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Report Writing

5 Tips to Effective Reports

By Mark Chester, 30 August 2011

5 Tips to Effective Reports

For the modern arboricultural consultant, the ability to effectively write reports is key to success. Whether one is providing a safety report for a single tree, a report in connection with a mortgage or a detailed BS 5837 report to accompany a planning application, there are principals to follow.

In future editions, we will look in more detail at what is required to produce a good report, starting with BS 5837 reports for planning applications. However, below are five top tips to start with.

For the modern arboricultural consultant, the ability to effectively write reports is key to success. Whether one is providing a safety report for a single tree, a report in connection with a mortgage or a detailed BS 5837 report to accompany a planning application, there are principals to follow.

In future editions, we will look in more detail at what is required to produce a good report, starting with BS 5837 reports for planning applications. However, below are five top tips to start with.

1. Who’s it For?

Know who you are writing the report for. This may not be the person requesting the report. Establish who will be responsible for the fee.

2. What’s it For?

Clearly establish what the report is for, the brief. This should be established at the start, with any changes agreed with the client. If you are working on a possible development site, are you producing a feasibility assessment or a detailed report? Your client may be expecting more from you which can cause problems later.

3. Who Are You?

Make sure your details are on the front page and every subsequent page contains sufficient details to identify it to the report. Remember that individual pages may be viewed apart from the full report. Each page should be numbered, e.g 3/7 so that the order is clear.

4. First Impressions Count

The report should be properly bound and look professional. Create a standard format that all your reports adhere to. Use consistent styles and layouts. Include contents pages or indexes for larger reports. Consider consulting a graphic designer who can set you up with templates for your reports so your time is better spent writing, not formatting!

5. Use Standard Text Carefully

Each report type (planning, mortgage etc.) is likely to contain standard text eg. a description of the retention categories for a development site that you use regularly. Don’t forget to check when copying from your last report that the content remains relevant to the new report. For example, if your last report mentioned woodland and your next report has none, this text needs to be updated.

Coming Up…

Dr. Jon Heuch will look in detail at the ingredients for a good BS:5837 report…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

Mark Chester is a practising consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, chairman of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician’s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture.

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Tree News

A New Title; A New Era

By Mark Chester, 30 August 2011

A New Title; A New Era

Welcome to our new online magazine. This is the first edition. It will be more flexible and accessible than our newsletter and aims to be a greater resource for the modern arboricultural consultant.

All the latest industry news and regular contributions from Dr. Glynn Percival and the Bartlett’s team on tree health and research. Helpful hints on improving your skills, starting with report writing. We’ll look in more depth at the many tree species and their practical application.

Chairman's Corner Regular readers of the CAS newsletter may have spotted some changes to the regular publication. For the past year, the Consulting Arborist Society has produced a quarterly newsletter for members. This has included features of relevance to the consultant, including product reviews, technical updates and member offers. However, there is so much more that we wish to provide for members. So we are launching a new on-line magazine. This is the first edition. It will be more flexible and aims to be a greater resource for the modern arboricultural consultant. We are working with Bartlett's Tree Experts to create a resource on plant health. Each edition will contain research notes, which will then be archived. This will look at the tree problems we encounter and how to respond. We start this edition with a look at Robinia, which has suffered in recent years. We are also working with Barcham Trees to explore the tree species that are available and how to use them, so that members really will know your trees. Ecology, and arborecology, is important. We plan to have regular features on matters relating to this topic. We start with a review of the recent Ancient Tree seminar held at Barchams. Otley College have been exploring the management of their arboretum, which has not flourished as expected. The issues are explored in the first of two articles. Report writing is a key tool for many of us. Those who have attended Dr. Jon Heuch's seminars on 'Effective Report Writing' and Mortgage and Insurance Reports will appreciate some of what is involved. Dr. Heuch will be exploring the requirements of a good report in future editions, starting with BS 5837: 2005. In this edition, he explains what is required to become accredited for this module. We also have "5 tips for report writing" to whet your appetite. We want to encourage your feedback and comments on this new approach. What articles do you like? What can be improved? What issues do you face in your work, that you would appreciate being covered? Please let us know via the short survey. We are planning to send features out more regularly, so if you are interested in receiving a weekly update, please sign up via the social network. We look forward to hearing from you.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

Mark Chester is a practising consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, chairman of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician’s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture.

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Barcham Series

The Barcham Series 1. Ancient Trees

By Mark Chester, 30 August 2011

The Barcham Series 1. Ancient Trees

During the year, Barcham Trees host a series of seminars exploring themes relating to arboriculture. On 15th June 2011, it was the turn of Jill Butler of the Woodland Trust, Caroline Davis, director of the Ancient Tree Forum and Ted Green, Nature Conservator to the Crown Estates at Windsor Great Park to present thoughts on the management of ancient trees.

During the year, Barcham Trees host a series of seminars exploring themes relating to arboriculture. On 15th June 2011, it was the turn of Jill Butler of the Woodland Trust, Caroline Davis, director of the Ancient Tree Forum and Ted Green, Nature Conservator to the Crown Estates at Windsor Great Park to present thoughts on the management of ancient trees.

Jill started, with the title: ‘Ancient Trees-revealing their worth, mapping their future’. She explained that some 100,000 hand picked trees have been identified as ‘out of the ordinary’. Many have been chosen by the public, and some are particularly special. For example, the King John Oak hosts a fungus only known on four other trees, all of which are in the royal hunting parks. Old trees are valuable for their bio-diversity, and the older specimens have more unusual species associated with them.

The royal hunting parks were established by King William l, although they were much more open and had more scrub than modern forests. William’s barons copied their king, with deer parks of their own. These were enclosed and old trees incorporated where possible, giving the impression they had owned the land for ages.

The practice of pollarding is even older, dating back at least 3500 years. Whilst coppicing fed industry such as smelting and mining, pollarding has more domestic associations. At one time, London was ringed with Hornbeam pollards, their high calorific value fuelling the ovens of the capital’s bakers.

Jill highlighted the Trust’s Ancient Tree Hunt campaign. Thousands of people are finding and mapping large trees throughout the country. This is at the heart of the Trust’s ancient tree conservation work. The aim is to create a comprehensive living database of ancient trees, the first step towards caring for them. Valuable ‘hotspots’ have been designated, including 19 of the highest order, which it believes are globally important.

Many old trees are vulnerable. The Woodland Trust does not believe that Tree Preservation Orders are adequate, being too reactive, focusing on development threats and with poor monitoring by local authorities. Highest value trees outside a development are not prioritised and the impact on tree owners can be negative and unfair. Jill proposes a register of trees of national special interest with tree strategies and tree conservation areas to demonstrate their value. Tree conservation areas should be based solely on the value of trees, with resources directed towards the protection of higher value specimens with the prospect of reward for the positive management of ancient trees.

Arboricultural consultant Caroline Davis OBE spoke next. She started by explaining the difference between a veteran and an ancient tree. Veteran trees have particular features of wildlife value, such as stem hollowing or a large canopy of deadwood. An ancient tree, however, is classified by its great age and has a large girth for the species, unless it has been pollarded or is in poor growing conditions. It will have a retrenched crown, will always be a veteran and will also have distinct, irreplaceable values.

Caroline posed the question: ‘why are ancient trees important?’ They have aesthetic appeal, an intrinsic value through links to people and events, give signs of past cultural landscapes and provide habitats for both plants and animals dependent on the special environment provided by old trees. However, tree valuation methods such as CTLA, CAVAT and Helliwell do not take full account of ancient and veteran trees. Whilst the Natural England White Paper (NEWP) advocates bio-diversity offsetting, this is concerned with development and much of the bio-diversity which may be lost is irreplaceable.

The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 states that every public authority must, in exercising its functions, have regard to the purpose of conserving bio-diversity. ‘This is a very important piece of legislation’, Caroline observed.

Current legislation allows a TPO to be given to any tree anywhere, including woodland. Local authorities have a duty, where appropriate, when granting planning permission, to use conditions to protect or plant trees, and make TPOs. Caroline concluded her presentation by reminding us of the words of Professor Oliver Rackham. ‘Ten thousand oaks of 100 years old are not a substitute for one 500 years old’.

Ted Green MBE concluded the day with a presentation titled ‘Ancient trees and the arborist-a layman’s view. Ted is not an arborist, but he has taken on a new life since meeting arborists. Describing the Ancient Tree Forum as a ‘classless debating society’, he encouraged arborists to report to it on the ancient trees they come across in their work-little is heard from professionals. Ted focused on the historical and cultural associations.

He is well-known as someone who challenges current opinion. He posed numerous questions, acknowledging he did not have many answers but generating much discussion during the afternoon session. He observed that Windsor has the same level of rainfall as Essex, but also very large birches. Why? Why will modern trees not attain the dimensions of ancient trees? With these questions unanswered, the day concluded.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

Mark Chester is a practising consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, chairman of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician’s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture.

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Tree News

Women and Work 2011 - 2012

By LANTRA, 31 August 2011

The purpose of the project is to promote career progression and new career pathways to 500 women in businesses within certain land-based and environmental sectors, throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where they are under-represented in leadership, supervisory, management, technical, specialist and professionally skilled positions. The project will target employed women or volunteers supported by an employer, working full time or part time, who wish to work or progress in non-traditional occupational areas.

Funding for Training

The purpose of the project is to promote career progression and new career pathways to 500 women in businesses within certain land-based and environmental sectors, throughout England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where they are under-represented in leadership, supervisory, management, technical, specialist and professionally skilled positions. The project will target employed women or volunteers supported by an employer, working full time or part time, who wish to work or progress in non-traditional occupational areas.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this funded training women should be employed in a full-time or part time position or volunteering within one of the following industries:

  • Agricultural crops
  • Fisheries management
  • Agricultural livestock
  • Game and wildlife
  • Aquaculture
  • Horticulture, landscaping and sports turf
  • Environmental conservation
  • Land-based engineering
  • Farriery
  • Production horticulture
  • Fencing
  • Trees and timber

Project Objectives and Participant Outcomes

  • To increase female participation in training by developing a personalised training plan
  • To increase the number of women progressing in non-traditional occupation areas – impacting positively on the gender imbalance within the sector
  • To develop an employer mentoring scheme to underpin and embed the knowledge gained during the training project
  • To ensure that women on the project have career progression to a manager, supervisor, higher technical role; achieve a new qualification or gain increased responsibility/ability within the same job role or benefit from an increase in salary.

Employer Involvement and Commitment

It is important that the employer is involved and committed to ensure the new skills identified make a difference to both the participant and the business and that these new skills are embedded within the organisation so they can be measured and seen to have made a difference. Employers need to:

  • Have an understanding of the importance of training and development in the workplace
  • Show a strong drive to support and motivate staff in career progression and development
  • Work in co-operation with a Lantra Skills Adviser to achieve the employee’s skills targets
  • Have the ability to implement on-the-job training and support employees through a mentoring programme to enable the practical implementation of new skills. All meetings, activities and actions need be recorded in a mentoring diary detailing the level of support provided
  • Give commitment to ensure participants complete the training programme by agreed deadlines and provide evidence to support claims made.

Training is eligible from a start date of 1st June 2011. All training must be completed by Friday 10th February 2012 with completed paperwork sent to an allocated Skills Adviser by 2nd March 2012.

Each employer will receive a net cash grant towards approved training costs when there has been a minimum training spend met. This grant is outside the scope of VAT.


Participant Training Programme Minimum Employer Training Spend Employer Cash Contribution NET Grant Payment Reimbursed Employer Mentoring Hours** Participant Training Hours**
Returners* £600 £300 £300 7 hours 14 hours
Leadership and Management £600 £200 £400 6 hours 21 hours
Technical £650 £250 £400 9 hours 14 hours

*Women who will have been on the women and work programme over the past 4 years

  • Denotes total hours that the participant needs to complete


    Programme Activities


    Registration onto the Women and Work project – employers and participants will be required to return a signed agreement before participating in the project clearly acknowledging their responsibilities and understanding of the training evidence and mentoring requirements. Participants will need to demonstrate that they have acquired the skills and confidence to achieve their long term objective.


    Lantra Skills Advisers – will provide on-going advice throughout the project and encourage networking. They will support employers to deliver face to face skills assessments to identify current skills levels and career aspirations. Support to complete the Stage 1 and 2 training plans will be given to ensure there is clear and fully evidenced progression. Each participant will need to achieve at least one of the project outcomes of either career progression to a manager, supervisor or higher technical role; the achievement of a new qualification or an increase in responsibility / ability within the same job role or to benefit from an increase in salary.


    Participant Training Plans – training providers will be contacted by employers to deliver external training. Where internal training is delivered the costs must be firstly approved by a Skills Adviser. Participants have the opportunity to undertake both formal and informal training.


    Employer Mentor Programme – supporting employees with a mentor leads to a more motivated workforce, increases the progression potential for female staff and helps with staff retention. These factors all contribute to higher productivity and a more profitable and sustainable business.


    Evaluation – both employers and participants are encouraged to take part in an evaluation of the outcomes achieved within 3 — 6 months of the end of the project (31/3/2012) to enable Lantra to demonstrate the impact and success of this project.


    Interested?


    For enquiries in:
    Wales call 01982 552646
    Scotland call 01738 553311
    Northern Ireland call 02879 631304
    Email: connect@lantra.co.uk
    Visit the website…
    Download pdf leaflet…

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Plant Health

Premature Leaf Drop in Robinia Pseudoacacaia L. Trees

By Dr. Glynn Percival, 01 September 2011

Premature Leaf Drop in Robinia Pseudoacacaia L. Trees

Black locust (False Acacia) (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is native to North America and was introduced to Europe in the early 17th century as an ornamental tree and has now became an important tree in UK and Ireland urban landscapes. The acacia is planted extensively for its aesthetics, nitrogen fixing abilities, as a source of nectar for honeybees, and excellent wood for firewood. It is also used for erosion control and mine soil reclamation.

Over the past few years there have been many reports of acacia trees failing to come fully into leaf in spring but, there are shoots arising from the trunk and boughs. In addition leaves that are produced tend to lose their leaflets while the leaf rib remains on the tree. Trees commonly fail to recover fully and can ultimately die.

Introduction

Black locust (False Acacia) (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) is native to North America and was introduced to Europe in the early 17th century as an ornamental tree and has now became an important tree in UK and Ireland urban landscapes. The acacia is planted extensively for its aesthetics, nitrogen fixing abilities, as a source of nectar for honeybees, and excellent wood for firewood. It is also used for erosion control and mine soil reclamation.

Over the past few years there have been many reports of acacia trees failing to come fully into leaf in spring but, there are shoots arising from the trunk and boughs. In addition leaves that are produced tend to lose their leaflets while the leaf rib remains on the tree. Trees commonly fail to recover fully and can ultimately die.

At present it is unclear what causes these problems. Likely causative agents are outlined below:

Climatic Change

Robinia with premature leaf drop
Over the past few years the UK has experienced milder wetter summers and winters. As tree biology (leaf drop, flower set, dormancy) is controlled by environmental triggers such as temperature and daylength these triggers are not as prounced as in previous years. For example flower set in many plant species is induced by a period of cold/freezing temperatures; a process called vernilisation. A similar situation is required for seed germination i.e. a period of prolonged cold/freezing. This is termed stratification. Alternately fruit set in other species is induced by a prolonged period of higher temperatures etc. Over the past few years the UK has not had the hot dry summers and cold/freezing winter temperatures previously experienced. This lack of environmental triggers may account in part for the premature leaf drop observed in acacia. Another factor to take into account is that with the warmer milder winters then trees are not now experiencing full dormancy. This in turn results in greater energy expenditure during the winter months which in turn “burns” up the carbohydrates normally stored over the winter and used for other plant processes such as bud-break, leaf flush etc.

Leaf Diseases

Robinia leaf spot is caused by the fungus, Phloeospora robiniae. This leaf spot disease has been increasingly in severity on acacia, especially Robinia pseudoacacia ‘Frisia’, over the last two years. As spores are spread by water splash then the severity of this disease is higher in seasons with wet springs. Robinia leaf spot can defoliate and weaken trees. Likewise the leaf drop symptoms observed are consistent with a wilt fungus blocking the water-carrying vessels in the trunk although no evidence of this potential pathogen have been found so far. To improve tree health remove fallen leaves during autumn to reduce fungal spores which will re-infect next years leaf growth. Improve tree vitality by use of an appropriate fertilizer and mulch and water as needed. If defoliation occurs at objectionable levels, apply an appropriate fungicide applied three times at 14-day intervals over the growing season. Alternately a microcapsule trunk injection will provide a useful degree of control. During winter clean and/or light thin the crown to improve circulation of air through the crown.

Insect Pests

The acacia leaf miner is a major pest of acacia trees in many parts of the world. The acacia leaf miner derives its name from the fact that the larvae feed between the surfaces of acacia leaves to produce tunnels within the leaf that can be clearly seen when the leaf is held up to the light. The damage to the foliage greatly reduces the aesthetic value of the tree while severe and repeated infestations will weaken them and render them more susceptible to invasion by secondary organisms such as the borers. However, in general leaf miner outbreaks are, unlike other parts of the world, rare in the UK.

Dr Glynn Percival is the plant physiologist and technical support specialist for the R.A Bartlett Tree Expert Company Ltd and manages their research and diagnostic laboratory based at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and Arboricultural Association.

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Case Studies

Otley Arboretum Case Study

By Mark Chester, 14 September 2011

Otley Arboretum Case Study

Otley College is a further education college in rural Suffolk. In the early 1980s, a small area of the campus, called The Fiske, covering about one hectare, was identified for a small educational arboretum. However, although originally designed by Frank Knight VMH, things have not progressed as originally anticipated, providing a case study on what do to, and what to avoid.

Otley College is a further education college in rural Suffolk. In the early 1980s, a small area of the campus, called The Fiske, covering about one hectare, was identified for a small educational arboretum. However, although originally designed by Frank Knight VMH, things have not progressed as originally anticipated, providing a case study on what do to, and what to avoid.

The Problems

Many of the trees were planted in groups of the same species, with Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) particularly well represented. The trees were planted using a post hole borer to make holes, the trees then being dropped in to the holes and back filled. However, the college is located on Suffolk clay lands, the soil characteristics resulting in the root systems of each tree being contained within a planting hole with smeared edges, similar to being planted in a clay pot. This made root growth difficult and the trees were very slow to establish.

On the west side of The Fiske, a row of hybrid black poplars were planted as a shelter belt with the aim of assisting the arboretum to become established. However, as photo 1 shows, these trees are now shading the specimens which have become one sided. Soil conditions remain challenging, being a lime rich clay hindered by the site not having been properly prepared before planting. The site was an arable field with a plough pan which remains, resulting in very poor drainage with prolonged wetting of the soil in the wintered. This is accentuated by water draining in to the site from a neighbouring arable field.

The trees were planted without ensuring suitability to site conditions, requirement for space with maturing and management requirements. This has resulted in a variable collection. Some are over crowded, poorly formed and in poor health. Grass cutting on clay soil and students exploring the area has caused compaction.

The Solutions

The first task was to correctly identify and plot each tree within the arboretum, creating a plan. Tree labels were then printed and attached to all of the trees providing a valuable educational resource. The phased removal of the hybrid black poplar has begun. This is happening over an extended period to that the tree can be used as a training resource and minimise wind damage to the specimen trees.

The overcrowded nature of the ‘collection’ is being managed is the only realistic matter, by the removal of individual trees. This is not ‘de-accessioning’, as there is no accession plan! There is a problem with this approach as the majority of the trees have been donated, as shown in the photo. This challenge has been resolved using an interpretation board which thanks individuals for their donations. The board will be located at the entrance to The Fiske.

To deal with the compaction problem, we are taking a lead from the work Tony Kirkham is pioneering at Kew Gardens with some of the mature trees, although on a smaller scale. Having reviewed research by Bartletts, the Terravent and other compressed gas injection machines were discounted. Instead, an Air-Spade was used to radially decompact and mulch the trees to incorporate organic matter. Initial results suggest this improves the soil structure and drainage, but this is a long term project. The machine also removes the grass around the root plate of the trees, avoiding the need to use the heavy mower. This is seen as an added bonus. The plan is to dig a land drain to the west of The Fiske to improve drainage during winter months.

The final stage, which is still pending, is the selection of new species for planting. They will need to be suitable to the site. It is therefore unlikely that species of Pinus and Larix will be used. They must also be equipped to respond to the anticipated changes in the climate. The challenge will be to do this and draw the collection together to create a unifying theme. The work is continuing on site, and an update on planting selection and progress with drainage will follow soon.

This article was supplied by the college and editted for inclusion in the magazine.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

Mark Chester is a practising consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, chairman of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician’s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture.

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Training

The Lantra Professional Tree Inspection course: a review

By Mark Chester, 22 September 2011

The Lantra Professional Tree Inspection course: a review

This three day course has become a much respected and sought after element of training and development for many professional arborists, whether actively involved in report writing or focusing on the large scale surveying of trees.

This three day course has become a much respected and sought after element of training and development for many professional arborists, whether actively involved in report writing or focusing on the large scale surveying of trees.

The course was recognised by CAS as an Area of Professional Competency in 2010, and in September, it was run for the first time at Moulton College in Northamptonshire, led by trainer Chris Simpson of Informed Tree Services Ltd.

The course began with an in-depth (and important) overview of why it exists and the biology and physics behind tree inspections. Due to the volume of material being covered, day one was spent in the classroom. However, by day two, we began to explore our trees and undertake some ‘mock’ inspections. The importance of making recommendations and providing timescales was emphasised, and there were interesting discussions about our observations, and what actually mattered when inspecting.

Back in the classroom, we were able to devour the various tree health texts and test ourselves on fungal and disease idents. There was much relief when Chris informed (and reassured) us that the ident part of the assessment is an open-book exercise. Apparently, even established consultants with decades of experience prefer to work this way, with is reassuring for those of us on the journey!

By Wednesday afternoon (day three), although mentally drained, we were as ready as we’d be for the formal assessment. At this point, Chris ‘created’ some scenarios for us (we had to inspect two trees). A strategically placed (hidden?) piece of Ganoderma or Ustulina can fundamentally change the recommendation. Or not. At the end of the exercise, we discussed among ourselves what we’d found. And who had forgotten to provide a recommendation and timescale for both trees.

In the end, not everyone passed. Commiserations to those who narrowly missed. However, I consider this is a strength of the course: 30% don’t pass first time! Courses where one sits in a classroom and receive a certificate with no assessment are, for me, less valuable than when I’m required to demonstrate my knowledge.

Different trainers have their own approach to teaching. What I value about Chris is that he is down to earth, approachable and makes sure that everyone is included. There was a range of skills among the delegates, but no one was left feeling inadequate. This is an appreciated approach, and I, for one, left feeling more confident than when I arrived. And yes, I did pass.

We are planning to run the course again at Moulton College, possibly during the half term at the end of October. If you are interested, contact the chairman. Cost is £350 per candidate for CAS members, £400 for non-members.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

Mark Chester is a practising consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, chairman of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician’s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture.

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This article is brought to you by the Consulting Arborist Society.

Report Writing

BS5837- 12 Steps to Accreditation

By , 22 September 2011

BS5837- 12 Steps to Accreditation

Planning reports are known as the bread and butter for the modern consultant. But what does it take to produce a good one? Jon Heuch will be looking at this in forthcoming articles, but to get you started and ready for your accreditation, he has produced these twelve criteria that need to be met.

Planning reports are known as the bread and butter for the modern consultant. But what does it take to produce a good one? Jon Heuch will be looking at this in forthcoming articles, but to get you started and ready for your accreditation, he has produced these twelve criteria that need to be met.

  1. This is a professional report, but it is not expected to be ‘expert’, as required for a planning inquiry
  2. It needs to have been used to support a planning application and accepted by ,the Local Planning Authority considering the application; ideally it should have beenpublished on that authority’s website, but where the report has been prepared after the application was registered this may not always be the case. It is expected that the site would have gained planning permission with the assistance of the submitted tree report, but this may not always be possible.
  3. The site needs to contain trees of high and/or moderate value that are planned to be retained, and these trees may be impacted by the proposed development, unless care is taken. If the trees on the site are all C and/or R classes, the report is unlikely to need full use of BS5837 approaches
  4. It needs to include an Arboricultural Impact Assessment.
  5. It is desirable for the submitted report to contain a Method Statement specific to the site.
  6. If updates have been required to the original report, the submitted report should clearly state this with appropriate dates of revision(s).
  7. Whilst a template format may be used, the main part of the report needs to focus on the specific site situation, so that it is relevant.
  8. The report should be written for the planning officials and lay readers, such as councillors. The text needs to reflect the reader’s anticipated level of technical knowledge.
  9. Where problems are identified, the author should attempt to provide solutions, ways forward and/or options.
  10. It is recognised that a range of sites may need to be included in the submission in order to provide the various scenarios of a detailed report.
  11. The report submitted for accreditation should be presented in the form the consultant expects to submit it to his/her client and how it would be received by the planning authority.. For the purposes of the accreditation it is necessary to show that the consultant can provide a report both in hard copy and electronically. The report, both hard and e copy, should be self explanatory so that the recipient should not have to seek explanation of how pages or files relate to each other. If the e copy is not in one electronic file clear references should be provided on how the files should be treated so that the report can be assembled correctly.
  12. If minor amendments are required to produce an acceptable report, a resubmission may be possible without an additional fee, at the discretion of the reviewer.
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Tree News

Jubilee Woods Project

By Steve Marsh, 28 September 2011

Jubilee Woods Project

For Queen and countryside – help plant the jewels in the crown

Earlier this year the Woodland Trust launched its Jubilee Woods project, an initiative to encourage woodland creation and to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The project will involve millions of people coming together to plant 6 million trees and create native woods throughout the UK. It will transform parts of our landscape into well-established woodland, bringing with it benefits not only for our urban areas, countryside and wildlife, but helping to create a woodland legacy for future generations to enjoy.

For Queen and countryside – help plant the jewels in the crown

Earlier this year the Woodland Trust launched its Jubilee Woods project, an initiative to encourage woodland creation and to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The project will involve millions of people coming together to plant 6 million trees and create native woods throughout the UK. It will transform parts of our landscape into well-established woodland, bringing with it benefits not only for our urban areas, countryside and wildlife, but helping to create a woodland legacy for future generations to enjoy.

Parts of the Trust’s ambitious plans include the creation of 60 Diamond Woods, each of 60 acres, across the UK. It is offering landowners of all types a chance to be at the heart of the Queen’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations by planting one of these exclusive Diamond Woods on their land. It is one of the most prestigious programmes ever undertaken by the Trust.

As the first step the charity is looking for landowners with potential planting sites to take the limited opportunity to create one of the vanguard Diamond Woods.

Each successful Diamond Woods applicant receives a tailored design service for their wood, advice on species selection, access issues, contractors, grants, bulk buying, onsite branding, and a strong media profile, as well as aftercare visits.

The final 60 Diamond Woods owners will also be invited to an end of project celebration and will feature in a commemorative booklet, which the Woodland Trust will then present to the Queen. Smaller Jubilee Woods can also be created on sites in excess of three acres.

Additionally, hundreds of smaller Jubilee Woods, each of up to 20 acres will be created, along with thousands of community, school and individual plantings across the country. Planting will take place from autumn 2011 until the close of 2012. Free tree packs are available for communities to order now.

Georgina Mcleod, Head of Jubilee Woods said: “Young woods not only create valuable habitats for wildlife but also improve communities as well as inspiring and educating adults and children about woodland and the environment. Trees and woods play a vital role in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, reduce stress and anxiety, and help to reduce pollution. “

Trust achievements, past experience in woodland creation

This is highly ambitious, though woodland creation is not new to the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. In recent years, the rate of native tree planting has fallen in the UK, but the Trust has continued planting and to date has planted over 13 million trees throughout the UK and 700,000 trees this year alone, strongly reinforcing its commitment to woodland creation.

Georgina Mcleod continued: “We have already achieved some remarkable results that have transformed bare and uninviting land into thriving woodland, adding character and vitality to local landscapes. But we need people’s help to achieve the aim of planting six million trees and I urge anyone who is interest to get in touch with us.”

For more information visit www.jubilee.org.uk or call 0845 293 5689.

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Barcham Series

The Barcham Series: Valuing Trees Within the Landscape

By A presentation by Les Round, reviewed by Colin Hambridge, 28 September 2011

The Barcham Series: Valuing Trees Within the Landscape

The Barcham Series of technical seminars continued in June with a presentation by Les Round on involving trees within landscape appraisals. Colin Hambridge was there for the Consulting Arborist Magazine.

The Barcham Series of technical seminars continued in June with a presentation by Les Round on involving trees within landscape appraisals. Colin Hambridge was there for the Consulting Arborist Magazine.

Les Round is an experienced consultant specialising in planning. He is well-known to many Tree Officers who have attended various training events led by him. In the 1980s, when working as the Tree Officer in a Local Authority Planning Department, he began to appreciate that the various tree value systems being used did not fit what he actually saw ‘in the field’. Tree protection within the planning system focused on individual trees, especially those considered to be of high amenity value rather than the importance of tree cover within the wider landscape. So he began to work on the development of Landscape Character Appraisal (LCA), using it in policy and as landscape evidence in the planning process, particularly in development plans, appeals and public inquiry.

There are several ways to define a landscape; it should not be defined solely by size, but with reference to an interacting mosaic of patches relevant to the phenomenon under discussion. Landscape needs to be defined in an appropriate manner and LCA is a tool to help identify what makes a particular landscape unique. It also provides a framework for decision making which respects local distinctiveness. Like all descriptive models, LCA has its own vocabulary.

‘Character’ is a distinct, recognisable and consistent pattern of elements in the landscape which makes one landscape different from another, rather than better or worse. Its ‘characteristics’ are elements, or combinations of elements, which make a particular contribution to a distinctive character. ‘Elements’ are individual components which make up the landscape, such as trees and hedges, while ‘features’ are those particularly prominent or eye-catching elements, like tree clumps, church towers, or wooded skylines. While these terms may cause some initial interpretation problems it is essential the same vocabulary is used for tree characterisation to ensure the characterisation is consistent with the LCA approach. Initially LCA was only used to characterise landscapes outside settlement boundaries, but in the last decade attention has been moving towards a similar approach for urban areas such as Bath and St Helens.

Since the late 1980s the LCA approach has become a defendable methodology for defining landscape character in the planning system in the UK, and the same basic approach has been used to develop methodologies to characterise specific landscape elements, such as environmental quality and historic character. It can therefore be used for chacterising treescapes.

What benefits does LCA’s bring to the planning process? It provides a method for establishing baseline data so that the landscape character of a particular area can be described using a national, accepted process. It acts as a basis for decision making on the impact of proposed changes. It can also inform landscape management plans, inform policy and strategy for protection, restoration and conservation of landscape character, and provide guidance on the design of new landscapes.

What of the current methods of tree evaluation. Les asked: do tree evaluation systems reference landscape character? How do they make decisions on landscape value? Are the landscape context elements of the system ‘documented? Is the decision transparent and consistent? Essentially all the current tree valuation methods are professional opinion systems and have been devised for particular purposes. They all however include a section in which the user is asked to make an assessment of a tree’s landscape value. Yet none of these ‘systems’ references the basis of this landscape assessment. Whilst the assessment of the tree’s condition will be based on known factors such as leaf cover, colour and size, or the size of the canopy (probably involving a professional appraisal), the landscape assessment is based on what the users can see from the location where they are standing, not where the tree is within the overall landscape of the area. Or- while the tree’s condition can be given by reference to a number of well documented factors which can be found in many text books, its’ value in the landscape is based on the bias of the user.

The second session of the day focused on both professional and public perception and bias of landscape importance. Perception refers to interpretation of what we take in through our senses and is personal. A judgement is different to a preference.

LCA is not a value system, although opinion is involved. It is a method for establishing the baseline information which can then be used in a professional opinion system, such as a Landscape Visual Impact Assessment (LVIA), CTLA, CAVAT, BS5837 or any of the other systems, to make a judgement or opinion more accurate, consistent and transparent.

Within the planning framework, an LVIA is a method for quantifying development impacts on a particular landscape. It is a qualitative and documented system, recognised by the relevant NGOs and is used in major infrastructure development requiring Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs).

Les Round identified a benefit of a tree characterisation study of a settlement being the establishment of basic components of the tree landscape of that settlement. Planning policy can then be influenced by evidence-based data on important landscape tree cover, particularly green infrastructure and landscape conservation, restoration and enhancement. It can provide a robust, documented system where the inclusion of trees within a TPO can be transparently defended when the order is made and in appeals. It also helps having a documented record showing how trees function in the landscape and to improve efficiency of the making of TPOs.

Operational benefits include the ability for proposed landscape designs and plans to be judged against the tree character of the area, and to allow consistent judgements to be made on species, distribution and form of landscapes that are being proposed. Surveys and surveyors can be focused at specific properties and trees, allowing the detailed survey to be more accurately planned and budgeted. Tree work applications can also be judged against identified landscape values of trees in the context of the wider landscape.

Les considers, however, that it is tree characterisation’s wider land use policy linkages with green infrastructure, iTree studies, climate change, heritage and socio-economics, that make it an essential first step in the development of any adopted tree strategy.

The third session of the day looked at three case studies of settlement areas and how their character could be identified. Les discussed and highlighted how more recent developments within these settlement areas had failed to take the existing character of the tree cover into account, particularly on the settlement boundaries and within areas of new public open space. These had negative impacts on the visual and environmental elements of the landscape.

Les encouraged those wishing to discuss the issues further telephone him on 07521879469.

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Plant Health

Plant Biotechnology: Literature Review

By Keith Sacre, 05 October 2011

Plant Biotechnology: Literature Review

For successful breeding several criteria need to first be satisfied. These criteria include the following, selection of the correct breeding programme, knowledge of the plants, their taxonomy and reproduction, the selection of the required characteristics, a removal of the elements of chance and knowledge of the plants DNA. With Elms the above criteria produce a complex matrix of possibilities.

Abstract
The ravages of Dutch Elm Disease have been well recorded. The tendency to plant Elms in monocultures in city streets made the species particularly vulnerable. By the mid 1960’s some 55 million Elm Trees had been lost to the disease in North America and Great Britain and other than in some isolated pockets the tree has virtually disappeared as a feature in the urban landscape. Elm disease is a problem which encompasses many different facets with the host, the pathogen and the vector to be considered in a matrix of interrelated scenarios subjected to both biotic and abiotic influences. Since the early 1930’s classical breeding programmes have researched combinations of available Elm germplasm. The fact that Frank Schmidt Nurseries in Oregon, USA listed in their 2008 catalogue some fifteen species and cultivars with a degree of resistance to Dutch Elm disease is an indication of some success in those breeding programmes. What follows is a literature review looking at the complexities of Elm breeding programmes and developments in genetic manipulation.

Introduction
For successful breeding several criteria need to first be satisfied. These criteria include the following, selection of the correct breeding programme, knowledge of the plants, their taxonomy and reproduction, the selection of the required characteristics, a removal of the elements of chance and knowledge of the plants DNA. With Elms the above criteria produce a complex matrix of possibilities.

Read the full review here…

Keith Sacre is the Sales Director for Barcham Trees. A chartered arboriculturalist, he chairs the panel writing the new British Standard 8545 for establishing trees within the landscape.

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Tree News

Chairman's Corner

By Mark Chester, 12 October 2011

Chairman's Corner

With the new-look CAS magazine having been launched and the second edition now ready, it’s time for a quick review. The magazine is being sent out to 800 addresses, and by the end of the first month, there have been 2200 page viewings. I think the readers like it!

With the new-look CAS magazine having been launched and the second edition now ready, it’s time for a quick review. The magazine is being sent out to 800 addresses, and by the end of the first month, there have been 2200 page viewings. I think the readers like it!

I write this as the weather takes an unseasonal detour and we bask in temperatures nearer to 30 than 20 Celcius, in October! It is strange sitting in the garden in shirt-sleaves as the leaves turn yellow! I wonder how nature is coping with this, especially as the local ploughing contests proceed within clouds of dust due to exceptionally dry soil.

There are challenges when managing both tree resources and a small business. We look at some solutions in this edition, with a feature on the arboretum at Otley College and the challenges caused by Oak Processionary Moth. A new series on how to improve running your business begins by looking at effective time management.

David Dowson at Treelife updates on recent changes to some of the most popular vocational courses within arboriculture, hopefully for the better. And we put Russell Ball, president of the ISA (UK&I Chapter) in the spotlight. Keith Sacre, sales director at Barcham Trees, will be keeping us up to date on tree production issues. He starts by reviewing literature on the Elm, and how efforts to produce resistance to Dutch Elm Disease are progressing.

We value your comments on each article, so we can ensure we are featuring issues relevant to you.

With best wishes,

Mark

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Plant Health

Not Just Any Type of Moth?

By Glynn Percival, 12 October 2011

Not Just Any Type of Moth?

Oak Processionary Moth was first recorded in 2006 in West London. Since then this pest has spread at an average rate of 0.7 km a year. Consequently, OPM is now present in Richmond Upon Thames, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow and Brent. Of concern is the fact that outbreaks have also been recorded in Pangborne near Reading and Hampton Court in Surrey.

Oak Processionary Moth was first recorded in 2006 in West London. Since then this pest has spread at an average rate of 0.7 km a year. Consequently, OPM is now present in Richmond Upon Thames, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hounslow and Brent. Of concern is the fact that outbreaks have also been recorded in Pangborne near Reading and Hampton Court in Surrey. 


In 2011 the Forestry Commission switched from an eradication to a containment policy following scientific advice that eradication was no longer feasible. Needless to say this had led to concern especially from London Tree Officers that tree owners will no longer address OPM infestations allowing populations to grow to levels whereby the effects of the toxin contained on the larval hair of the OPM caterpillars could cause human and animal health issues.


For these reasons Bartlett Tree Experts have been at the forefront of treating and developing control strategies for OPM infestations.


OPM Management Strategies


Surveying for the presence of OPM is a important criteria. OPM symptoms include skeletonised leaves as a result of feeding damage, clusters of larvae on the shoots, underside of scaffold branches and on stems as well as nest formation that can be found at ground level to the extremities of the tree crown. Full PPE during nest removal is essential as exposure to the OPM toxin is sensitising i.e. the more exposure the worse the effect. Nests need to be removed before the moth pupates and flies from July to early September. Control through nest removal alone is not, however, an effective management option.


To date only insecticide sprays offer a feasible option for OPM control. Soap provides and organic option, however, its use in OPM management strategies is limited as control rates only range from 60-80% and re-treatment would be needed following rain.


Horticultural oil works by suffocation rather than direct effects on the insect. However, control rates with oil alone would also be too low. Although more rainfast than soap, re-spraying would need to occur at monthly intervals, a situation that is economically unfeasible when spraying mature trees.



Diflubenzuron is an insect growth regulator whose mode of action is by preventing the formation of chitin, a compound necessary for the formation of an insect’s outer shell. Importantly diflubenzuron is effective against insect larva of the Diptera, Lepidoptera and Coleoptera only and therefore non-toxic to honey bees, lady birds, beetles, spiders and any type of sucking insects. The disadvantage of diflubenzon is it is not as fast acting as OPM take 7-10 days to die following spraying.


Bacillius thuringiensis var kurstaki (BT) is a highly selective stomach acting biological insecticide which acts on OPM larvae after ingestion. BT treatments require two or more applications at weekly intervals and are only effective on early instar caterpillars. While BT has the same target host range as diflubenzuron, BT is not an effective eradication control product. Treatment with BT maybe feasible however when trees are in close proximity to water, as BT is not toxic to aquatic organisms.


Deltamethrin is broad based synthetic pyrethroid insecticide which provides rapid and effective control of OPM i.e. 100% mortality within two hours of spraying. Based on three years of spray treatment of mature oaks within Kew Gardens deltamethrin is the only insecticide that provided total control. The main disadvantage of deltamethrin is that collateral damage i.e. death of non-target insects will be high.


OPM Research


Unfortunately research into OPM control is heavily constrained through quarantine issues. However, research investigating the control of caterpillars at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory includes.


1.      Micro-capsule trunk injection; Microcapsule are re-fillable plastic capsules to which small doses of insecticides are applied. Application is by injection into the tree root flare. Microcapsule trunk injection offers a number of advantages to include ease of use and reduced environmental contamination as insecticides are injected directly into the vascular system of a tree. In addition microcapsules can be applied irrespective of weather conditions such as high winds or rain. Research elsewhere has shown microcapsule trunk injections of insecticides provide excellent control against a diversity of tree pests such as leaf beetles, lace bugs, aphids, scales, adelgids, psyllids and leaf miners.


Pentra-bark spraying


2.      Pentra-bark is a wetting agent (polyalkylene modified heptamethyltrisiloxane) sold as a bark penetrating surfactant. According to manufacturers Pentra-bark can be combined with conventional insecticides and applied as a bark spray to act as a form of slow release treatment over a growing season. As conventional insect control systems rely on more than one spray per year, a single Pentra-bark treatment potentially represents a substantial economic saving on labour and spray application costs.


It is anticipated trials data will be available over the next two years. Results of which will be directly applicable to OPM control.


Conclusion


For OPM containment policies to be successful, effective and timely control through insecticide sprays are essential. Nest removal and ineffective spraying techniques will not provide the degree of control that is required. Although an emotive issue use of insecticide products presently offers the only feasible option for OPM control. 

Dr Glynn Percival is the plant physiologist and technical support specialist for the R.A Bartlett Tree Expert Company Ltd and manages their research and diagnostic laboratory based at the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. He is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and Arboricultural Association.

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Business Advice, Training

Top 5 Tips for Effective Working

By Martin Firman, 12 October 2011

Top 5 Tips for Effective Working

When you work for yourself, you become responsible for making sure tasks are completed.  As the workload increases, it is easy to become stretched and find yourself working longer hours to keep up.  This does not mean that you are working effectively, and there is the risk that time is spent inefficiently on tasks you’re not so good at.  There may be delays in sending invoices, chasing late payments and completing the VAT returns.  E-mails can begin to overwhelm.  And you become drawn away from the tasks you know need your attention.

When you work for someone, they are (supposedly) responsible for managing your workload and for allocating duties according to skills.  It is likely that a team will exist to do the various tasks, especially when the organisation is larger.


However, when you work for yourself, you become responsible for making sure these tasks are completed.  As the workload increases, it is easy to become stretched and find yourself working longer hours to keep up.  This does not mean that you are working effectively, and there is the risk that time is spent inefficiently on tasks you’re not so good at.  There may be delays in sending invoices, chasing late payments and completing the VAT returns.  E-mails can begin to overwhelm.  And you become drawn away from the tasks you know need your attention.


  1. Make a list of the various tasks required to run the business, and their frequency and duration.
  2. Identify which tasks you enjoy doing, and, importantly, those you are good at.  Focus on these.  You may need to limit time spent on non-productive work such as dealing with routine e-mails.
  3. Identify the tasks you do not enjoy doing, and especially those you struggle with.  Be honest.  Review what is involved, why you struggle and any problems experienced with the process. 
  4. For the tasks you don’t enjoy, consider how they are managed.  If there is a tendency for them to build up, spread them out so they don’t begin to loom large like a dark cloud.
  5. Consider delegating tasks that you are not good at (even if you enjoy doing some of them).  Whilst it can seem frustrating paying someone to do work you could do, it can be a far more effective way to manage your workload.  If someone else can do the work in less time, it may cost less and give you time for what you are good at.  If specialist skills are needed, be prepared to outsource.


For example, if your skill is report writing but you find it hard asking for money, employing a freelance office manager for half a day per week to send out invoices and call clients may be effective for your business.  It is often easier for a third party to deal with these issues.  If computer issues are a challenge, working with an IT specialist can make life much less stressful.  And they might even help to set up report templates for you.


This article is based on a seminar run by Martin Firman of Can Have.

Martin Firman has 40 years’ experience in the public and private sectors. For 16 years Martin operated a highly successful cost management consultancy. He has supported and mentored many businesses, is an enthusiastic and effective business networker and a respected public speaker. In 2008 Martin established CanHave Limited and in 2009 was a nominated finalist in the Entrepreneur category of the Pride of Herefordshire Awards.

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Tree News, Training

How to become a CAS Consulting Arborist

By Mark Chester, 12 October 2011

How to become a CAS Consulting Arborist

As more people hear about the Consulting Arborist Society, the question is increasingly being asked, ‘how do I become a member?’


CAS promotes professional members on the basis that each member has been accredited for the skill(s) being offered.  The accreditation is by examination or peer review, so that the trainer for the skill is satisfied that the individual is competent to offer that service.

As more people hear about the Consulting Arborist Society, the question is increasingly being asked, ‘how do I become a member?’


CAS promotes professional members on the basis that each member has been accredited for the skill(s) being offered.  The accreditation is by examination or peer review, so that the trainer for the skill is satisfied that the individual is competent to offer that service.


At present, CAS recognises eight Areas of Professional Competency.  They are listed below with the assessment method.  Some are run by CAS, with others, there is external training and accreditation.  And if you already have the qualification, it is transferable.  We encourage members to have a recognised arboricultural qualification to level four or above.  Don’t worry if you’re not there yet; this isn’t a bar to becoming a member, but we hope you’ll complete the relevant studies within five years of joining.  And, of course, you will need to have professional indemnity insurance of at least £500,000, and preferably £1 million.


Tree Inspection: successful completion of the Lantra Professional Tree Inspection course


Trees and Planning: successful completion of peer review of a submitted report to BS 5837: 2005.


Tree Preservation Orders: successful completion of the one-day seminar ‘Tree Preservation Orders: Effective Application’.  The accreditation process includes being able to successfully submit an on-line application for consent to work on trees.  This course is normally run during the Capel Manor ‘Celebration of Trees’ held in April. 


Tree Reports for Mortgages and Insurance: this two day course looks at the issues a consultant needs consider when assessing trees for mortgage and insurance reports, including soil, roots etc.


Expert Witness: There are several accreditation schemes for expert witnesses.  CAS has recently run the Bond Solon course for members, which leads, on successful completion, to the Cardiff University Expert Witness certificate. 


