks consecutively or six weeks in a 13-week period. It may be that redundancies are inevitable for your firm and these are happening across many sectors in the UK. Even so, be sure that you do follow correct procedures and you can show you have no choice but to make a role redundant. Many of those who run an arborist company are extremely committed to their employees and want to ensure that they can offer stable work for them. Having to make changes to contracts, or potentially even make redundancies, is hard and also potentially complicated, so you may need to take advice from a professional.

Having to make changes to contracts, or potentially redundancies, is hard and also potentially complicated, so you may need to take advice from a professional WWW.PROARBMAGAZINE.COM

BZ peninsula.indd 29

Help in the Mini-Budget? Chancellor Rishi Sunak said it would be “irresponsible” to keep extending the furlough scheme and it will wind down at the end of October. However, in his July Mini-Budget, he announced measures that may offer some help to employers. These include a £1,000 job retention bonus for employers who bring back a furloughed employee. If the staff member continues to be employed between November and January, the sum will be paid for each worker. The rules state that employees must earn at least the lower earning limit for national insurance (£520 per month) between November and January in order for employers to be eligible for the pay-out. Help for young people The Treasury is also investing £2bn in a ‘kickstart scheme’ to support young people between 16 and 24 who are claiming Universal Credit and are at risk of long-term unemployment. Funding will be available for each six-month job placement and will cover 100% of the national minimum wage for 25 hours a week – and employers will be able to top this wage up. Furthermore, the government will give companies £2,000 each to encourage them to hire apprentices, and £1,500 if they hire apprentices over 25. While these are indeed hard times, if an arborist is in a position to offer an apprenticeship, then this could prove an attractive sweetener.

Kate Palmer is associate director of advisory with Peninsula Group. Launched in 1983, the company offers HR, employment law and health and safety support services to small and fast-growing businesses across the country, as well as tax and payroll advice, employee assistance programmes, and HR and health & safety training.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 29

11/08/2020 14:43




Advert template.indd 10


LOWERING LINE 27/07/2020 12:32

11/08/2020 10:19

t i K 0 2 0 2 R E M M U S 32 > MEET THE SUPPLIER: MAKITA Q&A with business development manager Mark Earles from the popular manufacturer Makita

34 > CASE STUDY: Husqvarna

Arborist in Action: H-team ambassador and multiple tree climbing champion Josephine Hedger explains why she is choosing cordless

36 > product dna – stihl

The low-down on STIHL’s new BGA 200

37 > new launches

Rev up your business and be ready to meet a growing workload with these latest launches

40 > Timberwolf

Launch of powerful Stage V compliant wood chippers


Move on up with these innovative gadgets

KIT COVER-2.indd 31

12/08/2020 17:08


e h t t e e M supplier How long have you worked for Makita and can you tell us about your present role? I’ve worked for Makita for 25 years and have been business development manager – OPE for the past four. My primary responsibilities are to grow Makita UK’s outdoor power equipment (OPE) range and identify and pursue new opportunities. As part of this, I look to establish relationships with both our existing and potential customers to ascertain the needs of the industry. This is then filtered through to product development, to ensure that Makita’s offering is in line. To gain further industry insight, including any trends, and ensure the company and our customers are promptly and correctly informed about the latest industry regulations, I also sit on a number of industry boards and committees. These include the Agricultural Engineers Association’s (AEA) outdoor power equipment council and the European Garden Machinery Federation’s (EGMF) marketing committee. What’s it like working for Makita? What’s the culture like? Makita UK is a fantastic place to work. There’s a strong team environment, and it’s clear everyone is working towards the same goal; offering the best service and range of products to customers. We might be a global company, but at Makita UK we operate at local level and focus on meeting the needs of the UK market.