Tree Valuation: This two day course appraises the different methods for valuing trees.  With successful completion, the member can critique each method and, through practical exercises, demonstrate an understanding of their application. More details coming soon…


QTRA: Quantified Tree Risk Assessment is a tree safety evaluation method run by Mike Ellison.  Licensed users are able to promote this service via CAS.


CAD: Computer-Aided-Design.  This is a useful tool helping the consultant to present plans and data professionally. 


Membership costs from just £10 per month if paid by standing order, which includes a listing on the CAS website.  This helps you to avoid the large renewal fee in January, and is ideal for consultants who are just starting a freelance career. Click here for the application form…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Industry Profile - Russell Ball, ISA UK/I President

By Article adapted from ISA’s “Arborist News”, 12 October 2011

Industry Profile - Russell Ball, ISA UK/I President

Russell Ball, the current president of the ISA-UK/I Chapter. After working for four years in Madrid and as the Tree Protection Officer for the London Borough of Harrow, he is now a self-employed consulting arborist with a focus on tree development and risk management. Russell previously held executive positions with the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) and ISA Europe, and in 1996, was voted Environmental Londoner of the Year.

Russell Ball, the current president of the ISA-UK/I Chapter. After working for four years in Madrid and as the Tree Protection Officer for the London Borough of Harrow, he is now a self-employed consulting arborist with a focus on tree development and risk management. Russell previously held executive positions with the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) and ISA Europe, and in 1996, was voted Environmental Londoner of the Year.


 


1)         Firstly, so what happened in Spain?


After leaving ISA Europe, I excited ‘stage left’ from UK arboriculture planning to set up a tree consulting practice in Madrid. Two years on from teaching business English in banks and other institutions, my Spanish was fluent enough to meet a corporate Madrid in terms of arboriculture. First step: carry out a survey with major developers to evaluate the value of trees on developments sites. This was published in the principal construction magazine for Spain: “El Monitor”. And not surprising trees do add value (10-25%). The next step was to contact and visit (several times) Madrid Council to demonstrate the fact that trees are valuable and moreover (as in the UK) developers should be paying for their protection: after all every tree in Madrid is protected (?!)*. Running in parallel to this I managed to persuade the British Institute equivalent in Spain to revise NTJ03E (= BS:5837) as it was grossly outdated. This was duly published but unfortunately ended up as a shelf-document at Madrid Council – their view in essence was ‘we’ve been wrapping chestnut-pale fencing around trunks to protect trees on development site and we’ll continue to do so’. For me, the last straw was the Council removing a line of fifty-plus fine London Planes for a road scheme without any sort of constraint planning. I guess when a problem is political rather than technical then its hard to get around… so I returned back to London (a little wiser for the experience).    


* In my view a bit of a non-sense as it de-values the trees actually worthy of protection.


 


2)         How did you get involved/interested in arboriculture?


Since childhood, I’ve had a fascination with natural history, much engendered by my father. Combined with a love of the outdoors, I developed a great interest in botany and those large green things – oh yes, trees! At the age of 13, I started gardening for 50p/hour: not a bad ‘wage’ in those days. Then I made it ‘big time’ after finding a job trimming a large privet hedge for a House of Commons Lord at £1.00/ hour. In terms of my arboricultural career, this was my first break as I periodically kept this job up through my studies and after graduating from Manchester University, I met this Lord’s jobbing Tree Contractor who gave me my first tree job as a grounds man.  Since that day I’ve never looked back. My first big career break was the result of the 1987 storm (see below) when the Government formed Task Force Trees (TfT) to assists London boroughs in (tree) ‘landscape rehabilitation’. The LTOA had being going for a number of years as an informal organisationbut via TfT, managed to secure funding for a part-time secretariat with Harrow Council’s tree section. And so working with Jim Smith (now the Forestry Commission’s London Trees & Woodland Framework Officer) the then Harrow Council Arb. Officer, I had an open brief to develop the LTOA. With 90 plus tree officers across the Capital with countless years of experience it was easy to set up working groups – plug into this knowledge – and produce an array of best practice notes and leaflets. This really put the LTOA ‘on the map’. Some of my fondest thoughts were the Retreat to Pub sessions after each quarterly meeting: not so much for the beverages but for the networking between allied professionals to raise and discuss the pertinent arb. issues of the day…… The success of the LTOA set the template for an active network of Regional Tree Officer Groups that wanted to benefit in the same way …. and I believe this ultimately led to the formation of the National Association of Tree Officers.


 


3)         How do you see the field of arboriculture in London and the UK in general, in relation to research and public awareness?


Since the 1987 storm in the southeast area of England when 18 million trees were lost in one evening, the profile of trees rocketed, and public awareness has remained high. However, one of the biggest threats and public fears is tree-related subsidence damage to trees. And as we know, it seems any close proximity tree is apportioned the blame. This has lead to the removal of many large, fine trees across London due to spurious household insurance claims. More worryingly, it’s resulted in a move away from planting large tree species that will have a lasting effect on London’s treescape.  In terms of research, Climate Change seems to be bringing a host of new foreign pests and diseases (P&Ds), such as the oak processionary moth and horse chestnut leaf miner,which have become prevalent defoliators of these trees in the UK. The control/eradication of the foreign P&Ds must be a key research focus.


Going back to the 1987 storm, I believe the next key landmark opportunity that will put arboriculture on the map is the introduction the USDA Forest Service i-tree system and the pioneering work at Torbay Council. This i-tree evaluation drew on the qualified and quantified benefits of the urban forest and it is clear to see that the way forward is to replicate similar projects in London, Birmingham, Leeds, Edinburgh, Belfast et al alongside key regional tree officers groups such as the LTOA, MTOA (Municipal Tree Officers Group), North West Tree Officers Group (NWTOG) and Yorkshire Tree Officers Group (YTOG) to demonstrate the huge environmental benefits of their urban forests.  Politically – at Chief Executive level – this would raise the profile of Council tree officers and secure crucial funding. The trickle-done would be more tree (capital & revenue) planting budgets, proactive and long-term tree management (also resourcing tree protection on the development control & enforcement side). The knock-on effect would be the increased need for private sector tree contracting and tree consulting. In essence this would be good for everyone. These iTree studies must be the driver for this to happen and we will hear more on this in the future……. for sure.


    


4)         What makes you proud about the arboriculture in the UK?


Our historic parks and gardens with their rolling, open landscapes and tree-lined avenues, plus our tree collections, such as at Kew and Wakehurst Place, are a national treasure. An issue I am very close to is the unique world resource of veteran and ancient yew trees that we have in the UK. These yews range from 500 to 5,000 years old. They are another national treasure and their future protection as heritage trees is vital. This resource numbers only 800 trees, and dwindles each year due to bad management/development pressure. Via the Ancient Yew Group and the Conservation Foundation, we have trialed a tree heritage system* to evaluate veteran and ancient yews in the diocese of Southwark. More news will be forthcoming in the next edition of the ISA-UK/I Chapter newsletter: “TreeLine”.


 * Developed by Barrel Tree Care


 


5)         What are some advances made in the field in your country in the past ten years, or so?


A totally new perspective on veteran tree management has developed as their immense biodiversity value is now recognised. By promoting the retention of deadwood and dead standing trees, and resisting the removal of veterans due to cavities, limb cracks and other defects, important niches are being maintained for a whole host of valuable flora & fauna. Leading on from this, there is a changing emphasis from defect-lead to target-lead tree risk management that we hope will result in less unnecessary tree work and fewer removals. Prior to this there was an automatic knee-jerk reaction to prune/fell a tree with any kind of defect without first considering whether there was a target to be harmed or damaged. Essentially, if there is no target, there can be no harm. Going on from this point – by setting parameters for target values against the degree of the tree defect – tree managers can begin to apportion priority to the necessary higher risk tree work.         


 


6)         What are some of the challenges for the present and the future?


The UK faces the challenge of getting the message across to allied professionals that trees are important and need proper care, notably in development and infrastructure projects. The i-tree system could be at the vanguard of this movement.


Thinking globally, as the UK/I Chapter President, about the world of arboriculture beyond these shores, ISA must focus more on translating publications to outreach non-English speaking arborists around the world. This is no mean task when for example there are ten ISA Chapters in mainland Europe. A great start has been made, however, particularly with Spanish translated publications, but translating more ISA publications into a broader range of languages will truly put the “I” in ISA


Lastly, a short-term challenge for me is to become an ISA Certified Arborist.

Russell Ball, the current president of the ISA-UK/I Chapter. After working for four years in Madrid and as the Tree Protection Officer for the London Borough of Harrow, he is now a self-employed consulting arborist at Arbol EuroConsulting with a focus on tree development and risk management. Russell previously held executive positions with the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) and ISA Europe, and in 1996, was voted Environmental Londoner of the Year.

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Tree News, Plant Health

Hansatech's Pocket Pea

By Mark Chester, 13 October 2011

Hansatech's Pocket Pea

I have been trialling the Pocket Pea for a month, hoping to be ready to provide a review.  However, whilst I can use it, and recognise the potential, I am well aware that I have only begun to explore its’ full capability.  My first batch of data is waiting analysis and I am hoping that Hansatech will be able to provide a demonstration at the 2012 Celebration of Trees, Capel Manor. 

I have been trialling the Pocket Pea for a month, hoping to be ready to provide a review.  However, whilst I can use it, and recognise the potential, I am well aware that I have only begun to explore its’ full capability.  My first batch of data is waiting analysis and I am hoping that Hansatech will be able to provide a demonstration at the 2012 Celebration of Trees, Capel Manor. 


One of the challenges is transferring the controlled conditions of the laboratory or nursery to the setting of a development site or woodland.  All samples should have the same time in the dark.  However, since it takes less time to place each clip on a leaf than to collect the reading, I’m waiting to see how the scientists overcome this one.  It was also interesting that the most informative explanation for the lay user that I have found was in ‘The Tree Officer’!


I’m off to take days 4 & 5 of the Bond Solon Expert Witness course next week.  At least I can review that shortly after.  And trying to persuade a client to retain the smart Birch in the middle of where he wants to put his new garage!

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Plant Health, Case Studies

Ancient Yews & Tree Preservation Orders

By Russell Ball, 13 October 2011

Ancient Yews & Tree Preservation Orders

I  remember  my  first  encounter  with  an  ancient  churchyard  yew.  Expecting  to  see  a  large specimen like the old oaks climbed during childhood and having glimpsed photographs of such ancient trees is a quantum-leap compared to actually seeing one. Your eyes have to ‘double-take’ to  comprehend their  sheer  scale. The  first instinctive  act is to walk  around it:  pace  after  pace taking you on a huge circumferential walk wondering all the time how could a tree grow so large? 

Russell Ball, the current president of the ISA-UK/I Chapter. After working for four years in Madrid and as the Tree Protection Officer for the London Borough of Harrow, he is now a self-employed consulting arborist at Arbol EuroConsulting with a focus on tree development and risk management. Russell previously held executive positions with the LTOA and ISA Europe, and in 1996, was voted Environmental Londoner of the Year.

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Tree News

Hertfordshire Children Sow Jubilee Forest

By Chris Hickman, 21 October 2011

Hertfordshire Children Sow Jubilee Forest

Over 400 school children from across Hertfordshire will be helping scatter three quarters of a million native tree seeds at the Woodland Trust's Heartwood Forest. The scattering began on Monday and is taking place throughout the week.


The 'direct seeding' is part of the creation of what will become the largest new native woodland in England at over 850 acres, a significant contribution towards the charity's aim of doubling native woodland cover across the UK. The Trust has already planted over 200,000 trees on site and by spring next year will be over half way to its target of planting 600,000 trees.

Over 400 school children from across Hertfordshire will be helping scatter three quarters of a million native tree seeds at the Woodland Trust's Heartwood Forest. The scattering began on Monday and is taking place throughout the week.


The 'direct seeding' is part of the creation of what will become the largest new native woodland in England at over 850 acres, a significant contribution towards the charity's aim of doubling native woodland cover across the UK. The Trust has already planted over 200,000 trees on site and by spring next year will be over half way to its target of planting 600,000 trees.


Louise Neicho is the site manager for the Woodland Trust: "We believe doubling native woodland cover is hugely important for wildlife and the environment, but equally so for people. Educating children about their role, tree planting, and the difference they can make to the future of our trees and woods is therefore crucial."


The direct seeding is in its second year and will see a range of species of seed scattered by local school children, including hand picked acorns, as well as ash, hazel, wild cherry and silver birch amongst others. The process involves trees seeds being sown at high density in a random fashion on prepared ground. The resultant effect is dense woodland dominated by oak with diverse shrub understorey and a random, natural appearance.


Gillian French, Biffaward Programme Manager, said “Our natural environment must be protected, which is why Biffaward is delighted to support organisations like the Woodland Trust who work tirelessly to conserve our landscape. The work carried out will bring huge benefits to the habitats and increase wildlife that lives within them.”


As part of the creation of Heartwood Forest the Woodland Trust has also claimed the largest ever single grant awarded by the Forestry Commission, with over £235,000 being claimed in 2011 alone. 


The charity has recently embarked on the 'Jubilee Woods' project to mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee by planting 6 million trees across the UK.


Heartwood Forest is supported by individual donors, Disney Store UK, charitable trusts the Forestry Commission and Biffaward.

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Tree News

CAS to Adveritise in RIBA 2012

By Mark Chester, 21 October 2011

CAS to Adveritise in RIBA 2012

Unexpectedly, we have the opportunity for a second page in the 2012 RIBA Directory. Want to be part of this high-profile double page spread promoting CAS members? The Cost is just £295 to include your company's name, logo and contact details within the CAS advert. A 1/8th page advert in the RIBA directory normally costs £395+vat, but you can be part of a double page spread. There is space for 14 companies, but there are only five places left!

Unexpectedly, we have the opportunity for a second page in the 2012 RIBA Directory. Want to be part of this high-profile double page spread promoting CAS members? The Cost is just £295 to include your company's name, logo and contact details within the CAS advert. A 1/8th page advert in the RIBA directory normally costs £395+vat, but you can be part of a double page spread. There is space for 14 companies, but there are only five places left!


Click here to see the advert CAS ran for the 2011 RIBA Directory…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Business Advice

5 Tips for Getting the Message Across

By Mark Chester, 21 October 2011

5 Tips for Getting the Message Across

The arboricultural profession is known for being good at promoting ourselves within the tree world.  However, we’re not so good at sharing the news to the world beyond.  How often do you tell someone that you are an arborist and get a blank look?  Oh, you’re a tree surgeon!  And trying to explain what a tree consultant does!  (I’ve given up calling myself an Arboricultural Consultant).

(Or: How to promote your business)


The arboricultural profession is known for being good at promoting ourselves within the tree world.  However, we’re not so good at sharing the news to the world beyond.  How often do you tell someone that you are an arborist and get a blank look?  Oh, you’re a tree surgeon!  And trying to explain what a tree consultant does!  (I’ve given up calling myself an Arboricultural Consultant).


The reality is that what we do, and however good we are, if our target audience doesn’t know, it can be like a flirting wink across a dark room-utterly ineffective.

So, what can we do?

  1. Avoid technical language.  We may know the implications of bifurcation to a tree’s structure, and how to identify different species of Ganoderma.  If a client doesn’t know the difference between a Fagus and a Fraxinus, we need to explain more simply…
  2. Explain how what you do benefits your customer.  Simply being a professional may not be sufficient.  For example, explaining that a properly pruned tree should not need regular re-pruning, so the customer only pays once.
  3. Try to summarise what you do within thirty seconds.  Imagine that you are in a lift with your best-possible client, who can open opportunities beyond your dreams.  Restricting your pitch to thirty seconds keeps it focused.
  4. Ask a non-arb friend to tell you what they think you do.  If they don’t know, you probably need to refine your message.  This may include the home page of your website.
  5. If you do more than the basics, this may be a key part of your pitch, especially if it helps your client.  This may include being able to organise programmes of work, and to liaise with the various authorities.  Or you may know how to write method statements for planning reports, helping your client to overcome potential problems.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Situations Vacant

By Mark Chester, 21 October 2011

Situations Vacant

During the past two years, CAS has blossomed! Membership has doubled to nearly 80 and the regular online magazine is received by more than 700 industry professionals. In order to continue the successs and take CAS to the next level additional support is sought.


  • Treasurer – to assist with member support and society funds
  • Chair Elect – to assist the Chairman in the smooth and effiecient running of the society


If you are interested in helping. please contact the Chairman…

During the past two years, CAS has blossomed! Membership has doubled to nearly 80 and the regular online magazine is received by more than 700 industry professionals. In order to continue the successs and take CAS to the next level additional support is sought.


  • Treasurer – to assist with member support and society funds
  • Chair Elect – to assist the Chairman in the smooth and effiecient running of the society


If you are interested in helping. please contact the Chairman…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Plant Health

Chlorophyll Fluorescence

By Paul A. Davis, 28 October 2011

Chlorophyll Fluorescence

Thanks to the stimulating and informative talks given by Dr. Glynn Percival in recent years, there are few people in the Arboricultural Consultation industry that haven’t heard of Chlorophyll Fluorescence and how effective it can be in detecting tree stress long before any visible signs of decline. But what actually is chlorophyll fluorescence?

Thanks to the stimulating and informative talks given by Dr. Glynn Percival in recent years, there are few people in the Arboricultural Consultation industry that haven’t heard of Chlorophyll Fluorescence and how effective it can be in detecting tree stress long before any visible signs of decline. But what actually is chlorophyll fluorescence?


 



Leaves can essentially be likened to photovoltaic panels in that their main purpose is to take energy from the sun and convert it to a different form of energy; in this case, complex carbohydrates that the tree may use for nutritional value. This is the main principle of photosynthesis.


 


No system is entirely perfect. The photosynthetic mechanisms within the leaf are unable to convert all the energy they receive from the sun into food. Consider this – on a hot sunny day, you or I would move into the shade if the sun’s rays became too intense. Obviously, a tree can’t do this so there has to be a method of dissipating the energy that simply can’t be used for photosynthesis. A leaf has 2 outlets for the solar energy it receives:


1) Photochemical processes
Photochemical processes channel the sun’s energy through the necessary steps required to drive photosynthesis. A good, healthy tree is able to use about 80 – 84% of the sunlight received at the leaf surface for photosynthesis.


2) Non-photochemical processes
Non-photochemical activities dissipate energy from the leaf in a manner that is not involved with driving photosynthesis. Dissipated energy is re-emitted from the leaf in the form of infra-red radiation (heat) or far-red radiation (chlorophyll fluorescence).


Let’s take an example; a period of drought causes a reduction in the rate of photosynthesis. The tree is able to convert a reduced amount of received solar energy by photosynthesis which results in a necessary increase in energy dissipation by chlorophyll fluorescence (see diagram above).


Any forms of biotic or abiotic stress which have an effect on the photosynthetic capacity of the tree will therefore alter the intensity of the chlorophyll fluorescence emission. Consequently, we can use a Chlorophyll Fluorimeter to measure changes in the extent of fluorescence emission to infer information about the efficiency of light use for photosynthesis.


In essence, the chlorophyll fluorimeter is superbly positioned to quickly and effectively screen for tree deterioration due to a stress related reduction in photosynthetic capacity. What’s more, the technique is fast, non-invasive, non-destructive and can be repeated regularly.


Method Behind the Madness


The techniques and methodologies behind the measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence aren’t by any means new.



In 1931, Dr. Hans W. Kautsky (an assistant professor at the Chemisches Institut der Universität in Heidelberg, Germany), noticed that there were characteristic changes in the chlorophyll fluorescence from a leaf when it was subjected to different light intensities. These changes were termed fluorescence induction or the Kautsky Effect.



Dr. Kautsky’s preliminary research on fluorescence induction was performed using the naked eye which was no easy task as chlorophyll fluorescence exists in the far-red spectral band at the upper limit of the eye’s ability to see (photoptic response). The diagram below shows a graph of the intensity of chlorophyll fluorescence over time as originally observed by Dr. Kautsky.


Fortunately, from the late 70’s / early 80’s the electronics industry began to expand rapidly which afforded scientists the luxuries of “hi-tech” instrumentation developed by specialist companies that could measure the Kautsky Effect more efficiently and with far greater detail.


Birth of the PEA



Hansatech Instruments developed the Plant Efficiency Analyser (PEA) Mark 1 in 1989. The PEA Mk1 was groundbreaking in that no other instrument available had ever been able to measure the Kautsky Effect with such high resolution.


Measurements from the PEA revealed detailed information about the Kautsky Effect which was previously undetected. This lead to a greater understanding of photosynthesis and how various factors could inhibit different parts of the photosynthetic mechanisms.


The PEA Mk1 and subsequent PEA Mk2 were enormously successful being employed in photosynthesis research projects the world over.



Further advances in technology ensued and before long, the PEA Mk2 was launched followed later by the Handy PEA (2000), Pocket PEA (2007) and more recently, the M-PEA. All the generations of PEA instrument employ the same principles of measurement.


The instruments work by illuminating a dark adapted leaf (zero photosynthetic rate) with an enormously bright red LED typically for 1 second and recording the chlorophyll fluorescence signal that is emitted during this illumination. When the LED is switched on, the leaf instantly (time 0) begins to fluoresce as the photosynthetic apparatus of the leaf begins receiving light energy. This fluorescence intensity rises rapidly to a maximum level which, in a healthy tree, occurs at approximately 300 – 500 milliseconds. At this point, the photosynthetic apparatus in the leaf is at its maximum photochemical capacity.


Readings at the minimum and maximum chlorophyll fluorescence levels allow us to calculate the maximum photochemical efficiency of the tree according to it’s current state of health. In parametrical terms, this maximum efficiency is referred to as Fv/Fm. The terms within this parameter are:


Fluorescence value at time 0 = Fo
Maximum fluorescence value = Fm
Difference between Fo and Fm = Fv


Fv/Fm is presented as an index value with the maximum value of 1.00 equating to 100% maximum photochemical efficiency. In reality, the maximum value of Fv/Fm we would expect to see from a tree in really good health would be between 0.80 – 0.84 which you may remember from earlier in this article, equates to a maximum photochemical efficiency of between 80 – 84%.


Fluorescence and Arboriculture



So how does all this help the Consultant Arboriculturalist in the field? Chlorophyll fluorescence has the ability to very quickly and easily, determine the photosynthetic capacity of a tree according to it’s current state of health.


A reduction in photosynthetic capacity is the first stage in tree deterioration. There are many possible contributing factors to a reduced photosynthetic rate and almost all of them will have put the tree into decline long before we have visual symptoms in the form of leaf yellowing/necrosis or crown/branch dieback.


The 80 – 84% mentioned above gives us a clearly defined benchmark to which we can relate new results and, since the scientific principles behind all this are species independent, the fluorimeter is clearly a powerful diagnostic tool.


The Pocket PEA is probably the most suitable fluorimeter for Arboriculture in terms of usability and cost. With exposure at recent AA meetings and Barcham seminars, it’s popularity and status continues to grow within the industry.


Pocket PEA is a dedicated screening tool that bridges the gap between commercial application and scientific research.


It takes measurements quickly and effortlessly and transfers data to a PC via Bluetooth. For added flexibility, Pocket PEA can transfer data to a PDA or Smartphone running Windows Mobile 6 so that recorded data can be viewed whilst on-site for fast detection of potential issues.


The flexibility of the recorded data means that potentially, other widely used tools (such as GIS applications) will be able to accept chlorophyll fluorescence data relating to individual trees to be stored alongside their own data entries.


In Summary…



Chlorophyll fluorescence is a tried, tested and accepted method of detecting reduced photosynthetic capacity due to biotic and abiotic stress factors.


Consultant Arboriculturalists do not need to be fluent in the scientific aspects of fluorescence, particularly with the wealth of talented researchers in plant physiology the UK has to offer. Already, there are large scale co-operations between Consultants and researchers such as Glynn Percival and Mark Johnson and there is no reason at all why this cannot expand to involve researchers from other universities.


So, with all this in mind, should not a chlorophyll fluorimeter be part of your toolbag?

Hansatech Instruments is a small, British, scientific instrument company located in the heart of rural Norfolk. For over 35 years, our efforts have been concentrated towards the design & manufacture of high quality oxygen electrode and chlorophyll fluorescence measurement systems for the studies of cellular respiration & photosynthesis research. 

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Tree News, Training

Chairman's Corner

By Mark Chester, 28 October 2011

Chairman's Corner

By popular demand, we are delighted to announce that the course Mortgage & Insurance Reports has been scheduled for Tuesday 29th November 2011.  It will be held at Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire 9-5.  It costs £385 for members, £425 for non-members.  To become a CAS member, click here for the application form.

By popular demand, we are delighted to announce that the course Mortgage & Insurance Reports has been scheduled for Tuesday 29th November 2011.  It will be held at Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire 9-5.  It costs £385 for members, £425 for non-members.  To become a CAS member, click here for the application form.


To book your place, send a cheque for £385 payable to Consulting Arborist Society to 3 Howton Grove Barns, Wormbridge, Herefordshire HR2 9DY, or pay directly to 09-01-27, a/c 80942625.  For details of the course, click here…
 
QTRA have recently sent us details of their training programme for 2012. Visit their website for more details…
 
Chlorophyll floursecence: you've seen the science, read the technical papers.  But how does it really work?  Paul Davies explains more.  Don't forget that CAS members can benefit from a 10% discount on purchasing the 'Pocket Pea'.
 
With best wishes,
 
Mark Chester

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

2012 Training Schedule

By Mark Chester, 04 November 2011

I'm aware that many of us need time to plan ahead for training.  With this in mind, the provisional dates/months for next year are attached.  Details will follow once we have confirmed them.  All courses are subject to demand.  Other courses may be added subject to demand.

I'm aware that many of us need time to plan ahead for training.  With this in mind, the provisional dates/months for next year are attached.  Details will follow once we have confirmed them.  All courses are subject to demand.  Other courses may be added subject to demand.
 
March: Training day for those using the Hansatech Pocket Pea for chlorophyll flourescence testing.  Barcham Trees
April: Friday 20th, Capel Manor's Celebration of Trees.  Tree Preservation Orders: Effective Application.
April: Friday 20th, Saturday 21st, Capel Manor's Celebration of Trees.  Tree Valuation: Effective Application.
May: Lantra Professional Tree Inspection course, Moulton College
June: Effective Report Writing.  Barcham Trees
July: Mortgage and Insurance Reports.  Barcham Trees
September: Lantra Professional Tree Inspection course, Moulton College.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Woodland Trust and CAMRA reveal best woodland watering holes

By Chris Hickman, 04 November 2011

Woodland Trust and CAMRA reveal best woodland watering holes

The VisitWoods website has joined forces with CAMRA to produce a selection of the best pubs across the UK within easy reach of woodlands.

The VisitWoods website has joined forces with CAMRA to produce a selection of the best pubs across the UK within easy reach of woodlands.

The locations are taken from 'Great British Pubs', newly compiled for CAMRA by internationally-acclaimed beer writer Adrian Tierney-Jones. The book contains a definitive collection of over 200 public houses across the country.


 


The best 10 pubs from the book with nearby woodland access have been compiled and listed on the VisitWoods website, which contains information on thousands of publicly accessible woods across the country. The woods selected are some of the best sites managed by a range of landowners including the Woodland Trust, National Trust, Forestry Commission and Wildlife Trusts amongst others.
With the days getting shorter, what better way to enjoy a leisurely autumn walk than by following it with a quick pint in one of the most picturesque ale houses in the country?


For more information about the locations, or how to order a copy of 'Great British Pubs' go to VisitWoods.org.uk/pub-walks

The funding for VisitWoods comes from Access to Nature, a scheme run by Natural England and funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

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Business Advice, Training

Planning & Building Regulations Resource

By Ashley Jones, 07 November 2011

Planning & Building Regulations Resource

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.


Public & Private sector organisations alike are implementing measures to make more efficient use of existing resources to improve performance and service delivery. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are streamlining processes, sharing resources and rapidly accelerating their adoption of online services. This environment supports the increasing number of planning professionals who choose to work electronically and submit their planning applications online.

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.


Public & Private sector organisations alike are implementing measures to make more efficient use of existing resources to improve performance and service delivery. Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are streamlining processes, sharing resources and rapidly accelerating their adoption of online services. This environment supports the increasing number of planning professionals who choose to work electronically and submit their planning applications online.


The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has had considerable success realising efficiencies in the planning process, most notably by the modernisation of the planning application process.  This includes the funding of the Planning Portal and its delivery of the National online planning application service in partnership with all English and Welsh LPAs.


The Planning Portal utilises the latest web technology to help users minimise the time, cost and CO² emissions associated with creating, manually processing and submitting paper applications.


Applications for works to trees with preservation orders, trees and hedges within conservation areas and forestry prior notifications can all be submitted online via the Planning Portal. These application types are very quickly and easily submitted on line, with a full record of all applications submitted retained on the users account. 


The Planning Portal is happy to offer Consulting Arborist Society members free user surgeries to help them and their organisations, both large and small, obtain the maximum commercial benefit from all the Portal's facilities.  In addition, quickly leveraging the online applications service to minimise their operational costs and gain more consistent and timely planning decisions for their clients.


As well as immediate cost savings the Portal will enable organisations to quantify the exact CO² savings they have made by submitting planning applications online. Using an independently-authenticated tool, planning professionals will be able to report on these savings to owners and shareholders as part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan to reduce the carbon footprint of the organisation.


Look out for further information from your Regional Secretaries about a demonstration/user surgery in your area.  Please contact Mark Chester on 07888 838360if you have any enquiries.


For further information on the Planning Portal, please visit our website www.planningportal.gov.uk or contact ashley.jones@planningportal.gsi.gov.uk

Ashley Jones is a Chartered Building Surveyor who has worked in private practice and used the Planning Portal’s online application service since its early days in 2005. Now working for as a Corporate Account Manager for the Planning Portal he is an advocate for online applications and the benefits to individuals, companies and the wider economic and ecological environment. Ashley provides advice and training on the use of the online application service.

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Tree News

Final Call for RIBA Advertisers

By Mark Chester, 07 November 2011

Final Call for RIBA Advertisers

As mentioned last month, CAS has unexpectedly been offered a double page feature in the 2012 RIBA Directory.  A whole page feature has been confirmed.  The directory is sent out to all 3000 practices who are members of RIBA.  A 1/8 page advertisement would cost £395 + VAT.  As a member, your entry in the CAS feature would cost just £295, with no VAT.  However, the deadline is pending. We need to have confirmation of your order by 5pm on Friday 11th November, at chairman@consultingarboristsociety.com.

As mentioned last month, CAS has unexpectedly been offered a double page feature in the 2012 RIBA Directory.  A whole page feature has been confirmed.  The directory is sent out to all 3000 practices who are members of RIBA.  A 1/8 page advertisement would cost £395 + VAT.  As a member, your entry in the CAS feature would cost just £295, with no VAT.  However, the deadline is pending. We need to have confirmation of your order by 5pm on Friday 11th November, at chairman@consultingarboristsociety.com.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

"The Finest Arboretum in Wales"

By Barry Embling, 11 November 2011

Just one mile outside the pretty market town of Usk, Cefn Ila boasts 72 acres of newly planted woodland. Previously used as pasture, the Woodland Trust’s ownership and management has led to the creation of rich native woodland which, as it becomes more established, will serve as a valuable link between existing areas of important areas of ancient woodland that are nearby.

New Usk woodland includes ‘finest arboretum in Wales’, claims historic garden expert.


Cefn Ila event celebrates woodland creation five years on


Cefn Ila recently saw the Mayor of Usk and High Sheriff of Gwent join other leading figures from local wildlife and community organisations to celebrate the site’s success since the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) acquired it five years ago.


Just one mile outside the pretty market town of Usk, Cefn Ila boasts 72 acres of newly planted woodland. Previously used as pasture, the Woodland Trust’s ownership and management has led to the creation of rich native woodland which, as it becomes more established, will serve as a valuable link between existing areas of important areas of ancient woodland that are nearby.


Since 2007, when the Woodland Trust acquired Cefn Ila, 36,000 native trees have been planted thanks to generous donations from the public, various Trusts and the Welsh assembly Government’s PLANT! project, which plants a tree to commemorate the birth of every child born or adopted in Wales.


Ivor Stokes – former curator of the National Botanic Gardens of Wales and historic gardens expert –praised the variety of exotic species that now fill the site’s unique Arboretum. He said of the site


"The 'pinetum' at Cefn Ila contains an incredible mix of conifers along with other trees and shrubs, some of them, such as the Cedars, which are enormous, probably date back to the early decades of the 19th century when Trelawney first acquired the estate. Most of the others were probably planted in the second half of that century following the great influx of new species from the Americas and the Far East. Whatever their origins, this collection must rank amongst the finest in Wales and will be well worth a visit in the future once the Woodland Trust has been able to improve the access. In the meantime a sturdy pair of boots and thorn-proof trousers are needed to be able to appreciate the majesty of these superb trees close up."


With the recent new acquisition the adjacent land surrounding the old site of Cefn Ila House, visitors are now able to enjoy its unique historic gardens, orchard and walled garden, ensuring a truly unique, varied and exciting experience that can be enjoyed by all.


Exciting new ideas for development on the site include a walkway within the dense and exotic Arboretum that will allow visitors to get close to huge giant redwoods and see close-up the poignant remains of the historical lawn terracing and even the old cast iron roller that allude to the site’s past. A new circular walk will be created that goes through the planted woodland and the old parkland that takes in all of features of interest including an old orchard, a purpose built bat house and a walled garden.


Like almost all Woodland Trust woods, Cefn Ila is open for anyone to visit at any time, for free. Find out more at woodlandtrust.org.uk/cefnila

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Barcham Series

Designing with Trees: a seminar with Tony Kirkham and Peter Thurman

By Colin Hambidge, 11 November 2011

In September 2011, the Barcham Series continued with a presentation by the Landscape Designer and Tree Consultant Peter Thurman, and Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.  Peter and Tony have know each other since their student days, and they presented in an informative, relaxed manner, often becoming an amusing double act to the appreciation of the delegates.

In September 2011, the Barcham Series continued with a presentation by the Landscape Designer and Tree Consultant Peter Thurman, and Tony Kirkham, Head of the Arboretum at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew.  Peter and Tony have know each other since their student days, and they presented in an informative, relaxed manner, often becoming an amusing double act to the appreciation of the delegates.

They began by asking why trees would be involved as part of a garden design.  Reasons include the visual and aesthetic appeal in softening a landscape, absorbing human activity, giving an element of vertical scale, providing a ‘green mass’ and giving shade.  Trees can give a place an identity of its own.  For example, in Japan many towns and cities have one specific species of tree which is so widely that it becomes emblematic of that urban environment.  Residents who have been away for a while often report that seeing these trees on their return gives them a real sense of ‘coming home’.

Tony Kirkham reminded us that at Kew trees help to make ‘destinations’.  They are part of the process of drawing us through a landscape to see what lies beyond.  There has been an historic re-planting of cedars at Kew, which have taken the place of the Tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera).  These had themselves replaced the Cedrus deodara which fell victim to activity at the nearby gasworks in the Victorian era.  However, Cedrus atlantica has been planted being better suited to Kew’s soil than Cedrus deodara: a reasonable compromise.  At the more precise end of the conservation scale, Tony mentioned that the unusual ‘bell-bottomed’ London planes growing in Berkeley Square are only replaced by trees propagated from specimens growing there to maintain the integrity of the site.

Trees are used extensively for social reasons – to provide screening, privacy or enclosure, and to mark boundaries.  Delegates were reminded that the Hedgerow Regulations Act (1997) gives Tree Preservation Order-like status to some hedges.  Peter raised concern that where natural hedges are replaced, if sourced from outside the UK their provenance is often wrong.

Some people see trees bordering their property as a nuisance, and they are frequently blamed, often unfairly, for subsidence.  However, in the USA, homeowners are generally much more at ease with having large trees close to their houses.  Roots can damage public services, such as drains, and they can also cause pavement uplift.  Trees can restrict light, prevent parking, obstruct traffic and signage, while their falling leaves and fruits are an annual ‘menace’. 

We should remember, however, the man-made problems with which trees have to contend.  These include lack of space, excavation of public services, pollutants and soil contaminants such as salt in winter, compaction from feet and traffic, and vandalism, including that perpetrated by tree surgeons, strimmers and ride-on mowers.

Tony Kirkham believes we are experiencing ‘seasonal change’ and that this shifting of the seasons poses a real threat to trees.  He suggests we over-support young trees.  Containerised trees (such as those supplied by Barcham) do not generally need support.  Bare-root trees are different and do need staking after planting.  “We don’t need to add compost in tree pits and neither do young trees require fertiliser for the first two years”, Tony opined, adding that 99 per cent of trees which fail do so because they are planted too deeply.  This is an issue Barcham’s have been highlighting for years.

So what should we look for when buying trees?  Depending on its size and age, a good nursery should have transplanted a tree up to six times to ensure it produces a fibrous root system.  It is advisable to clarify this with a supplier. 

Are square pits better than round pits?  Tony Kirkham favours the former.  The corners of a square pit are its weak points and this is where the roots will best be able to ‘break out’, thereby giving better anchorage.  Trees planted into a round pit can become ‘pot-bound’ and unable to escape from such containment.  Tony recommends the minimum width of any planting hole should be 1.5m.  The Victorian idea of ‘mound planting’ is still worth considering when faced with clay soils. Mulched like a volcano, such trees will still need to be staked.  

At Kew, Tony’s team plant bare-root trees in October.  Until recently this was a spring operation but drier springs mean increased irrigation is needed.  Autumn planting has the added benefit of eight weeks more root development, many trees being planted in full leaf.  To Tony, a thriving young tree is a more pleasing sight than a veteran tree. 

Trees come in and out of fashion and Peter Thurman observed that each generation of tree officers leaves their mark on the urban landscape by planting of their favourite trees.  Prunus serrula has been very popular with designers at the Chelsea Flower Show, Cornus controversa also being in vogue.  However, purple-leaved trees need careful placing and are much better with sunlight shining on to them rather behind them, when they become ‘just black blobs’.

Pinus pinea, the stone pine, is planted extensively in Tuscany and Umbria to provide plenty of shade, but snow damage, to its branches makes it less suitable for British plantings.  The tree yields pine nuts, an essential ingredient of pesto, but is also the favourite food of the pine processionary moth, which is likely to find its way to our shores.  Its counterpart is Quercus cerris, the Turkey oak, favoured by the oak processionary moth.

The future of the beech, and particularly the copper beech, is unsure in the south east, where the shift in climate is making life increasingly difficult for this native.  It seems to be migrating northwards. 

Tony suggested that trees suited to wet areas, such as Betula nigra, the river or red birch, often cope well with drought; perhaps because both conditions are anaerobic.  Taxodium distichum, the swamp cypress, is another such tree – and one which Tony feels would make a good street tree.

Peter Thurman recommended Platanus orientalis Digitata as ‘a splendid cultivar’ and pointed out it suffers less from salt damage than does London plane.  A favourite of Tony’s is Betula albosinensis Fascination, which he feels makes a refreshing change from the ubiquitous Betula utilis Jacquemontii.

Tony’s final recommendation to delegates was to drink more wine – but only from bottles with true corks.  Quercus suber, the cork oak, will remain safe in the wild in southern Europe while there is still a commercial demand for cork, but it is becoming endangered. 

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Tree News

Just One Place Left, Act Now!

By Mark Chester, 11 November 2011

Just One Place Left, Act Now!

There's just one space left on the CAS double page spread in the 2012 RIBA directory, available exclusively to CAS members. This is your oppotunity to get your business in front of over 3000 architects and developers across the country.

There's just one space left on the CAS double page spread in the 2012 RIBA directory, available exclusively to CAS members. First come, first served! This is your oppotunity to get your business in front of over 3000 architects and developers across the country.


A â…› page advert from RIBA costs £395 + vat, but you can have a prominent place on a double page spread for just £295! Numbers have been limited to ensure maximum exposure, so don't miss this final opportunity to make a great saving and promote your business.


Email the chairman at chairman@consultingarboristsociety.com or call 01981 570426 now!

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Opinion

In My Opinion - Dr. Mark Johnston

By Dr. Mark Johnston, 11 November 2011

We start a new regular feature where we invite contributors to get on their soapbox and give us their opinion on a specific topic. Our first guest is Dr. Mark Johnston, a Research Fellow at Myerscough College where he leads on the masters degree in urban forestry.

We start a new regular feature where we invite contributors to get on their soapbox and give us their opinion on a specific topic.


Our first guest is Dr. Mark Johnston, a Research Fellow at Myerscough College where he leads on the masters degree in urban forestry.


Those of us who have been part of the AA/ISA for the past decade may remember Dr. Johnston offering to facilitate talks between the different parties aimed at unifying the industry's voice. Dr. Johnston updates and seeks opinion. This article was written for Essential Arb and is used with permission. We openly invite you to comment on the article with your feedback.


Click here to read the article…

Dr. Mark Johnston is a Research Fellow at Myerscough College where he leads on the masters degree in urban forestry. He also chaired and co-ordinated the ICF's international conference on Trees, People and the Built Environment.

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Tree News

Every Tree Matters - National Tree Week

By , 18 November 2011

Every Tree Matters - National Tree Week

(26th November – 4th December)


Planting one tree may seem but a tiny step on the road to ameliorating local climate change, but The Tree Council says that every tree matters.

(26th November – 4th December)


Planting one tree may seem but a tiny step on the road to ameliorating local climate change, but The Tree Council says that every tree matters.


During National Tree Week 2011, The Tree Council is urging everyone who cares for their environment to take that step and put one tree – or more – in the ground.  Not simply because it is a carbon sequestration and storage tool and a regulator of the urban microclimate that takes up air pollution, nor because it ameliorates adverse effects of weather, reducing windspeeds on blustery days, giving shade on hot days, cooling the air, reducing heating and air conditioning costs and saving energy, which in turn cuts down air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels – though it is, and does, all of these things.  No, the benefits of a tree extend far beyond.


Every tree has a role in moderating rainstorm impact as part of sustainable drainage systems and storm water management, lessening the likelihood of flash floods. Each one makes a major contribution to the restoration of derelict and degraded land after the ravages of industrial development, waste disposal or other man-made blights, and creates a more pleasant environment in which to live.  The UK’s native trees, individually and in woodlands, provide great habitats for wildlife and the sustainable cultivation of trees for renewable low-energy construction materials, charcoal, food, and as an alternative energy source are significant ways in which every tree will matter, more and more, in years to come.


“A tree planted close to where you live, work or study is good for you and for the nation’s condition; trees have been proven to have positive effects on mental health and as an antidote to stressful lifestyles, even aiding recuperation from illness.” commented Pauline Buchanan-Black, Director-General of the Tree Council. “However, to be able to look out on a tree simply lifts my soul and gladdens my heart.  That, at bottom, seems to me to be one of the most compelling reasons to argue that everyone should be able to see a tree from their window -  and if you can’t, then now is the time to set about changing the view.  Every tree matters as much for the beauty, growth and renewal, whether in urban or rural settings, that it demonstrates year on year as for the very practical benefits it brings.”


National Tree Week also sees the first anniversary of the launch of The Big Tree Plant, the partnership between civil society and Government in England to encourage the planting of trees by communities.  Buchanan Black added “Thousands more trees will be planted across the country as a result of this initiative, helping local groups create neighbourhoods that we can be proud of.  Many people have already successfully applied for Big Tree Plant funds to start their own community projects and we hope that events during National Tree Week will help more and more people to appreciate why every tree really does matter“.

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Tree News, Opinion

A View from the Treehouse

By Mark Chester, 18 November 2011

A View from the Treehouse

The joys of running the Consulting Arborist Society, and being a practicing consultant!


Having recruited enough members to fund a whole page advertisement in the 2012 RIBA Directory, late requests have arrived.  We now have nearly enough for an exciting 2 page feature.  Except that a couple more spaces are available and I need to do some chasing.

The joys of running the Consulting Arborist Society, and being a practicing consultant!


Having recruited enough members to fund a whole page advertisement in the 2012 RIBA Directory, late requests have arrived.  We now have nearly enough for an exciting 2 page feature.  Except that a couple more spaces are available and I need to do some chasing.


The same applies for the mortgage course, where I am working to convert strong enquiries to actual bookings.


For my own practice, I am now working on my accreditation portfolio in connection with the Bond Solon Expert Witness course.  This has required re-writing a 70 page report to ensure it meets the Cardiff University criteria.  The previous format seemed to be acceptable to the client!


I’ve just taken delivery of my Pear Tree Mapper system.  I’ll be trialling it on an 800 tree brown field wooded site at the weekend.  I sense a product review coming up…..


Meanwhile, I have been asked to again clarify a proposal, by a solicitor in connection with some conifers that have died.  The solicitor, presumably highly trained and skilled, did not seem aware that conifers hold their foliage……..and wondered how I could be certain they were in decline, not simply dropping their leaves.  Oh, bliss!

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Business Advice

5 Cash Flow Tips

By Mark Chester, 18 November 2011

5 Cash Flow Tips

For those running their own business, problems with cash flow can seriously affect the efficiency of the operation.  Delayed payments and unexpected costs can affect even the most established of operations.  In these days when budgets are becoming tighter, having access to funds is even more important.  So, how do you ensure you keep yours flowing? 

For those running their own business, problems with cash flow can seriously affect the efficiency of the operation.  Delayed payments and unexpected costs can affect even the most established of operations.  In these days when budgets are becoming tighter, having access to funds is even more important.  So, how do you ensure you keep yours flowing?  Here are five top tips:

  1. Remember that sales are turnover, not profit.  When pricing jobs, allow for running costs, both fixed and variable.  This may seem obvious but have you watched contestants on ‘Dragons’ Den’ struggling to differentiate between the two?
  2. If you are working on a larger commission, and especially if you need to pay for materials up front, consider requiring a deposit (25-50% is often acceptable).
  3. If you are working on commissions where the work will be spread over months, and possible years, invoicing every one to three months can be useful in maintaining a steady flow of cash.
  4. Be clear about your credit terms.  And stick to them.  Don’t be afraid to chase creditors, and if you don’t comfortable doing this, delegate to a member of your team, or out-source.
  5. Be careful if your client links payment to the successful outcome of the commission, which can be the case with legal work and planning applications.  You may be waiting a long time…..

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Diamonds Are Forever at Ffos Las

By Rory Francis, 18 November 2011

Britain’s newest racecourse is set to sparkle with a precious new edition, a Diamond Wood to mark the Queen’s 60 years the throne.

Britain’s newest racecourse is set to sparkle with a precious new edition, a Diamond Wood to mark the Queen’s 60 years the throne.


Cymraeg isod…


Work is due to start next week on the task of preparing the ground for planting around 45,000 young trees, mostly birch, ash and rowan, to create a new Diamond Wood at Ffos Las racecourse, at Trimsaran near Llanelli.


Sixty new Diamond Woods – each around 60 acres in size, plus hundreds of smaller Jubilee Woods are being created across the UK as part of the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw’s) ambitious Jubilee Woods project. The aim is to plant 6 million trees and to involve millions of people in the planting. Ffos Las, the first new turf racecourse in Britain since the 1928, opened in 2009, on a 609 acre site which had previously been an open cast mine. The racecourse represents a £25m investment by the Ffos Las Ltd, who purchased site in 2002.


The chairman of Ffos Las Ltd and one of the main shareholders is Dai Walters, who founded the Walters Group says: “I’m delighted that Ffos Las has been selected as one of the exclusive Diamond Woods. It’s great to be part of the Jubilee celebrations across the country. We always recognised the huge contributions trees could make in creating a superb racing venue at Ffos Las. Within as little as ten years, they should be towering over the heads of adults and we will have created a wonderful new woodland.” Jerry Langford, the Woodland’s Trust Wales Director says: “The tree planting at Ffos Las underlines just how effective native trees can be in creating beautiful environments, rich in wildlife, on sites previously affected by mining activities. We hope that the Diamond Wood project will allow the whole community to come together and to be part of this moment in history in a way which will stay with them forever.”


The ground preparation work starting next week will involve heavy machinery loosening the compacted earth to make it more suitable for the young trees. The planting will take place over the winter and will culminate in the spring with an invitation to local schools to get involved in a special tree planting week, and also public planting event.


The work has already started, however. Prince Charles himself planted a commemorative oak at Ffos Las on his visit in June, while Army cadets planted around 900 trees in March.


The new woodland at Ffos Las will not just provide a superb wildlife habitat and an attractive backdrop for the racetrack, but will also provide a sustainable local source of birch branches, which are used to construct the jumps at the site. The planting will also enhance the existing wildlife value of the site, part of which is managed positively to maintain a breeding population of lapwing. The site is well served by public paths so both locals and visitors to the area can enjoy watching the woodland develop.

The Woodland Trust has a vision. A UK rich in native woods and trees enjoyed and valued by everyone. We aim to enable the creation of more native woods and places rich in trees; protect native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future and inspire everyone to enjoy and value woods and trees. We can't do this alone. See how you can help.

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Tree News, Training

Trees, Mortgages & Insurance Course

By Mark Chester, 18 November 2011

Trees, Mortgages & Insurance Course

Places are booking fast on this one day course. Don't delay, book now to avoid disappointment.

By popular demand, we are delighted to announce that the course Mortgage & Insurance Reports has been scheduled for Tuesday 29th November 2011. It will be held at Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire 9-5.


This course is for arborists experienced in inspecting trees and writing reports for clients on their structural and health condition. It builds upon that experience to equip an arboricultural consultant writing reports when the tree is on a property, near a building, road or other target. A report template is provided as part of the course. It will also include how trees/vegetation can contribute to subsidence, and how to mitigate. (If you are involved with cases where subsidence is happening or may have occured, separate training is recommended). Cost £385 for CAS members (£425 for non-members). Refreshments included.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

Tony has been working with Mark Chester on various projects for over two years, and has learnt a lot about trees in the process!

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Tree News

A Greener Capital

By Rhiannon Bates, 25 November 2011

A Greener Capital

A greener capital – communities make their mark with 12,000 free trees from the Mayor of London and the Woodland Trust.


This autumn, communities across London will transform neighbourhoods with over 12,000 free trees from the Woodland Trust. The trees have been generously provided by the Mayor of London as part of his RE:LEAF, programme to plant more trees in the capital. 

A greener capital – communities make their mark with 12,000 free trees from the Mayor of London and the Woodland Trust.


This autumn, communities across London will transform neighbourhoods with over 12,000 free trees from the Woodland Trust. The trees have been generously provided by the Mayor of London as part of his RE:LEAF, programme to plant more trees in the capital. 


Trees will be planted in a range of locations across the city – from parks and community gardens to allotments, housing associations, schools and youth centres – giving local people the opportunity to transform the places where they live, work and rest. 


Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: ''The Woodland Trust is a key trunk of the RE:LEAF programme and I am delighted to be able to provide 12,000 trees to be planted across London. I want to increase the city's tree canopy and plant one tree for every Londoner by 2025.'


Over 60 groups will receive a small pack of 105 trees or a large pack of 420 trees. Each pack is available in three different themes: year-round colour, wildlife or wild harvest, all of which are ideal for planting as hedging and copses to fit best within neighbourhood spaces. Species in the packs support a variety of wildlife including songbirds such as starlings, blackbirds and mistle thrush. This is part of the Mayor's RE:LEAF campaign which aims to promote the capital's trees and to encourage more to be planted. The Mayor wants to increase London's tree cover from 20 percent to 25 percent by 2025.


Trees play a vital role in urban areas, helping improve air quality, manage water and provide important shade and shelter for people and buildings. The UK has one of the world’s highest rates of childhood asthma however asthma rates among children aged four and five fell by a quarter for every additional 343 trees per square kilometre 1. Concrete surfaces in shade can be up to 20°C cooler than concrete in sun2, and trees can reduce surface water runoff by up to 60 per cent compared to asphalt 3. In London it is estimated that 3,200 ha of front gardens have been paved over, increasing the number of hard surfaces in the capital. 


Victoria Hodson from the Woodland Trust added: "We are really delighted to be working with the Mayor of London to provide free trees for communities in the capital. Planting trees is a great way for local people to help transform their neighbourhoods; to grow fruits and food and provide new homes for wildlife. These 12,000 trees will make a real difference and we would like to help communities in the capital do even more. Throughout 2012, we are offering 2,500 free tree packs as part of our Jubilee Woods Project to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, and we would love more communities to get involved."


Part of a wider national scheme supported by Ibuyeco, the London tree packs are some of over 230,000 free trees being distributed to groups across the UK by the Woodland Trust this autumn. The community tree packs enable communities to take part in the Trust's Jubilee Woods project, which aims to plant 6 million trees by the end of 2012. With HRH The Princess Royal as patron, it is only one of a handful of projects to carry official Royal approval. 


In February, the Trust is encouraging millions of people across the UK to come together and plant one million trees in one month to celebrate 60 years since The Queen's accession to the throne. Communities can plant in February by applying for one of 1,000 free packs available at www.jubileewoods.org.uk/treepacks . Applications for February packs close on Wednesday 7th December.  

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Barcham Series, Tree News

Barcham's Announce Keynote Speaker

By Barchams, 27 November 2011

The programme for 2012 has now been announced.  The keynote speaker at the event on Wednesday 20th June will be Dr Edward F Gilman, Professor of Environmental Horticultural in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida, USA.  Keith Sacre says he is delighted to have secured Ed Gilman for the conference and believes a British audience will learn a great deal from his presentation. 

JUNE 2012 CONFERENCE


The Barcham Trees June Conference is becoming something of a landmark in the world of arboriculture.  Professor Claus Mattheck set the ball rolling in 2005 when he spoke to more than 300 arborists on root structure and development, roots as anchorage on sloping sites and the dimensioning of permanent tree containers against windthrow.  Gary Watson, head of research at the Morton Arboretum, Illinois, USA, was the main speaker at the event in 2010.  The theme of his presentation at the seminar was the rôle of root development in the growth of trees both on the nursery and in their environment.


The programme for 2012 has now been announced.  The keynote speaker at the event on Wednesday 20th June will be Dr Edward F Gilman, Professor of Environmental Horticultural in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida, USA.  Keith Sacre says he is delighted to have secured Ed Gilman for the conference and believes a British audience will learn a great deal from his presentation. 


Ed’s love of trees began when, aged 16, he saw young trees being planted in his street in his hometown of West Orange, New Jersey.  “It just seemed such a cool thing to know about”, he says.  That spark stayed with him through high school and university, culminating in his award of a Ph D from Rutgers University in forest plant pathology in 1980. 


Ed Gilman has been at the University of Florida since 1986 and currently conducts both research and educational programmes in tree selection, urban design, nursery production and urban tree management.  Much of his career has been spent proving there is a science to keeping urban trees healthy.  His research focuses on the affects of nursery production methods on tree quality, establishment rates, irrigation amount and frequency, pruning strategies, root pruning of field-grown trees, plus non-traditional containers and practices.  He has published more than 200 articles in technical journals and trade publications, and is the author of six books including Trees for Urban and Suburban Landscapes and Illustrated Guide to Pruning.


There has been much research and much written about successfully transplanting young trees into urban and rural environments.  Despite this the surprising statistic quoted in Trees in Towns II, that around 25 per cent of young trees planted in the public sector actually fail, remains to haunt arborists.


 The industry endorsement of a new British Standard BS 8545 Young Trees: From Nursery Through to Independence in Landscape, which is currently being drafted, has confirmed the subject is important and that there is a recognised need for more guidance and research.  The British Standard will seek to consolidate the view that the successful transplanting of young trees is a process which starts on the nursery and is continued until the tree is self-supportive in the landscape.


The lack of realisation that trees require maintenance is, according to Gilman, the biggest problem to overcome.  Most householders don’t think of consulting a tree care professional, yet seek professional support to service their car.  He also believes correct pruning is vital.  In a recent experiment Gilman and wind engineer Forrest Masters used a wind machine of almost 900hp to illustrate.  Video footage shows unpruned trees bending virtually to snapping point in wind of 120mph, while trees which had been strategically pruned show far less movement at the same wind speed.


“Few people understand there’s a science behind it”, says Ed Gilman.  “They know that science is used to build bridges or to fix bones.  But in textbooks there is essentially nothing about the trees in your yard or near the street.  We are putting science to very applied work”.


In addition to teaching in the USA since 1978, Dr Gilman has taught internationally, and has developed a unique urban tree teaching programme for helping local authorities, contractors and arborists design and implement strategies for promoting better tree health in towns and cities.  In a distinguished career, he has received many professional awards, including three from the American Society for Horticultural Science for his extension education programmes and books.


Gilman is never happier than when expounding on the benefits of trees, but he is hard-pressed to pick a favourite.  "I have about a top 1,000 favourite trees, and I probably could narrow it to a top 100 which I really enjoy. But I don't think I could pick a favourite," he said. "I guess I'd say a structure that's strong, provides shade and is free of disease, would be my favourite."


Attendance to the seminar (which includes lunch and refreshments) is free of charge.  However, it is by ticket only and limited to 400 delegates.  To apply for tickets, telephone Natasha on 01353 720748 or e-mail natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk with the subject header “Ed Gilman seminar”.  Delegates will also have the opportunity to tour the 150 acre nursery, which holds more than 150,000 containerised trees, comprising almost 400 species and varieties. 

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Tree News

Trees and woods face greatest turning point in 100 years

By Woodland Trust, 05 December 2011

Trees and woods face greatest turning point in 100 years

Twenty of the UK's leading forestry and wildlife bodies have, for the first time, joined together to draw attention to the challenges and opportunities faced by forests, woods and trees, which they say are greater now than at any other time in the last 100 years.

Twenty of the UK's leading forestry and wildlife bodies have, for the first time, joined together to draw attention to the challenges and opportunities faced by forests, woods and trees, which they say are greater now than at any other time in the last 100 years.


The consortium of groups[1], led by the Woodland Trust and representing a range of interests from timber production, to woodland conservation, to community participation, has collaborated to produce 'The State of the UK’s Forests, Woods and Trees'[2], a report to mark the International Year of Forests in 2011[3]. It draws on the latest available evidence, looking at the current state, as well as the future potential, of the UK’s tree and woodland resource, urging government to shift up a gear in order to secure a robust future for it.


Woodland Trust Policy Director, Hilary Allison, said: " We have shown, through the publication of this report, that NGOs and other industry bodies can and do work together, and that there is a remarkable degree of consensus. The potential for forests, woods and trees to deliver positive benefits is huge and this report provides the evidence needed to grasp the current opportunity, before it is lost, to embed positive action into policy and, more importantly, practice. Forests, woods and trees are currently on the political agenda in all parts of the UK[4] so this is a real turning point in their history. It's time for government and society to take action to secure their future."


The organisations behind the report agree that the most pressing issues for forests, woods and trees are:
· Securing the benefits of increasing tree and woodland cover to help mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as to deliver a range of other 'ecosystem services'[5] .
· Tackling the unprecedented challenges faced by trees, woods and forests – from climate change, an increase in pests and diseases, the effects of centuries of loss and fragmentation, land-use change, financial constraints and economic conditions.
· Delivering a healthy and resilient forest resource to achieve maximum benefits for people, wildlife, and the wider environment.


All these issues point to:
· the need to recognise and enhance the diversity in form, function, and use of our woods.
· the need for joined-up thinking with supportive government policies that embed forests, woods and trees and enable collaboration within the sector.
· the need for public support and an awareness of the benefits of woodland and why its protection and expansion is essential. The strong emotional reaction to the threat of losing the public forest estate earlier in 2011 needs to be deepened to a real understanding of and support for forests, woods and trees as working landscapes and as crucial habitats for wildlife.


Woodland Trust Conservation Advisor and the report's lead author, Sian Atkinson, added: "We already have a good deal of the research and policy in place to support the above identified needs. It is now essential that these policies are recognised, prioritised and driven into practice with adequate resources behind their implementation."


For more information, contact Alison Kirkman in the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or media@woodlandtrust.org.uk

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Tree News, Plant Health

ISA Tree Health Day, Kew Gardens - A Review

By Mark Chester, 05 December 2011

I hadn’t planned to attend this seminar, as I’d been to something similar hosted by Barcham Trees, in November 2010.  Besides, Kew is quite a trek from rural south Herefordshire, when I am based.  However, Russell Ball, Chapter president, encouraged me, and invited me, as Chairman, to say a few words to the delegates about membership of the Consulting Arborist Society, which represents consultants within the ISA

I hadn’t planned to attend this seminar, as I’d been to something similar hosted by Barcham Trees, in November 2010.  Besides, Kew is quite a trek from rural south Herefordshire, when I am based.  However, Russell Ball, Chapter president, encouraged me, and invited me, as Chairman, to say a few words to the delegates about membership of the Consulting Arborist Society, which represents consultants within the ISA


I am so glad that Russell invited me.  He had secured quite a line-up, attracting more than 130 delegates.  He introduced the day and the various speakers, then passed to me.  I welcomed the opportunity to thank him and Dr. Glynn Percival, one of the key speakers, for the help and support both have offered to CAS.  Glynn has written the technical articles for several CAS newsletters, raising the standard notably.  Russell has ensured CAS is seen as part of the ISA family.


Glynn was the first speaker.  He updated on the latest research in to Phytophtera Bleeding Canker.  He posed the question: some Horse Chestnut suffer less than others from this pathogen.  Why?  His conclusion is that when an organism, in this case, a tree, is aware that it is being attacked, it can defend itself.  However, if unaware of the attack, it cannot defend itself.  Glynn is working on methods for equipping trees to defend themselves from such attacks.


He has been working on the use of air spades to improve soil aeration, including exposing the buttress roots and breaking up compacted soil, to help trees resist Armillaria  Honey Fungus.  Trials have proved favourable.  Improved soil aeration can also help with general tree health and assist shrub planting with minimal damage to roots.


I find Glynn’s style very accessible and enjoyed his presentation.  For such a talented man, he is, for me, very modest and willing to help.  Glynn was followed by Tony Kirkham who spoke about the challenges of controlling the larvae of the Processionary Oak Moth.  Each caterpillar comes armed with potentially 64,000 fine hairs, each tipped with a small dose of a skin irritant which causes painful rashes on humans.  They form protective nests as they mature.


This pest has become especially prevalent at Kew Gardens where it enjoys the food source provided by oak and their relatives within the grounds.  Control is difficult with the grounds being open daily for visitors, the extent of the site and the challenge of spotting the larvae when young.  They can be controlled by applying an insecticide to the whole hosting tree.  This shuts down the larval nervous system, causing near instant death.


It was particularly eye-opening to appreciate the pioneering work Tony and his team have undertaken, and how others, including government officials, have been trying to keep up.  Tony mentioned how the HSE commented on the safety clothing for those going in to battle to clear nests, was somewhat excessive.  Then, having fully appreciated the situation, officials agreed that the battle armour is needed.


They are removed within the nest with an industrial vacuum cleaner used to clear asbestos, before being bagged and introduced to an incinerator.  Tony spoke of this aspect with the relish of someone who has evidently suffered at the hands of the little guys.  Others seem somewhat ignorant of the health risks associated; local residents have apparently carried nest fragments in to the Gardens unaware of the painful skin rashes that may be suffered.


Tony remains committed to his battle; others (including the Forestry Commission) seem more accepting of defeat.  In addition to the vacuum cleaner, infected trees have been sprayed with an insecticide to kill the larvae.  Research presented indicates that this method, whilst costly in terms of labour, materials and interrupting visitor attendance, does slow the spread of the moth.


The final speaker was Dr. Kelby Fite, who works in the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Charlotte, US.  He spoke about the experience of managing tree health problems State-side, starting with the historic Dutch Elm Disease which arrived in the US in the 1920s, and has proved a challenge ever since.  His presentation focused on current challenges.


The Asian-based Emerald Ash Borer (which is emerald and bores in to the trunks of Ash trees to lay its eggs, hence the name) arrived in Detroit, MI in 2002.  Now found in 15 states, there seems to be no natural resistance so arborists are relying on a systemic insecticide which is proving effective.  The Asian Hemlock Woolly Adelgid arrived in the 1920s and has gradually spread, attacking the Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga candensis).  These trees are important ecologically in their native habitat providing shade and insect shelter.  The Adelgid feeds on parenchyma cells at the base of needles and can cause rapid decline and death within several years, once a tree becomes heavily infested.  With no natural control, and working in ecologically-sensitive sites, careful application of chemical treatments is proving promising.


Bacterial Leaf Scorch is a bacterial disease spread by xylem feeding insects.  It plugs xylem vessels inhibiting water flow in to the canopy causing scorch and early defoliation.  There are many hosts, but urban shade trees are particularly hit.  Cultural practices and injecting antibiotics are the only solutions.  They are not ideal, but help to curtail losses of these valuable and important parts of the urban landscape ecology.


To control the Asian Longhorn Beetle, prevention is needed as there is no known resistance.  The adult lays eggs on the bark.  The larvae feed on the phloem and cambium.  Thousands of trees have been killed in several outbursts.


Dr. Fite concluded that the use of monoculture planting, and global trade leave our tree populations vulnerable to attack and the management approach may need to change with greater species diversity.


In the afternoon, Glynn demonstrated using the air-spade and injecting chemicals in to an Armillaria –infected tree to assist in its’ defence.  The chosen tree had signs of infection, leading to its’ use in trials.  Its recovery was evident for all to see. 


Another tree was volunteered for the spraying demonstration.  Water was used, powered by one of the famous yellow Bartlett trucks (which was available for close inspection by the delegates).  This brought to an end a most informative and enjoyable day of technical arboriculture.


Russell took part in Ride for Research.  I was pleased to present him with a donation of £100 from CAS before we left Kew.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Protecting the existing-providing for the future

By Russell Ball, 05 December 2011

You are invited to join Geosynthetics at Gristwood and Toms for a free day seminar providing full detailed background to the products, the engineering behind CellWeb and the ethos behind the SilvaCell.

You are invited to join Geosynthetics at Gristwood and Toms for a free day seminar providing full detailed background to the products, the engineering behind CellWeb and the ethos behind the SilvaCell.


It is an opportunity to fully understand possible solutions to the problems associated with building vehicular access areas over existing tree roots.


Protecting the existing- CellWeb Tree Root Protection System provides a flexible and permeable solution for protecting tree roots, creating a robust and stable platform for constructing vehicular access paths within the root protection area of existing trees. 


Providing for the future- The Silva Cell is a subsurface integrated tree and stormwater system that holds unlimited amounts of soil while supporting traffic loads beneath paving and hardscapes. 


Date:19 January 2012.


Venue:  Gristwood and Toms, Harris Lane, Shenley, Herts WD7 9EG.


Registration: 9.30.


Start:10.am. – Finish approximately 3.30.pm


Lunch: Lunch will be provided. Gristwood and Toms will provide a tour of their recycling facility.


How to Book: To reserve your place Contact joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk


For ISA Certified Arborists the seminar is worth 5 CEU’s.

Russell Ball, the current president of the ISA-UK/I Chapter. After working for four years in Madrid and as the Tree Protection Officer for the London Borough of Harrow, he is now a self-employed consulting arborist at Arbol EuroConsulting with a focus on tree development and risk management. Russell previously held executive positions with the London Tree Officers Association (LTOA) and ISA Europe, and in 1996, was voted Environmental Londoner of the Year.

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Plant Health

Top Ten UK Street Trees - Native Birch

By Pete Wells, 09 December 2011

Top Ten UK Street Trees - Native Birch

When considering the ‘TOP TEN’ street trees in the UK, our native birch Betula pendula is always at or near the very top. How does the tree justify its preeminence? Could it be fashion? Is this a move away from endless Japanese cherries and if so should we welcome the change?

 


When considering the ‘TOP TEN’ street trees in the UK, our native birch Betula pendula is always at or near the very top. How does the tree justify its preeminence? Could it be fashion? Is this a move away from endless Japanese cherries and if so should we welcome the change? Well, it is undoudtably popular with the public; it has a graceful, open crown that does not cast a dense shade. It is a medium vigour tree that is not more than 25 meters tall at maturity, with an upright crown and delicate, often slightly pendulous side branches. Altogether it conforms to the title ‘Lady of the Woods’.


But, it is a short-lived tree, rarely more than 60 years old. Just a sapling compared to long serving oak and beech.  As a standard tree it does not transplant easily, but will often cling on to life and slowly deteriorate over several years. What a nurseryman should tell you is that it is a cheap tree to grow, it is seed raised and a mother tree is capable of yielding a million seeds, so no shortage of supply. However the nurseryman chooses a site with free draining sandy soil that has a pH from neutral to slightly acid. He is able to remedy soil compaction, improve organic matter content and apply irrigation as necessary. How many silver birch sites in an urban setting are as accommodating?


So, how does it thrive in abandoned railway sidings, and derelict industrial sites?


Well, the role of silver birch in the evolution of vegetation is to perform as a pioneer plant, it colonizes open spaces and its abundant seed is distributed by the wind. One wonders if birch trees in private gardens could be self-sown seedlings and if the Urban Forester would be able to use this adaptation? Say plant a small group of mother trees (for cross pollination purposes because birch is self sterile) and then wait for nature to blow all the seed about and find all the places where sliver birch will happily survive and thrive.


However, the modern world has a mantra, which reads something like. ‘We want it and we want it now’. So being patient and working with nature is unlikely to be the preferred option. Never the less, the use of much younger planting material is to be recommended. A 2 year old transplant has a more desirable root/ shoot ratio and is better equipped to cope with the shock of the transplant operation. Even better would be to select stock from Scandinavia. The Finns have selected seed sources for their timber industry because Silver birch is the most commercially important species in Finland for plywood, pulpwood and fuel. Their selections are very hardy, of course, and also uniformly vigorous with strong stem form and minimum side branching. Ideal characteristics for those sites that will not be able to accommodate an Oak or London plane.

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Tree News, Opinion

The AA wants your opinion

By Nick Eden, 09 December 2011

The AA's Registered Consultant accreditation scheme is widely recognised within and beyond the industry.  The AA are seeking your opinions on it as part of a consultation period.  To comment, follow the link below:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VMRMPJS

The AA's Registered Consultant accreditation scheme is widely recognised within and beyond the industry.  The AA are seeking your opinions on it as part of a consultation period.  To comment, follow the link below:


http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VMRMPJS

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Opinion

Arboricultural Impact Assessment (AIA): Suggestions for a standard approach

By Barry Anderson, 09 December 2011

I have always disliked the term ‘implications assessment’ replacing it in my own reports with the term ‘impact assessment’. Throughout this article I will refer to AIA and that should be read as arboricultural impact assessment.

An arboricultural implications assessment is defined as ‘a study designed to identify, evaluate and mitigate the extent of impacts on existing trees that may arise as a result of a site layout proposal’ (British Standard 5837: Trees in Relation to Construction – Recommendations).


I have always disliked the term ‘implications assessment’ replacing it in my own reports with the term ‘impact assessment’. Throughout this article I will refer to AIA and that should be read as arboricultural impact assessment.


To read the full article, click here…

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Tree News, Opinion

Forestry Panel could do better

By Alison Kirkham, 18 December 2011

Woodland Trust reaction to the interim report of the Independent Panel on Forestry
The Woodland Trust is disappointed to see that the Independent Panel on Forestry has failed to make a commitment to review the strength of woodland protection. This was a strong theme in over 4,000 individual emails sent in by Trust supporters in response to the call for views arising out of the specific concerns for the future of the public forest estate.

Woodland Trust reaction to the interim report of the Independent Panel on Forestry


The Woodland Trust is disappointed to see that the Independent Panel on Forestry has failed to make a commitment to review the strength of woodland protection. This was a strong theme in over 4,000 individual emails sent in by Trust supporters in response to the call for views arising out of the specific concerns for the future of the public forest estate.


"The recent Autumn Statement announcement to review the Habitats Regulations and the long debate over proposed streamlining of the planning system underline that protection is not a given into the future," said Hilary Allison, Woodland Trust Policy Director. "The Panel should not assume that rates of woodland loss will remain low in future. We have such a low level of woodland cover with so many pressures on land that we cannot afford to be complacent about protection as an issue.


"Nonetheless, we very much welcome the Panel’s initial conclusion to retain a public forest estate which will adapt and evolve in the future, its desire to see a step change in action to increase woodland cover and more access to woodland, and its recognition of the need to restore damaged ancient woods.


"We hope the Panel, having heard the eloquent outpouring of concern and love for England’s woods and forests, will ultimately support our vision of doubling native woodland cover so that we bring woods close to more and more people, allowing us to experience why trees matter so much to our day to day lives."


When the Panel was launched in March 2011 the Trust set it three tests:

Test Progress Report
The panel should build on the numerous reviews on aspects of forestry policy undertaken over the past 10 years and not attempt to reinvent the wheel. The report makes much of the National Ecosystem Assessment[i] but doesn’t give the conclusions of the Read report (the Stern report for forests) sufficient recognition about the role of trees and woods in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
The panel should be bold and decisive in its recommendations and set an agenda for change, not one based on the status quo. The panel clearly says it wants to see change
The panel should focus particularly its attention on the areas where public passions and concerns were raised during the recently abandoned public consultation, such as access and the protection and restoration of ancient woods. A mixed bag; the panel comments positively on access and restoration of woodland (plus open ground habitats) but not on protection.
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Tree News

Forestry Panel Interim Report

By The Tree Council, 18 December 2011

Forestry Panel Interim Report

Forestry panel can’t see the trees for the woods

89 MILLION non-woodland TREES appear to have been ignored by the Forestry Panel in their interim progress report, published on the 8th December. The almost total absence of allusion to character trees in both the terms of reference for, and the areas of expertise within, the Government’s Independent Panel on Forestry has resulted in a lost opportunity that could have serious repercussions for urban and field trees.

Forestry panel can’t see the trees for the woods

89 MILLION non-woodland TREES appear to have been ignored by the Forestry Panel in their interim progress report, published on the 8th December. The almost total absence of allusion to character trees in both the terms of reference for, and the areas of expertise within, the Government’s Independent Panel on Forestry has resulted in a lost opportunity that could have serious repercussions for urban and field trees.


A strategy that incorporates individual trees in urban and rural locations is a prerequisite in any coherent policy and yet this important group seem to have been completely overlooked, despite representations from The Tree Council at a very early stage. “Sadly, the Panel members appear not to have afforded the role of individual trees any degree of significance in the call for views or the interim report, compounding the omission by those who appointed and briefed them” observed Director-General Pauline Buchanan Black. “This absence of relevant expertise or direct involvement in urban tree strategy is an omission that risks damaging the credibility of an otherwise worthwhile undertaking”.


The previous Government’s Policy for England’s Trees, Woods and Forests, published in 2007, observed in its introduction that there were about 89 million individual trees in urban parks and streets, orchards and gardens as well as in fields, hedgerows, rural parklands and wood pastures. Such trees provide many benefits. They offer habitats for wildlife, give character to the landscape – urban and rural – and make cultural links to our past. Hedgerow trees are associated with 55% of the priority Biodiversity Action Plan species whilst veteran park trees support a high proportion of our Red Data List and Nationally Scarce species.


Trees in the right urban location make a big difference to the quality of people’s lives, improving the places in which they live and work and giving a sense of identity to areas where new housing is being developed. Growing populations will increasingly rely on urban trees as an integral element of sustainable green infrastructure; trees regulate the urban microclimate and reduce air pollution whilst grass roots involvement in planning and executing tree planting schemes helps build cohesive and engaged communities.


“Individual trees are hugely important and should have been specifically referenced” commented Jackie Cocken, volunteer Tree Warden. “Here in Walsall, we are fortunate to have strong local authority support but we need the Forestry Panel to listen harder, give a strong lead on the immense value of individual urban and rural trees and validate the concerns of volunteers, environmental organisations and members of the public across the country”.


Please download the press release below.


Download attachments:
Press Release – Forestry Panel Interim Report

The Tree Council is the UK's lead charity for trees, promoting their importance in a changing environment. It was founded as the national tree planting campaign that would follow up the success of Plant A Tree In '73, encourage action for trees and run National Tree Week.

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Training

Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) Training Calendar

By Diane Ellison, 18 December 2011

The following Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) training workshops have been scheduled for 2012 in the United Kingdom, France, Australia.  Dates for other areas will be available shortly.

The following Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) training workshops have been scheduled for 2012 in the United Kingdom, France, Australia.  Dates for other areas will be available shortly.


For further information or to make an online booking, please visit our website www.qtra.co.uk.  if you have any questions do not hesitate to let us know by contacting admin@qtra.co.uk


Quantified Tree Risk Assessment (QTRA) Training



28 February 2012 Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
05 March 2012 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
13 March 2012 Venue to be confirmed, Surrey, United Kingdom
14 March 2012  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
21 March 2012 Venue to be confirmed, Sydney, Australia
02 April 2012  Perth, Western Australia, Australia
05-06 April 2012 Périgueux, France (two days)
17 April 2012  Chorley, Lancashire, United Kingdom
24 April 2012  Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
01 May 2012 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
13-14 November 2012 Périgueux, France (two days)

A Practitioner’s Guide to Visual Tree Assessment Training



29 February 2012 Henley in Arden, Warwickshire, United Kingdom
06 March 2012 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
14 March 2012 Venue to be confirmed, Surrey, United Kingdom
15 March 2012 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
22 March 2012 Venue to be confirmed, Sydney, Australia
03 April 2012 Perth, Western Australia, Australia
18 April 2012 Chorley, Lancashire, United Kingdom
25 April 2012 Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom
02 May 2012 Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

QTRA Licensed User Update (Intermediate) Training



07 March 2012 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
15 March 2012 Venue to be confirmed, Surrey, United Kingdom
16 March 2012   Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
23 March 2012 Venue to be confirmed, Sydney, Australia
04 April 2012 Perth, Western Australia, Australia
19 April 2012  Chorley, Lancashire, United Kingdom

We like to tailor the content of QTRA Update Workshops to meet the particular needs of those of you who are coming along.  Whether you’ve squirreled away a bunch of questions since you’ve been using QTRA, are a bit rusty and want a refresher, or would like some calibration with other users to give you more confidence that you’re applying the system correctly.


There have been some interesting recent developments with QTRA and though these are covered in the brand new User Manual and Practice Note; you may want to know more.  It has also been used in a high profile court case in the UK (Felbrigg) to demonstrate the trees were managed to a reasonable level of risk where tragically one child was killed and three were severely wounded when a branch failed from a tree.


So, what do you want to see covered in your QTRA Update?


  • The new method of accounting for Weather conditions in Target valuations
  • The ‘Felbrigg’ case
  • Other recent cases involving the use of QTRA
  • Tolerability of Risk (ToR) framework and how to calculate proportionality
  • How QTRA fits with other risk management guidance
  • Walkover and drive-by survey methods


Let us know and we will structure our update workshops to take account of your needs.

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Tree News

Top Celebrity Woodland Walks

By Chris Hickman, 18 December 2011

Top Celebrity Woodland Walks

The VisitWoods website has compiled a selection of the best winter woods, with a little help from a few famous faces. Whether you fancy walking off some Christmas excess or are looking for that perfect winter scene, there are thousands of publicly accessible woods across the UK to choose from.

The VisitWoods website has compiled a selection of the best winter woods, with a little help from a few famous faces. Whether you fancy walking off some Christmas excess or are looking for that perfect winter scene, there are thousands of publicly accessible woods across the UK to choose from.


To find your nearest winter wood or find out more information about our celebrity choices go to: VisitWoods.org.uk/winter-walks


You may even fancy a winter picnic whilst in the woods, visit naturedetectives.org.uk to download ideas for food, games and other activities, whilst naturescalendar.org.uk/tipples contains recipes for rowan vodka and blackberry whisky amongst others.


There are also hundreds of led woodland walks held regularly across the country through Natural England's Walking for Health scheme. Find your nearest at wfh.naturalengland.org.uk/woodland-walks



Top celebrity woods:



Simon King – Wistman’s Wood, Dartmoor


Wistman's Wood is a rare example of the high-level ancient woodlands found on Dartmoor. The wood consists mainly of stunted pedunculate oak trees that grow between moss-covered boulders and are festooned with mosses, lichens and ferns. During the winter the wood takes on a near magical quality, with frost in the air and the windswept moors creating a sense of eerie isolation.


Simon adds: “Ancient oak trees naturally stunted into bonsai forms by boulders of granite. With a little imagination, every trunk and branch appears to have been contorted into the faces of ogres and wild beasts.


This magical woodland echoes to the song of redstart and pied flycatcher, with the plaintive calls of buzzards mewing overhead. It is a place that allows your imagination to wander unbridled and your breath to slow.”


Adrian Chiles – Uffmoor Wood, Worcestershire


Stretching across gently sloping land, Uffmoor Wood can be found just a mile outside of Halesowen. The wood is easily accessed thanks to a public footpath network and an excellent web of rides including three way marked routes.
Regular coppicing in the past has created a distinct woodland structure and ground flora is varied and interesting, including several species which point to its ancient woodland origins. The close proximity to a large population of people means the wood is a great choice for anyone looking to walk off their Christmas excesses.


Adrian adds: "The Woodland Trust has some fantastic sites across the UK and they do a great job of looking after them. Take Uffmoor Wood, near Halesowen, just a few miles from where I was born. It's a real green oasis, being so close to such a massive urban population, and it's perfect for walking off your Christmas dinner too!"


Sir Matthew Pinsent – Old Wood, Sheringham


Though Old Wood is currently mainly Corsican pine and Douglas fir, a conservation programme is gradually converting much of the site back to broadleaf wood and heathland. It is hoped the heathland will eventually become one of north Norfolk’s key conservation habitats, it is already home to adders and slow-worms.


At the southern end is one of the highest points in Norfolk with views across the wood to Sheringham and the sea beyond. For anyone that fancies a coastal trip during the winter, Old Wood is the perfect location to take in both woodland and the sea air.


Sir Matthew adds: "Old Wood in Norfolk is a brilliant place for a Christmas walk and a fantastic way to benefit from the fresh air whilst enjoying our beautiful, natural landscape.”


Ben Fogle – Blackbush & Twenty Acre Shaw, Greater London


These two magnificent adjacent woods lie in the Downe Valley near the village of Cudham, in the London Borough of Bromley. Blackbush Shaw has a mixture of ancient woodland, old coppiced trees, younger trees and grassland while Twenty Acre Shaw is mainly ancient woodland with notable old pollarded trees on the boundary.


There are three entrances to each wood. Both woods have a public footpath running through them and a network of informal paths, some of which are steep and all unsurfaced. The recreation ground at Cudham offers local parking and the nearest bus stop is also in the village. Both woods offer the chance to immerse yourself in some real history during a winter walk.


Ben adds: "Although I live in London I’m very much an outdoors person and I can’t stay cooped up inside for long. Whenever I can I grab my Labrador Inca and head out to the woods, hills or the park. I just adore walking, it makes me feel so alive and it’s the best way to see everything our countryside has to offer right up close.


We have some amazing places to walk in this country, like Blackbush and Twenty Acre Shaw in the North Downs. It’s just a couple of miles from Charles Darwin’s home, forming part of the very landscape Darwin sought inspiration from whilst developing his theory of evolution. It’s a truly fantastic site, with some great views and a mix of ancient woods and grassland that make for a fascinating walk."


Tony Robinson – Credenhill Park Wood, Herefordshire


The tranquil paths amongst the trees give the visitor views of small leaved limes and early purple orchids. The Iron Age hill fort that forms an integral part of the site is one of the largest hill forts in England, and is thought to have been an Iron Age tribal capital. The walk to the fort gives the visitor the chance to explore the nature found in the woods along the way, and at the top, the fort’s views across to Wales take the imagination back to a time gone by. In winter in particular, with bare trees and a chill in the air it becomes even more evocative.


Tony adds: “I recommend Credenhill Park Wood in Herefordshire. Occupying a prominent position in the Hereford Hills, this extraordinary ancient woodland has a fascinating history. I’m particularly interested in its archaeological significance – an Iron Age hillfort, considered to be amongst the largest in the UK. It’s definitely worth a visit."


Nick Nairn – Glen Finglas, Scotland


Once part of a royal deer forest where kings from the time of David and James II onwards came to hunt. In the early 19th century the glen was a conduit for cattle drovers and whisky smugglers. It was also a stronghold for the clans of Stewart and MacGregor. Nowadays Glen Finglas is tranquil, sitting at the heart of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park it provides a whole range of recreational opportunities.


The Glen Finglas estate sweeps from just below the summit of Ben Ledi down to the shores of Loch Venacher. The best way to get an idea of the scale of the estate is to do the popular 15 mile circular walk right around Meall Cala. For a real winter escape Glen Finglas is the perfect location to get back to nature.


Nick adds: “Taking a Christmas walk is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors. Glen Finglas, the Woodland Trust’s largest site, is absolutely stunning and people have been coming here for centuries drawn by the natural beauty of the mountains, water and woodland.”


Iolo Williams – Coed Crafnant, Wales


A fine example of ancient woodland, with a rich flora of mosses, liverworts and ferns, the Coed Crafnant Reserve is comprised of two distinct woodlands; Coed Crafnant and Coed Dolbebin.


Together they form part of the extensive Rhinog Site of Special Scientific Interest within the National Park. The reserve, 49 hectares in size, is important for its variety of primitive plants such as mosses and liverworts; these rely on a warm, moist atmosphere to survive. The native oak tree canopy has provided this environment for some 6,000 years. The woods are also home to many different insects, birds and mammals.


Iolo adds: "Wherever you might be in Wales, you're blessed because there’s a wealth of great woodlands all around, including many Wildlife Trust woodland nature reserves.I mustn’t name one specific place as a favourite but I do enjoy several which offer different thrilling sensory experiences through the seasons. Gregynog near Newtown is wonderful in spring, as is Coed Crafnant near Harlech.


Coed-y-Brenin, a mainly coniferous woodland, is a great place to walk in the autumn and in winter, there aren't many places to beat the woodlands around Lake Vyrnwy or some of the ancient, moss-covered woodlands of Pembrokeshire.”


Dame Judi Dench – Hackfall, North Yorkshire


Set in a 350ft gorge on the edge of Grewelthorpe, Hackfall is a great place to take a bracing winter walk. With spectacular views across the Yorkshire hills and ancient woodland dripping with hoar frost, your senses will come alive.
The site was bought in 1731 by John Aislabie, famous for his landscaping work at nearby Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. His son, William transformed the area, creating grottos and glades, rustic temples embedded in groves of trees, waterfalls and follies – many of which can still be discovered in the park today.


For half a century the site fell into decline but since the Eighties, when the Woodland Trust took over, much has been done to restore Hackfall to its glory days, restoring footpaths and woodland walks, conserving the various follies, managing the fragile habitats within.


The ancient woodland site is still dominated by oak with beech, sycamore, ash and even lime originating from the 18th century. Hackfall teems with wildlife and sustains a thriving range of wild plant communities.

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Tree News

New CAS Treasurer for 2012

By Bob Widd, 15 January 2012

New CAS Treasurer for 2012

I am looking forward to taking on the role of Treasurer and President Elect of CAS and hopefully meeting as many members as possible at the various events around the country over the coming year.

My current role is Director of Bob Widd Associates Ltd, based in Glatton just south of Peterborough. I have been the proprietor of the company, formerly known as Independent Tree Consultants, since 1995 and became the Director in 2011.


During my 35 year career in forestry and arboriculture I have worked for local government, national government and private sector organisations at various levels up to Managing Director. During the early 1980’s I was employed as the Trainee Forester at Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, which gave me a fresh insight into how trees could be managed. Up to this time I had been involved in pure commercial forestry – both hardwoods and softwoods- but with this new role came a awareness of the beauty of trees and how they could be used to influence the landscape of our towns and country. I decided there and then that arboriculture was ‘IN’ and forestry was ‘OUT’, however as we all know, there are times when the two become fused together, and so I never  really left forestry behind.


In my early days, I was fortunate enough to work with, and be mentored by Graham Tuley, an eccentric and eminent research scientist at Alice Holt. The first time I met Graham he was rubbing his steel gauntlet hands up and down oak tree trunks in an experiment to remove epicormic buds and reduce side shoots.  It was Graham who invented the Tuley Tube, a square version, and fore-runner, of today’s Tubex growth tubes. There are not many square ones left now, but when ever I see them, it always takes me back 30 years to those halcyon days.


After gaining my Forestry Diploma from Newton Rigg, I became the Tree Officer for Cumbria County Council in the Lake District National Park on a fixed term contract, quickly followed by a period as Tree Officer for Hampshire County Council. Several years later I became involved in Utility Arboriculture and became the secretary for the British Utility Arboricultural Association (BUAA), the fore-runner of today’s UAG, and an affiliated group to the Arboricultural Association.


Currently I am working on several large Planning projects and have recently acted as the Expert Witness for Her Majesty’s Coroner, during the inquiry in to the death of a local teenager as a result of Summer Branch Drop.


I have enjoyed most of my 35 years in the industry – lets face it, we all have some bad days – but what I carry on enjoying is the variety of the work situations I find myself in on a daily basis and knowing that the job will never become dull and mundane.


I am looking forward to taking on the role of Treasurer and President Elect of CAS and hopefully meeting as many members as possible at the various events around the country over the coming year.

My current role is Director of Bob Widd Associates Ltd (under construction), based in Glatton just south of Peterborough. I have been the proprietor of the company, formerly known as Independent Tree Consultants, since 1995 and became the Director in 2011.

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Tree News

Saving Wales' largest ancient forest, six years on...

By Rory Francis, 15 January 2012

Saving Wales' largest ancient forest, six years on...

January 2012 will mark the sixth anniversary of the purchase of 353 hectares (870 acres) of Wentwood Forest by the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw), following a high profile public fundraising campaign.

Woodland Trust completes the first stage of the restoration of Wentwood Forest

Cymraegs isod...
January 2012 will mark the sixth anniversary of the purchase of 353 hectares (870 acres) of Wentwood Forest by the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw), following a high profile public fundraising campaign.

More than 15,000 people supported the funding raising appeal in 2005, raising over £1.5m. Celebrity supporters included actor Judi Dench, TV meteorologist Sian Lloyd, writer Bill Bryson, TV presenter Tony Robinson, author Oliver Rackham, and gardener, author and presenter Chris Beardshaw.

Now, six years on, the Woodland Trust has completed the first stage of the restoration of the forest. Funded by the Tubney Trust and Grantscape, this has included thinning almost all the areas of Wentwood in the Trust’s care which had been previously been planted with conifers, some 300 ha, to provide space and light for the native oak, beech and hazel to take their place. The only exception is those areas with very young stands of conifers, which will be removed later.

What the Trust has not done, however, is to clear-fell large areas of the forest. This ensures that the land still feels like a wood and, crucially, can protect the rare and vulnerable woodland flora, such as woodland ferns, that could be killed off by the shock of clear-felling.

Barry Embling joined the Woodland Trust earlier this year and is now responsible for the management of Wentwood. He says: “It’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to restore Wales’ largest remaining ancient forest. Over the past five years we’ve removed tens of thousands of tonnes of conifer trees, creating much improved habitats for the whole range of wildlife associated with ancient woodland, including dormouse, pipistrelle bat, song thrush and bullfinch. Other declining and nationally rare species which should benefit from the restoration include wood warbler, willow tit (Wentwood is the last place for this species in Gwent), cuckoo, tree pipit, goshawk and badger.

But along with the successes, the Trust has had to deal with real challenges along the way. “We’ve had to spent many thousands of pounds clearing up fly-tipping from Wentwood”, says Barry. “But the good news is that by restricting vehicle access to some of the tracks and working closely with neighbours, we’ve now significantly reduced this problem.”

The Trust has undertaken its restoration work in partnership with the local community. Since 2006 literally thousands of children have visited Wentwood with their schools, getting the opportunity either to help with the restoration of the forest by planting acorns, or to learn more about it at “discovery days”.