32 Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Meet the supplier.indd 32



WE CAUGHT UP WITH MARK EARLES, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER – OPE, TO FIND OUT ALL ABOUT THE POPULAR MANUFACTURER development processes, to ensure that customers can find the tools they really need. Could you talk us through some of the key Makita products that will appeal to tree surgeons? In March 2020, Makita UK expanded its line of cordless OPE with an impressive range of new tools, specifically aimed at the outdoor sector. These additions mean that professionals can choose from over 70 cordless OPE tools within its innovative

professionals can choose from over 70 cordless OPE tools within its innovative LXT 18V lithium-ion battery platform Where are you based and does your role involve any travel, such as attending trade shows and meeting dealers? Before the coronavirus lockdown, which resulted in me having to work from home, I was based at Makita UK’s head office in Milton Keynes. However, my working week often included an element of travel to attend meetings with customers, trade shows and industry events. I see huge value in Makita being at these events – it’s an opportunity to speak to our customers face-to-face and gauge the needs of the industry. This information is then filtered into Makita’s research and product

LXT 18V lithium-ion battery platform. As part of this launch, Makita released the DUC256Z Twin 18V top handle chainsaw. This incredibly powerful 36V machine offers output equivalent to a 30cc petrol engine. Also added to the range was the DUB363 Twin 18V blower, that includes a vacuum function too – ideal for keeping the work area safe and clear of debris. The DUB363 delivers powerful performance similar to a 25cc class engine blower, both in blower and vacuum applications. Makita also expanded its range of brushless lawn mowers with one new


11/08/2020 15:22


aluminium deck (DLM533) and three new steel deck models (DLM462, DLM530, DLM532) – the DLM462, DLM53, DLM533 are also self-propelled. Powered by two 18V LXT batteries in series to supply energy to the powerful 36V DC motor drive system, these machines can be fitted with four batteries to give contractors extended cutting time. Finally, the DUB500WZ 18V pole hedgetrimmer includes Makita’s new tripleedged cutting teeth, that are designed to easily catch and firmly hold branches for more efficient cutting. The curved blades reduce friction resistance, which minimises energy loss and extends run times.

for anyone who works with Makita to adapt to every task effortlessly.

How big is battery-powered kit within Makita? Have you seen this sector of the market develop in recent years and do you think it will take over from traditional power tools? Makita has 50 years’ experience developing battery technology – the first Makita battery power tool was launched in 1978. Over recent years, the demand for cordless machines has increased substantially. The improved safety, ease of use and reduced lifetime costs associated with cordless machines mean they are now favoured by many. With Makita’s LXT range, our batteries can also be used interchangeably across over 200 Makita products – making it easier

Are tree surgeons/arborists a sector you’re keen to do more with? Are there any plans in this area? Makita is constantly reviewing its offering and looking at how the OPE range can be developed further. Makita is end-user focused and strives to ensure that it has an extensive range of products, suitable for a wide range of applications. As part of this, Makita invests heavily in research and product development – the R&D team will often speak to customers and the sales force to gauge the needs of the industry and adapt the product range accordingly.

What would you say are the key benefits of Makita products? All Makita products are designed with ease of use, efficiency and consistent performance in mind. Makita has a wealth of experience in the garden machinery sector and the evergrowing portfolio of OPE products means there is a machine for every task. Makita also trusts in the quality of its products, which is why all machines come with a three-year warranty when registered. With reliable tools, users can keep working problem-free for longer.

What would you say to a tree surgeon who is thinking of trying out Makita, perhaps switching from a different brand? Makita is always happy to help. If you have any questions or need advice, a member of the team is on hand to assist and find a solution that works for you. For those interested in Makita products, we offer trial sessions to let you see the machines in action – and get hands-on yourself. In some cases, we will even leave the machine with you for a few days, to let you get a feel for Cordless lawn mower (DLM532) it and really put it to the test.