The Woodland Trust is hugely grateful to the 15,000 individuals who contributed towards the fundraising campaign for the purchase of Wentwood, and particularly to the Tubney Trust, which gave £700,000 towards the purchase and management of Wentwood, Grantscape which contributed £500,000 towards its restoration, and the Countryside Council for Wales which contributed £50,000 towards the initial purchase of the site.

For those looking to blow away the cobwebs following the festive season, Wentwood Forest is an excellent spot for a bracing post Christmas walk. And like all Woodland Trust sites, it has its own website at
www.wt-woods.org.uk/wentwood which includes a map, notes about what to look out for, and the Woodland Trust’s long term plans for the forest.

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Tree News

Will spring be sprung early in 2012?

By Chris Hickman, 15 January 2012

Will spring be sprung early in 2012?

The Woodland Trust is asking the public to report observations of the effects of the milder winter weather on native trees and flowers across the country. This follows a number of anecdotal reports of flowers blooming and native trees bursting their buds weeks ahead of schedule. The last three months of 2011 only experienced four air frosts in the Central England Temperature Series1, compared to 35 in 2010, and an average of 15 in the period 1878-2010.

The Woodland Trust is asking the public to report observations of the effects of the milder winter weather on native trees and flowers across the country. This follows a number of anecdotal reports of flowers blooming and native trees bursting their buds weeks ahead of schedule. The last three months of 2011 only experienced four air frosts in the Central England Temperature Series1, compared to 35 in 2010, and an average of 15 in the period 1878-2010.


The conservation charity has already received evidence through its "Nature's Calendar" website of snowdrops and daffodils blooming, as well as silver birch, oak and hazel trees' buds bursting. Data recorded by the public will add weight to the Trust's already vast resource of information on how trees and woods play a role in the natural environment, supporting its goal of creating a country rich in native trees and woods..


Dr Kate Lewthwaite from the Woodland Trust said: "Our native plants and trees are great indicators of wider changes in the natural world. By recording budburst and flowers blooming the public can help us determine whether these changes are having a major effect on how Mother Nature functions. Despite what people may think, in recent years it has become more commonplace to see daffodils and snowdrops in late December and early January as the climate warms."


The Trust is gathering data to assess the arrival of spring in comparison to previous years, to analyse whether the trend of native flora appearing earlier will continue in 2012. Early flowering species such as snowdrop and lesser celandine are particularly useful in giving an indicator of climactic conditions. The Trust is also looking for evidence of frogspawn to see whether frogs are being fooled into spawning early, as if this was followed by freezing weather it could lead do frozen spawn in ponds up and down the country.


The charity is currently embarking on a project to plant 6 million trees to mark The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, it hopes that the creation of new native woodland will increase diminishing wildlife habitats and provide more stable environments. The public are asked to find their nearest wood and information on how to record at VisitWoods.org.uk

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Tree News

This is no 'green Government', says Woodland Trust over decision to destroy ancient woodland for HS2

By Alison Kirkman, 15 January 2012

This is no 'green Government', says Woodland Trust over decision to destroy ancient woodland for HS2

The decision by Transport Secretary Justine Greening, expected to be officially announced later this week, to go ahead with the chosen route for the High Speed Two rail link between London and Birmingham, will condemn 21 ancient woodlands.

The decision by Transport Secretary Justine Greening, expected to be officially announced later this week, to go ahead with the chosen route for the High Speed Two rail link between London and Birmingham, will condemn 21 ancient woodlands.


Nikki Williams, Woodland Trust Head of Campaigning said: "The way the Government has dealt with its proposal for High Speed Two is extremely disappointing. The consultation lacked sufficient information to make it a credible process. Even now, the environmental impacts of the proposed route have not been properly assessed and there are no plans to assess them until late 2012.The lack of information on alternative routes has made it impossible to establish whether the route chosen was due to anything other than reducing costs and increasing speed.


" Any government agreeing to the destruction of ancient woodland is wholly mistaken when referring to itself as the 'greenest government ever'. Regardless of any mitigation strategy put forward by Government on HS2, no compensation can exist for this loss."


Climate change represents the greatest threat to our woodland heritage and the Woodland Trust strongly supports moves towards green transport. However, it must be efficient, of benefit to the majority and should not sacrifice the environment’s rarest habitats. Ancient woodland is the UK's equivalent of the rainforest and is literally irreplaceable. It is our richest wildlife habitat and even slicing a small corner off one wood impacts the wildlife in the rest of it. Noise and vibration associated with high speed rail has also been consistently shown in studies to have a huge negative impact on wildlife.

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading charity championing native woods and trees. It has 300,000 members and supporters. Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,000 sites in its care covering approximately 20,000 hectares (50,000 acres). Access to its sites is free.

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Tree News

Chairman's Corner

By Mark Chester, 15 January 2012

Chairman's Corner

Welcome to the first edition of the CAS Magazine for 2012.
The Woodland Trust reports on work to restore an ancient woodland, but also highlight the potential damage that the recently approved High Speed 2 rail line could cause with 21 ancient woodlands en-route.

Welcome to the first edition of the CAS Magazine for 2012.


The Woodland Trust reports on work to restore an ancient woodland, but also highlight the potential damage that the recently approved High Speed 2 rail line could cause with 21 ancient woodlands en-route.


We have an exciting programme planned for the year ahead, and will shortly present details of a new CAS Area of Professional Competency…..watch this space.


The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted an advertisment sent out last year for a new treasurer.  Bob Widd, who became a member in the summer, volunteered for the role.  We get to know a bit about him in the first of our 'in the spotlight' profiles.


I trust that, regardless of the headlines and views of economists, this year will prove to be fruitful for one and all.


With best wishes,


Mark

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Training

CAS Mortgage & Insurance Course

By Mark Chester, 16 January 2012

CAS Mortgage & Insurance Course

We've reviewed the course.
We've reviewed the date.
We've reviewed the price!

We've reviewed the course.
We've reviewed the date.
We've reviewed the price!

 
The first Mortgage and Insurance course, run last year at Capel Manor's Celebration Of Trees event, was over two days.  It took a workshop approach, and included a field exercise and discussion as part of the programme.
 
We appreciate that, for many consultants, the costs of a two day course (accommodation, time away from work, fees etc) is significant.  Could the course be modified to fit a single day?  By extending the day (9-5.30 rather than 9.30-4) and transferring the field exercise to the classroom, we can run the event within a single day.
 
We can also reduce the cost by nearly half (£200 for CAS members (£220 for non-members) instead of £385 for members, £425 for non-members).
 
The new date is now Wednesday 22nd February, Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire.
 
Book now to secure your place!

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Business Advice

Nature is complex, Planning doesn't have to be

By Cheralyn Dark, 30 January 2012

Nature is complex, Planning doesn't have to be

The Planning Portal is hosting a FREE event, in collaboration with the Arboricultural Association, Consulting Arborist Society, Institute of Chartered Foresters, DCLG and Barrell Treecare.

Over 1,500 species of trees in Britain – just one planning application form.

Nature is complex, Planning doesn’t have to be.

The Planning Portal is hosting a FREE event, in collaboration with the Arboricultural Association, Consulting Arborist Society, Institute of Chartered Foresters, DCLG and Barrell Treecare.

Why should I attend?
This is the first time that members of these organisations, who represent a large section of the Arboricultural Industry, have been invited to come together to hear about topical arboricultural subjects and key planning issues likely to affect them.

This is also an excellent opportunity to find out more about submitting applications for works to trees in conservation areas and with TPO’s electronically. So, if you haven’t used the Planning Portal’s free online services before, why not come along and find out just how easy it is to save time and money by working online?

What does the day include?
Key speakers will be addressing current hot topics including:

  • Barrell Treecare - BIG TREES, small spaces; hopeless conflicts or realistic aspirations? In this presentation, Barrell Tree Consultancy will use a series of case-studies to explore what can be achieved in the tough environment of central London! Andy Sherlock, Barrell Treecare
  • DCLG – An overview of new TPO legislation, DCLG representatives
  • Planning Portal – How submitting tree applications online will save money and help gain competitive edge for you and your company - Ashley Jones, Corporate Account Manager - Planning Portal
  • A Day in the life of a Tree Officer – an insight to a Tree Officer’s normal working day.

Let us help to get you on board!
During the event, Planning Portal Staff will be on hand to advise and help set-up a free user account and application template for you on the Portal so making it easy to submit your next application electronically.

If that isn’t enough, there will be ample networking opportunities with other members from other organisations over refreshments!

Where and when?
Date: Tuesday 21 February 2012 (morning or afternoon)
Venue: DCLG, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU

How do I attend?
Due to places being limited, we advise you register ASAP! To book your FREE place, register by clicking here...

There are two sessions taking place on Tuesday 21 February. The 1st session takes place at 10am (registration at 9.45am) and finishes at 12.30pm. The 2nd session starts at 1.30pm (registration at 1.15pm) and finishes at 4pm.

Refreshments will be provided at each session. The content of each session will be the same so you only need to register once. Places will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. If you have a preference of time slot that you would like to register for, please indicate the session on your registration form – we will do our best to accommodate your preference however please note that this may always not be possible. Slots will be allocated based upon availability.

Please note there is a £25 fee for cancellations within 72 hours notice of the event. A maximum of 2 persons from the same representing company is preferred. There will be a reserve list if you wish more representatives to attend and we will do our best to accommodate you, where possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Cheralyn Dark (0117 372 8614) or Beccy Greenfield (0117 372 8901) at the Planning Portal.

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales. We provide advice and services for the public, professionals and local government.

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Barcham Series

BARCHAM TREES: BIG BARN CONFERENCE 2012

By Keith Sacre, 30 January 2012

June 2010 saw the second Barcham Trees ‘Big Barn’ Conference held at the nursery with over 400 delegates visiting the nursery to hear Dr Gary Watson from the Morton Arboretum speaking about his latest research. The day was chaired by Dr Mark Johnston with other speakers including Dr Glynn Percival and Andy Hirons. Many distinguished visitors from the world of Arboriculture and allied professions attended and found the day both informative and rewarding.

June 2010 saw the second Barcham Trees ‘Big Barn’ Conference held at the nursery with over 400 delegates visiting the nursery to hear Dr Gary Watson from the Morton Arboretum speaking about his latest research. The day was chaired by Dr Mark Johnston with other speakers including Dr Glynn Percival and Andy Hirons. Many distinguished visitors from the world of Arboriculture and allied professions attended and found the day both informative and rewarding.

In June 2012 Barcham Trees will be holding the third conference of the series. The event will take place on June 20th and as with previous conferences be free of charge to delegates with places reserved on a first come first served basis.
There has been much written and extensive research carried out, both historic and current, about successfully transplanting young trees into both the urban and rural environments. Yet despite this the staggering Trees in Towns II statistic that approximately 25% of the young trees planted in the public sector actually fail, remains.
The industry endorsement of a new British Standard BS 8545 Young Trees: From Nursery through to Independence in Landscape which is currently being drafted has confirmed that the subject remains topical and that there is a recognised need for more guidance and research. The document will seek consolidate the view that the successful transplanting of young trees is a process which begins on the tree nursery and is continued until the tree is fully self supportive in the landscape.

The 2012 ‘Big Barn’ Conference again has an international flavour with the day focusing primarily on young trees, their healthy development in the landscape, how nursery production practices can affect both short and long term young tree performance and the influence of formative pruning on the future structural integrity of young trees as they mature. 

The principle speaker will be Dr Ed Gilman from the University of Florida. Dr Gilman has spent his entire career involved in research and education with the above process clearly in mind and now has the reputation of being one of the most eminent researchers in his field. Dr Gilman works with arborists, consultants, landscape contractors, tree nursery operators, urban foresters and others engaged in tree selection, growing, transplanting and management issues.

His current research interest is directed towards tree and shrub production practices and their impact on the rate of establishment in the landscape. Included in this is extensive research is pruning strategies, irrigation amount and frequency, fertilizer placement and source and rate, root pruning of field grown trees, and non traditional container shapes and practices. His major focuses include root morphology in response to the environment, root growth and water stress after planting and the modelling of the factors that influence the rate of tree establishment in the landscape.

Dr Gilman has, in addition to many research papers has written several books with his 330 page ‘Illustrated Guide to Pruning’ probably being the best known in the UK.

Much of Dr Gilman’s work can be found on the University of Florida’s website.

Those who attended the Arboricultural Association Conference in 2010 and the Institute of Chartered Foresters ‘Trees in the Built Environment Conference’ held in Birmingham in April of this year will be familiar with Philip van Wassenaer, BSc, MFC. Barcham Trees are pleased that Philip has agreed to fly from his home in Toronto, Canada to speak at the 2012 ‘Big Barn’ Conference.

Philip van Wassenaer is the principle consulting arborist and founder of Urban Forest Innovations and Urban Forest Innovative Solutions. With over 20 years experience as a practicing arborist, Philip has been an International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist since 1999. He has served as both President and a Director of the Ontario Urban Forest Council between 1997 and 2008. Philip’s further qualifications include an undergraduate degree in environmental sciences and a Master of Forest Conservation degree with a specialisation in Urban Forest Management, from the University of Toronto. In 2009 Philip was one of the first seven recipients of the ISA ‘True Professionals of Arboriculture ‘awards in recognition of his commitment to education and the advancement of arboriculture. His combination of education and experience allow him to bring a unique and successful approach to his arboricultural and forestry projects. Through his professional and volunteer efforts Philip has worked locally, nationally and internationally on assignments concerning urban forestry and the preservation of significant trees.

Philip will bring his experience and knowledge of tree failure to the conference and draw many of the links between ultimate mechanical failure and nursery production practice highlighting how poor practice in the nursery can inextricably lead to the failure in the landscape.

Duncan Slater is the third speaker and will open the conference proceedings. Again those who attended the 2011 Arboricultural Association’s conference cannot have been other than impressed by the innovative, dynamic and challenging talk he produced.

Duncan is engaged in an on-going research programme into the mechanical properties of junctions in trees and has already thrown up a number of findings that challenge our existing knowledge about the anatomy of these junctions and their mechanical behaviour. From his research a picture is now emerging of how the mechanical properties, geometry and anatomy of tree forks may be highly influenced by the environment in which they are found. This research is likely to provide important findings about tree establishment, management and the risk assessment of junctions and to substantially alter existing arboricultural guidance on junctions in trees.

Duncan is current a lecturer in Arboriculture at Myerscough College and has a BSc in Forestry, a Masters in Resource Management, a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and is a Chartered Forester. He has assisted on an afforestation project in the expanding deserts of Southern Spain, surveyed and researched the tree plantings of historic parks in Britain and has worked as a Tee Officer for three UK Local Authorities. He is currently undertaking a doctoral research with the University of Manchester on tree biomechanics.

Once again the day will be chaired by Dr Mark Johnston MBE whose pedigree and contribution to Arboriculture and Urban Forestry are well celebrated and documented. His latest industry award came when he was presented with the Arboricultural Association Award 2011 for his continued contribution to arboriculture at the organisation’s annual conference dinner at Warwick University in September this year.

The synergy of the subjects to be covered by all three speakers is readily apparent and it promises to be a day not to be missed anyone interested how young trees raised on the nursery today can be successfully transplanted into the landscape and develop to be the significant trees in tomorrow’s urban forest.
 

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Tree News, Business Advice

Chairmans Corner

By Mark Chester, 30 January 2012

Chairmans Corner

This week, we have details of several events being run by some of our associated organisations.

This week, we have details of several events being run by some of our associated organisations.


Ashley Jones is running a seminar on using the Planning Portal, in London, next month. This should be of interest to both tree officers and consultants…


After the successful launch of the ISA/Gristwood & Toms series in Shenley, Hertfordshire, last week, the second event has been announced. Geosynthetics made a technical presentation on the application of the cell membrane enabling development near to trees, and the Silva Cell, which allows trees to be planted within the hard landscape. A review on the seminar will follow…


And Barcham’s Trees are busy organising their bi-annual ‘Big Barn’ seminar in June…


We are delighted to announce that Mick Merrick is joining the team of contributors here at CAS. He is an experienced and highly regarded sales manager and coach who specialises in equipping people to develop their skills. He is a regular mentor on the CanHave programme and provides a monthly blog. More on that later. Mick starts with five tips to improve winning that important commission…


Generating work is key to success for many of us. It can seem daunting seeking to secure a sale, especially if you don’t feel that selling is your natural skill. However, there are key principles which we can use to help ensure success in securing a continued flow of work.

  • Many clients will prefer not to say ‘yes’ after the first meeting. Follow-up calls help to remind them that you are still around. It is important not to be pushy, but a call to see if they are happy with the proposal, or would value clarification, are often beneficial. The call (s) can also help to develop your relationship with them.
  • Be willing to ask for feedback when the work is complete. Ask your customer to let you know what you did well, any areas that could be improved, and whether they know of others who may appreciate a call…
  • Identify what is unique about your service, or what additions you provide. Be sure to carefully highlight this in your business literature, and when making presentations to prospective clients. If the service you offer is more skilled than may be appreciated, explain this. Remember that your client may not know the full range of your services, and unless you advise…
  • The world of work is governed by ‘laws’. One of these is that December and January are not good times to generate work. So, prove the law is wrong! This can be an ideal time to phone a client and see how things are progressing.
  • It can take up to seven ‘reminders’ to persuade a client to proceed. Carefully spaced phone calls, e-mails etc can be effective tools in ensuring they remember you.
     

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Barcham Series

The Big Barn Conference! 2012

By Barchams, 05 February 2012

The Big Barn Conference! 2012

Weds 20th June
The moment you have all been waiting for ….
You can now sign up to attend the next "Big Barn Conference" at Barcham Trees.

Barcham Trees presents....

The Big Barn Conference! 2012

Weds 20th June

The moment you have all been waiting for ....
You can now sign up to attend the next "Big Barn Conference" at Barcham Trees.

Barcham are pleased to announce that the keynote speaker at the June conference is to be Dr Edward F Gilman, Professor of Environmental Horticultural in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida, USA.

Barcham’s Keith Sacre says he is delighted to have secured Ed Gilman for the conference and believes a British audience will learn a great deal from his presentation.

Ed Gilman has been at the University of Florida since 1986 and currently conducts both research and educational programmes in tree selection, urban design, nursery production and urban tree management. Much of his career has been spent proving there is a science to keeping urban trees healthy.

Barcham also have the pleasure of presenting Dr Philip Wassenaer, Duncan Slater and Dr Mark Johnston.

The full biographies of the speakers and further details can be downloaded here.

This Conference will be free of charge to attend and limited to 400 people on a first come, first served basis.

To book your place and for further information - PLEASE VISIT the Barcham Website!

If you have any queries, please email natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk or you can complete the online booking form here.
 

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Tree News, Training

2012 Celebration of Trees

By Mark Chester, 05 February 2012

2012 Celebration of Trees

The Consulting Arborist Society is pleased to announce the programme of technical seminars for the 2012 Celebration of Trees, Capel Manor College, 20, 21st April 2012.

The Consulting Arborist Society is pleased to announce the programme of technical seminars for the 2012 Celebration of Trees, Capel Manor College, 20, 21st April 2012.


The main event is the new, updated and reviewed Tree Valuation workshop. 


Previously, this seminar for CAS focused on using the range of techniques under the CTLA banner.  The course will be led by Dr. Jon Heuch, who is a panel member of the Regional Plant Appraisal Committee for the UK/I, which is responsible for the application of the CTLA valuation methods within the UK and Ireland.


 The updated course will now consider the merits and application of all four of the main techniques being used in the UK: Helliwell, CTLA, CAVAT and i-Trees.  The two day course will include case studies enabling delegates to apply the techniques to a range of tree scenarios.


On successful completion of the course, delegates will be equipped with an understanding valuing trees, which has been described as an art, rather than a science.


9-4.30 20, 21st April


Cost: £385 for CAS members, £425 for non-members (includes the fee for the accreditation process)


During the interval, the AGM of the Consulting Arborist Society will held


At 5pm on Friday, Ashley Jones from the Planning Portal, will provide a presentation on on-line planning applications


 


Friday 20th April


Tree Preservation Orders: Effective Application.  Led by Richard Nicholson


A one day seminar looking at the background to the use of Tree Preservation Orders (TPOs), their current use, how to make a valid new order, how to object to a new order,  how to make an application for tree work consent, and the appeals process.


The day will include practical exercises in critiquing a TPO which is not valid, successfully submitting an application for permission to work on a protected tree and completing a written test.  This is part of the accreditation process.


At 5pm Ashley Jones from the Planning Portal, will provide a presentation on on-line planning applications.


Cost: £125 for CAS members, £145 for non-members.


Accreditation: £45


9-4.30  21st April

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Her Majesty The Queen plants a tree for Jubilee Woods

By The Woodland Trust, 05 February 2012

Her Majesty The Queen plants a tree for Jubilee Woods

On February 3, 2012, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Princess Royal together planted symbolic trees at Sandringham to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project. Her Majesty is creating a new 20 acre woodland on the Sandringham Estate as part of the project.

Tree planting at Sandringham starts off a year of tree planting celebrations


On February 3, 2012, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Princess Royal together planted symbolic trees at Sandringham to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project. Her Majesty is creating a new 20 acre woodland on the Sandringham Estate as part of the project.


The Jubilee Project, which has The Queen’s support and HRH The Princess Royal as Patron, aims to plant 6 million trees across the UK and involve millions of people in a year of tree planting Jubilee celebrations.


February 6th 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the throne when her father passed away at Sandringham which makes the new woodland a special tribute.


Georgina McLeod, Woodland Trust, Jubilee Woods Director said: "We are absolutely delighted that Her Majesty The Queen and HRH The Princess Royal have agreed to help start a year of Jubilee Woods tree celebrations.”


Georgina McLeod continued: “We very much hope that people across the UK will want to join us in paying a very special tribute to The Queen, while at the same time creating something living and lasting to hand on to future generations. It’s a great way to celebrate the Jubilee but also it’s a chance to make your mark on Britain’s future.”


At the pinnacle of the project will be 60 special Diamond Woods – each of at least 60 acres – with hundreds of smaller Jubilee Woods also being created. The Woodland Trust has thousands of free Jubilee Tree packs available for communities and schools across the UK. For individuals there is a special range of individual Jubilee trees for gardens or pots available online.


Georgina McLeod continued: "We can only make this exciting and ambitious project successful with everyone’s help. We want to give people the chance to plant trees and we’re appealing to our supporters; individuals, organisations and businesses, to help make this happen."


Across the UK landowners, communities, schools, organisations and individuals have pledged to plant trees to help the Trust, and it is hoped that millions of people across the UK will also take the opportunity to get involved in 2012. People can visit the Jubilee Woods website to find out more.


Dame Judi Dench spoke about planting trees: “Whenever a friend or relative dies, I make a point of planting a tree in my garden. As soon as I heard about the Jubilee Woods project, I felt I wanted to be a part of it. I support the Woodland Trust because I think too many forests are being destroyed and we should do all we can to conserve what we have and to plant more. The more trees I see, the happier I am.”


Her Majesty The Queen and Dame Judi planting trees is just the start, tree celebrations will take place across the whole year with opportunities for everyone to get involved in planting 6 million trees. For more information or to find out how you can get involved and plant your tree for the Jubilee visit the www.Jubileewoods.org.uk website.

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Tree News

Local people across Wales get planting...

By The Woodland Trust, 05 February 2012

Local people across Wales get planting...

Local communities and schools around Wales will get digging this February. Everyone in Wales is to get the chance to be part of something big and come together to help transform communities for future generations by planting a million trees in February 2012. It’s all part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods campaign.

Cymraeg isod…


Local communities and schools around Wales will get digging this February. Everyone in Wales is to get the chance to be part of something big and come together to help transform communities for future generations by planting a million trees in February 2012. It’s all part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods campaign.


As the UK’s leading charity championing woods and trees, the Woodland Trust (Coed Cadw) has set itself the ambitious task of planting a million trees across the UK in a month in February 2012 to celebrate The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and celebrate her accession to the throne, part of a year of tree planting that will see 6 million trees planted across the UK in 2012 as part of the Trust’s Jubilee Woods project.


February 6th 2012 marks the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s accession to the throne. Happily, the winter months are also the best time of year to plant trees, when they are dormant and the ground is full of moisture to give them a good start before the summer. So, in February 2012, the Woodland Trust is inviting people, together with family, friends, and local communities to join us in planting one million trees for the Jubilee.


The Trust will be sending out free packs of 50 trees to 298 schools in Wales this February, as well as 50 community tree packs, each containing either 105 or 420 trees. These alone mean that over 32,000 trees will be planted in Wales.


Moreover, across Wales landowners, communities, schools and organisations have pledged to plant trees to help the Trust and its Jubilee Woods project. Two Diamond Woods are being, each of around 60 acres, at Ffos Las Racecourse in Carmarthenshire and the Bluestone National Park Resort in Pembrokeshire and there will be other smaller Jubilee Woods created across the country. At Ffos Las and Bluestone, there will be schools planting weeks, where local schools are invited to bring children along to tree planting sessions.


As the month progresses, look out for news of Wales-based celebrities doing their bit in this massive tree planting challenge.


Dame Judi Dench the multi award winning film stage and TV actress is an enthusiastic supporter of the Jubilee Woods project and is planting oaks in her garden. She said: “Whenever a friend or relative dies, I make a point of planting a tree in my garden. As soon as I heard about the Jubilee Woods project, I felt I wanted to be a part of it. I support the Woodland Trust because I think too many forests are being destroyed and we should do all we can to conserve what we have and to plant more. The more trees I see, the happier I am.”


Georgina McLeod, Head of Jubilee Woods at the Woodland Trust said: “The great news is that everyone can get involved in February and be one in a million. From helping to create 60 new Diamond Woods, planting new woodland with communities, donating funds to help plant trees, to planting trees in school grounds or a single tree in your garden or pot, it’s easy to plant trees for the Jubilee and help us reach a million trees in a month! People can visit the Jubilee Woods website to find out more. But this is just the start, the tree planting celebrations will take place across the whole year with opportunities for everyone to get involved in planting 6 million trees.”


And it wouldn’t be the first time that the UK has celebrated a Royal occasion by nationwide tree planting. The Royal Record of Tree Planting for King George VI’s Coronation records in fascinating detail the tree planting undertaken by thousands of schools, parishes, organisations and homeowners in 1936/7, and has been made available online for the first time by the Trust. People can search the book online and unearth the hidden treasures on their doorsteps.


Everyone involved in planting for the Diamond Jubilee will be recorded in the new royal record that will be published on line and in hard copy form which will be presented to The Queen and the British library at the end of the project.


Funded by IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishing retailer free Jubilee tree packs are also available for communities and schools to plant in local areas and school grounds. For individuals there is a special range of individual Jubilee trees for gardens or pots. For more information or to find out how you can get involved and plant your tree for the Jubilee in February 2012 visit the www.Jubileewoods.org.uk website.

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Tree News

First Minister plants first tree of oak grove fit for a Queen

By The Woodland Trust, 05 February 2012

First Minister plants first tree of oak grove fit for a Queen

First Minister Peter Robinson MLA today (25 January) put trees and woodland in the spotlight by planting the first of 60 oaks at Stormont Estate.

First Minister Peter Robinson MLA today (25 January) put trees and woodland in the spotlight by planting the first of 60 oaks at Stormont Estate.


The new oak grove is part of the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project: an ambitious tree-planting campaign to mark the Queen’s historic 2012 Diamond Jubilee. The aim is to plant six million trees across the UK and involve millions of people in the planting.


Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, said: “We are delighted that the First Minister has taken the time to take part in today’s planting. It’s a fantastic way to mark the Jubilee and an extremely positive gesture for the environment. Stormont’s new grove consists of 60 oaks, that’s one for each year of the Queen’s reign; and some of the saplings have been grown from acorns gathered from Sandringham Estate.”


At the core of the Jubilee Woods project will be the creation of 60 special Diamond Woods – each at least 60 acres in size – plus hundreds of smaller Jubilee Woods throughout the UK. In Northern Ireland, land on the doorstep of Whitehead has been chosen as the venue for a Diamond Wood. This gem is the result of a joint partnership between the Trust and owner Carrickfergus Borough Council.


Mr Cregg continued: “We hope that other landowners throughout the country will be inspired to transform unused land into flourishing woodland. A Jubilee Wood can be anything from an acre upwards and we’re offering comprehensive advice and support to help planting get underway. It’s a unique opportunity to mark the Jubilee in a lasting and meaningful way.”


The Trust is also offering thousands of free Jubilee tree packs to schools, youth groups and community groups for planting this November. Thanks to funding from IKEA, the community tree packs come in a choice of size and are designed to help groups enhance their local neighbourhoods.


To find out how to get involved, visit www.JubileeWoods.org.uk

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Tree News

Plant your tree for the Jubilee

By The Woodland Trust, 12 February 2012

Plant your tree for the Jubilee

Nature lovers are invited to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by making a personal and lasting contribution to the environment. Mark this historic event by rolling up your sleeves to plant trees at Northern Ireland’s new ‘Diamond Wood’, just outside Whitehead, on Saturday 25 February from 10.30am to 3.30pm.

Nature lovers are invited to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by making a personal and lasting contribution to the environment. Mark this historic event by rolling up your sleeves to plant trees at Northern Ireland’s new ‘Diamond Wood’, just outside Whitehead, on Saturday 25 February from 10.30am to 3.30pm.


Tree planting, arts and crafts, storytelling, face painting and archery are just some of the activities on a brimming woodland agenda – and all free of charge.


The Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods project aims to involve millions of people in planting six million trees throughout the UK. At the core of the project will be the creation of 60 special Diamond Woods – each at least 60 acres in size.


Land on the doorstep of the seaside village of Whitehead has been chosen as the venue for Northern Ireland’s Diamond Wood. This jewel in the crown is the result of a joint partnership between the Trust and owner Carrickfergus Borough Council, and is funded by Forest Service and GROW under the NI Rural Development Programme.


Patrick Cregg, the Trust’s director, says: “This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the Queen’s 60-year reign while making a meaningful contribution to the landscape. This February – the anniversary of the accession to the throne – will see mass tree planting right throughout the UK. We’ve a target to plant 60,000 native saplings here at Whitehead, and we hope that individuals and groups will help get things off to a flying start.”


The Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Jim McClurg, adds: “We want as many people as possible – local people and visitors – to join us. And with a wealth of fun activities on offer, it’s an unmissable day for everyone. This new wood will be a fantastic natural resource, a haven for wildlife, and a living legacy for future generations.”


The Woodland Trust is also offering thousands of free Jubilee tree packs to schools and community groups for planting this November. Funded by IKEA and ibuyeco, the community tree packs come in a choice of size and are designed to help groups enhance local shared spaces. Find out more at www.jubileewoods.org.uk


Please wrap up warm, bring stout footwear and a spade (if you have one!) Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The terrain is unsuitable for pushchairs. Limited parking is available at Bentra Golf Course, Slaughterford Road, Whitehead. Alternatively a free shuttle bus will leave Whitehead Train Station; Whitehead Recreational Grounds; and Blackhead Path every half hour from 10.30am to 2.30pm.


For further detail, telephone Michelle McCaughtry at the Woodland Trust on 028 9127 5787; or email michellemccaughtry@woodlandtrust.org.uk

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Tree News

Torbay Values Trees

By Jonathan Gibson, 12 February 2012

Torbay has become the first place in the country to put a value on the thousands of trees it has.

Torbay has become the first place in the country to put a value on the thousands of trees it has.


And while we may appreciate their visual appeal, it seems they go also a long way to contribute to air quality.


According to the study, the trees remove the air pollution from more than fifty thousand cars every year.


Click here to watch the video…

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Training

Certified Arborist Examination

By Mark Chester, 12 February 2012

21st April at Capel Manor
There will be an opportunity for those wishing to take this prestigious qualification, on Saturday. Details of the course will follow. The Certified Arborist qualification is an ideal entry level route for those considering a career in arboriculture, regardless of background.

21st April at Capel Manor


There will be an opportunity for those wishing to take this prestigious qualification, on Saturday. Details of the course will follow. The Certified Arborist qualification is an ideal entry level route for those considering a career in arboriculture, regardless of background.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Training

G&T/ISA May 10th Seminar Announced

By Russell Ball, 12 February 2012

Following the launch of the free-to-attend G&T/ISA series, the second event has been confirmed.

Following the launch of the free-to-attend G&T/ISA series, the second event has been confirmed.


Kenton Rogers will update on the Treeconomics i-Tree Torbay’s Urban Forest report.


Jim Smith will give a presentation on the Major of London’s Tree Policy document, which has recently been issued.


Sorbus International will provide a demonstration of their new IML Resi-PD microdrill.


More details to follow with booking information.

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Training

Tree Preservation Orders: Effective Application

By Mark Chester, 12 February 2012

20th April at Capel Manor
A one day seminar looking at the background to trees within the planning process, the role of Tree Preservation Orders, how to make an enforceable TPO, how to object to a new TPO, making a valid tree works application and the process for appeals.

20th April at Capel Manor


A one day seminar looking at the background to trees within the planning process, the role of Tree Preservation Orders, how to make an enforceable TPO, how to object to a new TPO, making a valid tree works application and the process for appeals.


Cost: Members £125, non-members £145
Accreditation: £45
Led by Richard Nicholson, Chairman, BS5837 committee

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

Revised Tree Valuation Workshop

By Mark Chester, 12 February 2012

20-21st April at Capel Manor
Day one will look at the four main techniques with delegates being assessed on applications using a range of scenarios.

20-21st April at Capel Manor


Day one will look at the four main techniques with delegates being assessed on applications using a range of scenarios.


Day two will look in greater depth at the principles of tree valuations. More details will follow.


Cost: Members £385, non-members £425


Led by Dr. Jon Heuch, CTLA (UK&I) Regional Plant Appraisal Committee member

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Training

ISA Certification

By Russell Ball, 19 February 2012

ISA Certification

The Certified Arborist qualification is one of the most widely recognised both nationally and internationally.  It allows both practicing and aspiring arborists to participate in an educational programme that will improve the individual’s technical competency and provides entry to those wishing to pursue higher level studies.

The Certified Arborist qualification is one of the most widely recognised both nationally and internationally.  It allows both practicing and aspiring arborists to participate in an educational programme that will improve the individual’s technical competency and provides entry to those wishing to pursue higher level studies.


The examination consists of 200 multiple choice questions, 190 being drawn from a question bank and 10 being tree identification samples.  Each question has four listed answers, only one of which is correct.  Each candidate has 3 ½ hours to complete the examination.


The certification guide and examination was adapted by the UK & I Chapter in 1997 and trialled in 1998 before being launched.


The syllabus covers:



1 Pruning 13.5%
2 Tree Biology 13.0%
3 Diagnosis and Treatment 12.0%
4 Identification & Selection 11.5%
5 Climbing, Safety & Working in the Tree 11.5%
6 Statutory Tree Protection 9.5%
7 Installation and Establishment 7.0%
8 Trees & Construction Sites 7.0%
9 Soil & Water Relations 6.0%
10 Tree Nutrition & Fertilisers 5.0%
11 Cabling & Bracing 4.0%

A Programme of study is provided in the Arborist’s Certification Study Guide.  This has been revised by the UK & I Chapter with two appendices added to cover UK-specific topics.


The overall pass mark is 72%.


On successful completion, a certified arborist is required to undertake thirty hours of Continuous Professional Development over a three year period in order to retain the qualification.  CPD can be obtained by successfully completing case studies in ISA publications, by attending relevant seminars and pursuing appropriate further studies.


The next examination date is Saturday 21st April 2012, at Capel Manor’s Celebration of Trees.


For more details, and to book your place, contact Jean McDermott on 0121 370 0415 or by e-mail: admin@isa-arboriculture.co.uk

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Tree News

The Big Tree Plant 3rd round of grants

By The Tree Council, 19 February 2012

The Big Tree Plant 3rd round of grants

The next application deadline for this England-wide funding scheme is 14th March 2012 so there is plenty of time to prepare your application. A new easier to use application form has been produced and clear information can be found on the website.

The next application deadline for this England-wide funding scheme is 14th March 2012 so there is plenty of time to prepare your application. A new easier to use application form has been produced and clear information can be found on the website.

For the application form and guidance notes for The Big Tree Plant funding scheme go to www.defra.gov.uk/bigtreeplant. To contact The Big Tree Plant funding scheme administrator call 0800 856 7984.

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Tree News, Training

Trees in the built environment

By The Tree Council, 19 February 2012

Trees in the built environment

For construction projects, the ability to work in harmony with nature is becoming as crucial as budgetary and safety concerns. Construction professionals must now look at the bigger picture, in regards to global environmental impacts and localised issues.

For construction projects, the ability to work in harmony with nature is becoming as crucial as budgetary and safety concerns. Construction professionals must now look at the bigger picture, in regards to global environmental impacts and localised issues.

An increasingly important concern is that of trees in the built environment. Trees play both a global and local role with regard to emissions and they make our towns and cities a more pleasant place to live. This event will focus on the impact large trees have on the built environment and highlight the challenges and the opportunities to be gained by their presence.

This event will be held on 15th March 2012 and coincides with Climate Week, will bring together policy makers and practitioners who will give practical accounts of the benefits and the subsequent challenges of working with large trees. For more information and to book, please visit: www.ciria.org

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Tree News

ICF Conference Opens with Early Bird Special Prices

By the Institute of Chartered Foresters, 19 February 2012

ICF Conference Opens with Early Bird Special Prices

Did you predict the public’s reaction in February last year to the Government's proposed change in woodland ownership in England? Do you have a clear idea of the international and domestic forces that will shape forestry and forestry businesses over the next decade? Do you know all about carbon trading and how forestry fits in?

Did you predict the public’s reaction in February last year to the Government's proposed change in woodland ownership in England? Do you have a clear idea of the international and domestic forces that will shape forestry and forestry businesses over the next decade? Do you know all about carbon trading and how forestry fits in?


We’ve seen the industry's reaction to policy decisions, huge public concern over forest sell-offs, biosecurity challenges, changing planting demands, economic drivers that bring tough financial decisions, increased and often bureaucratic legislation, and a potential long-term skills shortage on the horizon.


Future Forestry will look at forestry on the world stage, the challenges we’re facing in the UK, the complex relationship between trees and society, the opportunities ahead, and how we balance the diverse needs of stakeholders. If you predicted the changes then come and tell us. If not then come and hear what some of the industry’s leading experts – from home and abroad – have to say. We want industry professionals, like you, to join us to discuss how we can interpret society’s demands on our trees and woodland into innovative ideas for today's businesses.


Speakers include:


The Rt Rev James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of the Independent Panel on Forestry; John L Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia; Tim Rollinson FICFor, Director General of the Forestry Commission GB; Dr Jason Beedell, Partner, Smiths Gore; John Owen-Jones, Forestry Commissionaire Wales and former MP; Charles Mynors (Conference Dinner), Barrister and leading tree law specialist.


Conference Features


First-rate two-day programme with plenty of discussion time // Latest professional opinion of policy and practice // Experts from both the UK and abroad // Exhibition // Great networking opportunities // Special dinner with top speaker // Continuing Professional Development

Save £50 on two-day tickets for a limited period

Information and Booking at: www.charteredforesters.org/conference/

or call 0131 240 1425                             

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Tree News, Training

Trees, People and the Built Environment Conference Proceedings published

By Allison Lock, 24 February 2012

Trees, People and the Built Environment Conference Proceedings published

I am pleased to announce that the Trees, People and the Built Environment Conference Proceedings from the conference ICF hosted in Birmingham last year, have now been published by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the Conference Partners.

I am pleased to announce that the Trees, People and the Built Environment Conference Proceedings from the conference ICF hosted in Birmingham last year, have now been published by the Forestry Commission on behalf of the Conference Partners.


For information, I have given you a link to the ICF website where the proceedings can be downloaded.


The link is: http://www.charteredforesters.org/default.asp?page=166


There is also the option to download the slides from each of the speakers’ presentations and I will be uploading each of the individual conference papers as PDF’s.

Even though you were not able to attend you can still join the discussions between delegates, speakers and other tree professionals on the Trees, People and the Built Environment Linkedin group at:  http://linkedin.com/groups?gid=3848875

I very much hope to see you again at this year’s ICF National Conference – Future Forestry: Meeting the needs of society in the 21st century – on 16 and 17 May in London where the latest speaker confirmed is Ian Cheshire, Group Chief Executive of Kingfisher UK, Chair of Defra’s Ecoservices Task Force and a member of The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group on Climate Change.

 

Allison Lock,Communications & Events Manager

Institute of Chartered Foresters, 59 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2JG

t:  0131 240 1425  f:  0131 240 1424  m:  07966 394021  w: www.charteredforesters.org    follow us on twitter @theICF

Early bird tickets for the ICF National Conference (16-17 May 2012, London) are now on sale.  Visit: www.charteredforesters.org

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Tree News

ICF conference looks at meeting demands on future forestry

By Future Forestry, 26 February 2012

ICF National Conference 2012, CBI Conference Centre, London
Early bird ticket savings for a limited period.
Over the last year we’ve seen the industry's reaction to policy decisions, public concern about forest sell-offs, tough biosecurity challenges, changing planting demands, bureaucratic legislation, to name just a few.
Future Forestry will look at forestry on the world stage, the challenges we’re facing in the UK, the complex relationship between trees and society, the opportunities ahead, and how we balance the diverse needs of stakeholders.
If you predicted the changes come and tell us. If not then come and hear what some of the industry’s leading experts – from home and abroad – have to say.

 ICF has confirmed that it is now taking bookings for Future Forestry – Meeting the needs of the 21st century, it’s National Conference for 2012 on 16-17 May.


After a year in which we’ve seen the industry's reaction to policy decisions, huge public concern over forest sell-offs, biosecurity challenges, changing planting demands, tough financial decisions, increased bureaucratic legislation, and a potential long-term skills shortage on the horizon, the conference will look at where we go from here.
Future Forestry will look at forestry on the world stage, the challenges we’re facing in the UK, the complex relationship between trees and society, the opportunities ahead, and how we balance the diverse needs of stakeholders.
Conference chairman Marcus Sangster said: “If you predicted the changes then come and tell us. If not then come and hear what some of the industry’s leading experts – from home and abroad – have to say.
 “We want industry professionals to join us to discuss how we can interpret society’s demands on our trees and woodland into innovative ideas for today's businesses.”
The conference will be held at the CBI Conference Centre, Centre Point, London, and ICF is offering early bird ticket savings for a limited period.
Speakers will include: The Rt Rev James Jones, the Bishop of Liverpool and Chair of the Independent Panel on Forestry; John L Innes, Dean of the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia; Tim Rollinson FICFor, Director General of the Forestry Commission GB; Dr Jason Beedell, Partner, Smiths Gore; Jon Owen Jones, Forestry Commissioner Wales and former MP; Charles Mynors (Conference Dinner), Barrister and leading tree law specialist.
Conference details at: www.charteredforesters.org/conference/
Email: icf@charteredforesters.org or phone 0131 240 1425.
 

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Tree News

London Tree Officers Association calculate London's tree cover

By the LTOA, 26 February 2012

London Tree Officers Association calculate London's tree cover

For the past 20 years, the estimate for the tree cover in London was given at 20%, more or less.  The figure didn’t seem to change despite hundreds of thousands of trees being planted during this period, and many initiatives to increase numbers across the city.  However, following a comprehensive survey, the figure for 2010 is 21.87%.  The figure is made of woodlands (7.3%) and isolated trees, such as street trees, and those in parks and gardens (14.5%).

For the past 20 years, the estimate for the tree cover in London was given at 20%, more or less.  The figure didn’t seem to change despite hundreds of thousands of trees being planted during this period, and many initiatives to increase numbers across the city.  However, following a comprehensive survey, the figure for 2010 is 21.87%.  The figure is made of woodlands (7.3%) and isolated trees, such as street trees, and those in parks and gardens (14.5%).

The Mayor of London and the London Plan are proposing to increase tree canopy cover by 5% before 2025 and a further 5% by 2050.  These are very laudable proposals.  However, estimates normally include a Standard Error (SE) of such a size that it would be difficult to calculate such increases.  The LTOA’s survey has a SE of only +/- 0.56%.  From now on, progress will be measurable.

The survey is based on assessing the aerial map from specific points. Precision is achieved by assessing the maximum possible number of survey points.  Similar surveys use 500-1000 survey points.  For this project, the LTOA has used 5467 points for the Greater London area.

For more information, please contact Becky Hesch, Executive Officer at the LTOA at executive.officer@ltoa.org.uk

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Tree News

National Tree Safety Group guidance launched

By The Tree Council, 27 February 2012

National Tree Safety Group guidance launched

After extensive research, consultation and planning, the National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) delivers its guidance on common sense management for tree safety.

After extensive research, consultation and planning, the National Tree Safety Group (NTSG) delivers its guidance on common sense management for tree safety.

This new guidance document provides advice for the tree owner that is succinct, comprehensive, but most of all, practical in its application. The document also provides advice on understanding the risks from trees, appreciating and managing this risk with a balanced rationale. It details what is required legally for a tree owner to fulfil his/her duty of care. It also uses a number of case study scenarios to demonstrate how the guidance might be applied in various real-life situations.

All the guidance documents as hard copies or PDF downloads are now available from the Forestry Commission Publications website or NTSG website www.forestry.gov.uk/publications or www.ntsg.org.uk.
 

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Plant Health

Evaluation of Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Management Techniques

By Dr Glynn Percival, 04 March 2012

Evaluation of Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Management Techniques

The aesthetic damage caused by horse chestnut leaf miner infestation of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is now well recognized. The following article is based on ongoing research at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory research evaluating a number of management strategies to aid in the suppression of this insect pest. In addition a brief summation of external research related to HCLM control is provided.

By Dr Glynn Percival, Mr Jonathon Banks and Mr Adam Clarke (Bartlett Tree Research and Diagnostic Laboratory)


The aesthetic damage caused by horse chestnut leaf miner infestation of horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is now well recognized. The following article is based on ongoing research at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory research evaluating a number of management strategies to aid in the suppression of this insect pest. In addition a brief summation of external research related to HCLM control is provided.