Meet the supplier.indd 33

Cordless blower (DUB363) How has Makita coped with the lockdown? Throughout this difficult period, Makita has remained ‘open for business’ and continued to invest in product development and the market. We have put processes and systems in place to facilitate socially distanced working across our manufacturing facilities, training centres and office spaces. We have also ensured that our sales managers are equipped with the correct PPE, to keep them and their customers safe – and they will only be visiting customers that have given prior approval. As guidance changes, we will continue to adapt our practices to ensure the safety of both our staff and customers. How do you like to relax outside of work; any hobbies or interests you could tell us about? I absolutely love off-road driving – I have two Land Rovers that I regularly take out for a spin and another hobby of mine is flying remote controlled helicopters and drones.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 33

11/08/2020 15:23




osephine Hedger Is used to challenges. She has run a successful business since 2005 – Arbor-Venture Tree Care – and also competes regularly, winning multiple World Tree Climbing Championships. But the arrival of a global pandemic would prove testing for anyone. So, how did she cope? Arbor-Venture Tree Care, which is based in Hampshire, employs eight people and, despite the lockdown, was able to keep trading. Key to this was adjusting procedures to follow government guidance, reducing large rigging and removal jobs to adhere to social distancing measures.

“With more people than ever staying at home, there was the worry of disrupting those working from home and home schooling their children. I was also very conscious of the fact that we wouldn’t know if we would be working near NHS workers who had worked a night shift and were trying to sleep during the day. The thought of starting up noisy petrol machines and disturbing the peace for everyone was too uncomfortable, so we knew using battery power was the right choice for us.”

ARBORIST IN ACTION “We’ve been loyal Husqvarna battery users since 2013, and throughout lockdown our love for these machines has only increased further. The battery hedge cutters, leaf blowers and chainsaws have been such a big help over the last few months; in particular, the new T540i XP and 540i XP chainsaws which I’ve been involved with from their initial design through to their launch. With such a high cutting performance and power, along with the other benefits that battery offers, I never had to consider switching to the petrol equivalents.” Delivering power and performance for full-time, heavy-duty and professional use, Husqvarna 500 Series battery products have been developed with long, demanding workdays in mind. Durable and robust to withstand heavy, professional usage, and provide a power output that matches, and even exceeds, their petrol equivalents.

We’ve been loyal Husqvarna battery users since 2013, and throughout lockdown our love for these machines has only increased further With quieter roads and an increase in people working from home, efforts to reduce noise pollution was of great importance, and Jo turned to her Husqvarna battery products in an effort to reduce disturbance to customers and their neighbours. She explains: “As lockdown began and the nice weather made an appearance, more and more people began spending time in their gardens, and jobs that needed doing became apparent. Our workload began increasing but thought of disturbing residents became a concern.

34 Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Case study Husqvarna.indd 34

Professional battery-powered handheld equipment allows arborists to work without the worry of fumes and noise pollution. It is also lightweight and designed for comfort and ease of use on long shifts, and the tools are enough to use anywhere, at any time. Gaining feedback from her customers, Jo was relieved to find out minimal disruption was made from her work. Jo explains: “Many of our customers were unaware of battery products being available in a professional capacity and were impressed about the little noise they produced. They were amazed that we were able to carry out such large jobs with minimal disturbance.

As Jo concludes: “If it wasn’t for battery power, we’d have had to be a lot more selective in where we were able to work. With many customers living in tight knit residential areas, we’d have had no choice but to reduce the number of hours we worked in order to limit disruption. Thanks to the benefits of Husqvarna battery products, we’ve been able to keep our customers happy and continue business in this new normal.”


11/08/2020 16:00

E N T E R YOURS EL F O R A C O L L E AGU E The rules are simple, you can nominate yourself or a colleague as long as the nominee was aged 30 or under on 1 January 2020 and currently works within the horticulture, arboriculture, garden design or landscape sector. Entrants must have worked in the industry for at least one year.

Arborists / Crew Leaders Plant Healthcare Technicians We have opportunities for experienced Arborists for our offices in the UK and Dublin to work in teams undertaking a wide variety of tree work and plant healthcare services.