Introduction
Within the UK, Cameraria ohridella Deschka and Dimic, the horse chestnut leaf miner (HCLM) is now widely recognized as a devastating pest of the white flowering horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum L). Larvae tunnel into the leaves of the tree and infested leaves become covered in small brown patches which spread rapidly across the entire tree. Eventually infested leaves die and fall prematurely. If new leaves are formed they are frequently re-infected.


At present there are conflicting views as to the long term impact of repeated HCLM infestations on horse chestnut trees. As infested trees re-flush annually some researchers consider HCLM a cosmetic pest recommending that control measures are not required. Contrary to this other researchers have shown that HCLM defoliation can reduce net primary productivity of mature horse chestnut trees by 30% over a growing season. Recent work by the author showed an energy loss of 37.2% over a growing season of mature horse chestnut trees located in the South of England. Likewise concern has been raised as to the impact of HCLM infestation on Pseudomonas bleeding canker severity with recent research showing that bleeding canker severity increased in the presence of HCLM compared to trees where HCLM was controlled. Aesthetic quality is also a major consideration when selecting trees for urban and amenity landscape plantings. With severe HCLM induced defoliation of infested trees observed by mid-August the aesthetic qualities of HCLM infested horse chestnut trees are limited For these reasons development of HCLM control strategies is warranted.


Aims of this article are to discuss potential management options for HCLM control supported by data from ongoing research trials based at the University of Reading, Shinfield Experimental Research Site.


CULTURAL CONTROL
Damage can be partially reduced by removing fallen leaves and composting or burning. However, raking and composting of leaves is a time consuming and labour intensive task. As HCLM populations are able to increase rapidly from un-raked remaining leaves or fly in from surrounding areas leaf removal generally proves economically unviable on large scale.


BIO-CONTROL
Out-with the UK, HCLM natural enemies are parasitic wasps, however, few species exist within the UK. Even then these wasps are insufficiently adapted and not able to regulate HCLM populations with typical parasitism rates normally less than 10%.Observations have shown that blue tits (Parus caeruleus), great tits (Parus major) and marsh tits (Parus palustris) feed on HCLM larvae. However, predation rates between the three tit species range between 2-4%; far too low to have any significant impact on HCLM severity. Consequently, management measures based on bio-control are unfeasible at present.


Introducing non-native bio-control agents can be fraught with problems. History has shown that introduction of this type of bio-control predator can result in massive ecological disasters. For example cane toads were introduced to Australia from Hawaii in an attempt to control the native cane beetle attacking sugar cane crops. Slightly over one hundred toads were released in areas around northern Queensland. Since their release, these toads have multiplied in population to over 200 million and have been shown to spread diseases affecting local biodiversity. Besides causing a large environmental detriment, there was also no evidence that they have had an impact on the cane beetles they were introduced to predate.  Even bio-control success stories can rapidly turn into ecological disasters. The cactus moth (Cactoblastis cactorum) was first introduced in Australia in 1925 to be used as a biological control agent for prickly pear, a invasive plant species. This proved highly successful, still continuing to play a role in regulation of the cactus in Australia. Because of this success the moth was used through-out the Caribbean where it has since spread and now threatens the survival of Opuntia cacti in Florida. As the moth moves through the southeastern United States, it is endangering many cactus species and threatening many ecosystems.


INSECT GLUE AND GREASE BANDS
Although adult moths have the ability to fly from tree to tree, in many instances they tend to settle for periods on the tree trunk. Insect glue and grease bands have been used for many years for the control of insect pests that climb tree trunks to feed i.e. caterpillars. These products contain non-drying, sticky compounds such as natural gum resins, vegetable waxes and oils that form a physical barrier against climbing insects. This leads to the possibility that application of these products may have a impact on leaf miner activity. For these reasons a number of grease and glue bands as well as an insect glue that could be directly painted onto the tree trunk were trialed on a vista of horse chestnut trees located on the outskirts of Hurley near Maidenhead. Results of Figure 1 show that in general these products reduced HCLM severity by 25-30%. However, a number of disadvantages of these products became apparent during the trial to include (1) Bands became become overcrowded with dead insects, which HCLM moths used as a “bridge” to cross the barrier. (2) As more HCLM moths were caught, the efficacy of the band decreased (3) the paint on insect glue was very messy to apply and required considerable clean-up.


INSECTICIDES
To date few non-insecticide control methods exist that can produce a negative effect on HCLM. Despite the fact that there are a range of insecticides that could be used for HCLM control there is still a general reluctance to use them within amenity environments. Insecticides that could be used include:


Diflubenzuron is an insect growth regulator possessing two to three month persistence on the leaf and stem surface, becoming rain fast within a short time period. A single protective spray of diflubenzuron has been shown to provide growing season long control against HCLM. Diflubenzuron mode of action is by preventing the formation of chitin, a molecule necessary to the formation of an insect’s cuticle or outer shell. Insects that absorb a dose of diflubenzuron cannot form their protective outer shell and die during molting. Because of the selectivity of diflubenzuron i.e. non-toxicity to honey bees, lady birds, beetles, spiders etc., diflubenzuron is widely used as part of an integrated pest management programme


Deltamethrin is a synthetic pyrethroid insecticide registered for use within amenity landscapes to control a range of insect pests to include aphids, whitefly, thrips and oak processionary moth. While deltamethrin possesses broad spectrum insect activity and persistence of 6-8 weeks on foliar tissue after application such long term persistence and broad spectrum activity can result in collateral damage to other insecticides.


Imidacloprid is a systemic neo-nicotinoid insecticide that is applied via soil injection. A single soil application has been shown to provide 80-100% reductions in HCLM severity over a growing season with, in many cases, this degree of control recorded the following year after application.


Recent developments in plant protection technology have led to the formulation and commercialization of a range of physical insecticides. Physical insecticides work by non- chemical means such as suffocation or abrasion of the insect cuticle. Because of their non-chemical mode of action physical insecticides are not subject to government legislative restrictions that relate to conventional pesticides used for insect control. Interestingly the use of physical insecticides against HCLM, has not been investigated.


Consequently a two year study was instigated at the University of Reading Shinfield Research Site to i) evaluate the impact of foliar sprays of a range of organic, synthetic and physical insecticides as well as an insect growth regulator for use in a HCLM management strategy programme and ii) the number of sprays required for maximal control.


Materials and Methods
Four year old horse chestnuts in 20 litre pots were used. Historically the potted trees suffered from HCLM attack on an annual basis.  


Insecticides (Table 1) were applied to coincide with the appearance of the adult moth at each generation and all insecticides were applied at manufacturers recommended rate.To determine the influence of one vs two vs three sprays, all trees were sprayed in April, two thirds of the trees were sprayed in June and one third of all trees sprayed in August. Spraying with water served as the control Five trees per insecticide treatment were used.


Reductions in HCLM severity were conducted towards the end of the growing season. Fifteen leaves were collected at random according to the height of the tree (5 leaves in the lower canopy, 5 in the middle canopy, 5 in the upper canopy). Leaves collected in the field were placed under a micro-scope and the number of mines recorded per leaf. Afterwards each mine was opened to detect the presence of living or dead larvae and pupae.


Results and Discussion
Results of the trial are shown in Table 2. The effectiveness of each insecticide on number of HCLM mines per leaf and mortality of HCLM larvae/pupae increased when applied at increasing frequencies i.e. three sprays provided greater control than two sprays while two sprays provided greater control than one spray. A marked effect on HCLM control was, however, recorded between the insecticides used. Little control of HCLM was demonstrated when the organic insecticides pyrethrum and soap were applied. The failure of pyrethrum to achieve real degree of control may be related to its rapid breakdown in daylight i.e. within 24 hours after application. Likewise the use of insecticidal soap suffers from the disadvantage that soaps are only effective when insects come into direct contact with the wet spray. Dried residues on plant surfaces have minimal effects on insects. Rapid drying and breakdown by sunlight of the insecticidal soap and organic pyrethrum used in this investigation may account for the low degree of HCLM control. Due to the failure of soap and pyrethrum as a HCLM protectant compound use of these products in HCLM management strategies cannot be recommended.


The insecticide deltamethrin and the insect growth regulator diflubenzuron provided the greatest degree of HCLM control in both the 2007 and 2008 trials. During the 2007 trial two foliar sprays of deltamethrin provided 100% HCLM control while in the 2008 trial two foliar sprays of diflubenzuron provided 100% control. Even one spray of each product reduced the number of HCLM mines by 31-71% and increased mortality of HCLM larvae/pupae by 15-118% when averaged over both the 2007 and 2008 growing seasons (Table 2). Both products are known to have long persistence on the leaf and this is probably what accounted for their effectiveness. Consequently results of this study demonstrate both diflubenzuron and deltamethrinwarrant high consideration when adopting a HCLM management strategy. Due to the likelihood of limited collateral damage against other insects diflubenzuron would be the product of choice.


The effectiveness of the remaining physical insecticides based on reduction of HCLM mines per leaf after three sprays was in the order Sirius>AGRI-50E>Majestik>spray oil (Table 2). However, efficacy of these insecticides based on mortality of HCLM larvae/pupae averaged was in the order Sirius>spray oil>AGRI-50E>Majestik> respectively (Table 2). The physical insecticides spray oil, AGRI-50E and Majestik function by direct contact with an insect pest with the primary mode of action through suffocation. However, none of the three insecticides provided any significant degree of HCLM control when applied only once. All three insecticides only provided a useful degree of control when at least three sprays were applied. Such a reduction in HCLM severity may be acceptable in some circumstances given the fact that these insecticides are classified as more environmentally acceptable than synthetic insecticides. However, the cost benefit ratio of spray oil, AGRI-50E and Majestik has to be carefully evaluated given the fact that other insecticides used in this study exist that achieved greater degrees of HCLM control with less frequency of applications. While classified as a physical insecticide Sirius contains silicon dioxide (diatomaceous earth). When sprayed onto leaf tissue these particles adhere to the insect pest with damage to the cuticle through physical abrasion resulting in death from dehydration and drying out. Of the physical insecticides tested Sirius provided the greatest degree of control in terms of leaf miner severity and highest rates of larvae/pupae mortality in this study. For this reason implementation of Sirius as a physical insecticide for HCLM management would be recommended.


CONCLUSIONS
There are circa 470,000 horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) trees in the United Kingdom that are important for structure and shade, ecological value in support of insects and animals and for production of aescin, an anti-inflammatory of pharmaceutical importance. Few non-insecticide control methods exist that can produce a negative effect on HCLM populations in the UK. Results of this study indicate that a range of insecticides exist that would provide significant control of HCLM. Because of the high selectivity of diflubenzuron, limited collateral effects on other insect organisms would be recorded. Likewise the synthetic pyrethroid deltamethrin provided excellent degrees of control. Other more environmentally benign insecticides can be used however, due to their lower efficacy the cost benefit ratio of these products needs to be considered carefully. Within the UK there is a general reluctance to use any form of insecticide control technology. However, with the aesthetic loss of one of our major UK tree species coupled with other recently emerged insect threats to UK trees such as oak processionary moth, plant protection products such as insecticides should now be strongly considered when devising insect management strategies for amenity trees.


SELECT LITERATURE


Blümel, S., Hausdorf, H., 1997, Versuche zur kontrolle von Cameraria ohridella deschka and dimić mit insektiziden wachstumsregulatoren. [trials to control Cameraria ohridella deschka and dimić with insecticidal growth regulators.] Forstschutz-aktull 21, 16-18.


Copping, L.G., Duke, S.O., 2007. Natural products that have been used commercially as crop protection agents. Pest Management Science 63, 524–554.


Ferracini, C., Alma, A., 2008, How to preserve horse chestnut trees from Cameraria ohridella in the urban environment. Crop Protection 27, 1251-1255.


Gilbert, M., GrÄ—goire, J.C., Freise, J.F., Heitland, W., 2004. Long distance dispersal and human population density allow the prediction of invasive patterns in the horse chestnut leafminer Cameraria ohridella. Journal of Animal Ecology 73, 459-468.


Grabenweger, G., Avtzis, N., Girardoz, S., Hrasovec, B., Tomov, R., Kenis, M., 2005. Parasitism of Cameraria ohridella (Lepidoptera, Gracillariidae) in natural and artificial horse-chestnut stands in the Balkans. Agricultural and Forestry Entomology 7(4), 291-296.


Kehrli, P., Bacher, S., 2003. Date of leaf litter removal to prevent emergence of Cameraria ohridella in the following spring. Entomologia Experimentalis Et Applicata 107, 159-162.


Korunic, Z., 1998. Diatomaceous earths, a group of natural insecticides. Journal of Stored Products Research 34(2-3), 87-97.


Nardini, A., Raimondo, F., Scimone, M., Salleo, S., 2004. Impact of the leafminer Cameraria ohridella on whole-plant photosynthetic productivity of Aesculus hippocastanum: insights from a model. Trees 18, 714-721.


Pavan, F., Barro, P., Bernardinelli, I., Gambon, N., Zandigiacomo, P., 2003, Cultural control of Cameraria ohridella on horse chestnut in urban areas by removing fallen leaves in autumn. Journal of Arboriculture 29, 253-258.


Percival, G.C., Barrow, I., Noviss, K., Keary, I., Pennington, P., 2011. The impact of horse chestnut leaf miner (Cameraria ohridella deschka and dimic) on vitality, growth and reproduction of Aesculus hippocastanum L., Urban Forestry Urban Greening 10(1), 11-17.


Raimondo, F., Ghirardella, L.A., Nardini, A., Salleo, S., 2003. Impact of the leafminer Cameraria ohridella on photosynthesis, water relations and hydraulics of Aesculus hippocastanum leaves. Trees 17, 376-382.


Salleo, S., Nardini, A., Raimondo, F., Assunta Lo Gullo, M., Pace, F., Giacomich, P., 2003. Effects of defoliation caused by the leaf miner Cameraria ohridella on wood production and efficiency of Aesculus hippocastanum growing in north-eastern Italy. Trees 17, 367-375.


Straw, N.A., Bellet-travers, M., 2004. Impact and management of the horse chestnut leaf-miner (Cameraria ohridella). Arboricultural Journal 28, 67-83.


Thalmann, C., Freise, J., Heitland, W., Bacher, S., 2003. Effects of defoliation by horse chestnut leaf miner Cameraria ohridella on reproduction in Aesculus hippocastanum. Trees 17, 383-388.


Tilbury, C., Evans, H.F., 2003. Horse chestnut leafminer, Cameraria ohridella Desch. & Dem. (lepidoptera: gracillariidae). Forestry Commission, Edinburgh, UK.


Tomiczek, C., Krehan, H., 1998. The horse chestnut leafmining moth (Cameraria ohridella): a new pest in central Europe. Journal of Arboriculture 24, 144-148.


Žanić, K., Goreta, S., Perica, S., Šutić, J., 2008. Effects of alternative pesticides on greenhouse whitefly in protected cultivation. Journal of Pest Science 81(3) 161-166.


ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE
R.A. Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory, John Harborne Building, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6AS, UK. 

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New Date for ISA/G&T Seminar

By Mark Chester, 04 March 2012

New Date for ISA/G&T Seminar

Russell Ball at the ISA has been busy organising the next event in the ISA/G&T series of seminars, scheduled for the new date of Thursday 19th April.  Available FOC, the event will feature a presentation on e-trees, an update on the Tree Policy work for the Mayor of London and a demonstration by Sorbus International of their Resistograph.

Russell Ball at the ISA has been busy organising the next event in the ISA/G&T series of seminars, scheduled for the new date of Thursday 19th April.  Available FOC, the event will feature a presentation on e-trees, an update on the Tree Policy work for the Mayor of London and a demonstration by Sorbus International of their Resistograph.


 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Climate threats to UK forests set out in national risk assessment

By The Tree Council, 04 March 2012

Climate threats to UK forests set out in national risk assessment

The threats and opportunities posed by climate change to the United Kingdom’s forests and woodland were set out in the national Climate Change Risk Assessment, recently published by the UK Government.

The threats and opportunities posed by climate change to the United Kingdom’s forests and woodland were set out in the national Climate Change Risk Assessment, recently published by the UK Government.


The risk assessment is a comprehensive analysis of the threats and opportunities faced by a wide range of habitats, landscapes and services over the next century as the climate warms. Expected consequences of a warming climate are rising temperatures, increased periods and severity of drought, and increased incidence and severity of storms and flooding.


The full national Climate Change Risk Assessment is available from the Defra website at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climate/government/risk-assessment.


The UKFS Climate Change Guidelines document is available from www.forestry.gov.uk/publications.

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Plant Health

OUTBREAK OF PHYTOPHTHORA AUSTROCEDRAE IN JUNIPER IN UPPER TEESDALE

By Crispin Thorn, 10 March 2012

OUTBREAK OF PHYTOPHTHORA AUSTROCEDRAE IN JUNIPER IN UPPER TEESDALE

I am writing to inform you that an outbreak of infection by the pathogen Phytophthora austrocedrae (Pa) has been confirmed in juniper bushes in the Moor House – Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve in Cumbria and County Durham.

I am writing to inform you that an outbreak of infection by the pathogen Phytophthora austrocedrae (Pa) has been confirmed in juniper bushes in the Moor House – Upper Teesdale National Nature Reserve in Cumbria and County Durham.


Pa is usually lethal to its known hosts, so this is very disappointing news and potentially serious. Juniper habitat is now rare in Britain, juniper is a key food plant for a wide range of invertebrates and birds, and it has a unique and specialised group of associated insects, fungi and lichens. A number of organisations are working hard to protect and conserve it. The Upper Teesdale population of juniper is the second largest in Britain, so it is a site of considerable conservation importance.


We have published a web page, www.forestry.gov.uk/paustrocedrae, with more in-depth information, and we will endeavour to keep this up to date as the situation develops.


If you need any further information please visit the website or contact your local Forestry Commission Office.

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Tree News

Woodland Trust hits 1 million trees in February 2012 and sets sights on the big 6 million

By The Woodland Trust, 10 March 2012

Woodland Trust hits 1 million trees in February 2012 and sets sights on the big 6 million

Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Princess Royal, Clive Anderson, Blue Peter, Dame Judi Dench, BBC Winterwatch, Kate Humble, Sam & Eve Branson, a Beefeater, 400 cast members from Disney Stores and thousands of children and adults are just some of the people across the UK that have enabled the Woodland Trust to get a flying start to a year of Jubilee tree planting celebrations by helping plant 1 million trees in February 2012.

We did it! 1 million trees target, over 1 million trees planted.


Her Majesty The Queen, HRH The Princess Royal, Clive Anderson, Blue Peter, Dame Judi Dench, BBC Winterwatch, Kate Humble, Sam & Eve Branson, a Beefeater, 400 cast members from Disney Stores and thousands of children and adults are just some of the people across the UK that have enabled the Woodland Trust to get a flying start to a year of Jubilee tree planting celebrations by helping plant 1 million trees in February 2012.


The trees planted during February can also be found in other famous places including the Tower of London and the Kensington Roof Gardens. But 1 million trees is just the start for 2012, the Trust aims to plant 6 million trees to celebrate The Queen's Diamond Jubilee including hundreds of new woods created across all four corners of the UK, from Stornoway in the Western Isles to Penzance in Cornwall.


The February million consisted of 303,109 trees planted by schools through free tree packs, 230,383 trees planted through free community tree packs, 236,185 trees across 60 acre Diamond Woods and smaller Jubilee Woods, along with 43,500 individual garden trees and 200,191 trees planted by partner organisations and at Woodland Trust sites across Britain.


The trees planted will create a lasting legacy for the future, and the Trust is calling on people across the UK to take this unique opportunity to get involved in an environment changing project and help to make a mark on history.


Georgina McLeod, Director of Jubilee Woods said: "Achieving the February million is great news and is a fantastic accomplishment to start the year, in total since the project launched in February 2011 the Trust has now planted 2.75 million trees and raised over £4 million, so we are well on our way to the target of 6 million trees and £8m to pay for the project. But we need people's continued support to help reach our goals, whether it is by planting trees or donating money to help us plant trees."


Georgina McLeod continued: "We can only make this exciting and ambitious project successful with everyone’s help. We want to give everybody the chance to plant trees and we’re appealing to our supporters; individuals, organisations and businesses, to help make this happen and we hope that millions of people across the UK will take the opportunity to get involved in 2012.”


There are many ways for people, schools, communities and organisations to get involved in the project, from planting individual trees in gardens or by applying for free school or community tree packs, to planting whole woodlands of an acre or more.


Sainsbury’s is the lead corporate sponsor for the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project. Over the next fifteen months, Sainsbury’s will be supporting the project and raising £1.5 million for tree planting by increasing the number of donations made from products in store. Sainsbury’s will later this year also be giving customers the opportunity to make a ‘pledge’ in store to plant a tree to mark the Diamond Jubilee and promoting activity through the retailer’s Active Kids scheme, to encourage schools to plant trees.


Celebrity supporter Quotes


Clive Anderson – Woodland Trust President
‘I have planted an oak tree for the Jubilee. In fact it is one I have raised from an acorn, so in due course it will become a royal oak.’


Dermot O’Leary
'Royal fever will sweep the nation this year with communities all over the country celebrating Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee, what a great start to the year by planting 1 million trees in one month! Help the Trust mark this unique celebration- just plant a tree! It's fun for kids and adults and the Woodland Trust aims to plant 6 million trees across the UK in 2012 through their Jubilee Woods project. By planting a tree in your garden, or in a pot on a balcony or terrace, you'll be helping to clean the air and make the country a greener and more beautiful place.'


Dame Judi spoke about planting trees, she said: “Whenever a friend or relative dies, I make a point of planting a tree in my garden. As soon as I heard about the Jubilee Woods project, I felt I wanted to be a part of it. I support the Woodland Trust because I think too many forests are being destroyed and we should do all we can to conserve what we have and to plant more. The more trees I see, the happier I am.”


Eve Branson (Sir Richard’s mum)
"What a wonderful initiative to have everyone plant a tree to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II reign. I’m delighted to take part with my grandson, Sam, by planting a tree at the Kensington Roof Gardens, and hope this inspires people all over the UK to get involved and plant their own tree to coincide with the Jubilee celebrations. It’s a wonderful way to encourage the younger generation to get involved and what’s better is they can take their place in history by adding their tree to the Royal Record of tree planting! It will be lovely for them to look back in years to come and see their tree still growing strong."


TV presenter Kate Humble has planted a Jubilee hedge at her new farm:
'Trees provide food, nesting sites and habitat for countless species. They protect the landscape, feed the soil. They provide us with fuel, food and a resource which can be used for everything from paper to building our houses. They allow our earth to breathe. I'm going to dig a hole and plant a future. Why don't you join me?'


Diamond partner IKEA has also generously supported the Jubilee Woods project.

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Tree News, Training

G&T ISA Seminar - Content Outline

By Mark Chester, 10 March 2012

Here at CAS we are looking forward to the G&T ISA Seminar on the 19th April at Gristwood & Toms' Shenley head quarters. 

Here at CAS we are looking forward to the G&T ISA Seminar on the 19th April at Gristwood & Toms' Shenley head quarters. 


Sorbus International will provide a demonstration of their new IML Resi-PD microdrill.
The PD is the most advanced & innovative microdrill ever produced, created using all the knowledge & experience IML have gained over 30 years. Capable of drilling at 5 times faster than previous devices the PD also has a unique dual motor technology for tree inspection that significantly improves sensitivity by virtually reducing the effect of frictional drag on the drilling needle. The PD is also suitable for all types of construction timber including that used in utility poles, play equipment and construction. Practical demonstrations will be done where delegates will be encouraged to try the PD for themselves.


Kento Rogers' presentation will be entitled: -Measuring to Manage Torbay Urban Forest - 
In 2010 Torbay carried out a pilot of the i-Tree Eco system. The headline figures from the survey generated some interest. However, going forward, its the data collected on the structure, composition and form of the urban forest that will provide the real benefit in its future management. After all if you can't measure your resource how can it be managed?  Kenton Rogers will explain how the Eco data can be used to look at strategic forest management ensuring that Torbay's urban forest can continue to deliver benefits in the future.


More information on additional content coming soon…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

A Brighter Future for Urban Forestry

By Russell Ball, 19 March 2012

A Brighter Future for Urban Forestry

G&T and ISA UK/I Chapter 2012 Seminar Series

You are invited to a free seminar hosted by Gristwood & Toms.

G&T and ISA UK/I Chapter 2012 Seminar Series


You are invited to a free seminar hosted by Gristwood & Toms:


Alexia Tamblyn – Treeconomics
Title: Measuring to Manage Torbay’s Urban Forest


In 2010 Torbay carried out a pilot of the i-Tree Eco system. The survey generated some interest. However, going forward, it’s the urban forest structure, composition and form data that will provide the real benefit in its future management. After all if you can't measure your resource how can it be managed?  Alexia will explain how the Eco data can be used to look at strategic forest management ensuring that Torbay's urban forest can continue to deliver benefits in the future.


Jim C Smith – Forestry Commission Urban Forestry Advisor
Title: Preparing a Tree and Woodland Strategy


The presentation will look at the Mayor of London's Supplementary Planning Guidance on preparing a Tree and Woodland Strategy. It will cover key points that Tree Officer's tasked with producing a tree and woodland strategy should cover together with some of the advantages of having one in place and how this can improve the effectiveness of local authority policies.


Phil Wade – Director Sorbus International Ltd.
Title: The new IML Resi-PD micro-drill: Well worth the wait!


The PD is the most advanced & innovative micro-drill ever produced, created using all the knowledge & experience IML has gained over 30 years. Capable of drilling at 5 times faster than previous devices the PD also has a unique dual motor technology for tree inspection that significantly improves sensitivity by virtually reducing the effect of frictional drag on the drilling needle. During the practical demonstration delegates will be encouraged to try the PD for themselves.


Date:19 April 2012.


Venue: Gristwood and Toms, Harris Lane, Shenley, Herts WD7 9EG.


Registration: 9.30.


Start: 10.am. – Finish approximately 4.00 pm


Lunch: Lunch will be provided. Gristwood and Toms will provide a tour of their recycling facility.


How to Book: To reserve your place contact  joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk


For ISA Certified Arborists the seminar is worth 5 CEU’s.

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Business Advice

The Mick Merrick Blog: Telemarketing

By Mick Merrick, 19 March 2012

The Mick Merrick Blog: Telemarketing

I often get told by people that telemarketing is dead/outdated/ineffective/a waste of money, and many other similar such views. Unfortunately, too many people have a poor experience of telemarketing and of using telemarketing companies, yet this method of marketing still has a higher response rate than many other forms of marketing activity. True, it can be expensive, but so is a website that doesn’t bring any leads.

I often get told by people that telemarketing is dead/outdated/ineffective/a waste of money, and many other similar such views. Unfortunately, too many people have a poor experience of telemarketing and of using telemarketing companies, yet this method of marketing still has a higher response rate than many other forms of marketing activity. True, it can be expensive, but so is a website that doesn’t bring any leads.


We have had a lot of success with our clients in using telemarketing and I thought I would share some of the best practices that we have used in generating business for our clients. 


Here are 10 key rules 


  1. If you are using a telemarketing company, make sure you brief them really well. They need to know what is special about your offer and why you have chosen this particular list of people to approach. Of course, if you have just bought a list of companies with no further thought, then that you are at risk of wasting your money.  You need to be prepared to do it right, if you are going to do it at all.
  2. Once the company starts to work, begin to review the results with them really early in the campaign. You will almost certainly need to make changes based on actual experience and the sooner you do that the more effective your campaign will be. 
  3. Stay close to the company throughout the campaign. Make sure you are reviewing the activity and the results on a frequent basis. Give feedback; if the leads generated are poor, you need to identify why, and refine the process so that you get better quality ones.  It may be that the wrong message is being sent out.
  4. Recognise that this is a long term activity. Remember the marketing rule of 7:  don’t expect instant results. If you want high quality appointments and leads the telemarketer is going to need time to build up a relationship with your hot prospects. 
  5. You get what you pay for. If you are only prepared to pay a low fee and expect a minimum number of leads as a result, guess what? If you put the company under extreme pressure to perform you will damage your results.
  6. If you are managing the activity ‘in house’ recognise that not everyone is able to do telemarketing. It requires a special kind of mind-set to be good at it. We often find that people with an administrative background are best at this type of activity. Sales people are like racehorses – too highly strung. 
  7. Break up the day. People can only handle so much rejection, so find other things for them to do. We recommend our clients spend no more than two hours at a time on calling activity. 
  8. Schedule your calling time. Be firm with yourself or your team and allocate time to making calls. Then make sure you do them when you have arranged to. No excuses. 
  9. Telemarketing is a team sport. Try to have multiple people calling on the same programme at the same time. It helps with morale and you can share ideas and success stories. 
  10. Keep at it. The longer you keep making those calls the better the results will be. If you can keep a programme going for 6 months or more you will see your conversion rate rise. 



If you would like to know more about how to get the best out of telemarketing, or would like an introduction to a company that we trust, please e-mail us at mick@precept.uk.com

Mick has over 30 years of sales experience in small owner managed businesses and is now working with Precept to help similar businesses to increase sales. This is achieved by applying simple and repeatable sales processes to good people and good products thereby taking the mystery out of successful selling and customer support.


You can contact Mick directly on 07834 544 763 and at Mick@precept.uk.com

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Training

Tree Safety Management

By The IOSH, 19 March 2012

Tree Safety Management

Rural Industries Group technical seminar and networking event
22 March 2012
Althorp House, Althorp, Northampton, NN7 4HQ
09.15–16.15

This is the latest of our networking events to address current industry topics and to bring together rural industry professionals, regulators and safety practitioners to discuss challenges and issues and share best practice.

Rural Industries Group technical seminar and networking event
22 March 2012
Althorp House, Althorp, Northampton, NN7 4HQ
09.15–16.15


This is the latest of our networking events to address current industry topics and to bring together rural industry professionals, regulators and safety practitioners to discuss challenges and issues and share best practice.


Tree safety management is a topic of particular interest right now, and is relevant to many who work in the rural sector or manage estates or public spaces. This event focuses on the management of risk to public safety from tree failure, rather than the safety aspects of work on or in trees by employees or contractors.


There have been some high profile incidents and several widely reported civil cases in recent years. Liability concerns among landowners have led to a defensive approach and unnecessary felling. The challenge is to find an acceptable balance between the relatively low risks associated with tree failure and the wider benefits to individuals and society from trees.


The National Tree Safety Group has recently published new guidance and this event will provide an opportunity to discuss its legal implications and application in practice.


The event will include a summary of current issues, the development, content and status of the national guidance, and perspectives from the Health and Safety Executive, local authorities and landowners. It will be staged in the prestigious environment of Althorp House and Estate, owned by Earl Spencer.


There will be a tour of the gardens at Althorp to discuss practical aspects of tree safety management, with groups led by industry experts. You will also have the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals.


This event offers:


  • an introduction to current thinking on managing risks from trees, in support of the ‘sensible health and safety’ agenda
  • the regulator’s and landowner’s perspective
  • the chance to share your experiences with other delegates and speakers
  • valuable knowledge that you can apply in your work


Althorp House is just off the M1, five miles north west of the county town of Northampton. The nearest railway station is Northampton. Free parking is available and lunch and refreshments for the day are included.


For more information about Althorp, go to www.althorp.com


For full details of the programme, fees and booking form, click here to visit the IOSH site…

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Up By Roots Workshops Birmingham, West Midlands & London (Brentford), Middlesex

By Russell Ball, 25 March 2012

Up By Roots Workshops Birmingham, West Midlands & London (Brentford), Middlesex

Jim Urban, FASLA, will present principles from his book, Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment, in two one-day, hands-on workshops. This event is designed to introduce key concepts used in site assessment and give attendees experience performing basic soil analyses. “Up By Roots” will focus on site assessment and plant selection and has applications in site development, landscape design, tree protection, and plant health care.

Jim Urban, FASLA, will present principles from his book, Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment, in two one-day, hands-on workshops. This event is designed to introduce key concepts used in site assessment and give attendees experience performing basic soil analyses. “Up By Roots” will focus on site assessment and plant selection and has applications in site development, landscape design, tree protection, and plant health care.

Registration for the workshop is now open. Given the hands-on nature of this event, seating is limited so register now to ensure your participation.

Event dates and locations:
Tuesday, May 22, 2012, Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, West Midlands
Thursday, May 24, 2012, Syon Park, London (Brentford), Middlesex

Registration only:
Members, £95; Supporting Organisation Members, £120; Non-members, £150

Registration and Up By Roots book:
Member, £130; Supporting Organisation Members, £155; Non-members, £185

Registration Deadlines:
May 18, 2012      

This workshop is being held in conjunction with the United Kingdom/Ireland Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. Visit the United Kingdom/Ireland ISA website for more information regarding these Up By Roots Workshops.

7 ISA CEUs are available.

For questions or assistance regarding the Up By Roots Workshops, please email enquiries@isa-arboriculture.org.  

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Training

A Day of Diversity at Paignton Zoo

By Barcham Trees, 25 March 2012

A Day of Diversity at Paignton Zoo

On the 19th April Barcham Trees presents:


  • Ted Green will be giving a talk on Ancient Trees
  • Kenton Rogers will present a discussion on Itree in Torbay
  • Tim O’Hare will give a talk on Urban Tree Soils
  • John Wyer (Bowles & Wyer) – Where have all the trees gone?
  • Keith Sacre (Barcham Trees) will discuss the latest updates in British Standards
  • Kevin Frediana will give a brief talk about trees within zoo


On the 19th April Barcham Trees presents:


  • Ted Green will be giving a talk on Ancient Trees
  • Kenton Rogers will present a discussion on Itree in Torbay
  • Tim O’Hare will give a talk on Urban Tree Soils
  • John Wyer (Bowles & Wyer) – Where have all the trees gone?
  • Keith Sacre (Barcham Trees) will discuss the latest updates in British Standards
  • Kevin Frediana will give a brief talk about trees within zoo


We very much hope that you would like to join us, to book in please email natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk to book your seat.


Running from 9.30- 4.30pm
The day will be FREE OF CHARGE with lunch included
Places are limited to 100 so register NOW!
Contact; Natasha Hutchison Email: natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk
Tel: 01353 720748 Mob: 07738 457 704


Full information for this seminar and speaker Biographies can be found at this link.


Address for Seminar
Paignton Zoo
Totnes Road
Devon
TQ4 7EU

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Tree News

Trees in Town II

By Dr Mark Johnston, 25 March 2012

Trees in Town II

You might be interested to know that the government’s Trees in Town II report (2008) in now finally available in hard copy, and at the very reasonable cost of £13.63 (no royalties to me, I can assure you). Previously, it was only available as a printed executive summary and on a disc. Consequently, not many people have probably read the full 650-page report.

You might be interested to know that the government’s Trees in Town II report (2008) in now finally available in hard copy, and at the very reasonable cost of £13.63 (no royalties to me, I can assure you). Previously, it was only available as a printed executive summary and on a disc. Consequently, not many people have probably read the full 650-page report.


It can be obtained from: http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/trees-in-towns-ii/12620931


As well as giving a wealth of information on urban trees and urban tree management, it also includes 12 Case Studies on good and innovative practice in various aspects of tree management, most of which are still highly relevant.

 

 

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Tree News, Training

We Announce the CAS 'Update' Seminar

By Mark Chester, 25 March 2012

We Announce the CAS 'Update' Seminar

On Friday 20th April, as part of the Capel Manor 'Celebration of Trees', there will be a half-day seminar updating arborists on some key industry developments.

On Friday 20th April, as part of the Capel Manor 'Celebration of Trees', there will be a half-day seminar updating arborists on some key industry developments.


  • Ashley Jones from the Planning Portal will be demonstrating the use of on-line applications for more efficient planning applications.
  • Richard Nicholson will be explaining how the 2012 Tree Preservation Order Regulations work
  • Keith Sacre will provide an update on BS8545



1.30-5pm.

Cost £45 for members, £55 for non-members.
Members attending the EGM at 12.30 can enjoy a free finger buffet.


Managing Special Trees – Arley Arboretum


On Monday 14th May we will be launching a new module on Managing Special Trees.  Led by Rhod Taylor, this will consider the requirements of special trees using an arboretum scenario.  Limited places (cost £125 for members). Email chairman@consultingarboristsociety.com for bookings.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Good farmers plant trees

By The Woodland Trust, 02 April 2012

Good farmers plant trees

A new report commissioned by the Woodland Trust and written by Harper Adams University highlights the value of tree shelter belts to farmers in combating the effects of drought.

A new report commissioned by the Woodland Trust and written by Harper Adams University highlights the value of tree shelter belts to farmers in combating the effects of drought.


The report, Managing the drought – A review of the evidence of the benefits of native trees species for shelter on the water regime of pasture and arable crops, pulls together studies from UK and other temperate agriculture systems to show how trees planted as shelter belts help to reduce wind speeds, meaning water loss through evapotranspiration1 is slowed. This allows the sheltered crop to retain more water and use it efficiently.


In the UK such shelter belts are relatively uncommon, but studies have shown cereal yields of sheltered crops can be higher than that for unsheltered crops, particularly in years when the weather is hot and dry.


Mike Townsend, Woodland Trust Conservation Advisor said, "This report makes it clear that tree shelter belts could be of real value in the development of sustainable agriculture, especially as we face a changing climate and growing demand for food.


"Naturally, trees will compete for water and nutrients, reducing crop yields directly adjacent to the shelter belt. However, these reductions typically only occur up to a distance of one to two tree heights away. Any loss after that point is significantly outweighed by the increase in yield achieved by more efficient water use.


"More research is needed, but this is promising start and shows that good farmers should indeed consider planting more trees."


Read Mike Townsend's blog for more detail on the report at http://wp.me/penfo-12E


Download a full copy of the report from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/agriculture


For more information or to arrange a spokesperson, please contact Alison Kirkman on 08452 935874 or 07767 213792.
 

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Tree News

Survival of the Wettest - Trees Need Water

By The Tree Council, 02 April 2012

Survival of the Wettest - Trees Need Water

Tree loss is a problem for all of us; with so many benefits to offer people in a changing climate, it is an irony that those changes may result in increased tree mortality rates. Around five and a half million urban shade trees were killed by a record drought in Texas, USA last year: ten per cent of the entire urban forest. In addition, half a billion rural, park and forest trees are also reported to have died and a lot more trees will have been stressed beyond repair by the lack of water and will ultimately also succumb. The UK numbers may be smaller, but the consequence of drought here could be just as devastating.

Tree loss is a problem for all of us; with so many benefits to offer people in a changing climate, it is an irony that those changes may result in increased tree mortality rates. Around five and a half million urban shade trees were killed by a record drought in Texas, USA last year: ten per cent of the entire urban forest. In addition, half a billion rural, park and forest trees are also reported to have died and a lot more trees will have been stressed beyond repair by the lack of water and will ultimately also succumb. The UK numbers may be smaller, but the consequence of drought here could be just as devastating.

Trees need watering – by rain or by people – about three times a month from April to the end of September. The Tree Council has issued a stark reminder that by the time we can see the effects of water shortage on our tree population, it will probably be too late to save most. Its Tree Care Campaign, launched on 21st March, challenges members of the public who have a tree on their land, or close by in adjacent public space, to make a real difference to tree survival this year.

All anyone has to do is save some of their waste water and take it to the tree. Around the amount it takes to do the washing up, carried out to the tree in a watering can or recycled container with a handle, will do the job. Poured slowly so that the water can permeate through the surface or else into a watering tube that has been buried beside the tree at the time of planting, this could make all the difference to the life chances for the trees in streets and gardens.

“Many of The Tree Council’s volunteer Tree Wardens co-ordinate street rotas so that everyone can play their part, but that’s not essential. If you value the contribution that trees make to providing food and shelter to wildlife, cleaning the air and shading the streets then you don’t need to join a watering scheme; just go out and do it” observed Tree Council Director-General Pauline Buchanan Black. “Simple actions like this will maintain the level of moisture in the ground that is necessary for trees to stay alive. Anyone can “adopt” the tree outside their front gate and, since it is almost impossible to over-water a tree, this year, give it as much water as you can.”

Defra parliamentary under-secretary Lord Taylor of Holbeach added “Using waste water is the right way to water trees during drought. We especially need Big Tree Plant trees to survive the dry spring and summer months and this is a positive step in helping to limit the effects of drought. We all need to take measures to use less water, and I urge you to take The Tree Council’s advice on tree care during the coming months.” 

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Tree News, Training

Capel Manor College 10th Annual Celebration of Trees

By Capel Manor, 10 April 2012

Capel Manor College 10th Annual Celebration of Trees

We are pleased to announce and invite you to join us for this special 10th Anniversary of the Celebration of Trees.


With Husqvarna as sponsor our new look event will be held in the showground at Capel Manor College and we are proud to be hosting as one of the attractions the Arboricultural Association’s AA Tree Challenge 3ATC College South Competition.

Friday 20th and Saturday 21st April 2012 – 10 am to 5 pm


We are pleased to announce and invite you to join us for this special 10th Anniversary of the Celebration of Trees.


With Husqvarna as sponsor our new look event will be held in the showground at Capel Manor College and we are proud to be hosting as one of the attractions the Arboricultural Association’s AA Tree Challenge 3ATC College South Competition.


Please also note that:


  • Stand prices held
  • Free entry to all trade visitors
  • New exciting activities
  • The interpretation corridor, ideal for product information and advertising literature
  • Forestry Journal & essentialARB support with editorial and web links
  • a dedicated website for the event where you can add your business links http://www.celebrationoftrees.co.uk/


Click here for the booking form…

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Business Advice

Too Busy to Succeed?

By Mick Merrick, 10 April 2012

Too Busy to Succeed?

When I went to sales school back in the 80’s every training company had a variant of this cartoon. 
I think it was supposed to inspire us to recognise that there are lots of people out there who need our service – we just need to get their attention.

When I went to sales school back in the 80’s every training company had a variant of this cartoon. 


I think it was supposed to inspire us to recognise that there are lots of people out there who need our service – we just need to get their attention. 


Well, these days I am not so sure. It seems to me we need to do much more than just get people’s attention. Let me explain: probably 80% of the business owners we meet admit to having a major part of their business that they are not happy with. It may be they need to streamline their production processes, or they may need to generate more leads. Many people need to improve their conversion ratios. Whatever it is, they see the need for it, and they see the benefits it can bring them. 


Here’s the thing – only 1% of the people we meet, in spite of the fact that they recognise they need to change, will actually do anything about it. And why not? Usually they believe they are too busy.


There’s the guy who is working 18 hour days and is desperate for a better work life balance. What does he do? He keeps on with the 18 hour days – after all, he is too busy to slow down.


There’s the woman who is generating 60 enquiries a week, but only converting one or two into business. She knows she needs to improve her conversion rate but she is too busy generating enquiries that she can’t close to stop and work out how to convert them better. Never mind it would take her less effort. Never mind she would make more money – she just has to keep on going. Too busy to stop. Too busy to try anything new.


So, why do people do it? Why do they continue to punish themselves? Well, our theory is that they are afraid of change. They don’t admit to that of course – no, they tell themselves they’ll just get the next couple of actions done, and then they’ll take a fresh look at the business. And the next couple of actions become three, four, five, and so on. Nothing changes.


Making lasting change to our business is challenging. We have to stop what we are doing and risk losing some money while we re-evaluate things. We have to face up to the fact that we have been doing some things wrongly for some time, and we have to be prepared to change, to risk new ideas, and to leave our comfort zone.


Perhaps it’s no surprise then that so many business owners are like the medieval king trying to win the war, and missing a secret weapon. However, for the 1% of us who are prepared to stop and think, and are brave enough to challenge what we have done in the past, and to try something new, this is great news; because it means that we are going to leave our competitors way behind, still doing what they always did, and still hoping for a better result.


Upcoming Events


Strategic Selling; Bristol 3rd May


Closing More Orders; Chepstow 24th May

Mick has over 30 years of sales experience in small owner managed businesses and is now working with Precept to help similar businesses to increase sales. This is achieved by applying simple and repeatable sales processes to good people and good products thereby taking the mystery out of successful selling and customer support.

You can contact Mick directly on 07834 544 763 and at Mick@precept.uk.com

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Tree News

Bound copies of the proceedings of the Trees, People and the Built Environment conference

By Alison Lock, 10 April 2012

Bound copies of the proceedings of the Trees, People and the Built Environment conference

I am delighted to confirm that you can now purchase a bound paperback copy of the Proceedings of the Trees, People and the Built Environment Conference, hosted by ICF last year on behalf of the Conference Partners.

I am delighted to confirm that you can now purchase a bound paperback copy of the Proceedings of the Trees, People and the Built Environment Conference, hosted by ICF last year on behalf of the Conference Partners.


Reports cost £37.51 (+ postage and packing) and can be ordered from Lulu.com.
Please note that this is a link to an external web-publisher for which neither ICF nor the Forestry Commission has any responsibilities for.


ICF wishes to thank all those who helped bring the conference proceedings to fruition.  The published proceedings are a tribute to this excellent urban tree research conference last year.

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G&T and ISA UK/I Chapter 2012 Seminar Series

By Russell Ball, 10 April 2012

G&T and ISA UK/I Chapter 2012 Seminar Series

A Brighter Future for Urban Forestry
You are invited to a free seminar hosted by Gristwood & Toms:
Alexia Tamblyn – Treeconomics
Title: Measuring to Manage Torbay’s Urban Forest
Jim C Smith – Forestry Commission Urban Forestry Advisor
Title: Preparing a Tree and Woodland Strategy
Phil Wade – Director Sorbus International Ltd.
Title: The new IML Resi-PD micro-drill: Well worth the wait!

A Brighter Future for Urban Forestry

You are invited to a free seminar hosted by Gristwood & Toms:


Alexia Tamblyn – Treeconomics
Title: Measuring to Manage Torbay’s Urban Forest
In 2010 Torbay carried out a pilot of the i-Tree Eco system. The survey generated some interest. However, going forward, it’s the urban forest structure, composition and form data that will provide the real benefit in its future management. After all if you can't measure your resource how can it be managed?  Alexia will explain how the Eco data can be used to look at strategic forest management ensuring that Torbay's urban forest can continue to deliver benefits in the future.