For more information on how to enter, contact Laura Harris on 01903 777570 or email

For more information call Sarah Maddox on 07850 649443 or apply via the website at

EVERY TREE NEEDS A CHAMPION. The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company

the interactive app 1 2 3 4

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

unfogable mesh eye protection 01254 377 467

Advert template.indd 13

12/08/2020 16:57






TIHL’s new BGA 200 cordless has a blowing force of 21N, which is 20% more than the BGA 100 cordless blower, making it the new top model. It features a high air speed for coping with wet leaves. Easy handling It offers a newly developed comfort carrying system, which allows the tool to be used in different ways depending on the application; handheld in confined working areas or suspended in the carrying system for larger-scale cleaning work. The blower can be used in a flexible manner, either in a handheld position or suspended in the specially developed, standard comfort carrying system with a mounting positioned on the side of the body. The change is effortless and, thanks to a second handle, effectively prevents fatigue, especially during long work assignments. The blower does not rotate, which avoids wrist strain and contributes to the energy-saving and comfortable operation. Choice of settings The blowing force has three different settings, which can be selected by the user via a selector switch. There is also an additional boost function. Furthermore, the user can adjust the length of the nozzle to meet different requirements and operating situations with the help of a quick adjustment system. It has a maximum air speed of 84 m/s and an air throughput of 941 m3/h.

36 Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Product DNA STIHL.indd 36

Quietly does it The blower allows for low-noise operation, and it can be used without restriction in noisesensitive areas and without hearing protection. It has a sound power level of 93 dB(A) and so is suited to use in parks and residential areas or near schools and hospitals. Modular battery system The blower uses a 36V lithium-ion battery from STIHL’s Pro cordless system. Batteries can be carried either by a belt bag or a backpack system (the STIHL AP series). Alternatively, the STIHL AR series backpack batteries, with their high energy content, are available for all-day use. The connection is made by a connecting cable via a socket on the blowing unit. Carrying the battery close to the body on the belt or the back reduces the weight of the tool to be carried and makes work more relaxed.


11/08/2020 16:11







ave you dusted off your equipment and realised at least some of it needs upgrading? Although it’s disappointing that this year’s APF has been postponed, Pro Arb is still able to showcase some recent launches – and we’ll all be looking forward to next year when the hugely popular event is back; it’s scheduled to take place on 23, 24 and 25 September 2021 at Ragley Estate in Warwickshire. Meanwhile, there’s plenty here to whet your appetite.


GreenMech launches a lighter EVO

The EVO 165P SUB-750 is a new launch from the UK-based manufacturer. This is the latest model in the EVO series, which was introduced at the 2019 ARB Show. It offers proven performance in a sub 750kg package. The EVO 165P SUB-750 retains many key features of the series, including a wide infeed chute, twin horizontal rollers, all-steel bonnet and heavy-duty flywheel, combined with a 37hp Briggs & Stratton Vanguard petrol engine. It also has a redesigned chassis – tested to ensure durability – and alterations to its construction and specification, without detriment to its overall performance. GreenMech’s patented disc blade technology comes as standard, providing up to 200 hours of chipping before resharpening is required, and has a three-year parts and labour warranty.

Hansa – new for the UK Hansa’s range of wood chippers was launched in the UK this year via distributor Henton & Chattell. Hansa is a New Zealand family business, with a strong reputation for its chippers and shredding machines. The business is known for its close connection with the arborist community and takes on feedback when designing new products. Products are made using the latest manufacturing technology such as 3D design, CNC machining, folding and laser cutting


New Launches.indd 37

to ensure a high-quality finish with durability, efficiency and a solid build. The chippers are built to be as efficient as possible, using less fuel, quality motors and finished with a nontoxic surface, allowing users to reuse woodchip to enhance the environment, too. Engines are easy to start and have a wide feed for large debris – they are

also compact and manoeuvrable, with a low weight to capacity ratio that gives them balance for ease of use and transportation. There is a wide range of models to choose from; however, those most suited to professionals are the C21 and the C27. Both are robust and have heavyduty cutting disks to deal with heavy branches and bushy foliage. The C27 has a 360-degree turntable that allows feeding from any direction.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 37

12/08/2020 12:24


Husqvarna backs battery power

EGO Power+ - a welcome addition

EGO Power+ is focused on cordless and has recently launched a 45cm chainsaw (CS1800E), adding additional power and choice – the manufacturer already has a 30cm and 40cm in its range. The CS1800E is aimed at professionals and combines comfort, durability and high performance in a robust and easy-to-handle design. It has a brushless motor powered by 56-volt arc lithium-ion technology and features a chain speed of 20m/s and bumper spikes to increase control when cutting logs, while a chain brake adds to safe operation. For ease of use, automatic oiling and tensioning features mean there is no tooling and less maintenance while working, and additional features – such as an LED light and easy oil inspection – add up to one of the most advanced battery chainsaws on the market. With a noise rating of 93LpA/104 LwA and vibration of 5.1/3.5m/ s2, it can be used comfortably and safely for extended periods. The model is compatible with a choice of high-performance batteries, with run-times from 40 cuts with the 2.5Ah battery, up to 160 cuts with the new 10Ah battery – sufficient for a full day’s work. The CS1800E weighs 4.5kg without batteries.

Haix – time to treat your feet

Haix has launched the Protector Light 2.0 – a boot which is lightweight and optimised for working in warmer weather. It is also suited to more strenuous tasks and retains the protective features wearers expect from the manufacturer. The boots are constructed from quality materials including oiled nubuk leather and certified to the S3 standard (EN ISO 20345:2011), ensuring a high degree of water-resistance, toe protection, antistatic properties and enhanced midsole-penetration resistance. There is further certification in the form of Class 1 Cut protection, giving added protection to outdoor and forestry workers. The Protector Light 2.0 also works to maintain an optimum foot temperature, with the Haix Climate System, using the pumping movement of every step to circulate cool air into the boot via vent holes in the top. The anatomically formed footbed absorbs moisture and dries quickly, keeping feet dry throughout the day’s wear.

38 Pro Arb | Summer 2020

New Launches.indd 38

Swedish manufacturer Husqvarna launched two new battery powered chainsaws earlier this year. The Husqvarna T540i XP top-handle and Husqvarna 540i XP rear-handle chainsaws were designed and developed together with professional arborists and feature an optimised system to deliver powerful battery performance. Both used with the newly released Husqvarna BLi200X (T540i XP) or Husqvarna BLi300 (540I XP) batteries, the new chainsaws

have capabilities equivalent to professional 40cc class petrol chainsaws, meaning they are suited to tree removals and smaller felling tasks. With the completely redesigned and optimised system, power has been increased by more than 30% compared to previous Husqvarna battery chainsaws. Further advances include the latest X-Cut chain SP21G and X-Precision bar on the new Husqvarna T540i XP, which allows cutting capacity for drop cuts of thick trunks and branches, while also being nimble enough to take on smaller tasks. The rear-handle version, the Husqvarna 540i XP, has the same power and is an all-round saw for any kind of groundwork. The models both feature a user-friendly interface for quick control and balanced saw bodies that provide the maneuverability needed for difficult cuts. The battery status is easily visible and the chainsaws start and stop at the press of a button. There are no direct emissions and the saws are IPX4 classified, meaning that they can operate in challenging weather.


12/08/2020 12:26


STIHL – look the part

STIHL has introduced its new clothing and merchandise lines for 2020, including casual wear such as t-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, shorts, beanies, caps, sports bags and more. For fans of STIHL Timbersports, there are newly designed ‘Axe’ t-shirts and hoodies, with the range also featuring ‘Kiss my axe’ zip-up jackets and boxer shorts. There are also ‘tec’ shorts and shirts, offering breathable and functional attire for playing sports, and a new clothing line for outdoor-loving children – ‘Wild Kids’ – which includes beanies, caps, backpacks, lumberjack gym bags and packable rain jackets.