Jim C Smith – Forestry Commission Urban Forestry Advisor
Title: Preparing a Tree and Woodland Strategy
The presentation will look at the Mayor of London's Supplementary Planning Guidance on preparing a Tree and Woodland Strategy. It will cover key points that Tree Officer's tasked with producing a tree and woodland strategy should cover together with some of the advantages of having one in place and how this can improve the effectiveness of local authority policies.


Phil Wade – Director Sorbus International Ltd.
Title: The new IML Resi-PD micro-drill: Well worth the wait!
The PD is the most advanced & innovative micro-drill ever produced, created using all the knowledge & experience IML has gained over 30 years. Capable of drilling at 5 times faster than previous devices the PD also has a unique dual motor technology for tree inspection that significantly improves sensitivity by virtually reducing the effect of frictional drag on the drilling needle. During the practical demonstration delegates will be encouraged to try the PD for themselves.


Date:19 April 2012.


Venue:  Gristwood and Toms, Harris Lane, Shenley, Herts WD7 9EG.


Registration: 9.30am


Start: 10.am – Finish approximately 4.00 pm


Lunch: Lunch will be provided. Gristwood and Toms will provide a tour of their recycling facility.


How to Book: To reserve your place contact  joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk


For ISA Certified Arborists the seminar is worth 5 CEU’s.

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Tree News, Training

Managing Special Trees

By Mark Chester, 10 April 2012

Managing Special Trees

UPDATE: Last Few Places Available

Monday 14th May 2012 at Arley Arboretum
A new CAS module led by Rhod Taylor, based on the Arboretum model, comprising:
The history of arboreta: a brief over-view
New sites
Managing existing sites

UPDATE: Last Few Places Available

Monday 14th May 2012 at Arley Arboretum


A new CAS module led by Rhod Taylor, based on the Arboretum model, comprising:


The history of arboreta: a brief over-view


New sites


  • Topography
  • Soil Type
  • Micro-climates
  • Groupings etc
  • Spacings
  • Surveying/Mapping


Managing existing sites


  • Age Classes and spacing
  • Ground issues
  • Diseases
  • Replacements
  • Interpretation


Three part accreditation based on on-site projects for managing individual trees, a small collection and the whole site.


Arley Arboreum, Monday 14th May 2012 9.30-4.30


Cost:


£125 for CAS members


£145 for non-members (includes refreshments and accreditation)


Email the chairman at chairman@consultingarboristsociety.com to book your place.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Business Advice

How to effectively secure work

By Mark Chester, 16 April 2012

How to effectively secure work

For those of us responsible for securing work and generating sales, it can be challenging persuading clients to formally instruct us to proceed. Sometimes, there can be considerable delays between providing a quote and being asked to start. Pricing appropriately and trying to avoid a sudden excess of work can be challenging. However, there are ways to make the process more effectively. Here are five top tips…

For those of us responsible for securing work and generating sales, it can be challenging persuading clients to formally instruct us to proceed. Sometimes, there can be considerable delays between providing a quote and being asked to start. Pricing appropriately and trying to avoid a sudden excess of work can be challenging. However, there are ways to make the process more effectively. Here are five top tips:


When pricing for work, it can be helpful to offer the client a price structure so they can budget, and may enable special offers to be presented, especially if there is more than one part to the job. Offer a reduced basic rate for the minimum level of work, a standard rate for the main part, and a premium rate to include the full programme. This can allow the client to fit the work to their budget.


If there is a delay between pricing work and being instructed to proceed, be prepared to contact the client. Ask if they have proceeded with the work (did someone else get the job?) If they have, ask for feedback to see what the other party did differently. If they have not yet proceed, ask if there is anything else they need in order to make the decision. Sometimes, all they need is a nudge in the right direction.


Sometimes, the delay is because they are waiting for funding. Clarifying when this will be available can help with programming the work. You may wish to offer staged payments so that you can start with the project, and receive the balance later on.


Be proactive in seeking to guide clients and programme work. How often do we find a sudden glut of work in March as the end of the financial year approaches? Agreeing to delay final payment and programming the work can help you work more effectively and build a good relationship with the client, especially if they appreciate that you wish to ensure the commission is given proper time and attention.


It may be that the client needs more information and clarification regarding your involvement. Don’t expect them to come to you for this: take the initiative. Be prepared to confirm in writing, and to reassure; it may be that someone else is going to pay for the work and wishes to know exactly what you are proposing to do.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Report Writing

BS5837 Updated

By Mark Chester, 16 April 2012

BS5837 Updated

Following the recent updating of BS5837, Mick Boddy, who chairs the B/213 committee responsible for British Standards in Arboriculture, has let us know that the British Standards Institute (BSI) is offering copies of the new document at half price.

Following the recent updating of BS5837, Mick Boddy, who chairs the B/213 committee responsible for British Standards in Arboriculture, has let us know that the British Standards Institute (BSI) is offering copies of the new document at half price. For more details, and to order your copy, follow the link below.


http://shop.bsigroup.com/en/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030213642


 


 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Get youngsters outside this summer

By The Woodland Trust, 23 April 2012

Get youngsters outside this summer

Summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to get kids exploring outside with help from the Woodland Trust.


The Trust has developed a series of swatch books to help spot and identify different leaves, fungi, flowers and butterflies. Suitable for all ages, the easy-to-use guides are lightweight and small enough to slip into a pocket. With colourful pictures on one side and information, hints and tips on the other, they are the ideal companion to a great day exploring.

Summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to get kids exploring outside with help from the Woodland Trust.


The Trust has developed a series of swatch books to help spot and identify different leaves, fungi, flowers and butterflies. Suitable for all ages, the easy-to-use guides are lightweight and small enough to slip into a pocket. With colourful pictures on one side and information, hints and tips on the other, they are the ideal companion to a great day exploring.


Alongside these educational books the Trust is home to the Nature Detectives Club – a nationwide nature club with over 30,000 members and activities every week, all year-round. Run by the Trust's learning team, children across the UK receive weekly activities tailored to the weather and time of year, encouraging creativity, imagination and self-led discovery.


Julie Mathewson joined the Nature Detectives club for her two children, Charles and Annabel, and said: "We have thoroughly enjoyed being 'nature detectives', the scheme is fantastic. On Fridays my children are always really excited about receiving the weekly activity that comes just in time for the weekend. All the ideas are brilliant and I wanted to say thank you for making the summer holidays more fun!"


By choosing summer holiday activities from the Woodland Trust – the UK's leading woodland creation and conservation charity – you will be helping to protect and care for our woodland heritage and the wildlife it supports, as well as creating new native woods for future generations to enjoy.


All sites are open 365 days a year and are free to visit.


Swatch books £4.99 each, special offer – buy two or more and pay only £4.00 per book, plus p+p, Nature Detectives memberships come in a variety of packages. To find out more visit www.woodlandtrustshop.com 

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Business Advice

5 Top tips for a successful business launch

By Mark Chester, 23 April 2012

5 Top tips for a successful business launch

In these more economically challenging times, record numbers of people are launching their own businesses. A venture that is successfully established in tougher times is well placed for the long haul. However, many new businesses fail within the first two years and the demands of running a business can prove too great for numerous aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there are ways of avoiding some of the common pitfalls.

In these more economically challenging times, record numbers of people are launching their own businesses. A venture that is successfully established in tougher times is well placed for the long haul. However, many new businesses fail within the first two years and the demands of running a business can prove too great for numerous aspiring entrepreneurs. However, there are ways of avoiding some of the common pitfalls.

  1. Are you suited to being freelance and working without someone else setting your daily workload? Work can be irregular and at busy time may require long hours to meet deadlines. It is unlikely to be 9-5 Monday to Friday in the early days. Being flexible is a real asset. However, if you prefer structure and routine, an employed role, perhaps as a part-time associate, may be better.

  2. Identify your strengths. Some people flow with ideas and are creative but can lose focus bring work to a conclusion. Others are good at taking an idea forward to conclusion. If you find it hard finishing projects, you will need to work with others who complement your skills. Do you prefer to work alone or within a team? As a business develops, it becomes important to be able to delegate so that you can focus on the tasks you are good at.

  3. Is there a demand for the services you wish to offer? This may seem obvious. However, it is a basic principle that many overlook. If you wish to provide mortgage reports, yet live in a sandy area with few subsidence claims, you will need to offer a wider range of services. Do you have the necessary experience, or is additional training required?

  4. Are you comfortable being the ‘face’ of your business, or would you prefer to be part of a team? Some people are comfortable meeting clients for the first time, networking in a room of strangers and making presentations. If this fills you with fear, a role working flexibly for a larger practice may be more suitable. There is a niche for consultants who can provide flexible support when others are too busy but wish to avoid employing an extra person.

  5. It can be useful to start in a part-time role. This allows contacts to be developed and provides opportunity to see if being freelance works for you. It can be challenging juggling two roles, especially when a private client needs work completing to a tight time scale, and not all employers are comfortable with such an arrangement, but it provides a better idea of the demand that may exist for your services and your ability to meet it.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Barcham Series, Plant Health

Tree Ecophysiology - Seminar Review

By Colin Hambidge, 23 April 2012

The series of technical seminars hosted by Barcham Trees began for 2012 with a presentation by Andy Hirons of Myerscough College and Dr. Henrik Sjöman of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Andy is part of the academic team at Myerscough College and is currently working on a PhD that explores the response of temperate trees to water deficit and the potential application of those responses in tree production. In February 2012 Henrik completed his doctoral work with the thesis “Trees for tough urban sites – learning from nature”.

 A seminar with Andy Hirons and Henrik Sjöman

29 March 2012
A Report by Colin Hambidge


The series of technical seminars hosted by Barcham Trees began for 2012 with a presentation by Andy Hirons of Myerscough College and Dr. Henrik Sjöman of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Andy is part of the academic team at Myerscough College and is currently working on a PhD that explores the response of temperate trees to water deficit and the potential application of those responses in tree production. In February 2012 Henrik completed his doctoral work with the thesis “Trees for tough urban sites – learning from nature”.



Andy spoke in the morning. His aim was to give a general introduction to the attributes and strategies which allow trees to survive in different environments. Referring specifically to temperate, boreal and mediterranean regions, ecophysiology is the study of why trees are distributed in the way they are and the underlying factors controlling this. It considers the factors that can limit a tree’s performance, how the tree overcomes them and how we may integrate our knowledge of trees and their environment into our management of them.


Starting with temperate trees, these generally experience 120 – 250 frost-free growing days in a year, with a mean winter temperature range from -5°C to 10°C and a mean summer temperature range from 20°C – 27°C. Precipitation in such areas is around 50-75cm, with trees usually growing in relatively deep, fertile soils. Referring to the canopy morphology of temperate trees, Andy explained that they receive diffuse light from cloudy skies and that a domed canopy allows a tree to take light from all sides on cloudy days.


As canopies become more complex the problem of shading increases, with reduced photosynthesis limiting energy production. There are structural differences in leaves adapted to shade, and many tree canopies having both ‘sun’ and ‘shade’ leaves – Tsuga and Fagus being two examples. Branching patterns and leaf arrangements minimise overlapping with leaves arranged in a spiral sequence (phyllotaxy). The upper leaves may be smaller and on shorter stalks, while leaves in a flat plane fit together rather like a jigsaw puzzle, exposing the maximum leaf area to light.


Monolayer trees, such as beech, hemlocks, suagar maple and sycamore produce a single shell of leaves over the entire canopy. They are suited to shaded environments and have inefficient light interception if
growing in the open. Multilayer trees, such as poplar and birch, are more adept at growing in high light environments because their leaves are stacked above each other and they tend to have a more open canopy
But self-shading is a significant problem with flattened petioles, shedding of leaves and the separation of leaves.


Looking next at wood anatomy, Andy told the delegates that there is a huge variation in wood structure across species. Angiosperms have two types of structure – they are either ring-porous, such as Quercus robur, or diffuse-porous, such as Acer saccharum. 80 – 90 per cent of all tree roots occur in the top 1.5m of soil, with very few roots found below 3m in temperate zones, although conifers tend to be more deep-rooted than deciduous trees.


Moving northwards, there are significant differences in the environment. Boreal trees are those between the lines of latitude 45° and 70°N, being Canada, Alaska, Siberia, some parts of Russia and Scandinavia. They can expect a 30 – 150 days’ growing season when the temperature can exceed 10°C. In the winter, temperatures can fall below -25°C. Precipitation varies between 38 and 50cm, and soil is generally acidic and nutritionally poor. Firs and spruces are typical here where light angles are low, even in summer. Alders, poplars, larch, birch and willow will also be found in these northern areas. Tree physiology inevitably slows down in such regions.


With reference to wood structure, unlike in the temperate zone, there are no ring-porous trees in the boreal belt. The roots are generally much more shallow than those of temperate trees. Not surprisingly, permafrost is a real problem here, with little root growth occuring when temperatures drop below 5°C.


On to Mediterranean (or ‘chaparral’ trees). Their habitat is characterised by winter rainfall and summer drought. Rainfall can be very variable, as low as 100mm but potentially 2000mm. There will also generally be several months without any rain at all. The mean average temperature is 13-17°C. Sclerophyllous (leather-leaved) trees such as olive and cork oak thrive in a Mediterranean climate.


Andy concluded that tolerance of the local climate and environment is a key factor in tree establishment, preceded by how it is treated prior to planting. He acknowledged that many differences exist between the woodland and urban environments, but it is important to try to get the tree physiology right by creatin woodland conditions as closely as we can.


The afternoon’s session was led by Henrik Sjöman of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. His presentation, entitled Selection of Urban Trees – Learning from Nature was based on his recent PhD thesis. It followed neatly from Andy’s presentation during the morning. Introducing himself as a landscape engineer and plant technologist, Henrik told delegates he would be sharng from a Scandinavian perspective, where planners are increasingly appreciating the importance of trees in the urban landscape. Wind is a great problem in Sweden and one with which they struggle constantly. The green infrastructure is important, but it continually battles the chilling effect of the wind.


Henrik began by raising concern about the lack of diversity among urban trees. The Tilia genus contributes 44 per cent of all trees in Helsinki and 25 per cent in Oslo, with Acer platanoides making up 12 and 18 per cent respectively in these cities. With such concentrations, pests and diseases are a worry. Whether climate change is a global reality, or not, city climates have changed significantly in the last 100 years, Henrik explained. They have become ‘heat islands’. His university has trial areas of trees from different countries, such as Japan, to see how they perform in the Swedish climate.


Bur what guidance is there for urban tree planners? There seems to be an abundance of information available, even for rare species, but it is piecemeal. This makes acquiring an overview both difficult and time-consuming. Dendrological and taxonomic literature is frequently too general, while scierntific literature tends to be too specific. Information in nursery catalogues and in literature on plant use in cities is generally presented without references to other sources, which gives the impression that the information is mainly based on the individual authors’ own experiences and qualitative observations of existing urban plantings.


Henrik Sjöman believes it is important to start by trying to understand the ‘personality’ of trees, such as their tolerances and the type of growth they typically make. He feels we should look for ecological matching in our selection of trees, rather than forcing them into situations which they cannot handle. Scandinavia has few native tree species, many having been wiped out by the last Ice Age. Henrik feels that Scandinavians need to look at exotic species, bearing in mind Sweden benefits from the Gulf Stream For example, most of the trees planted in the streets in Scandinavia originate from a meadow system. He believes that those designing planting schemes would be better using hornbeams and pines, which originate in the steppes system. A tree needs the right weapons and the right strategy if it is to survive, and to thrive.


Competitive species such as Populus and Acer saccarinum have a ‘live fast, die young’ approach – according to Henrik they are the rock ‘n’ rollers of the tree world! Stress-tolerant trees such as Quercus cerris and Pinus nigra are good as street trees. Ruderal (pioneer) species thrive in disturbed ecosystems, such as an environment following a fire or other clearance.


As part of his studies Henrik visited the Qinling Mountains in a remote part of central China. There are very many species here, but the climate is mild and so many species are not hardy enough for Sweden. However, trees from northern China are almost too hardy for Sweden, being suitable only for Uppsala northwards. Qinling was chosen because it is the meeting point for the two types of trees and it has not been studied before. It also happens to be the home of the giant panda, resulting in a high level of governmental protection and great difficulty in accessing it. While in the Qinling Mountains, Henrik was on the look-out for trees growing on south-facing, dry slopes as those with potential for becoming street trees in Sweden.


Myths sometimes grow up about the conditions a tree requires if it is to thrive. Paeonia suffruticosa var. ostii is a good example of this, as its’ native habitat is dry and rocky yet it thrive in conditions that are very different to this. Small-leaved trees are valued in Sweden, as they do not block out the sun during the short summer. Koelreuteria (Pride of India) is well regarded, but Ailanthus is invasive in the wild and Henrik does not wish to introduce potential weeds.


He is keen to hunt for genetic variations within a species and feels that for some trees there may be forms in nature which are better than those currently in cultivation. As an example, he showed us the considerable variations which occur within Magnolia biondii in central China.


In his quest for potential street trees, Henrik has also conducted research in Romania and Moldavia. The further east one travels across Europe the drier the climate becomes. The climate of the steppes is actually similar to that of Copenhagen, so might be a good source of potential street trees for Scandinavia. The soil of the steppes is fertile and dry, and was formerly forested. Sorbus torminalis, Tilia tomentosa and Quercus frainetto are native here and, unlike many Chinese trees, they are already known in the west and are good trees for the urban environment, with Tilia tomentosa generally doing much better than others in that genus. Its’ late flowers provide a welcome source of nectar, but Henrik feels further selection work is required. Carpinus orientalis is, he believes, a species with a big future, while he is similarly enthusiastic about Cornus mas, although its fruits may be considered a problem in paved areas.


His quest for stree trees has also taken Henrik to North America. Here he found that Platanus occidentalis handles both very wet and very dry conditions equally well, while Catalpas speciosa and bignonioides and Quercus palustris are trees of the river plain. Alnus cordata, from the wetlands of the Balkans, is being used increasingly in southern Sweden.


Both speakers were well received in a packed lecture theatre, prompting much interaction with delegates. The Barcham lecture series of 2012 promises to be as stimulating and revealing as it has been in past seasons.


Speaker biographies
Andy Hirons graduated from Myerscough College with a BSc (Hons) Arboriculture in 2003. After pursuing an opportunity to work as a climber and plant health care technician in the USA, he returned to England and joined the Arboriculture Department at Myerscough College in Lancashire. His main teaching responsibilities and academic interests are in tree physiology and arboricultural practice, particularly the challenges of establishing trees in the urban landscape. In addition to his lecturing, he is currently working on a PhD that explores the response of temperate trees to water deficit and the potential application of those responses in tree production.


Henrik Sjöman graduated from the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) in 2003 as a landscape engineer with an M.Sc in Landscape Planning. After finishing his master studies, Henrik worked on research and teaching at the SLU with a focus on plant material and vegetation construction. He began work on his PhD 2008, spending a year in China studying the Qinling Mountains in search of potential urban trees. During his PhD, Henrik has also conducted several field expeditions in Romania, Moldavia, China and North America in search of future species and genotypes for urban environments. In February 2012 Henrik completed his doctoral work with the thesis “Trees for tough urban sites – learning from nature”.
 

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Tree News, Report Writing

T&CP (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012 Part 1

By Richard Nicholson, 25 April 2012

T&CP (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012 Part 1

There are new Regulations for England, the T&CP (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012 which contains a new model order and new provisions.

They revoke the 1999 Regulations, the 2008 Amendment about 1App (and include it still) 2008 Amendment about appeals (but still include it)

There are new Regulations for England, the T&CP (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012 which contains a new model order and new provisions.


They revoke the 1999 Regulations, the 2008 Amendment about 1App (and include it still) 2008 Amendment about appeals (but still include it)


The 2008 Planning Act adds


Section 202 A – 202 G
A general regulations
B provision to make TPOs
C prohibited activities
D consent for prohibited activities, conditions and appeals
E Compensation
F keeping a register
G supplementary provisions required under the Regs.


It omits


Section 198 (3) (4) which go into the TCPA 1990 as 202 A-G
(6) which goes into the 2012 TP Regs Part 3 14
(8) (9) omitted , applications for consent and who the appropriate authority is.
Section199 Form and procedure applicable to Orders [notices and objections]


Section 201 omitted, about a TPO being able to take immediate effect. TPOs were almost always made to take immediate effect, not take effect on confirmation and as this is best practice, the direction under Section 201 has been removed and they now all take immediate effect automatically.


Section 193 TPOs made before the appointed day “ omission of all provisions other than any that have the effect of identifying the Order or for the purposes of identifying trees, groups or woodlands”


Main changes that effect the user (1 – 5 of 15)


  1. The Model Order has shrunk from the 1999 version.
    Most of the provisions have been inserted into the 2012 Regulations (eg Compensation taken out of 1999 model order and inserted into the Regulations at 202E.
  2. The definition of ‘land affected by the order’ has changed from 1999 ‘any land adjoining the land on which the tree…stands’ to TP Regs Part 1 2 (1) ‘land on which the trees…to which the order relates are situated.’
    This has benefits for who the LPA have to serve a new order on.
  3. The TPO plan takes precedence again
    TP Regs 2012 TP Regs Part 2 3 (4)
  4. 4. TPOs can no longer be confirmed after 6 months have elapsed
    TP Regs 2012 Part 2 4
  5. 5. Modification of TPO plan has now set out in TP Regs Part 2 (7) (5) what was only implied before that a tree cannot be added to a TPO by modification


Click here for part two of this article…

Richard has more than 21 years experience working as an Arboricultural Officer in Local Authority Planning and is currently responsible for the delivery of Planning S106 projects with the Leisure Services unit at the Borough of Poole.

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Tree News

Lantra Survey on Skills Framework

By Stuart Phillips, 07 May 2012

Lantra Survey on Skills Framework

Lantra Sector Skills Council would like you to take part in a short survey about our Professional Standards Framework (PSF).


Lantra is seeking your opinions to help us make sure that the framework we develop meets the needs of businesses in the Forestry and Arboriculture industries.

Lantra Sector Skills Council would like you to take part in a short survey about our Professional Standards Framework (PSF).


Lantra is seeking your opinions to help us make sure that the framework we develop meets the needs of businesses in the Forestry and Arboriculture industries.


Click here to take the survey…

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Tree News

ICF Seeks Deputy Director

By Alison Lock, 07 May 2012

ICF Seeks Deputy Director

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) is seeking an experienced senior forestry or arboricultural professional to join its team. The new role comes at an exciting point in the ICF’s history as it feels that the time is right to provide greater support closer to members in south England and Wales, and provide policy advice to decision makers in a devolved UK.

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) is seeking an experienced senior forestry or arboricultural professional to join its team. The new role comes at an exciting point in the ICF’s history as it feels that the time is right to provide greater support closer to members in south England and Wales, and provide policy advice to decision makers in a devolved UK.


The successful applicant will be based near Oxford and will report directly to Executive Director and ICF Fellow Shireen Chambers in Edinburgh.


Full details of the vacancy are available here…
 

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Tree News, Training

AA TPO Seminars

By Mark Chester, 07 May 2012

AA TPO Seminars

With the new BS5837:2012 coming in to practice at the start of May, and the 2012 TPO Regs coming in to practice in April, it is important that arborists are aquainted with the changes and their practical application.  The Arboricultural Association is organising a series of seminars to provide opportunity for us to get updated.  Led by Richard Nicholson, who chairs the BS5837 committee, and Peter Annett, who until recently was the Government advisor on these matters, the seminars should prove most informative.

With the new BS5837:2012 coming in to practice at the start of May, and the 2012 TPO Regs coming in to practice in April, it is important that arborists are aquainted with the changes and their practical application.  The Arboricultural Association is organising a series of seminars to provide opportunity for us to get updated.  Led by Richard Nicholson, who chairs the BS5837 committee, and Peter Annett, who until recently was the Government advisor on these matters, the seminars should prove most informative.


Click here for more information…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

Managing Special Trees

By Mark Chester, 07 May 2012

Managing Special Trees

Whilst we can be familiar with the routine management requirements of many of the trees we may manage, there can be situations where an individual tree, or group of trees have specific needs.  This can occur when trees are planted to commemorate or celebrate an event, or we are managing a collection.  Special management requirements can also be required when seeking to establish trees in a less hospitable setting.

Held at Arley Arboretum, Worcestershire


Monday 14th May 2012, 9.30-4.30


Cost: CAS Members £125, Non-Members £145


Whilst we can be familiar with the routine management requirements of many of the trees we may manage, there can be situations where an individual tree, or group of trees have specific needs.  This can occur when trees are planted to commemorate or celebrate an event, or we are managing a collection.  Special management requirements can also be required when seeking to establish trees in a less hospitable setting.


Using the range of scenarios present at Arley Arboretum, this one day seminar will consider the principles of managing a collection of trees, with case studies focusing on individual trees, a collection of trees, and the site-wide dynamics.


This is a new CAS Area of Professional Competency.


Tutor: Rhod Taylor


Rhod spend 32 years in Parks and Estate Management, and as a Tree Officer, then focused on teaching, before taking early retirement in 1992.  He then commenced a second career as a curator/arboricultural consultant for several arboreta in the North-West of England.  In addition, he is Lead Assessor for the AA Technician’s Certificate and represents the industry on a range of committees.  He is passionate about sharing his knowledge with the next generation.


Please email the society at chairman@consultingarboristsociety.com for more information and to book your place.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Report Writing

T&CP (Tree Preservation) (England) Regulations 2012 Part 2

By Richard Nicholson, 13 May 2012

Last month, we started an article outlining the important changes in TPO regulations. This is the conclusion of that article, with the remaining ten main changes that effect the user.

Last month, we started an article outlining the important changes in TPO regulations. This is the conclusion of that article, with the remaining ten main changes that effect the user. Click here to read part one…


  1. Revocation Orders: easier procedure than before. 1999 bought in endorsing the TPO doc itself which is still there , but the TP Regs 2012 Part 2 11 (b) now only requires the persons interested in the land (owner, occupier and those the LA know to have an involvement) o be notified, not served a document.
  2. TP Regs Part 3 13 an example of a section that was in the TPO model doc and is now in the Regs, making the doc much shorter. It’s the cut down, lop top, uproot etc
  3. The ‘dangerous’ as in ‘dead, dying and dangerous’ exemption that was Section 198 (6) has been removed from Section 198 and is now in the TP Regs Part 3 14 Exceptions.
    It is now 14 (1) (b) the cutting of dead branches from a living tree; and 14 (1) © the cutting down, uprooting, topping or lopping of a tree, to the extent that such works are urgently necessary to remove an immediate risk of serious harm…
  4. The ‘dying’ exemption has been removed as in ‘dead, dying and dangerous’ exemption that was Section 198 (6) has been removed from Section 198
  5. The 5 WORKING day notice for dead or ‘risk of serious harm’ tree is contained in the TP Regs 2012 at Part 3 14 (2)(b) ‘notice in writing shall be given to the authority at least five working days…’
  6. Works for which consent has been given shall be carried out (a) within 2 years (new default position)
    (b) once only
    Part 4 17 (4)
    But if the authority want to grant a rolling consent they can under 17 (2) (d)
  7. Part 6 Compensation 24 ©
    A person can claim compensation for loss or damage as a result of an unreasonable condition. Sort of new, it follows what the courts have decided eg AA approved contractor.
  8. Section 26, what to do with an order made but not confirmed before the new regs kicked in.
  9. Woodland and forestry replanting is now through a condition rather than a direction as it was before. It’s the same effect but previously it was not possible to condition replanting in woodland.
  10. No more Article 5 certificates can be issued for any TPO whenever made.


Keep old orders in order to be able to demonstrate due process has been followed. Use an explanatory note (DCLG one?) to explain that the new Regs make void the provisions except as in
Section 193 all TPOs made prior to the 2012 Regs take effect with the omission of all their provisions other than any that have the effect of identifying the Order or for the purposes of identifying trees, groups or woodlands.

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Tree News

Walk in the Woods: throughout May 2012

By The Tree Council, 13 May 2012

Walk in the Woods: throughout May 2012

What on earth is the point of traipsing around trees? Why would anyone want to wander around woodland? Or forage about in forests? The answer to all of the above is the same – because trees are really important in making our towns and countryside good for people and wildlife, and the importance of trees is best appreciated when we are amongst them. The more we look up and appreciate what is around us, the more likely we are to be inspired to plant more trees and care for the ones we already have.

EVERY STEP MATTERS

What on earth is the point of traipsing around trees? Why would anyone want to wander around woodland? Or forage about in forests? The answer to all of the above is the same – because trees are really important in making our towns and countryside good for people and wildlife, and the importance of trees is best appreciated when we are amongst them. The more we look up and appreciate what is around us, the more likely we are to be inspired to plant more trees and care for the ones we already have.


All across the country at this time of year, trees are covered with pale green shoots; beneath them, in woods and forests, lie carpets of bluebells, ramsons (wild garlic), lesser celandines, wood anemones and sorrel. In our towns and cities, there are many species of unusual and interesting individual trees to see in streets and parks; decorative flowering specimens such as the evergreen Magnolia grandiflora and the beautiful leaves of liquidambar.


The Tree Council is urging everyone to take steps during the month of May to enjoy the trees around them. Every step on a walk around trees at this most picturesque time of year reminds us of the beauty of these living habitats and the importance of planting more for future generations. There will be walks organised by local groups and The Tree Council’s volunteer Tree Wardens but trees can be enjoyed by anyone who simply lifts their eyes above shoulder height to canopies that improve air quality, provide food and shelter and are, simply, beautiful.


“Imagine a landscape without any trees in it; thanks to the foresight of previous generations, we benefit from a legacy that is both visual and practical. A picnic in the woods, with or without teddy bears, is a special treat: bug-spotting outings and a leaf identification parades are just two more of the many, many reasons to step outside and enjoy the trees that surround us” said Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council. “There are so many ways to go and take a preview of a green future that we can all help to create.”


“The trees close to where we live, work and study are just as critical to our environment as woodlands” she added. “The Big Tree Plant trees that have gone in the ground in the last two planting seasons will be looking lovely and we hope that their promise for future generations, as they mature and grow, will inspire everyone who enjoys them to step up to the challenge and think about planting some more.”

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Tree News, Training

Ancient Tree Forum Meeting

By Luke Steer, 13 May 2012

Ancient Tree Forum Meeting

14-15 June 2012

ATF Summer Field Meeting

Cumbria
Two days of visits and indoor presentations based around Cumbria and just over into the Borders of Scotland.

14-15 June 2012

ATF Summer Field Meeting

Cumbria
Two days of visits and indoor presentations based around Cumbria and just over into the Borders of Scotland.


Thursday 14th June – Start 10:00 Field visit to Levens Lowland Deer Park


Friday 15th June – Start 09:00 Ambleside Parish Church


Cost £10 per day £20 whole event Full details itinerary pdf

Because of constraints of space, we ask that you indicate that you wish to attend by booking by email eventsatf@aol.com 

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Tree News

Up By Roots Seminar

By James Urban, 13 May 2012

Up By Roots Seminar

James Urban brings his book, Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment, to life with a day of hands-on instruction highlighting key soil and site assessment techniques. These skills are critical for arborists, landscape architects, planners, architects, and urban foresters who design, specify, install, or manage trees in the built environment.

James Urban brings his book, Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment, to life with a day of hands-on instruction highlighting key soil and site assessment techniques. These skills are critical for arborists, landscape architects, planners, architects, and urban foresters who design, specify, install, or manage trees in the built environment.


Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment is a one-day workshop highlighting the principles of soil science and their use in facilitating the growth of healthy trees and developing water-efficient landscapes. This workshop includes lectures and field work intended to introduce the underlying scientific principles guiding tree biology and soil-water relations. It is only through a healthy respect for these guiding principles that one can effectively design, install, and manage soils and trees in the urban landscape.


SESSIONS


Soil Science and Tree Biology: This session reviews the relationships among trees, soil, and water. Soil aspects discussed include Physical Properties, Chemical Properties, Biological Properties, Interrelationships, and Tree/Soil Relationships.


Urban Soil Analysis: When working with urban soils, field assessments of soil conditions are often necessary. Topics covered in this session include Traditional Analysis Tools, NonTraditional Analysis Tools, and Reading the Landscape.


Field Walk and Soil Assessment: Attendees will walk to several sites where they will be introduced to the use of soil augers and other soil-assessment tools. Session topics include Soil Profiles and Augers, Soil Bulk Density, Soil Colour and Odour, Soil by Feel, and Reading the Landscape to Make Soil Determinations.


Practical Soil Applications: Suggestions to restore or improve soil functions will be discussed, including Drainage, pH, Soil Biology, Soil Fertility, Clay and Fine-grained Soils, Compaction, and Salt.


WORKSHOP DATES


May 22, 2012: Birmingham
May 24, 2012: London (Brentford)


REGISTRATION


Registration fee includes a buffet lunch. Participants have the opportunity to purchase a copy of Urban’s Up By Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment with their registration at a discounted price. Pre-ordered books will be available for pick up on the day of the workshop. Member registration discounts are available for International Society of Arboriculture, Consulting Arborist Society, and Midland Tree Officers Association members. Members of British Association of Landscape Industries and Landscape Institute will also receive a supporting organisation member registration discount. Seating is limited, so register early. Register at www.isa-arbor.com/UpByRoots to secure your seat.


Download the flyer for more information…


SPECIAL OFFER


Special Offer: Purchase one student registration and receive an additional FREE student registration(worth £25) for a friend. Click here for more details…

James Urban, FASLA and ISA member, is a landscape architect with more than 30 years of experience in urban development. Jim has routinely dealt with the challenge of planting trees in difficult urban sites. He has researched and tested various methods of tree installation in the urban environment. Jim has developed applications for practicing arborists and landscape architects for testing new urban tree systems and planting concepts, developing new approaches to landscape architectural design, and detailing and specifications in the area of trees and urban soils.

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Tree News

VisitWoods' Top 10 woods with sculpture trails

By Chris Hickman, 20 May 2012

VisitWoods' Top 10 woods with sculpture trails

In addition to the stunning shapes of trees and plants, many woods host their own open air art galleries with beautiful and thought-provoking sculptures. The VisitWoods website has selected its Top 10 woods with sculpture trails across the UK.

In addition to the stunning shapes of trees and plants, many woods host their own open air art galleries with beautiful and thought-provoking sculptures. The VisitWoods website has selected its Top 10 woods with sculpture trails across the UK.


Find out more at VisitWoods.org.uk/sculptures


Forest of Dean Sculpture Park, Gloucestershire


On the English/Welsh border the Forest of Dean Sculpture Park honours the Forest’s history with over 20 works. International artists David Nash, Cornelia Parker, Ian Hamilton-Finlay and Neville Gabie are encouraged to spend time in the forest and create artworks unique to the location. Organisers also host events for visitors and the community, with some trails forming part of 'Access for All'.


'The Dream': Sutton Manor, St Helens, Merseyside


'The Dream' is a huge sculpture by Jaume Plensa, designed to inspire redevelopment of the former mining area. Bold Forest Park, part of the Mersey Forest is being developed so it's an exciting area to visit with plenty of new trees as well as some excellent access provisions.


"When we dream, anything is possible" – Jaume Plensa


 


The Wildart Trail, Canterbury, Kent


An evolving collection including willow sculptures, log cabin insect homes and mini totems. Kent Wildlife Trust’s Blean Project is a walk of discovery through different habitats within an ancient woodland and SSSI*.


Can you spot the five wooden woodpeckers and the raptor atop its nest in a tall Scots Pine? With a surprise around every corner, the all access trail is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.


*Sites of Special Scientific Interest


 


Hainault Forest Monster Trail, Chigwell, Essex


Myths, legends and spooky characters are waiting to greet you in Hainault Forest – be sure to look very closely! Find the skull and snake, the highway man and the family of spiders as well as creatures more at home in water and up in the trees. Let your imagination take you on a fantastic journey, but remember, something might be watching you!


 


Grizedale Forest Park, Coniston, Cumbria


"The UK's first forest for sculpture"


This site includes about 60 sculptures spread over 6,000 acres. There is plenty to do with changing indoor exhibitions and a shop stocking crafts and books. The collection includes works by Andy Goldsworthy, which begin to blend into the forest as they change with the seasons.


 


Kielder, Northumberland


More than 20 sculptures are scattered along a 27-mile forest trail around Kielder Water at the heart of the forest. Take time to contemplate in the atmospheric 'Skyspace' and get lost in the Minotaur Maze. As well as the art there's also a haunted castle and osprey and red squirrels to spot.


 


Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, West Yorkshire


If you want to see how British sculpture developed in the 20th Century then Yorkshire Sculpture Park should be top of your list. Against a backdrop of beautiful countryside, celebrated sculptors Barbara Hepworth, Antony Gormley and Henry Moore are exhibited here. And if the weather doesn’t hold out, there's the indoor galleries, a shop and a restaurant with one of the best views in Yorkshire to visit.


 


Tyrebagger, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire


The woods offers a series of intriguing contemporary sculptures commissioned for this woodland outside Aberdeen. Tyrebagger, along with nearby Elrick Hill, shows the history of human marks on the landscape with standing stones and stone circles which offer a distinct contrast from the mysterious modern landmarks created by artists.


 


Pressmennan Wood, Dunbar, East Lothian


Believed to be one of the last remnants of Scotland’s ancient oak woodland, Pressmennan is rich in wildlife. Look out for Glingbobs and Tootflits – magical creatures waiting to be spotted and discover the magic of their ‘homes’ within the wood. A fantastic day out that children are sure to remember. 


 


Parc Penallta, Caerphilly, Wales


Reclaimed from a former coal tip Penallta is home to 'Sultan' the pit pony, the UK's largest figurative earth sculpture at 200m long. With a variety of trails and sculptures to discover and plenty of natural wonders to spot. Wander through the willow tunnel, explore the marsh and take in the surroundings from the Observatory.


 


For more information contact:


Chris Hickman
Woodland Trust
t:08452 935 581
m:07554 438 589
e: chrishickman@woodlandtrust.org.uk

 

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Barcham Series

Keith Sacre's Five Top Tips for buying quality root-balled trees

By Keith Sacre, 20 May 2012

Keith Sacre's Five Top Tips for buying quality root-balled trees

In order for trees to be able to thrive, they need to be equipped with a well-developed, vigorous rooting system. They can be purchased as field-grown stock with the root ball intact. However, when some trees are lifted, the soil falls away and the roots may be poorly developed. In these cases, other soil is often added to form the ball, only to fall away when the tree is planted. This need not be the case. Below are five top tips to ensure you buy quality stock.

In order for trees to be able to thrive, they need to be equipped with a well-developed, vigorous rooting system. They can be purchased as field-grown stock with the root ball intact. However, when some trees are lifted, the soil falls away and the roots may be poorly developed. In these cases, other soil is often added to form the ball, only to fall away when the tree is planted. This need not be the case. Below are five top tips to ensure you buy quality stock.

  • Establish how long the tree has been on the nursery. Some trees only pass through en-route to their next destination, allowing little time for quality control. Ideally, a tree should spend at least one year within the nursery, to ensure it is growing well and is free from pathogens.
  • A sample of trees should be inspected before planting to ensure a well formed and vigorous rooting system, including the smaller, finer roots. If they fail quality control, they should be rejected and returned to the supplier.
  • Ensure the trees are being adequately irrigated whilst in storage and during transit. In addition to equipping them for the landscape, it is an indication of attention to detail.

Finally, remember that if you are not satisfied with the stock supplied, it should be rejected and returned to the supplier.

Keith Sacre is Sales Director for Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire. He is passionate about supplying quality tree stock to improve the urban environment.

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Training

Valuing Trees Course

By Mark Chester, 20 May 2012

Valuing Trees Course

The different ways by which amenity trees can be valued has been the subject of discussion and debate in recent years. The Helliwell system has been joined by the range of methods promoted by the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA), CAVAT and more recently i-Trees.


Which one is best? How, and where, should they be used? Are they being applied correctly?

Held at Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Monday 24th, Tuesday 25th September 9am-5pm
Cost: CAS Members £385, Non-members £425


The different ways by which amenity trees can be valued has been the subject of discussion and debate in recent years. The Helliwell system has been joined by the range of methods promoted by the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA), CAVAT and more recently i-Trees.


Which one is best? How, and where, should they be used? Are they being applied correctly?


In this revised and updated two day seminar, delegates will be guided through each technique, with case studies to enable understanding and competency to be demonstrated (day one). There will then be consideration of how to apply this knowledge with reference to recent court decisions and industry best practice (day two).


Tutor: Dr. Jon Heuch

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Barcham Series

Barcham's Big Barn Conference

By Mark Chester, 20 May 2012

Barcham's Big Barn Conference

On 20th June, Barcham Trees will host their third 'Big Barn' conference, with Dr. Ed Gilmore as the main speaker. More than 400 delegates have booked to attend, and CAS will be there. Barcham Trees will be producing a DVD of the event. This will be an ideal reference for those who attend, and the many who unfortunately missed out with this event. The DVD costs just £15 and can be ordered through CAS.

On 20th June, Barcham Trees will host their third 'Big Barn' conference, with Dr. Ed Gilmore as the main speaker. More than 400 delegates have booked to attend, and CAS will be there. Barcham Trees will be producing a DVD of the event. This will be an ideal reference for those who attend, and the many who unfortunately missed out with this event. The DVD costs just £15 and can be ordered through CAS.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Arb Show 2012

By Mark Chester, 20 May 2012

The Arb Show is on 15-16th June at Bathurst Estate in Cirencester. CAS will be there, plot T19, so come along, say hello and meet the team. See you there.

The Arb Show is on 15-16th June at Bathurst Estate in Cirencester. CAS will be there, plot T19, so come along, say hello and meet the team. See you there.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Business Advice

How to effectively make connections

By Mark Chester, 27 May 2012

How to effectively make connections

For most of us, the ability to make connections, or network, can be important to the success of our work, whether in an employed role or running our own business.  However, it can be daunting walking in to a room with people we haven’t met before.  What do you say? Who should you speak to?  Which events should you seek to attend? How should you prepare?  Below are five key techniques to allow you to network more effectively.

For most of us, the ability to make connections, or network, can be important to the success of our work, whether in an employed role or running our own business.  However, it can be daunting walking in to a room with people we haven’t met before.  What do you say? Who should you speak to?  Which events should you seek to attend? How should you prepare?  Below are five key techniques to allow you to network more effectively.

  1. Be prepared to give before you receive.  This approach of wishing to help others is likely to be better received, and others are more inclined to assist you.  This principle applies to any event to which you are invited; guests to a party tend to take a dish or drink.
  2. If you are attending a networking event, such as a business meeting or technical seminar with fellow professionals, it can be useful to get a list of other attendees, to you can prepare in advance for the people with whom you wish to speak.
  3. Networking is more effective when others get to know and trust us.  Arranging meetings with key contacts can be beneficial.  However, you should seek to have something to contribute and not simply expect to receive.  If you offer to do something, such as pass on a referral, make sure you do it.  A reputation for being unreliable should be avoided.
  4. Be prepared to listen, and encourage the other person to share first.  This is polite, and enables you to find out about others.  People who try to talk about themselves and dominate conversation are less enjoyable company.
  5. Dress appropriately and arrive in good time.  This helps to ensure you present yourself well and fit in.  It also allows time to meet others.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Coed Cadw launches an appeal for the gnarled and wrinkly!

By The Woodland Trust, 27 May 2012

Coed Cadw launches an appeal for the gnarled and wrinkly!

Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust) will launch a petition this Wednesday 9 May, calling for greater protection for the oldest living things in Wales, our ancient, veteran and heritage trees.

Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust) will launch a petition this Wednesday 9 May, calling for greater protection for the oldest living things in Wales, our ancient, veteran and heritage trees.


The charity is calling for a strengthening of Tree Preservation Order legislation, and also wants the soon-to-be created Single Environmental Body in Wales to be given a duty to promote conservation of ancient, veteran and heritage trees through the provision of advice and support for their owners, where necessary. The charity believes positive support for the care of ancient trees is a key missing element in the current system.


The launch meeting in the Senedd at noon on Wednesday is being jointly organised by Coed Cadw (the Woodland Trust) and The Tree Council, co-ordinators of the UK wide Green Monument Campaign, and hosted by Ken Skates AM. He says: “The Clwyd South constituency, which I am proud to represent in the National Assembly, includes a significant concentration of ancient and veteran trees, around Chirk and Pontfadog. To me, these are a hugely important part of Wales's natural heritage, as important in their own way as Caernarfon Castle or St David’s Cathedral. I’m keen to see the Assembly use its new powers to ensure that this wonderful part of our heritage is protected.”


Jon Stokes of The Tree Council, who will be speaking at the meeting, says: “Markers of time, guardians of biodiversity, subjects of folklore and repositories of history: ancient and veteran trees have a place in the heritage of Wales comparable to its great Eisteddfodau and mines from which were brought forth gold, slate and coal. However, in the life of a tree, it takes only one person to neglect, mutilate or destroy it since, in contrast to historic buildings and landscapes, safeguards specific to trees of heritage significance are not by design. Many could be felled tomorrow without penalty. With a groundswell of public support behind us, we hope we will be able to persuade the Welsh Assembly that these special trees need proper protection”.


Also appearing at the launch will be Wyn Davies, the warden of the National Trust’s Dinefwr Park, one of the most important clusters of ancient trees in Wales.


In the audience will be Nerys Jones, the proud owner of the Rhandirmwyn oak in Carmarthenshire, a majestic hollow tree that must be many hundreds of years old. She says: “Chris and I are guardians of our tree. Our names may be on the deeds, but the tree will long outlive us. It’s our duty to look after what’s been put on this earth for future generations. We may have bought the property but that doesn’t make us experts. Advice and care for tree like this doesn’t come cheap, so some help would be very welcome, were it needed.”


Another person who is welcoming this initiative and will be at the meeting in Cardiff is Moray Simpson, the Tree Officer for Wrexham Borough Council Planning Services, who is also Vice-Chair of the Municipal Tree Officers’ Association, and all-UK body. He says: “Our ancient and veteran trees are our link to the past; some of them are hundreds or even thousands of years old. The Tree Preservation Order system does not adequately protect them at the moment and really important trees can be lost at the drop of a chainsaw. An old tree can take hundreds of years to reach maturity, but it can all be lost in an hour. We are the guardians of these trees and they need greater protection.”


The campaign is being spearheaded by Angharad Evans of Coed Cadw. She says: “There have been a number of occasions in recent years when important trees have been felled unnecessarily in Wales, which might have been saved if the changes we are calling for had been in place. But the Assembly’s new powers, and the decision to create a new Single Environmental Body offer an amazing opportunity for Wales to lead the way forward in the UK by properly protecting these trees. Through this petition, everyone has the chance to make their voice heard, by going to our website and signing up.”


Coed Cadw will be collecting signatures for the petition at shows and events throughout most of the year, notably at the Royal Welsh Show, and it’s possible to sign up online now at: www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/saveourtrees 

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Tree News

Special offer on new book for Tree Council members

By The Tree Council, 27 May 2012

Special offer on new book for Tree Council members

'Heritage Trees Wales' is a new book, published as part of The Tree Council's Green Monument Campaign. With illustrations and text by renowned tree photographer and author, Archie Miles, this 260-page hardback features 70 special trees from different parts of Wales. They range from one of the oldest trees in Europe (the Llangernyw Yew) and one of the rarest in the world (Ley's Whitebeam) to a petrified forest and a pear tree that resembles a giant chicken. The book therefore reinforces the continuing need for the Green Monument Campaign – the concerted effort by The Tree Council and its member organisations to gain special protected status for trees of great historical, cultural and ecological value.

'Heritage Trees Wales' is a new book, published as part of The Tree Council's Green Monument Campaign. With illustrations and text by renowned tree photographer and author, Archie Miles, this 260-page hardback features 70 special trees from different parts of Wales. They range from one of the oldest trees in Europe (the Llangernyw Yew) and one of the rarest in the world (Ley's Whitebeam) to a petrified forest and a pear tree that resembles a giant chicken. The book therefore reinforces the continuing need for the Green Monument Campaign – the concerted effort by The Tree Council and its member organisations to gain special protected status for trees of great historical, cultural and ecological value.

The book, published by Graffeg in association with The Tree Council and with support from the Countryside Council for Wales and Forestry Commission Wales, should appeal to tree lovers and anyone with an interest in the ecology, history and folklore of Wales.

The recommended price for 'Heritage Trees Wales' is £20, but we can arrange a special offer for Tree Council members and their members. Please let me know (members@treecouncil.org.uk) if you’re interested and details will be sent.
 

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Tree News

Business Opportunity from Big Green Book

By Mark Chester, 27 May 2012

Business Opportunity from Big Green Book

Big Green Book, the small business environmental network, has posted details of a tender on it's website. The tender is for school grounds maintenance in the West Midlands area. More details available here…

Big Green Book, the small business environmental network, has posted details of a tender on it's website. The tender is for school grounds maintenance in the West Midlands area. More details available here…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Woodland Trust confirms sites for all 60 of the Diamond Jubilee Woods across the UK

By The Woodland Trust, 05 June 2012

Woodland Trust confirms sites for all 60 of the Diamond Jubilee Woods across the UK

From Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides to Truro at the tip of Cornwall – the UK's landscape and local environments are about to be transformed by the creation of 60 new large woodlands. Long after the champagne bubbles have faded from the many celebrations taking place during this historic jubilee weekend, these Diamond Woods will continue quietly growing, creating a natural and beautiful legacy to her Majesty lasting hundreds of years.

From Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides to Truro at the tip of Cornwall – the UK's landscape and local environments are about to be transformed by the creation of 60 new large woodlands. Long after the champagne bubbles have faded from the many celebrations taking place during this historic jubilee weekend, these Diamond Woods will continue quietly growing, creating a natural and beautiful legacy to her Majesty lasting hundreds of years.


Each of the Diamond Woods will be at least 60 acres in size to symbolise 60 years of The Queen’s reign. There will be a Diamond Wood in every region of the UK, giving everyone the chance to create an environmental legacy in their area through helping to plant trees.


In total, the size of the Diamond Woods alone will be equivalent to 7 times the size of the Olympic park, over 3600 acres.


The Trust have worked with a diverse range of landowners from across the UK to create the Diamond Woods, from Local Authorities like Stoke City Council, Universities such as Nottingham and York, public bodies including British Waterways and the Ministry of Defence, through to developers, private landowners, a Diamond Wood is even being created on The Queen’s Balmoral Estate.


On top of the prestigious 60, the Trust has also confirmed that over 250 smaller Jubilee Woods will be planted across the UK helping to achieve the Trust’s ambitious target of planting 6 million trees in 2012 at least 1 million of them by children. The demand to take part has been so popular the Trust has also secured 6 further 60 acre plus sites. It is now looking for more landowners to help create 19 Princess Woods – to recognise the years before Her Majesty became The Queen.


Woodland Trust Jubilee Woods Director Georgina McLeod said: “We’re absolutely delighted that so many different organisations and landowners have joined with the Trust to create these 60 very special Diamond Woods. They will help make a massive difference to the environment and pay a special tribute to Her Majesty The Queen. By the end of the project millions of people will have planted trees, a testament to the nation’s love for trees and our second longest reigning monarch.”


From November, the Trust will give people the chance to attend free tree planting events at Diamond and Jubilee Wood sites across the UK. Anyone taking part in the UK's biggest ever tree planting campaign will be able to plant their tree for the Jubilee and take their place in history by helping to create these magnificent woods.


Schools and communities can still apply for free tree packs to plant in autumn and Winter, while individuals can take part by planting a tree in their garden or by donating money to plant the trees. Everyone taking part will be listed in the new Royal Record of tree planting which will be presented to Her Majesty at the end of the project.


The announcement (1st June) takes place on the same day that HRH The Princess Royal will officially open The Trust’s flagship Diamond Jubilee Wood in Leicestershire. The new wood’s name (The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood) will be revealed along with the designs for the woodland.


The Trust is calling on people across the UK to take this unique opportunity to get involved in an environment changing project and help to make a mark on history.


Sainsbury’s is the lead corporate sponsor for the Woodland Trust’s Jubilee Woods Project. Over the next fifteen months, Sainsbury’s will be supporting the project and raising £1.5 million for tree planting by increasing the number of donations made from products in store. Sainsbury’s will later this year also be giving customers the opportunity to make a ‘pledge’ in store to plant a tree to mark the Diamond Jubilee and promoting activity through the retailer’s Active Kids scheme, to encourage schools to plant trees.

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Tree News, Training

The 2012 AA Road show: BS5837: 2012 and 2012 TPO Regulations

By Mark Chester, 10 June 2012

The 2012 AA Road show: BS5837: 2012 and 2012 TPO Regulations

In May, BS5837:2005 was superceded by BS5837:2012 and on 6th April, the administration of Tree Preservation Orders was significantly refined. The Arboricultural Association has brought together Richard Nicholson, who chaired the BS5837 review committee and Peter Annett, who worked on the TPO changes, to present their work in a series of road shows touring England and Scotland. Mark Chester attended the event in Circencester.

In May, BS5837:2005 was superceded by BS5837:2012 and on 6th April, the administration of Tree Preservation Orders was significantly refined. The Arboricultural Association has brought together Richard Nicholson, who chaired the BS5837 review committee and Peter Annett, who worked on the TPO changes, to present their work in a series of road shows touring England and Scotland. Mark Chester attended the event in Circencester.


View course dates and booking information…


Richard began the day with a quote from Albert Einstein, ‘Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction’.


 


The process of drafting this British Standard has involved the experience of enabling consultees being able to view the comments of others and to comment themselves. Richard was not entirely convinced of the merits of this process which could lead to considerable discussion on issues without much progress. Some have objected to the grammar used in the document, with ‘z’ used instead of ‘s’ and mm instead of cm for measurements. To this, he added a quote of his own: ‘It’s a [British] Standard. Get over it!


The review group consisted of Ian Phillips, a Landscape Architect involved with the Landscape Institute, Clive Entwistle, an Engineer at the NHBC, Mike Volt, a Tree Officer at Norwich Coty Council, Jim Smith, formerly a Tree Officer, now Urban Forestry Advisor with Forestry Commission England and a representative of the National Design Action Group, Mick Boddy, an Arboricultural Consultant who is Chair of B/213, the committee which manages British Standards in Arboriculture and Julian Forbes Laird, an Arboricultural Consultant.


Richard looked in detail at the elements of BS5837:2005 that worked and those that didn’t. Having the tree survey as the first stage, interestingly requested by non-arboricultural professionals, was deemed a success. One of his concerns was the tendency of individuals to cherry pick parts of the document they particularly preferred. This was leading to Tree Constraints Plans and Arboricultural Method Statements being produced routinely even when there were no issues with a particular development. For Richard, each Method Statement should be specific to the site for which it is written.


One change has been replacing the ‘R’ category of tree classification with ‘U’. The ‘R’ was assumed to mean remove. Richard recognises that there are trees which do not fit in with the categories A to C, but which should still be retained, for example, due to their ecological value. The revised classification allows for this. One major benefit of the classifications is that all parties can understand and agree on the method for categorising tree retention. Richard recalled planning inquiries where hours were spent debating the merits of different methodologies. Now there is an agreed method and all parties can understand the process.


Richard closed his highly engaging presentation with the caution not to specify a permeable surface for car parking that could be cleared of snow using salt unless planting salt tolerant trees.
Peter Annett began his afternoon presentation with a review of the history of tree protection. He spoke of the challenge of raising trees as an area of importance within Whitehall. In 1990, James Batho conducted a review in to the use of TPOs. He concluded that they had proved their worth and would be clarified and strengthened. The Government response came in 1994! The process of influencing change can be slow, and Peter recalled, shortly after starting his work in Whitehall in 1997 seeing colleagues with despairing looks as the government changed. He realised that the new administration had different priorities, and numerous projects were shelved.


Peter feared the same might happen in 2010 with the formation of the Coalition Government, having been working on a review since 2006 which had subsequently been sidelined. However, it fitted with the new mandate of reducing red tape and bureaucracy and was embraced by the new Secretary of State Eric Pickles.


Trees remain an emotive issue. The 2006 review, which drew a high profile campaign by the Woodland Trust and the Ancient Tree Forum, generated 2700 responses from the public. The 2012 changes drew 246 responses, 57% of them from Local Government, with a strong endorsed (98% in support). By comparison, High Hedges drew more than 3000 responses, whereas most consultations generate fewer than 100. The 2012 changes were summarised in a useful handout.
This is a valuable and informative seminar of interest and relevance to tree officers, consultants, architects and others involved in the planning process.


View course dates and booking information…

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Training

2012 Changes to BS 5837

By Richard Nicholson, 11 June 2012

2012 Changes to BS 5837

As of April 30th 2012 BS 5837: 2005 Trees in Relation to construction – Recommendations was withdrawn and a new Standard, BS5837: Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations took its place. 2 years in development and culminating in a public consultation which produced the biggest response that BSI has ever received, the document reflects both current best practice and some more aspirational issues.

As of April 30th 2012 BS 5837: 2005 Trees in Relation to construction – Recommendations was withdrawn and a new Standard, BS5837: Trees in relation to design, demolition and construction – Recommendations took its place. 2 years in development and culminating in a public consultation which produced the biggest response that BSI has ever received, the document reflects both current best practice and some more aspirational issues.


Treecare is still at the centre of the process but the review group comprising arboriculturists, engineers and landscape architects, recognised the need to link the tree care process to architects work stages as set out by the Royal Institute of British Architects, in order to demonstrate the value that arboriculturists can add to the design and planning process. The document is not solely for the use by arboriulturists; the Foreward establishes a list of users including archtects, builders, engineers planners amongst others.


The aim of this full review was to consider the results of the testing that the 2005 Standard experienced in a variety of forums including Planning Inquiries, to consider those aspects of the 2005 Standard that had not stood up to scrutiny and to reflect current best practice.


Tree Surveys are still at the start of the process and trees are still categorized to identify quality and value in order to influence design decisions. The categorization method is broadly the same as the 2005 version, it is replicable and non-arboriculturists reported to the review group that it was clear and understandable to them.


There have been changes to the calculation of the Root Protection Area (RPA), a layout design tool indiating the minimum area around a tree deemed to contain suficient rooting volume to maintain the tree's viability, and where the protection of the roots and soil structure is treated as a priority. The Standard contains advice on how to measure the stem diameter of trees (Annex C) and a table that can be used to turn the stem diameter measurement into a RPA (Annex D).


The constraints the trees impose on a development site still inform design proposals and require an project arboriculturist to be part of the process. One of the tasks for the project arboriculturist is an assessment of the impacts of the proposals on the trees to be retained. This is an important document and, where planning permission is needed, will allow planners to grant planning permission with a degee of certainty of outcome.


New landscaping including new tree planting is seen as an essential consideration in the layout, design and future use of a development site and has been included at the design stage of the process as set out in the document.


The section on Technical Design includes advice on the precautionary approach to tree protection outlined in the document, particularly in relation to works in the RPA or where trees might be impacted upon. This topic is continued in the next section on Demolition and Construction in proximity to existing trees. There is no 'given' for allowing development close to trees and the design team are encouraged to treat each site on its merits and come up with site specific solutions. This is what arboricultural consultants do best, solve problems and come up with a series of proposals for the design team to consider.


The review group are satisfied that all the comments received at public consultation stage were considered properly against the background of accepting all the comments which resulted in an improved Standard.


Jeremy Barrell expresses a concern over the removal of a Note to the categorization Table 1  that was contained in the 2005 Standard that stated that 'Whilst category C trees will usually not be retained where they would impose a significant constraint on development, young trees with a stem diameter of less than 150mm should be considered for relocation' means that 'local planning authorities could use the existence of poor-quality trees to thwart development'. The concern expressed ignores the fact that the categorization proces is a data gathering exercise in order to establish the quality and value of the trees on the site and the decisions on the retention or otherwise of trees within a layout design are taken against the background of this information. The process is the same as it was in the 2005 Standard with the exception that trees can be short cut to removal.


The Arboricultural Association have organised a nationwide programme of roadshows on the revised BS and details of these are on the website at www.trees.org.uk

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Tree News

The ARB Show 2012

By The AA, 11 June 2012

The ARB Show 2012

A great value day out on 15th & 16th June – let’s make it one to remember!

The ARB Show 2012 offers its visitors some fantastic value.

CAS will be there, stand T19, with our neighbours the ISA at stand T20. Come and say hello!

A great value day out on 15th & 16th June – let’s make it one to remember!


The ARB Show 2012 offers its visitors some fantastic value


A great programme of technical seminars
Want to brush up on pruning standards in the revised British Standard 3998:2010? Want an update on what hardware is available for climbing and rigging? Need help with fungal identification or a better understanding of the issues relating to veteran tree management? Workshops on these key industry issues are FREE to everyone attending the ARB Show.


The demonstration programme
Outside, our teams of practical demonstrators are keen to help you get to grips with issues such as the single rope technique, the Rope Wrench and Unicender, tree work to veteran trees, back to basics tree felling techniques, specialised assisted felling, work positioning for pole dismantling, multi-anchor climbing techniques, harnesses, hitches and lanyards and rescue from the periphery of tree canopies. All these demonstrations are FREE.


The competitions
The popular and growing 3ATC (Arboricultural Association Arborist’s Tree Challenge) will run on both days with categories for novice, expert and premier climber. Subject to availability climbers may be able to enter on the day but to avoid disappointment book now www.3atc.com. The AUS Utility Skills competition comes to The ARB Show for the first time (Friday only) – booking is essential – email sales@aus.co.uk.


65 exhibitors (as at 1 June)
With products ranging from access platforms to ancient trees, books to boots, goggles to grinders, membership to MEWPs or software to saws, The ARB Show is the place to be to check out, research, compare and try before you buy.

Six company product launches
Stumpdrillers will show how ROTOP removes stumps quickly, safely and quietly, Workware will introduce the Faxko tripod latter system, Arborplan Insurance will be launching commercial vehicle insurance, Wilson Machinery Ltd will launch the machine-mounted Lasco hydraulic cone splitting system, Rock Croft will be launching their new mesh-specs “BX” mesh safety glasses and Stihl will launch their X-FIT arb PPE now available with a Design C trouser – all for the first time at The ARB Show 2012.


The Friday night party
What better way to get maximum value from The ARB Show other than to stay overnight on site (bring a bivvy bag, tent or caravan) and enjoy the Friday night party?! By popular demand the Prince Albert bar will provide entertainment and refreshments during the evening. The ARB Show 2012 is, after all, the biggest all-arb networking opportunity in 2012.


And your chance to win…
£560.00 (inc. VAT) worth of Stihl PPE completely free just by registering at the gate – a STIHL X-Fit Jacket £255.00 RRP and STIHL X-Fit Trouser (Design C) £305.00 RRP.


Don’t miss out. The ARB Show 2012 is established as “The” place to be for professional advice and professional products. It’s a great value day (or two) out.


Friday 15 and Saturday 16 June 2012. Get the date in your diary to make sure you get the most from this two-day arboricultural extravaganza. Let’s make it one to remember! Further details www.trees.org.uk.


1. Bathurst Estate, Cirencester, Gloucestershire


• AA MEMBERS FREE**only if showing current Arb Assoc membership card
• Adult £8.00
• Student/Unwaged £5 (must show SU card or UB40)
• Children under 14 FREE
• Two day ticket £10 (Friday & Saturday)
2. Show opening times: Friday 15th and Saturday 16th June 2012 09.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs
3. Access: Limited access for those with impaired mobility due to uneven surfaces
4. Further Information: www.trees.org.uk/training-events/The-ARB-Show.
 

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Tree News

How To Produce a Tree Policy

By Mark Chester, 21 June 2012

How To Produce a Tree Policy

Jim Smith has considerable experience producing Tree Policy documents for local authorities. He has recently been working with the London Mayor to prepare a Tree and Woodland Strategy for London. Currently working with Forestry Commission England as the Urban Forestry Advisor, he recently spoke at a seminar organised by the ISA (UK & Ireland Chapter) and Gristwood & Toms, in Shenley, Hertfordshire. Mark Chester reports.

Jim Smith has considerable experience producing Tree Policy documents for local authorities. He has recently been working with the London Mayor to prepare a Tree and Woodland Strategy for London. Currently working with Forestry Commission England as the Urban Forestry Advisor, he recently spoke at a seminar organised by the ISA (UK & Ireland Chapter) and Gristwood & Toms, in Shenley, Hertfordshire. Mark Chester reports.


Having a tree policy is important. It informs the daily management of the council’s tree resource and helps to ensure consistency and continuity. It can assist with strategy, focus resources and ensure decisions based on best practice can be defended. With fewer than half of London’s boroughs having a policy and the pressures on officers, Jim recognises that it may be creating this document may seem aspirational and unrealistic. However, to help those wishing to pursue this aim, he has identified seven stages to successfully producing the policy statement.


Stage one: Create a receptive environment for the production of the tree strategy.


  • Get political support, such as ward councillors. Ideally, the support of a Chair of a relevant committee, or the Leader of the Council will strengthen the project.
  • Obtain formal backing from the Council’s Cabinet.
  • Set up a Tree Strategy Working Group. The more people who are involve the greater the resource of input and of support when the document has been completed.
  • As an officer, identify at least one key service area to manage, draft and deliver. This will ensure your involvement but help to spread the workload and delegate areas which you are less familiar with to others.


Stage two: Undertake a Desk Top Review of the authority, including physical limitations. This should include categorising land use forms, mapping sub-soils and any geological anomalies.


Stage three: Formation of Policy Aims and Objectives. These should include


  • To seek for the sustainable management of the tree stock
  • Policies will apply to all trees whether privately owned or owned by the local authority
  • A Statement of Intent that the council will protect the trees within its boundaries
  • A Statement of Intent that the council will seek to increase the tree cover within its boundaries
  • A Statement of Intent that the council will seek to manage its tree resource with reference to climate change, including ensuring adequate foundation depths for buildings, etc.



Stage four: Delivery of tree strategy document (drafting). This will revise and amend the strategy based on the working party drawing conclusions on direction and emphasis within the document.


Stage five: Consult and amend. This will include reviewing any policies that are not desirable. It is important to include local residents groups and other interested parties involved in the process and to ensure their support.


Stage six: Formal adoption by Cabinet. This process should involve the document being placed on the Council’s website. It should also be incorporated in to other council policy documents including the Local Development Framework. A Summary of the Tree Strategy should be produced as a Supplementary Policy Document. This will provide extra strength especially when dealing with developers.


It is important to treat private and public trees alike.


Stage seven: Implement, Monitor, Review. It is important to ensure the document is working, relevant and effective. Inform colleagues and encourage them to reference the document. Monitoring can include annual analysis of removals and plantings.


Jim emphasised the importance of informing colleagues that the document exists. He recalled taking a two year break from working as a tree officer with a London borough. On his return, he found that his replacement was working at the desk next to the Conservation Officer. The Tree Strategy remained unused on the shelf, and the Conservation Officer was unaware of its existence.


Jim concluded with his observations on some of the challenges commonly faced when seeking to manage urban trees. There is a need to ensure proper barriers and adequate tree protection, for example, around car parking spaces where there is a risk of trees being pushed over. The ratio of trees to spaces is important, and the aim should be to maintain this at a high level.


There is a need to challenge other professionals in the built environment, who often do not appreciate the space trees need, nor the time it takes for them to mature. For example, lighting columns can be placed close to trees, without considering future growth. Jim was able to persuade colleagues in the Street Lighting Depart of his council to move a lighting column away from the young tree near to his home. He encourages others to seek to influence the authorities likewise.


He also considers it important to ensure plantings are sustainable. Trees should be planted at ground level where they are accessible. He referred to a proposed development of a high rise office block with landscaping on the roof top. Natural irrigation would be insufficient and the need to transport water to the top is unsustainable. Jim urges us as professionals to seek to influence the decision makers in these situations to embrace best practice.


Image courtesy of the Forestry Commission.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Barcham Series

Big Barn Conference DVD

By Mark Chester, 21 June 2012

Big Barn Conference DVD

On 20th June, Barcham Trees will hosted their third 'Big Barn' conference, with Dr. Ed Gilmore as the main speaker.  More than 400 delegates were booked to attend, and CAS was there. Barcham Trees have produced a DVD of the event.  This will be an ideal reference for those who attended, and the many who unfortunately missed out with this event.  The DVD costs just £15 and can be ordered through CAS.

On 20th June, Barcham Trees will hosted their third 'Big Barn' conference, with Dr. Ed Gilmore as the main speaker.  More than 400 delegates were booked to attend, and CAS was there. Barcham Trees have produced a DVD of the event.  This will be an ideal reference for those who attended, and the many who unfortunately missed out with this event.  The DVD costs just £15 and can be ordered through CAS.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

ISA UK & I ArborCamp 2012

By Russell Ball, 21 June 2012

ISA UK & I ArborCamp 2012

Hosted at the FR Jones Show (13-14th Wagoners, Back Lane, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9PP July: Sevenoaks)

Hosted at the FR Jones Show (13-14th Wagoners, Back Lane, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9PP July: Sevenoaks)


Preliminary Agenda


FREE TO ATTEND
• “Arb Master Classes” (with the UK&I 2012 Tree Climbing Competition Champions).
• Tree dismantling workshop (Kingswood Training Services).
• “Tree Climbers Corner”.
• “TPOs: 2012 regs. resume of changes” Paul Smith AA Technical Officer.
• “Major changes to the BS:5837 (2012)”. Paul Smith AA Technical Officer.
• “Ancient Woodland Management, Coppicing & Bats” Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT)
• An update of Pest & Disease Management Strategies (Bartlett Tree Experts).
• Soil de-compaction demonstration (Bartlett Tree Experts).
KWT Nature Conservation exhibition stand.


 

On the Saturday 14th July there will be a raffle prize-draw for £176.00* of technical Tree Climbers books. Tickets will also be on-sale on Friday 13th July. All monies raisedwill go to the KWT.
 
* Non ISA member price. At ISA member prices these books would be worth £146.50
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Tree News

Tree-planting in England still bumping along the bottom of 10-year low

By the Woodland Trust, 25 June 2012

Tree-planting in England still bumping along the bottom of 10-year low

Forestry statistics released today confirm, despite the widespread recognition of the value and importance of trees and woodland and the need for woodland expansion 1, that planting figures for England remain critically low and fall well short of those needed to meet the Government's vision for increased woodland cover.

Forestry statistics released today confirm, despite the widespread recognition of the value and importance of trees and woodland and the need for woodland expansion 1, that planting figures for England remain critically low and fall well short of those needed to meet the Government's vision for increased woodland cover.


Just 10 years ago the UK saw more than 18,000ha of new woodland planted each year but figures show just 2,600 hectares of woodland was planted in England in the 2011/12 planting season, roughly comparable to the 2,500ha in 2010/11. Increased levels of new planting are evident in Scotland and Wales, where clear woodland expansion targets are already in place. Planting in England continues to bump along the bottom of historically low levels.


England has just 10 per cent woodland cover, compared to 44 per cent for Europe as a whole. A targeted expansion of the area of trees and woodland is essential to provide benefits such as better habitat networks that allow the movement of species in response to climate change, planting to improve water quality and mitigate flooding, improvements in air quality, more green spaces for people to enjoy and support for productive and sustainable agriculture.


The strength of public support for woodland in England was clearly demonstrated in 2011 with the proposed disposal of the public forest estate and, in less than a month's time, after more than a year of deliberations, the final report from the Independent Forestry Panel, set up in the wake of the Government's u-turn on sales, is expected.


Woodland Trust Policy Director, Hilary Allison said: “These figures just aren't good enough – they are far lower than what's needed to achieve the benefits the natural environment can offer in terms of both ecosystem function and the economy. We hope to see the Forestry Panel make clear recommendations around woodland creation in its final report and we continue to call on Government to set clear targets as part of an overall expansion of woodland in England. We need to be planting 10,000ha a year in England. It's vital we plant now in preparation for the changes ahead."


The disappointing figures are set against a background of threats to woodland in England, not least the Government's own National Planning Policy Framework published in April, which retains a loophole putting ancient woodland at significant risk of destruction. Concurrently, large areas of larch and other conifers have had to be felled as a result of Phytophora ramorum, and there remains the possibility of permanent loss of some of these woods.


For further information click here.

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Business Advice

The Power (and Importance) of Perception

By Mark Chester, 25 June 2012

The Power (and Importance) of Perception

We all make judgements every day.  These are often quick judgements and opinions based on our experience, expectations, prejudices and values, which are usually limited and incompletely informed.  However, they are reality both for us and our potential clients.  How we respond can influence the success of our professional work.

 


We all make judgements every day.  These are often quick judgements and opinions based on our experience, expectations, prejudices and values, which are usually limited and incompletely informed.  However, they are reality both for us and our potential clients.  How we respond can influence the success of our professional work.


David Dowson, who runs the training consultancy TreeLife encourages students to approach exams with the mindset of a day in the office as a professional, otherwise they may be relaxed and not properly focused.  For this, he suggests wearing a tie and smart shirt, not typically the attire of a student.  He recalls a situation when, as a consultant, he was involved with a site where trees had been damaged.  He arrived in tie, smart shirt and shoes, with a folder.  His technical report explaining the situation was ready.  Contractors representing the company who had done the work arrived for the meeting wearing dusty chainsaw trousers and carrying hand written notes.  David knew immediately that he had won the argument as the other side seemed so ill-prepared and unprofessional.


Whether we like it or not, presentation is a key element of perception.  Writing in the ISA’s TreeLine magazine recently*, Paul Elcoat referred to the impact that a valuer can make if arriving on site after a day’s work in sweaty work clothes, leaving a trail of dirt from grubby hands on the notes being written, compared to the individual who has had a shower before hand and is wearing clean clothes with the company logo.  Who would you prefer?


If all members of the team wear ‘company clothes’ with the logo displayed, this indicates professionalism and a corporate identity.  It may suggest that the business is larger than it is and can inspire confidence in your ability to deliver.


Similarly, we can make judgements and may be tempted to not give of our best if dealing with a difficult client or a small commission with little profit margin.  However, sometimes these can open unexpected doors.  Rebecca Lowry, who runs a translation agency in Dudley, had been working hard to develop her business.  Often, much effort was expended for limited reward, as she sought ‘the big one’.  One day, an elderly widow sought her help for one such commission.  Rebecca applied herself fully to the case, appreciating that we reap what we sow, and if you give generously, a return may be anticipated.  The widow’s daughter saw all that Rebecca did and was impressed by her attitude.  This lady has a senior role with a multi-national company, and required technical documents translating in to several European languages, an ideal commission.  Rebecca has not looked back and appreciates not dismissing what may have seemed an insignificant piece of work.


There is value in not pre-judging others and treating those we meet as equals, and ensuring we are not prejudiced in our dealings, even as we seek to present ourselves as professionals.  If you are unsure how you are being perceived yourself, it can be useful to seek feedback from clients regarding what you did well, how you can improve, and whether they would recommend you.  It may help you to improve.


*Paul Elcoat was writing in the summer 2012 edition of the ISA’s TreeLine magazine

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

The Consulting Arborist Society Tree Valuation Seminar

By Mark Chester, 25 June 2012

The Consulting Arborist Society Tree Valuation Seminar

The topic of tree valuation has been subject to discussion and debate in recent years.  The merits of the four principle approaches were considered in a road show last year, and whilst individual arborists may have their own preferences, there are issues regarding correct application.

The topic of tree valuation has been subject to discussion and debate in recent years.  The merits of the four principle approaches were considered in a road show last year, and whilst individual arborists may have their own preferences, there are issues regarding correct application.


This CAS Area of Professional Competency has been updated and revised.  For the first time, the four approaches will be discussed in a setting where delegates are guided in correct application.  There will also be an appraisal of valuing trees in the context of recent court cases.


The two day seminar will be presented by Dr. Jon Heuch, who is a member of the UK & Ireland Regional Plant Appraisal Committee, which administers the CTLA methods to this region.  Jon co-wrote the Updated guidelines published in 2009.


Day one: Each of the four valuation methods will be used to value a range of scenarios.  Delegates will need to successfully complete this activity in order to become accredited to this competency area.


Day two: Jon will guide delegates on the art of valuing amenity trees, with specific reference to recent court cases which are directing the structure for valuation.


Venue: Barcham Trees, Ely, Cambridgeshire


Date: 24th and 25th September 2012


Time: 9.30-4.30


Price: £385 for members £425 for non-members.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

HSE's Approved Codes of Practice

By Frances Hirst, 01 July 2012

HSE's Approved Codes of Practice

Just to inform you that the consultation HSE's Approved Codes of Practice is now available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/live.htm This consultation seeks views on HSE’s proposals for the revision, consolidation or withdrawal of 15 ACOPs to be delivered by end-2013 and on proposals for minor revisions, or no changes, to a further 15 ACOPs for delivery by 2014.

Just to inform you that the consultation HSE's Approved Codes of Practice is now available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/consult/live.htm This consultation seeks views on HSE’s proposals for the revision, consolidation or withdrawal of 15 ACOPs to be delivered by end-2013 and on proposals for minor revisions, or no changes, to a further 15 ACOPs for delivery by 2014. These include a proposal to withdraw the ACOP for the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and replace it with a suite of more specific, updated guidance by 2013. It also seeks views on a proposal to limit the length of all ACOP documents. Consultation began on 25 June 2012 and ends on 14 September 2012.

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Business Advice

How to handle objections

By Phil Atherton, 02 July 2012

How to handle objections

In an ideal world all our prospects would just fall over themselves to buy from us. But it isn’t an ideal world, and sometimes they have what they believe are perfectly valid reasons for not buying from us.

In an ideal world all our prospects would just fall over themselves to buy from us. But it isn’t an ideal world, and sometimes they have what they believe are perfectly valid reasons for not buying from us.


Here are my top tips for dealing with this situation.


 


Don’t take it personally.


When a prospect criticises something that we have invested a huge amount of our time and energy into it is easy to get upset. As a rule this will result in a less than optimum outcome for us. Actually, this post is prompted by something I have just seen on LinkedIn. A recruitment agent added to a discussion about the importance of careful supervision in the first 90 days of a new employee’s time with a company. He made a comment about how they can so easily head in the wrong direction and be far from the ideal employee that the client had intended. Now, he was trying to get a little awareness of his business, and so he probably didn’t spend too long thinking about how his comment might be viewed.


Within minutes he had a post from another specialist suggesting that his recruitment procedures couldn’t be very good if his candidates went off track so quickly. Well, you can imagine what happened next; we had an increasingly fractious communication between these two that certainly didn’t go in a productive direction.


I’ve seen exactly this sort of thing happen in the sales arena when a sales person has taken a prospect’s objection to heart.


The objections that prospects raise are very often founded on an incomplete understanding of your offer. Occasionally they may be raised by a buyer being a little mischievous, and trying to reduce your price. In either case you will be best placed to overcome it by not taking the criticism personally.


Understand the objection.


As I have already mentioned, the majority of objections come from a lack of understanding of your offer, so take the time to understand exactly what the objection is based on. Make sure that the prospect has not misunderstood something that you have told him. Check also to see if the objection is based on an idea that your competitor has put in his head.


Qualify the objection 



If the objection is a genuine one, then you need to identify how much of a problem it causes. For example, the prospect may highlight that your equipment runs more slowly than a competitor’s. Assuming it is true, that is a perfectly valid objection. However, the real issue is whether your equipment is fast enough for the prospect’s needs. So, you need to be sure the objection is genuine, and then you need to recognise how much it will cost the prospect to make do with your flawed offering.


Correct the objection


If you can see that the prospect has misunderstood your offering, or you suspect he is being mischievous, take the time to correct him. Be careful when doing so to avoid creating a conflict with him. Remember the LinkedIn story above. You might want to use the Feel,Felt,Found technique for bringing the conversation round (do contact me if you want to know more about this technique). Alternatively, you might just want to say something like “oh, I see why you would think that. Actually, I must have not explained properly, you see ……..”.


Compare the objection


If the objection is genuine, and there is a cost to the prospect in using your offer, there will certainly be other areas where your offer is superior to the alternatives. In this case, get the prospect to compare the benefits of using your solution with the cost of the underperformance highlighted in the objection.


Ask for the order


Once you have neutralised the prospect’s objection you need to help him to make the right decision for his business. That is to bufrom you; so ask for the order. If you genuinely believe you have the right solution for your prospect, there is no reason to hesitate, so don’t. Fully 50% of sales people lose business because they didn’t ask for the order. Don’t be one of them.



If you would like to share your experiences of dealing with objections, or pick up on any of the themes here, please e-mail me Ginny@precept.uk.com  We have more articles on related topics and I will be happy to send you a copy.

Phil’s particular areas of expertise are in setting strategy, identifying and measuring market needs and identifying niches, developing integrated sales and marketing plans, recruiting and developing sales and marketing professionals and managers.



Phil is an accredited associate of the Institute for Independent Business.



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Tree News

Trees in the Townscape, a new guide

By Russell Ball, 02 July 2012

Trees in the Townscape, a new guide

Trees in the Townscape, a new guide by the Trees and Design Action Group with support from the ISA UK&I Chapter.


The ISA UK&I Chapter is proud to be key sponsor of a new guide on urban trees published today by The Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) for all those involved in making or influencing the decisions that shape our neighbourhoods towns and cities.

Trees in the Townscape, a new guide by the Trees and Design Action Group with support from the ISA UK&I Chapter.


The ISA UK&I Chapter is proud to be key sponsor of a new guide on urban trees published today by The Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) for all those involved in making or influencing the decisions that shape our neighbourhoods towns and cities.


With over 80% of the UK’s population living in urban settings, trees in and around built-up areas – which many call the “urban forest” – have become a key component of the infrastructure that makes places work, look and feel better.


Trees in the Townscape, a Guide for Decision Makers takes a 21st century approach to urban trees, one that keeps pace with and responds to the challenges of our times. It offers 12 action-oriented principles spanning the range of planning, design, works and management issues that must be addressed for maximum economic, social and environmental returns.
34 case studies provide real-life examples of the principles in action, giving insight into best practice from all over England including Bristol, Birmingham, Plymouth, Torbay, Sefton, Newcastle and Hackney as well as from further afield including the US and Hong Kong!


In keeping with TDAG’s ethos of raising awareness of the role of trees in the built environment by facilitating cross-sector and cross-disciplinary collaboration, the development of this new guide was based on over 40 interviews and extensive consultation not only with ISA members, but also with civil engineers, insurers, developers, designers, planners, tree officers, sustainability specialists, arboriculturists, tree nursery managers, ecologists, academics and not-for-profit organisations dedicated to community engagement and trees. Besides the ISA UK&I Chapter, the project also benefited from the financial support of an astoundingly diverse range of co-sponsors.


Such bottom-up and collaborative approach has already paid back: Trees in the Townscape, a Guide for Decision Makers promptly received endorsements from 11 organisations, including the Forestry Commission, Bristol City Council, Birmingham City Council, York City Council, Torbay Council, Newcastle City Council, the London Borough of Hackney, Westminster City Council, the Victoria Business Improvement District, Peabody, Tor Homes…and hopefully, this is only a start!


Martin Kelly, Chair of TDAG, said:
“In the current challenging economic times, this guide provides timely advice on how to ensure that investment to solve one problem also delivers, where possible, solutions to others. Urban trees provide in this respect a fantastic resource.”


Pam Warhurst, Chair of the Forestry Commission, said:
"We have supported the TDAG right from the very beginning as a founding member. We are proud to have been so involved in this excellent guide to support crucial local decision-making. Our councillors, parish council members and communities involved in neighbourhood planning make important decisions that affect the quality of life for all of us. They can now use sound, practical advice on how to make space for trees in towns to ensure they grow to last a lifetime. Our urban forest – the population of trees across our towns – will be better protected, improved and expanded through this initiative."


The full guide is available as a free PDF at http://www.tdag.org.uk/trees-in-the-townscape.html

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Tree News

England's forests... SAFE!

By Woodland Trust, 05 July 2012

England's forests... SAFE!

Woodland Trust reaction to Independent Panel on Forestry's final report, published today


Hilary Allison, Woodland Trust Policy Director said:


"Following the publication of the Independent Panel on Forestry's final report today, we are delighted that Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has confirmed that the public forest estate is safe. It is vital that the Government now works towards ensuring the estate is effectively resourced and developed to deliver more benefits for more people.

Woodland Trust reaction to Independent Panel on Forestry's final report, published today


Hilary Allison, Woodland Trust Policy Director said:


"Following the publication of the Independent Panel on Forestry's final report today, we are delighted that Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman has confirmed that the public forest estate is safe. It is vital that the Government now works towards ensuring the estate is effectively resourced and developed to deliver more benefits for more people.


Hilary continued: "In its report, the Panel has clearly documented the enormous potential of forests, woods and trees. It has presented a series of ambitious and positive recommendations to drive England's woodland policy forward, including a challenging target for tree planting to ensure new woods are created for people and wildlife.


However, there is still work to be done and issues on which the Woodland Trust urges the Government to go further. It is important to reiterate the need to restore and protect the ancient woodland we already have.


The Government must show leadership and take forestry seriously, focusing on creating the right framework to ensure our woodland resource is expanded, protected, restored and used to deliver the many and varied benefits it is so clearly capable of.


The Woodland Trust will actively engage with the Government and will also work alongside other organisations to ensure a plan for the sustainable management of our forests is delivered as soon as possible."

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Report Writing

Effective Report Writing: a review

By Mark Chester, 05 July 2012

Effective Report Writing: a review

In October 2012, The Consulting Arborist Society is hosting a one day seminar looking at how to write quality reports. The seminar is delivered by Dr. Jon Heuch, an arboricultural consultant with considerable experience in report writing, including being responsible for quality control at a leading engineering practice. So, why attend?

In October 2012, The Consulting Arborist Society is hosting a one day seminar looking at how to write quality reports. The seminar is delivered by Dr. Jon Heuch, an arboricultural consultant with considerable experience in report writing, including being responsible for quality control at a leading engineering practice. So, why attend?


People enter consultancy from a range of backgrounds. Some have worked as tree officers, others are recent graduates. For many, it is the inevitable next step following a career climbing trees. Report writing is a key aspect to consultancy work, whether specifying programmes of tree work, producing tree safety reports, preparing BS 5837:2012 reports or working as an expert witness. Whether you are starting on the journey of consultancy or have decades of experience, there is opportunity to learn.
This one day seminar, written and presented by Jon Heuch, covers the core principles such as who one is writing for, the audience, the acceptable level of technical content, presentation and copyright. He also looks at structure, defining the brief, the role of appendices, identifying the client and establishing fees. This is all done in Jon’s own accessible and approachable style.


I attended this seminar when it first ran in 2009. Delegates included a consultant with forty years experience in forestry and arboriculture and an arborist making the tentative first steps in to consultancy after twenty years running a contracting business. All who attended learnt and left better equipped.
Clearly, one does not become competent simply by attending a one day course on report writing. This seminar recognises this. Its’ aim is to provide an opportunity for Continuous Professional Development. There is opportunity to submit a sample report for peer review. Jon Heuch provides honest, informed and impartial comments, including feedback on how to improve future reports.


The journey from contracting to consultancy can seem daunting. Even for those with a technical background, such as tree officers, there is the need to develop consulting skills. I found myself better equipped and my technique much improved.


The course costs £125 for CAS members, £145 for non-members. Peer review of a submitted report for £75.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

CAS Courses Date Calendar Amendment

By Mark Chester, 05 July 2012

CAS Courses Date Calendar Amendment

Just to make you aware the date for the Mortgage and Insurance Reports course has been updated on the events page to the 8th October, and the date for the Reports Writing course has been updated on the events page to the 9th October. 

Just to make you aware the date for the Mortgage and Insurance Reports course has been updated on the events page to the 8th October, and the date for the Reports Writing course has been updated on the events page to the 9th October. 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

ISA UK&I ArborCamp 2012

By Russell Ball, 05 July 2012

ISA UK&I ArborCamp 2012

Hosted at the FR Jones Show (13-14th July: Sevenoaks)
Wagoners, Back Lane, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9PP

Hosted at the FR Jones Show (13-14th July: Sevenoaks)
Wagoners, Back Lane, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9PP


Events occurring on & off during the two days: listen to the PA announcements


  • “Arb Master Classes” (with the UK&I 2012 Tree Climbing Competition Champions).
  • Tree dismantling workshop (Kingswood Training Services).
  • “Tree Climbers Corner”.
  • Soil management/de-compaction demonstration (Bartlett Tree Experts).


Please be sure to visit the:


  • Kent Wildlife Trust Nature Conservation/Education exhibition stand.
  • ISA UKI Trade/Technical Publications stand.


Friday 13th July


10.00-10.45: “Major changes to the BS:5837 (2012)”. Paul Smith: AA Technical Officer.


10.45-11.45: “Ancient Woodland Management, Coppicing & Bats” Victoria Golding: Trustee – Kent Wildlife Trust.


11.45-12.45: “An update on Insect Pest Management Strategies & Tree Disease Management” Adam Clarke: Research Technician – Bartlett Tree Experts.


12.45-1.15: “What has the AA ever done for me?” Nick Eden: AA Director.


1.15-2.15: ‘Kids Corner for all Ages’ Special Guest as Detective Dendro™ – Guy Meilleur an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist, aerial consultant, and former Instructor at Duke University (NC, US). But he is best known internationally as a frequent Detective Dendro™ author in the ISAs Arborist News.


2.15-3.15: “Marketing for the Working Arborist” Paul Elcoat – Director Elcoat Ltd.


3.15-4.00: TPOs: 2012 regs. resume of changes” Paul Smith: AA Technical Officer.


N.B. AGENDA COULD BE SUBJECT TO LAST MINUTE CHANGES


Saturday 14th July


10.00-10.45: “Major changes to the BS:5837 (2012)”. Paul Smith: AA Technical Officer.


10.45-11.45: “Ancient Woodland Management, Coppicing & Bats” Victoria Golding: Trustee – Kent Wildlife Trust.


11.45-12.45: ““Marketing for the Working Arborist” Paul Elcoat – Director Elcoat Ltd.


12.45-1.15: “What has the AA ever done for me?” Nick Eden: AA Director.


1.15-2.15: ‘Kids Corner for all Ages’ Special Guest as Detective Dendro™ – Guy Meilleur an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist, aerial consultant, and former Instructor at Duke University (NC, US). But he is best known internationally as a frequent Detective Dendro™ author in the ISAs Arborist News.


2.15-3.15 “Customer Care for the Working Arborist” Paul Elcoat – Director Elcoat Ltd.


3.15-4.00: “TPOs: 2012 regs. resume of changes” Paul Smith: AA Technical Officer.


N.B. AGENDA COULD BE SUBJECT TO LAST MINUTE CHANGES


On the Saturday 14th July there will be a raffle prize-draw for £176.00* of technical Tree Climbers books.Tickets will also be on-sale on Friday 13th July. All monies raised will go to the Kent Wildlife Trust.


* Non ISA member price. At ISA member prices these books would be worth £146.50.

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Barcham Series, Plant Health

BS8545 Nursery Trees to Independence Within the Landscape

By Mark Chester, 15 July 2012

BS8545 Nursery Trees to Independence Within the Landscape

Keith Sacre, Sales Director at Barcham Trees, is Chairman of the BS8545,Young Trees: From Nursery through to Independence in the Landscape drafting panel  who are busy researching and drafting material which will form the basis of the new standard. In April 2012, he presented an update on progress of the standard to a seminar hosted by the Consulting Arborist Society at Capel Manor’s Celebration of Trees.  He shared some of his thoughts on an improved process  encompassing nursery production, species selection and maintenance and final establishment within the landscape with Mark Chester.

Keith Sacre, Sales Director at Barcham Trees, is Chairman of the BS8545,Young Trees: From Nursery through to Independence in the Landscape drafting panel  who are busy researching and drafting material which will form the basis of the new standard. In April 2012, he presented an update on progress of the standard to a seminar hosted by the Consulting Arborist Society at Capel Manor’s Celebration of Trees.  He shared some of his thoughts on an improved process  encompassing nursery production, species selection and maintenance and final establishment within the landscape with Mark Chester.