Terrain Aeration breathes life into trees

Many arborists enjoy offering planting and tree care services and owning an aeration machine can really help set a business apart. Trees may well need treatment for a range of factors including nutrient shortages in the soil, surface compaction due to foot traffic and waterlogging where water drains off hard surface pathways. The Terrain Aeration Terralift machines comprise a probe which reaches one-metre depth, deeper than the roots of trees (other than the major tap roots which grow straight down). They break up the soil around the roots and beyond, which means that excess water will drain away from the roots to help stop anaerobic conditions and rotting of the root system. The probe is then used to inject dried seaweed which helps keep the fissures open and backfilling the probe holes with aggregate provides a semi permanent aeration/ventilation shaft. Terrain Aeration circulates air around the roots using two-metre spacings - on most occasions one-metre inside and one-metre outside the canopy drip line, as this is where the growing roots lie. Decompacting around the roots and injecting air into the soil increases the percentage of uptake of oxygen into the root system. While there are machines which reach shallower depths, the Terralift machine has a far better chance of reaching affected roots and ensuring effective treatment.


New Launches.indd 39

Echo’s BOGOF offer


Buy selected Echo 58V kit of power tool, battery and charger and a second battery – worth £199 – is now provided free of charge. For those out and about working, having a second charged battery can be extremely useful, enabling work to be done quickly and efficiently. The offer is available on the ECHO 58V chainsaw (CS-58V4AH), power blower (PLB-58V2AH), double-sided hedge trimmer (HT-58V2AH) or trimmer (DST-58V2AH). All models come with maintenance-free brushless motors for long-lasting performance. The offer will be running until 30 June 2021.

Bobcat provides new finance deal Bobcat is offering a ‘pay only 50%’ hire purchase financing offer, The deal will last until the end of September 2020, and allows customers to pay only half of the standard monthly finance payment for the first year and a 10% downpayment when purchasing new Bobcat loaders, mini-excavators and telehandlers. Customers only need an initial downpayment of 10% of machine value and will be able to spread payments for up to 60 months. After the final payment, the customer will own the equipment. The ‘work now, pay later’ scheme, with nothing to pay until January 2021, is available on orders until the end of September 2020, providing up to 180 days deferral on the first payment. This allows customers to generate profits from their new Bobcat machines before they need to complete their first instalment payment. Bobcat’s skid-steer loaders include the new generation S450, a compact model with a tight turning radius. It’s powered by a Tier 4 diesel engine and is available with increased service intervals and a range of attachment options.

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 39

12/08/2020 12:28


Timberwolf LAUNCHES a new pack of six powerful Stage V compliant wood chippers


uilding on its market-leading position of designing, engineering and manufacturing wood chippers to meet the demanding arboricultural sector, Timberwolf has launched a new range of six-inch and eight-inch road tow and tracked machines fitted with emissions-friendly Stage V engines. The Timberwolf TW 230HB is a direct replacement for the TW 230DHB and TW 230PAHB models, Europe’s bestselling sub-750kg six-inch road tow wood chipper range. Available with a 24.8HP Kubota V1505 diesel engine or a 37HP Briggs and Stratton Vanguard V Twin petrol engine, the TW 230HB offers customers the power of choice, with the option to decide the fuel type that suits them without compromising on power. All the features that made the TW 230 road tow range hugely popular with arborists remain unchanged: the legendary performance; the easy access to the engine; the wide infeed hopper; the WolfPort for quick blade changes; and the large positive feedback infeed controls. The Timberwolf TW 230HB diesel powered variant is the first diesel powered Stage V compliant wood chipper in its class to remain under 750kg in weight. The Kubota

Timberwolf TW 230HB Diesel Wood Chipper

40 Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Advertorial Timberwolf.indd 40

Timberwolf TW 230HB Petrol Wood Chipper V1505 diesel engine now delivers 24.8HP, but with intelligent engineering and design processes; the infeed power has been improved despite the lower engine rpm. The Timberwolf TW 230HB petrol powered variant has been enhanced with increased ventilation to keep the engine cool and an improved exhaust design. The exhaust system has been designed to sit within the chassis to offer better protection from impacts when travelling over rough ground or road furniture, and a patent pending exhaust diffuser has been introduced, reducing exhaust gas temperatures by up to 150⁰C. The Timberwolf tracked wood chipper range has grown with the addition of a petrol variant of the popular six-inch tracked machine, the Timberwolf TW 230VTR. The introduction of a Briggs and Stratton Vanguard V Twin 37HP petrol engine option ensures the demands of arborists who prefer to use this fuel type are met. The

petrol-powered TW 230VTR has been designed to ensure the machine remains perfectly balanced despite the addition of a lighter petrol engine, and the stylish ventilated hood ensures the engine bay is kept cool during operation.

Timberwolf TW 230VTR Petrol Wood Chipper The TW 230VTR diesel model is powered by the same reliable Kubota diesel engine used in the TW 230HB models and the hydraulics systems have been upgraded to ensure tracking speed is not compromised by the reduced engine rpm.


12/08/2020 14:43


The TW 230VTR range has expanded but all the features that gave it the market-leading position as the go-to tracked machine for the professional arborist are still there, including the ergonomic ride-on platform, the WolfTrack two-speed smooth running tracks, the variable track width and the easily removable hopper, which helps the TW 230VTR get through the narrowest of site access points. The Timberwolf eight-inch tracked wood chipper range has evolved into a petrol-powered pack, with the TW 280FTR fixed track and TW 280VGTR variable gradient tracked wood chippers replacing the existing eight-inch diesel tracked range. Product marketing manager, Antony Alexander, explains: “With Stage V engine legislation adding additional complexity, cost and risk to the high-powered diesel engines commonly used in wood chippers, we decided to switch over to 57hp Kubota WG1605 petrol engines for our eight-inch tracked range.

Timberwolf TW 230VTR Diesel Wood Chipper “Timberwolf owners love that our machines are easy to maintain, simple and quick to service and very reliable, and changing to a petrol-powered eight-inch tracked range means our customers get exactly what they want at the price they want it. To include a high-powered Stage V diesel engine would result in a product that needed specialist servicing, increased downtime resulting from the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) cleaning cycles and high engine temperatures which bring their own risks to the equation. With engines using a DPF there is also the risk of significant engine damage if the wrong grade or contaminated fuel or engine oil is used, and we did not want to introduce these issues for our customers.” With the strength to complete the toughest jobs in the most remote locations, both the Timberwolf TW 280FTR and TW 280VGTR feature a low vibration and ergonomically


Advertorial Timberwolf.indd 41

Timberwolf TW 280FTR Wood Chipper designed ride-on platform with simple to operate tracking controls for ultimate operator comfort and safety. An extra wide feed funnel with an open top section combine to provide users with better visibility and ease of feeding, whilst the class-leading 280mm by 210mm inch feed aperture can process 7t of material per hour. There’s also Timberwolf’s legendary ‘no-stress’ auto-feed control for smooth operation, combined with a heavier rotor providing added inertia to get the job done quicker. The Timberwolf TW 280FTR uses the WolfTrack Fixed Track Dual Speed Tracking System, featuring a low speed gear to navigate difficult terrain and a higher speed gear to cover distance efficiently. The TW 280FTR has a ground clearance of 245mm to tackle uneven surfaces and its wide, smooth running tracks and low centre of gravity enhances stability on different gradients. In short, this machine will get you there safely and fast!

Timberwolf TW 280VGTR Wood Chipper

The TW 280VGTR features the WolfTrack variable gradient tracking system. Using heavy duty twin arms to support each of the wide, smooth running tracks, the operator has dynamic control over track width, ground clearance and machine tilt angle, providing greater control whilst navigating uneven and sloping ground of up to 30º.

When purchasing a Timberwolf wood chipper, owners are buying more than a machine... • All Timberwolf wood chippers come with a three-year, nononsense warranty as standard, which can be extended up to an industry-leading five-year warranty for complete peace of mind. • Timberwolf Finance offers specialist finance packages, designed specifically for the needs of the arboricultural industry. • Every Timberwolf owner has access to over 250 Timberwolf trained technicians and a network of 34 dealer depots across the UK, ready to offer expert advice as well as spares and technical support. To arrange a demonstration of the new range of Timberwolf wood chippers, visit:

Pro Arb | Summer 2020 41

12/08/2020 14:44


Raise me up KCLIMI BTING



Rock Exotica

“The new CE-approved Akimbo device from Rock Exotica is the biggest thing in the climbing world right now and feedback suggests that it doesn’t disappoint!” As Kerry says, these tools are proving to be the talk of the industry. What is it? The Akimbo is an arborist climbing tool which allows the climber to ascend, descend and position on both stationary rope and moving rope systems. It features rope contact surfaces (upper and lower bollards) that adjust to accommodate a wide range of rope sizes to suit the climber’s needs, all without tools or disassembling components. The bollards can be adjusted to increase or decrease friction to accommodate changes in climber weight, changes in environment, or adjust for natural wear of the Akimbo’s contact surfaces. It opens to remove or install a rope mid-line in seconds and compresses back down into a compact form factor both on and off the rope. When climbing on stationary rope, the chest harness connection point facilitates quick connections via an innovative wire gate. This allows the climber to use a small non-PPE carabiner to connect to the SRS attachment point, or directly to a loop of cord.

42 Pro Arb | Summer 2020

Climbing Equipment.indd 42


he past few months have been busy for Sorbus International. The arb specialist supplier enjoyed a successful virtual Arb Show and has also enjoyed plenty of online trading. Kerry Taylor, who handles marketing, has picked out some of the favourite items of kit which are all the rage with climbers.


The TreeRex Triple Lock Harness is “super versatile and always excellent quality,” says Kerry. What is it? The harness offers a variety of rope bridge configurations and optional SRT bridge for sale. The 3D vent technology, in combination with the wide, semi-rigid padding, ensures hanging comfort as well as good breathability. There are four large gear loops, numerous attachment possibilities for gear carabiners, as well as a device for suspending a chainsaw. The TreeRex is supplied pre-assembled with an adjustable rope bridge in the lateral eyelets and an aluminium connecting ring.


“This recently launched rope – the Squir V2 – is going down well,” comments Kerry. What is it? The rope is especially for SRT or use as an access line, with Courant redeveloping its low stretch Squir rope with a more durable but still flexible sheath. Its low stretch capabilities – below 2% elongation – make the bounce effect of this 11.5mm rope to a minimal level when accessing the tree. Courant has also heat-treated the smooth polyester 32 strands rope for greater stability. The sheath endures the bites of sharp toothed cam ascenders and the rope stays firmly round while descending.


“There are multiple uses for the Camp Gyro swivelling anchor and climbers are telling us it’s a really handy gadget,” says Kerry. What is it? This is a compact and versatile rigging system with a triple swivel design. The Gyro swivel rotates at all three connection points, allowing many connection possibilities between different elements that require freedom of movement, such as: self-orienting multi-anchoring, multiple connections to a harness, preventing twisting in Y lanyards, cross-hauling operations, and more. It is carbon steel with a double corrosion preventive coating and the wivel balls are stainless steel. It has a working load limit of 3kN and a minimum breaking strength of 26kN.


12/08/2020 12:38

Pro Arb Full Page July 2020_Layout 1 28/07/2020 11:47 Page 1


01449 765800 Advert template.indd 13 11/08/2020 10:25

Visit us at the following

Demonstration Events in 2020 where we will have full working demo’s of all of our machinery:

Fuelwood Warwick - CV35 7AF 21st - 26th September 2020. Fuelwood Scotland - EH15 3PZ 9th - 10th October 2020. Visit for full details... Heizohack chippers; Mecanil grapple saws; FTG timber trailers and cranes; Lucas sawmills; Log splitters; Saws; Firewood processors; Kindling machines and much much more.....

Call the Fuelwood team on 01926 484673 Advert template.indd 15

12/08/2020 17:28

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.