At present, there is a lack of  both integration and  co-ordination among practitioners who do not recognise that achieving longevity through young tree planting is a continuous process.  Nursery production techniques can be very variable..  Trees which have poorly developed root  systems and trunks too small to sustain further growth are planted in settings where they have insufficient room to mature.  Budgetary constraints often limit maintenance , regardless of the needs of the individual treeand  Irrigation is often inadequate.    Planting pits are often inadequate and budgetary and other pressures lead to insufficient post planting management


  • There are many factors which could improve the situation and the ones outlined below are just a few of the permutations being considered.
  • Nursery  production should be  focused more towards longevity in the landscape rather than  just good nursery practice. This includes a wider understanding of nursery practices and how  best practice can be specified.
  • Nursery visits to nurseries supplying trees should be an essential part of the procurement process with a full evaluation as to whether best practice is being followed. This includes asking where the trees have come from and how long they have been on site as many trees are imported and directly shipped to the landscape. This has obvious implications for bio security.
  • Planting sites should be carefully selected to ensure sufficient space for the new trees, with reference to infrastructure, street furniture such as signs, power lines and lighting.   Species selection is an essential part of this process.
  • Trees should be subject to quality control, both on the nursery and within the landscape.  This includes inspecting samples for good root development and structure.   Physilogical health can be assessed using chlorophyll fluorescence and chlorophyll content. Stem taper and stem diameter/ height criteria can be used to increase the rigour of specifications. 
  • Tree planting should be planned and co-ordinated, ideally within a policy framework based on the long-term needs of the area.  This includes working towards species diversity, a range of age classes. It is the tree population as a whole and the benefits it delivers to any community which is the important consideration rather than the individual tree itself.
  •  Storage and delivery need to reflect the needs of the tree and should be modified according to the nursery production method.
  •  Irrigation should be appropriate to the species, recognising that some require water earlier in the spring, some later and others continually.  Water should be applied across the surface and allowed to percolate.
  •  Post-planting maintenance should continue until the tree is independent within the landscape. This includes undertaking formative pruning work as required.


The above is a summary of just some of the factors being currently considered by the drafting panel.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Ride for Research (RfR) pedals on

By Russell Ball, 15 July 2012

Ride for Research (RfR) pedals on

Building on the RfR success, a ‘cross-party’ management committee has been established: Mick Boddy (AA), Martin Gammie (ICF), Gabriel Hemery (Sylva Foundation) and yours truly (ISA). An over-arching initiative, Fund4Trees (F4Ts), has been set-up with RfR as one of its key events. The aim is to establish F4Ts as a registered charity*.

Building on the RfR success, a ‘cross-party’ management committee has been established: Mick Boddy (AA), Martin Gammie (ICF), Gabriel Hemery (Sylva Foundation) and yours truly (ISA). An over-arching initiative, Fund4Trees (F4Ts), has been set-up with RfR as one of its key events. The aim is to establish F4Ts as a registered charity*.    

RfR 2012 news:Two events are planned: Reading (2nd September)to coincide with the AA annual conference and Birmingham (date TBA). In Reading, trees will be planted with community groups in three public parks, with lunch at the Bartlett Research Laboratory. To end the Ride a cedar of Lebanon will be planted at the University of Reading with the AA Field Day conference delegates.

As before, RfR riders will be requested to raise £200 to take part – with all monies going to F4Ts and urban tree research. Many thanks to Keith Sacre at Barchams for agreeing to sponsor the trees for all future RfR events.

*  http://fund4trees.org.uk/  To operate in the meantime (and with theGift Aid advantages of being allied to a charity) we will partner with the Sylva  Foundation until the necessary £5k is raised for Charities Commission.

Hope to see you on a Ride soon.  

Russell Ball

ISA UKI Chapter President

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Tree News

Tender: Grounds Maintenance Services

By Big Green Book, 20 July 2012

Tender: Grounds Maintenance Services

General Requirements – West Midlands Police Grounds Maintenance Services.

General Requirements – West Midlands Police Grounds Maintenance Services.


The West Midlands Police Authority is committed to providing a high standard of maintenance of all external areas within its property portfolio. This policy requires the outcomes of this Contract to sustain and improve the land asset and general appearance of external areas at the various sites under the Authority"s control and to ensure these are sustainable and efficient in use of resources and that sites are replenished and reinstated where necessary to achieve the standards required by carrying out appropriate actions to avoid potential hazards or unnecessary labour intensive operations where these could otherwise be avoided:


Maintenance Contractors appointed under this Contract will be expected to provide the service both diligently and continuously maintaining all the public areas and secured compounds defined in the Contract.


In order for a tender to be considered the tenderer must comply with the Mandatory requirements as stated in the questionnaire.


The following codes of practice shall be used for all maintenance operations on the Authority"s property:


BS 3882 Specification for topsoil + AMD 9938.


BS 3998 Recommendations for tree work + AMD 6549.


BS 5837 Guide For Trees In Relation To Construction.


BS 7370 Grounds Maintenance.


BS 7370-1 Recommendations for establishing and managing grounds maintenance organizations and for design considerations related to maintenance.


BS 7370-2 Recommendations for maintenance of hard areas.


(excludng sports surfaces).


To read more, click here.

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Tree News

Trees on the BBC

By Sue James, 20 July 2012

Trees on the BBC

The Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) hit the headlines today (Thursday 19th July 2012) alongside the latest research from Rob MacKenzie (University of Birmingham) and Tom Pugh (University of Lancaster). 

The Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) hit the headlines today (Thursday 19th July 2012) alongside the latest research from Rob MacKenzie (University of Birmingham) and Tom Pugh (University of Lancaster).


Details of the article are at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18873391


There was also an interview with Anne Jaluzot by Roger Harrobin for BBC Radio Four's The World At One in connection with the role of trees in enhancing the urban environment.

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Business Advice

How the Planning Portal Can Help You

By Mark Chester, 20 July 2012

How the Planning Portal Can Help You

In the past, the CAS magazine has looked at the Planning Portal. The team behind this scheme has been running workshops aimed at promoting it amongst arborists. On 12th July, they held a workshop at the Planning Inspectorate’s offices in Bristol, where we caught up with what is available, and how it can benefit those involved in the planning process. The event was led by Robin Vaissiere with contributions from Ian Barrow of Bartletts Tree Experts and Claire Harbison, Tree Officer with Bristol City Council.

In the past, the CAS magazine has looked at the Planning Portal. The team behind this scheme has been running workshops aimed at promoting it amongst arborists. On 12th July, they held a workshop at the Planning Inspectorate’s offices in Bristol, where we caught up with what is available, and how it can benefit those involved in the planning process. The event was led by Robin Vaissiere with contributions from Ian Barrow of Bartletts Tree Experts and Claire Harbison, Tree Officer with Bristol City Council.


Robin began by explaining the benefits of using the system, which provides a uniform on-line service for making planning applications.


  • It saves time and money (there is no need to provide copies of an application, and no postage or delivery costs involved).
  • It speeds up accurate form filling (the computer generates details such as site and applicant address and applies these automatically to all relevant sections).
  • It provides low level validation prior to submission. The application needs to be complete before the portal will accept it. This avoids the frustration of applications being returned incomplete.
  • It allows the application to be tracked for progress. Once it has been submitted, an e-mail is sent to the Local Authority informing that they need to download the application.
  • It avoids needing to scan documents required to be displayed on the council’s website.
  • All applications are stored on-line in a secure filing system. This allows for easy application management. An application can be stored for up to three years before it is submitted. This is useful when preparing an application, but waiting for key details.
  • There are environmental benefits. With no paper required, carbon is saved. The carbon calculator shows how much is being saved with each application.
  • All of the Local Planning Authorities within England and Wales are connected, all using a single standard form.
  • Applications can be submitted and managed anywhere with internet access.
  • Applications are presented in a professional manner-no more illegible hand writing.


So, why are the Planning Portal specifically encouraging those involved in making tree-related applications to use the service? In 2011, 60% of all applications were submitted on-line. However, only 12.5% of tree works applications were made on-line.


How to start


• You need to register as a user.


  1. Allocate a title to the application. This may be ‘application to prune oak tree in rear garden of 3, Acacia Avenue’. Identify the site (the post code is ideal for this).
  2. The option of whether this is a ‘Waste/Regulation 3 Application’ is offered. This is not required. Click on ‘next’.
  3. Choose which application is needed. Two drop-down boxes are provided. Select the one applicable to your application. This will create the application form, and allocate a unique application reference number.
  4. As the application form is being completed, any field not required ‘greys out’, making completing the document easier.
  5. Plans, drawings and attachments can be added using pdf documents where possible. Individual files should not exceed 5 Mbytes. Plans should be on A4 or A3 to ensure clarity is retained.
  6. The process identifies mandatory documents. For tree work applications, a scanned sketch plan may suffice. If there are local level requirements, the form will identify them.
  7. Up to ten documents can be uploaded in one go.


Additional benefits include that everything is saved even if the computer crashes. Applications can be archived and stored for up to three years. Presentation is professional. Appeals can be made without needing to copy documents.
Local Authorities prefer the approach, as they know each application is submitted completed, the text is easily readable and there is no need to scan documents in to the computer.


For support, contact support@planningportal.gsi.gov.uk or call 0117 372 8200


Ian Barrow from Bartlett’s Tree Experts shared how using the planning portal has benefitted his company. Bartlett’s has 12 offices in the UK, all using the portal. The company undertakes some 11,500 jobs annually, involving 1700 tree work applications. 97.5% are approved. The offices deal with more than 200 Local Planning Authorities. During his time with the company, applications have been required for: pest control, pruning, root jetting (using an air spade) and using a resistograph.


He acknowledged that different authorities can have varying approached to applications. Previously, six documents were required for each application, typically taking five hours per application. Complications were experienced within councils, with files being lost, officers being away on leave and variations with practice. Originally, Local Authorities had their own portals. Difficulties were experienced with technology, format, the interpretation of rules and confirmation of submissions.


The Portal now offers:


  • One uniform site
  • Same rules
  • Guaranteed access
  • No postal costs
  • Quick turn around of acknowledgements
  • Clients can gain access
  • Q & As easily answered
  • Higher percentage of trouble-free approvals.


It is possible to amend/clarify an application after submission.


It is possible to use the portal for site histories, to establish whether an application is realistic.


Using the Planning Portal has benefited Bartlett’s considerably.


Claire Harbison concluded the seminar by sharing about her work as a Tree Officer. Titled ‘A Day In The Life’, she described the diverse range of activities which routinely fill not just a typical day but, one suspects, regularly consume the full week. Dealing with tree work applications is but a part of her responsibilities. Bristol, as a city, is very tree-friendly, and large parts are covered by Conservation Areas. As such, she can receive 6-10 applications every week. She confirmed the view of Robin and Ian, that on-line applications are appreciated because they are easier to process.


I attended as an invited guest representing CAS. I had not previously submitted an on-line application. However, I left freshly encouraged to try this method for the next application. And if I can do it, most of us can.
 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

G&T and ISA UK/I Chapter 2012 Seminar Series

By Russell Ball, 20 July 2012

G&T and ISA UK/I Chapter 2012 Seminar Series

You are invited to a free seminar hosted by Gristwood & Toms.

You are invited to a free seminar hosted by Gristwood & Toms:


Sharon Hosegood – Managing Director, D F Clark Bionomique Ltd
Title: Root Exploration by Tree Radar (including an outdoor demo)
Sharon will discuss tree root morphology investigation using Air Spades and Tree Radar.


Ted Green – Founder member Ancient Tree Forum & conservation consultant to the Crown Estates (Windsor)
Title: Ancient Trees and Tree Archaeology
Unlike large areas of main-land Europe, ancient & veteran trees are still present in our treescape – many could be called 'working trees' as sometime in the past they have provided man with products by being cut and not cut down—-recognising their forms and the reasons for this is a fascinating pastime and a significant part of our cultural history as yet not recognised outside the arb world.


Martin Gammie – Design & Environment Team Leader (Shared), South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils
Title: 'Look outside the tree pit – Sii the future'
Martin will discuss why the concept of sustainable integrated infrastructure (Sii) is the key to a thriving and compatible urban treescape and what the arboricultural industry has to do differently to make it happen.


Russell BallISA UKI Chapter President
Title: Fund4Trees http://fund4trees.org.uk/ Promoting Sustainable Treescapes – a brief introduction


Date: 16th August 2012
Venue: Gristwood and Toms, Harris Lane, Shenley, Herts WD7 9EG.
Registration: 9.30.
Start: 10.am. – Finish approximately 3.0 pm
Lunch: Lunch will be provided. Gristwood and Toms will provide a tour of their recycling facility.
How to Book: To reserve your place contact joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk
For ISA Certified Arborists the seminar is worth 4 CEU’s. 

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Business Advice

How to Increase Your Profits Without Working Harder

By Mark Chester, 30 July 2012

How to Increase Your Profits Without Working Harder

This article is based on a seminar presented by Neal Parkinson as part of a programme run by CanHave, providing support for small businesses in the south-west.

This article is based on a seminar presented by Neal Parkinson as part of a programme run by CanHave, providing support for small businesses in the south-west.


One of the key rules of business, along with ‘cash is king’ is ‘turnover isn’t the same as profit’. This may sound obvious. However, turnover is often used as a measure of a business’s success. The starting point is to recognise that some turnover, or sales, is easier to generate, and some work is more lucrative. A key to making the business more successful is to identify the parts that are more profitable, and seeking to develop them further. There may be aspects of work that generate sales but provide small profit margins, or lose money.


Neal used a case study to explain the problems that focusing on turnover can bring. In the 1980s, he was running a small business servicing and repairing cars. He secured a prestigious contract to service a large fleet of cars for a major local company. At first, it seemed to be a great move, providing considerable regular work for the business, which recruited extra staff to meet demand. However, the client gradually sought terms more generous to itself. This included parts being supplied at cost, limiting opportunities to generate profits. Credit terms which began at three months were gradually extended to six months.


After two years of the contract, the workshop was busy but making very little money compared to the efforts involved. The client also expected to have priority over the smaller, but more lucrative commissions that came in and had provided the core work for the company. This had become an unsustainable situation, with long-standing customers receiving a poorer service. Neal decided to end the contract and focus on the smaller, but more lucrative work, for clients who paid promptly.


This doesn’t mean that larger, less lucrative work should be avoided. It can provide for a scale of operation allowing specialist equipment to be acquired and economies of scale to be achieved. It may also provide regular cash flow and ensure that staff are kept gainfully employed during the peaks and troughs of smaller commissions. You just need to ensure a sustainable balance of work and keep losses to a minimum. Sometimes, contracts are not worth the effort required, and there are less demanding ways of generating work. The top tips are:

  • For each area of work, establish costs and profit margin so you know where profits are generated. Focusing on the more profitable areas rather than the less profitable can help ensure you are working effectively.
  • Ensure your pricing structure reflects the resources involved. You may need to have minimum prices for certain work to cover the costs incurred.
  • Make sure that you, and your client, know what will be delivered for a given price, that there are realistic expectations. If the client expects more than the basic price allows, a range of prices may be needed so that you are paid for the work you deliver. There is a difference between providing a quality service for which you are being properly paid, and going beyond what is reasonable simply to keep a demanding client happy.
  • Be prepared to walk away from a business or contract, or re-negotiate if the terms of the contract, or the conditions of work, change, and the business is no longer feasible. Contracts should be mutually beneficial and sustainable. Recognise the importance of costs such as mileage, and factor these in to prices.
  • This may seem obvious, but one poorly performing part of a business can seriously damage an otherwise successful operation. By reviewing performance, you can determine whether the solution is to change operations or cease providing that particular service.
  • Be prepared to outsource work where this is needed. If additional staffing is needed, it may be preferable to employ on a daily or weekly basis, even if the rate is higher, if this avoids a long-term commitment where the workload is variable.
  • Remember that whilst there may be a role for the ‘loss-leader’, this is different to routine work, which needs to generate profit. 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Barcham Series

Trees Rock in Rock

By Colin Hambidge, 30 July 2012

Trees Rock in Rock

With barely time to draw breath after The Big Barn, the latest in the series of arboricultural seminars hosted by Barcham Trees took place in mid July before a packed lecture room. Intriguingly entitled ‘Trees Rock in Rock’, it was led by Örjan Stål and Björn Embrén, both from Sweden.

With barely time to draw breath after The Big Barn, the latest in the series of arboricultural seminars hosted by Barcham Trees took place in mid July before a packed lecture room. Intriguingly entitled ‘Trees Rock in Rock’, it was led by Örjan Stål and Björn Embrén, both from Sweden.

Örjan is an independent consultant and is also employed by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. He has worked on several major infrastructure projects in Scandinavia and has spent the last 20 years looking at how underground utilities affect trees. Björn is a tree officer in Stockholm and has worked for the last decade with urban trees. He is the author of ‘Planting Beds in the City of Stockhom: A Handbook’. This is available in English, and can be downed free of charge.

The two speakers posed the question: “Are trees able to live and develop within a rock-based substrate?” Örjan joked that had he had spent the last 20 years studying root intrusion in sewer pipes. He admitted he used to think that only older, weaker pipes were subject to root intrusion, but his work has shown him even newly laid, modern pipes are also affected. Similarly, he used to think that fast-growing trees such as willow, poplar and birch were the main culprits. Again, this has been disproved: many different genera regularly cause pipe damage. A third widely held view was also challenged - having good soil around pipes does not necessarily prevent intrusion into them, he informed us.

There was more to follow. It is a widely held belief that tree roots will not damage pipes deeper than 9ft. Orjan’s experience challenges this view. Given good conditions, he has found tree roots growing deeper – and they are powerful too. A tree root tip can develop a pressure greater than 12 bars, Örjan told us. This was supported by considerable photographic evidence of the depths which roots can reach, much to the evident surprise of many delegates.

He then asked: do we really know where tree roots grow? Örjan has seen roots wrapped round pipes at 23ft deep and more than 50 yards from the tree. Roots growing in sewers make their own soil in which to grow using the small roots they discard which turn into compost. Summing up his findings, tree roots can travel long distances both downwards and outwards, especially when following pipes. He has even seen instances of roots in pipes emerging in toilet pans.

The conditions provided by the in-fill material around pipes are often favourable for root growth. In Stockholm, Orjan has seen the massive root growth which often occurs in railway embankments. This is often associated with lindens (limes), which grow widely in Sweden. He has also seen much evidence of roots working their way into cable covers for electrical wires, seemingly preferring them to the soil round the covers. In Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany, he has even seen tree roots growing through the concrete roofs of underground World War Two bunkers, such is their strength and tenacity. So, are the soils we currently use when planting urban trees the optimal substrate? He told us that Klaus Schröder, a tree officer in Osnabrück, uses lava and pumice stone when planting his trees. Örjan also told us he has great faith in the Missouri Gravel Bed (MGB) because roots thrive in this, searching for moisture in the many cavities.

Björn Embrén began his session by telling us Stockholm is a beautiful city, which has more than 30,000 trees in its paved areas. Unfortunately around 10,000 of these are regressive or, in other words, dying. But people there do not want to talk about Stockholm’s dying trees and for the last 10 years he has spent much time trying to rehabilitate them and give them a brighter future. He told us that in Stockholm it costs £12,000 to plant a new tree in a paved area. The city has a budget of £1.5 million per annum for investment (sufficient to plant about 125 new trees) and an annual maintenance budget of £300,000.

Björn believes that using a rock-based substrate is of benefit both to trees and to the management of stormwater. He likes to use rocks 4-6cm in size in a 30cm layer. He has noted that trees which were 40-45cm on planting in this medium were 70-80cm after six years.

Delegate Jeremy Barrell observed that in the UK engineers are ‘obsessed’ by geo-textiles, creating pots for urban trees with them. Björn told him the situation was much the same in Stockholm. Whatever the plans may say, engineers and those people planting the trees end up doing the job the way they have always done it, said Björn.

He then went on to tell us us about Hornsgatan in Stockholm. The authorities were told by the European Union they were not looking after the street sufficiently well and should therefore plant trees to improve it. This was always going to be a rather difficult job because Hornsgatan is narrow. Initial estimates suggested the work would cost £6 million, but it will end up costing double that at around £12 million. Hornsgatan had not previously had trees in it and it is a heavily polluted area. Björn has been closely involved with this major project. The work on tree planting began in 2010 and will continue through to 2013.

Tree roots grow up to 1m per year in a layer of rocks, we were told. How can we get more cost-efficient methods of creating good root spaces though? Pumice stone is apparently well worth consideration. It can hold plant-available water and still have a good pore volume. Björn Embrén believes 30 per cent pumice and 70 per cent soil is a good planting mix.

The audience was obviously fascinated by what it heard from the two speakers. Delegates asked plenty of questions throughout, reflecting the great interest there was in the subject. All credit to Barcham’s Keith Sacre for finding two such excellent and thought-provoking minds, which made for such a stimulating day. 

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Training

Extra Dates for PTI Course

By Mark Chester, 30 July 2012

Extra Dates for PTI Course

Due to popular demand, CAS is running the professional tree inspection course again on 16th-18th of October at The Glanusk Estate.
For more details of the course, click here
To book your place email the chairman.

Due to popular demand, CAS is running the professional tree inspection course again on 16th-18th of October at The Glanusk Estate


For more details of the course, click here


To book your place email the chairman.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Ulmus londinium

By David Shreeve, 05 August 2012

Ulmus londinium

The Conservation Foundation has been busy working on an Elm for London.  Plans for distributing the ulmus londinium elms are developing.  We have had a good response from residents of Elm Streets, Elmwood Roads, Elm Park Crescents etc etc – even the Elm Pets Hotel, but we could supply more trees to appropriate placeswith Greater London.  We do not want to supply 'bulk orders' as this is an experiment and so we want every tree monitored.

The Conservation Foundation has been busy working on an Elm for London.  Plans for distributing the ulmus londinium elms are developing.  We have had a good response from residents of Elm Streets, Elmwood Roads, Elm Park Crescents etc etc – even the Elm Pets Hotel, but we could supply more trees to appropriate placeswith Greater London.  We do not want to supply 'bulk orders' as this is an experiment and so we want every tree monitored.


If you know of a suitable garden, park, school or community site who would like to be part of ulmus londinium and would like a free young elm this Autumn please call or contact: elms@conservationfoundation.co.uk

The Conservation Foundation

1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 3111

www.conservationfoundation.co.uk

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Training

PTI Course Date Change

By Mark Chester, 05 August 2012

The Professional Tree Inspection course previously advertised for the 16th to 18th October will now be held from the 9th to 11th of October.


Places are booking fast for this course. Please email the chairman to check availability and secure your place.

The Professional Tree Inspection course previously advertised for the 16th to 18th October will now be held from the 9th to 11th of October.


Places are booking fast for this course. Please email the chairman to check availability and secure your place.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Plant Health

Are new pests and pathogens a threat to our veteran trees?

By David Lonsdale, 06 August 2012

Are new pests and pathogens a threat to our veteran trees?

This article originally appeared in the spring issue of Treeline, the magazine of the ISA UK/I chapter. Let’s start with oaks. Chronic oak decline has been observed since the 1920s, with several factors possibly involved. Defoliation by the oak leaf roller month is one, and cambial burrowing by the oak jewel beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) is another and more damaging factor, although this does not attack healthy trees.

Let’s start with oaks. Chronic oak decline has been observed since the 1920s, with several factors possibly involved. Defoliation by the oak leaf roller month is one, and cambial burrowing by the oak jewel beetle (Agrilus biguttatus) is another and more damaging factor, although this does not attack healthy trees. Oak mildew (Erisyphe alphitoides) should also be considered. It came from the USA around a century ago and is becoming increasingly aggressive.

Root infection by both honey fungus (Armillaria), is present on many declining oaks, and Collybia fusipes is also a factor, but the latter does not kill a tree on its own. Phytophthora quercina was discovered in Europe as recently as the 1990s and is now in the UK, killing the fine roots of trees. I also believe that environmental stress, such as that brought about by drought, can be particularly dangerous because it is capable of setting a tree on a downward spiral.

Acute oak decline bothers me a great deal. Its cause is not certain, but it is associated with some previously unknown bacteria, including Gibbsiella quercineans and Lonsdalea sp. and with oak jewel beetle. With its ability to kill a tree within five years, he feels it poses a real threat to ancient oaks.

The American sweet chestnut (Castanea dentate) has been devastated by chestnut blight (Cryphonectrica parasitica), a fungus which co-evolved with Asiatic forms of the tree and wreaked havoc when it came into contact with American and European sweet chestnuts. Once trees are attacked, they often die rapidly. “We do not want this in the UK”.

There has been a serious loss of plane trees planted for shade in parts of southern Europe due to Ceratocystis fimbriata f. platani, a vascular wilt disease which causes pronounced xylem staining, with the bark of affected trees becoming increasingly flaky. This canker stain presents a serious threat to some of the oldest planes, planted in the early 1600s.

Chalara disease of ash (Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus) may not yet be in Britain, but we were told it is heading our way. This branch dieback is attacking ancient ash pollards north of the UK, but it is moving both south and west.

Phytophthora lateralis, found for the first time in Britain at Balloch Country Park, West Dunbartonshire, on Lawson cypress, kills the root of the host tree and few affected trees survive its attack. It is the main cause of the tree’s death in its native Oregon and California. This pathogen is also known to attack the Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia), which is a close relative of the common yew (Taxus baccata), which may also be seen as a potential target for it.

Named in 2003, Phytophthora pseudosyringae is affecting the bilberry in south west England and is also causing problems on ancient hornbeams, but it is most damaging of all on Nothofagus. For example, Nothofagus oblique may suffer up to 70 per cent dieback due to P pseudosyringae.

Finally, let us examine the threat posed by the Asian longhorn beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis). It is in Britain but there is so far no evidence of it breeding here. The situation is rather more serious in the USA, where the beetle has been responsible for the felling of around 100,000 maples. Unfortunately the Asian longhorn beetle has many hosts. The citrus longhorn beetle (Anoplophora chinensis) has been here since 2008, coming originally, as its zoological name suggests, from China and reaching us via the Netherlands. It too can infest a wide range of broadleaved trees and could pose a very serious problem if it were to become established.

Dr. David Lonsdale is a respected authority on plant pathology and especially it’s impact on trees. Formerly with the Forestry Commission’s research laboratory at Alice Holt Lodge, he now spends time as a consultant specialising in assessing tree safety and running training seminars. He is the author of a number of key arboricultural texts.

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Tree News

Ride for Research

By Russell Ball, 06 August 2012

Ride for Research

www.fund4trees.org.uk
Reading, 2nd September 2012
(to coincide with the AA Amenity Conference Field-Day)
Last week, a trial-ride was undertaken to assess the Reading Ride for Research route. We have a cracking ride around the city, managing to avoid the busiest of roads. It takes in the residential areas around the city centre (literally a 360º tour around it), the River Thames cycle path and Caversham Bridge (with great river views), a bustling weir and the Bartlett Labs and field (tree) research plots. The Ride starts and ends at Reading University.

www.fund4trees.org.uk
Reading, 2nd September 2012
(to coincide with the AA Amenity Conference Field-Day) 


Last week, a trial-ride was undertaken to assess the Reading Ride for Research route. We have a cracking ride around the city, managing to avoid the busiest of roads. It takes in the residential areas around the city centre (literally a 360º tour around it), the River Thames cycle path and Caversham Bridge (with great river views), a bustling weir and the Bartlett Labs and field (tree) research plots. The Ride starts and ends at Reading University.


The format is as follows:


  • Set-off from the University: 10.00am
  • Tree planting 1 with the Mayor of Reading (Jenny Ryan) at Prospect Park: 10.30
  • Tree planting 2 at The Arthur Newbery Park: 11.30
  • Tree planting 3 at Christchurch Playing Fields at 12.45 with a refreshment break
  • Ride to the Bartletts Laboratories for 2.15: lunch and a tour of the facilities.
  • Arrive back at the University for the AA Field Day planting at 5.30: Ride ends with a pub visit!


…… and the route is 21 miles long with only a few ‘hills’ between tree planting 1 & 2.


I wish to specially thank Dave Booth at Reading Council for meeting us to discuss the ride and liaising with the public, and The Mayor of Reading, to Rupert Taylor at Reading University for organising the AA Field-Day planting and to Simon Richmond at the Arboricultural Association for ensuring that this event could proceed as part of the conference.


To support us, contact me on the number below.


Russell Ball, ‘Ride for Research' co-ordinator
Mob: 078844 26671  

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Tree News

ICF to Host Urban Tree Research Conference in 2014

By the Institute of Chartered Foresters, 10 August 2012

ICF to Host Urban Tree Research Conference in 2014

Following the success of last year’s ”Trees, People and the Built Environment”, which the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) hosted on behalf of a twenty-strong organisation partnership, the ICF has announced its appointment of Dr Mark Johnston to chair another urban tree research conference in 2014.

Following the success of last year’s ”Trees, People and the Built Environment”, which the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) hosted on behalf of a twenty-strong organisation partnership, the ICF has announced its appointment of Dr Mark Johnston to chair another urban tree research conference in 2014.


Dr Johnston, an ICF Fellow, chaired the 2011 conference in Birmingham which was attended by close to 400 practitioners and researchers concerned with urban landscapes or the built environment. A call for papers drew experts from across the world to present ground-breaking and highly relevant research from both the natural and social sciences. The conference also highlighted the need for the multi-disciplined range of professionals whose work relates to the urban greenscape to work more closely together.


Dr Johnston said: “Building the partnership of relevant professional organisations that participated in the 2011 conference was a remarkable achievement. I will be approaching those organisations again and asking for their help in delivering an even better conference in April 2014. As we try to promote sustainable urban environments in increasingly challenging times, the importance of urban trees, urban forests and green infrastructure can only increase.


With the government now focused on the role for trees and greenspaces, and the topic high on its agenda, 2014 will be timely for ICF to host another urban tree research conference to look at what progress is being made. Once again, the very latest research will be ”showcased” by leading research scientists and expert practitioners from around the world.


For more information contact Allison Lock at ICF on 0131 240 1425 or email: icf@charteredforesters.org

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) is incorporated by Royal Charter as the only professional body in the UK to award chartered status to those working in forestry and arboriculture.

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Tree News

In the Spotlight: Rhod Taylor

By Mark Chester for Treeline, 12 August 2012

In the Spotlight: Rhod Taylor

This article first appeared in the Spring 2012 edition of Treeline, the magazine of the ISA UK/I Chapter.

Rhod is a familiar face to the many who have taken the AA’s Technician’s Certificate in recent years. He is also regularly seen at the Quinta Arboretum in Swettenham, Cheshire. However, he has managed to pack much more in to a career currently spanning over fifty years.

This article first appeared in the Spring 2012 edition of Treeline, the magazine of the ISA UK/I Chapter.


Rhod is a familiar face to the many who have taken the AA’s Technician’s Certificate in recent years. He is also regularly seen at the Quinta Arboretum in Swettenham, Cheshire. However, he has managed to pack much more in to a career currently spanning over fifty years.


He began the journey in Derby back in 1960, starting as an apprentice in the Parks Department, progressing through the ranks. As a child, he’d seen people planting trees, and decided he wanted to do the same. From there, he tried a stint running cemeteries and graveyard management in Cardiff. The role was diverse and provided a good range of experience. However, the house that went with the job was less distinctive and in 1977, after five years’ graft, he decided to take a teaching role in Durham. A Government scheme was run to provide practical training for local authority employees and Rhod became part of the scheme.


After about five years, Rhod decided to move on, and took up the position of District Manager for Bolton and Blackburn Hospitals. He was responsible for managing twelve sites, covering trees, landscape, glass production, pretty much everything. Whilst in this role, Rhod was offered the chance to take a one year full-time course in Horticulture at Reaseheath College. He met Geoff Scaife, one of the lecturers, who got him interested in arboriculture.


After five years working for the hospitals, he chose to specialise in arboriculture and became the Arboricultural Officer in the Parks Department at Blackburn Council. After six years, he moved to Blackburn to do the same work. He was then head-hunted by Reaseheath College to join their team lecturing in Arboriculture and Horticulture. His role including course management, supervision and running what was then called the National Diploma in Arboriculture, now known as the RFS Professional Diploma, or level six Diploma.


During this role, Rhod became involved with the Quinta Arboretum. During one site visit with students, he saw two former students erecting a fence within the grounds. He got talking to them and soon realised that no one was responsible for managing the trees!


In 1992, Government policy transferred colleges from local authority control and gave them independence. Many colleges recognised that their more experienced lecturers were also the better paid. Funding was available to encourage the more senior staff to take early retirement. With thirty plus years in local government, Rhod found he qualified, and decided to take up the generous offer made.


At this stage of life, some take the opportunity to relax and reduce commitments. Not Rhod. He pursued his contact with The Quinta Arboretum. He made them aware that no one was managing the site. Sir Bernard Jodrell, who founded the Jodrell Observatory, ran the arboretum, and Rhod needed to persuade this distinctive gentleman of his credentials. Rhod was invited to meet with Sir Bernard, soon appreciating that this was an interview. Sir Bernard assumed that Rhod was a forester, who, he knew, spent their time felling trees; not the type of person to entrust the arboretum with. Rhod invited Sir Bernard to visit his own garden and see, at first hand, the plantings and landscaping there. Evidently, Sir Bernard was persuaded, for a small role was soon offered.


A newly retired Rhod began work at the arboretum in 1992, working for Cheshire Wildlife Trust who ran the site. The initial role was not quite what he expected, for Rhod found himself mowing the grass. He recognised that this was a limited arrangement; he needed to agree a wider brief. This was evidently agreeable to Sir Bernard and the wildlife trust, and Rhod was offered a more structured contract to be curator of the site. The annual salary of £8000 was not substantial, but, to quote Rhod, ‘allowed him to enjoy a glass of wine’.


Life was going smoothly, but developments were pending. Tatton Garden Society had been running a Victorian Walled garden, which gained the attention of the National Trust. Tatton Garden Society soon needed to find a new home, and chose to move to the arboretum. Rhod was employed by the society to manage the site. However, they were unable to pay the original salary, and so Rhod continued on half pay, although reducing his involvement. This allowed time for him to become involved at Arley Arboretum in Worcestershire, as the Arboricultural Consultant. He also advises and plots trees at the arboretum at Aviewood.


Arboreta can develop randomly as private collections and unless records are kept of the trees being planted, the requirements of the site may not be appreciated. This was a challenge that Rhod soon recognised at Quinta. Sir Bernard had his own system, with a card log database being kept in his study. It could only be accessed by a personal visit to his study, with Sir Bernhard at home. Naturally, such visits were limited and difficult to arrange.


At this point, Rhod recognised the need to embrace the computer age in order to develop a useable, accessible database. He had begun to explore the topic whilst at Reaseheath, recognising the need for a scheme that could be used for different sites, various arboreta. It needed to be useable and available at a competitive price. Having developed it at Quinta, with several refinements, Rhod then met with the team at Pear Technology, who were delighted to use it as the basis of the programme Arboretum DB.


In his spare time (!), Rhod provides support to the ACS tree consultancy. He assesses applications for Professional Membership of the Arboricultural Association and the Society for the Environment. In addition, he is Lead Examiner for the Technician’s Certificate and is a member of the Trees and Timber User Group. He has also chaired the Education and Training Committee of the Arboricultural Association for the past twelve years, and is a trustee of the association.


Given these roles, it is perhaps not surprising that for Rhod, there is no such thing as a typical day, or even week. He enjoys the variety, meeting people and passing on his knowledge and experience. When asked to summarise his achievements, Rhod can only say it has been totally surprising and unforeseen.


Rhod is developing a new training module with the Consulting Arborist Society on managing special trees.
 

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Barcham Series

Barcham Trees Big Barn Conference

By Mark Chester, 19 August 2012

Barcham Trees Big Barn Conference

Duncan Slater: A review of his presentation
On 20th June 2012, Barcham Trees hosted their third Big Barn Conference. More than 400 tree care professionals from the UK and Europe attended, and yet the event was over subscribed. There were three speakers, Duncan Slater, who is taking a PhD at the University of Manchester whilst lecturing at Myerscough College, Dr. Ed Gilmore, Professor of Environmental Horticulture at Florida University and Philip van Wassenaer, principal consulting arborist and founder of Urban Forest Innovations in Toronto, Canada.

Duncan Slater: A review of his presentation

On 20th June 2012, Barcham Trees hosted their third Big Barn Conference. More than 400 tree care professionals from the UK and Europe attended, and yet the event was over subscribed. There were three speakers, Duncan Slater, who is taking a PhD at the University of Manchester whilst lecturing at Myerscough College, Dr. Ed Gilmore, Professor of Environmental Horticulture at Florida University and Philip van Wassenaer, principal consulting arborist and founder of Urban Forest Innovations in Toronto, Canada.

Dr. Mark Johnston, who is a Research Fellow at Myerscough College, chaired the event. He introduced Duncan Slater as the first speaker, describing him as someone prepared to challenge established and accepted views within the industry, such as theories proposed by Shigo and Mattheck. This, for Mark, is welcome, as there is a risk of elevating these gentlemen, and others in a way that they have not sought. Duncan is passionate about research and is keen to keep an open mind. Mark summed him up as someone for whom nothing is too much trouble.

Duncan leaped on to the stage and displayed his shirt with the slogan ‘For Forks’ Sake’. He started with a slide show introducing the theme of his presentation. He began by quoting Arthur Schopenhauer on truths: ‘All truths pass through three stages; firstly ridicule, then violent opposition and finally accepted as self-evident’. He is half way through a six year course, and described this presentation as a half time review of progress. Tree forks have been criticised for being weak. He decided to challenge this view, especially as the wood at the centre of the fork has the strength of titanium, being denser, more twisting and forming a very strong connection. His starting point was ‘why would a tree grow weak structures?’ He believes that the strength of forks has been underestimated.

Forkwood differs to other wood, such as stem wood, having denser cell walls, being denser, with fewer vessels and a tortuous, often whorled grain. It makes a simple pattern of ‘interlocking grains’. These grains can only be opened by snapping, with fibres breaking along the length. They are organic, and can be adapted. For Duncan, this explains the ‘purpose’ of the branch bark ridge and supercedes Shigo’s model with a more logical approach.

It was time for such mechanical myth-busting, including ‘medicalisation of the fork’; we do not need to brace every fork. Tree forks are adapted, with some being stronger and others weaker. Duncan also considers the idea of ‘uniform stress’ on the outer edge of the tree is a flawed concept. Material in forkwood is adapted to take the greater stresses. However, a lower diameter ratio results in higher stress. If you have bought a tree with included bark, where there is bark, the interlocking grain is absent, which is partly why they are generally weaker.

Duncan asked, ‘why do bark inclusions occur?’ They are better at conducting sap, and probably caused by phototropism, which especially affects branches in the middle of the tree where there is less light. He has never felt there much tension in the union, especially when the young tree is developing. He suggested that, especially when a tree is in a sheltered setting (such as a nursery), the weight of near-vertical limbs does not require so much support across the junction. The way that the tree develops means there is not wasteful use of resources. These are, he suggests, ‘clever trees’.

Duncan believes that the problem may be caused by us! We can cause bark inclusions to become problems, by growing trees close together in the nursery, growing upright cultivars, sheltering them when they are young, not thinning woodland early in its’ development. The trees develop in the environment in which they are situated, we then thin the trees later than they need and complain when junctions snap a few years later!

Duncan summarised his findings to date. We know how tree branches are joined together. Tree forks aren’t necessarily weak, and whilst bark inclusions can be weak, our practices may be at fault. He concluded with a plea. He finds that much arboricultural research is of a low quality, and too often, those involved with arboricultural research are not from an arboricultural background. Once they have finished a piece of research, they tend to move to another field. The work is very tough, but is really important.

This is the first of three reviews. The second will consider the presentation by Philip van Wassenaer on tree stability.
 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Training

CAS update on seminars

By Mark Chester, 19 August 2012

The Consulting Arborist Society has decided to postpone the two courses 'Valuing Ameity Trees' (24th & 25th September) and 'Effective Report Writing' (9th October). We hope to run them during our programme in 2013 and will update on new dates once they have been confirmed.

The Consulting Arborist Society has decided to postpone the two courses 'Valuing Ameity Trees' (24th & 25th September) and 'Effective Report Writing' (9th October). We hope to run them during our programme in 2013 and will update on new dates once they have been confirmed.
 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

ISA announce their fourth technical seminar

By Mark Chester, 26 August 2012

ISA announce their fourth technical seminar

ISA (UK & Ireland) Chapter in association with Gristwood & Toms and the Consulting Arborist Society present the fourth technical seminar for 2012:

Professional Amenity Tree Valution
Thursday 22nd November 2012
Gristwood & Toms, Harris Lane, Shenley End, Hertfordshire WD7 9EG
Registration from 9.30am
Seminar 10-3pm

This event is generously supported by Gristwood & Toms, and is provided Free of Charge.

To book your place, contact Joan Young at joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk

ISA (UK & Ireland) Chapter in association with Gristwood & Toms and the Consulting Arborist Society present the fourth technical seminar for 2012:


Professional Amenity Tree Valution


Thursday 22nd November 2012


Gristwood & Toms, Harris Lane, Shenley End, Hertfordshire WD7 9EG


Registration from 9.30am


Seminar 10-3pm


This event is generously supported by Gristwood & Toms, and is provided Free of Charge.


To book your place, contact Joan Young at joan.young@gristwoodandtoms.co.uk


Led by Dr. Jon Heuch.


What is the problem?


Various government initiatives support the valuation of environmental assets.  The Natural Capital Committee has been charged to ensure that Government has a better informed understanding of the value of Natural Capital, and will help it to prioritise actions to support and improve the UK’s natural assets.


In addition to various valuation projects, the law courts have set a precedent on how the Courts will judge amenity tree valuation.  In this complex environment, arboriculturists find themselves with four sets of tools: Helliwell, CTLA, CAVAT and now I-Tree.


How do the valuation tools that arboriculturists have developed fit with the current environment?  Are they fit for purpose?  Will they stand up to external scrutiny in an adversarial situation?  If so, when a valuation problem arises, how should a professional address it, and what pitfalls may arise?


Dr. Jon Heuch will be sharing his thoughts in advance of a two day seminar planned for 2013 as part of the programme of accredited training provided by the Consulting Arborist Society.  He will explain the various initiatives being undertaken at present.  The techniques of valuation experts from Chartered Accountancy, Chartered Surveying and Environmental Economics will be examined along with their deficiencies for dealing with amenity trees.


A framework for identifying the amenity valuation problem will be proposed and the identified valuation methods will be compared to these using objective criteria.  Participants will be encouraged to share their experience of valuation and to discuss how the arboricultural industry should progress its valuation initiatives.  More generally, the role of valuation in assisting with decision making will be considered.


Dr. Jon Heuch


Dr. Jon Heuch BSc (For) MICFor, M. Arbor. A. Has been involved with the valuation of natural resources for nearly thirty years.  His early experiences included a project in Nepal and Fiji where upstream land use practices affected downstream assets including hydroelectric dams, irrigation schemes, water supplies and human habitation.  He has experience in accountancy and economics and uses this to explain the valuation framework within which professionals have to work.


He acts as an expert witness particularly relating to valuation problems that arise in disputes, often settling before needing a court’s involvement.  He is a member of the Regional Plant Appraisal Committee of the CTLA for the UK & Ireland.  He is a trustee of the Arboricultural Association, a role within which he is encouraging the development of clearer guidance to the profession to allow sound guidance to be given to consulting arboriculturists.


A Professional Member of the Consulting Arborist Society, he has presented a number of seminars to delegates including Effective Report Writing and Reports for Mortgage & Insurance.  He practices via Duramen Consulting.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Training

Professional Tree Inspection

By Mark Chester, 26 August 2012

Places are still available on the Lantra Professional Tree Inspection courses being run in Crickhowel, Powys, on 17th-19th September and 9th-11th October.  Cost just £350 for CAS members, £400 for non-members.
 
This is a key, nationally recognised and valued qualification.  If you haven't passed yours yet, don't miss this opportunity.

Places are still available on the Lantra Professional Tree Inspection courses being run in Crickhowel, Powys, on 17th-19th September and 9th-11th October.  Cost just £350 for CAS members, £400 for non-members.
 
This is a key, nationally recognised and valued qualification.  If you haven't passed yours yet, don't miss this opportunity.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Act now: Public's chance to help shape future of England's forests

By Woodland Trust, 03 September 2012

Act now: Public's chance to help shape future of England's forests

Defra has published the first of what it says will be a series of short public surveys designed to help it develop its response to the Independent Panel on Forestry's (IPF) report, published last month. The Woodland Trust is encouraging people to respond as soon as possible given that the survey, which marks the next step in the process of Government making decisions around the future of England's forests, woods and trees, does not have a deadline.

Defra has published the first of what it says will be a series of short public surveys designed to help it develop its response to the Independent Panel on Forestry's (IPF) report, published last month. The Woodland Trust is encouraging people to respond as soon as possible given that the survey, which marks the next step in the process of Government making decisions around the future of England's forests, woods and trees, does not have a deadline.


Woodland Trust Chief Executive, Sue Holden, said: "Following the Independent Panel on Forestry's report, which clearly documented the enormous potential of forests, woods and trees and highlighted a real need to increase woodland cover in England, the Government is now offering everyone the chance to shape its plan for the sustainable management of our forests. I would encourage all who care about the future of England's woodland, including the woods and trees in their neighbourhood, to respond to this survey as a matter of priority. It is vital that we all play our part, keeping pressure on Government to deliver a plan for our woodland that works."


Defra asks in the survey:
1. Do you want to see more woodland created in or near to your local community?
2. If yes, what single thing would make the biggest difference to increasing the amount of woodland in or near your community?
3. What would encourage you to visit local woodland more?


Woodland Trust position:
The Woodland Trust strongly supports the IPF's call for a major expansion of woodland across England and wants those new woods to be well-positioned and accessible to deliver real benefits for people and the environment. Currently, less that 15% of people in England have a wood they can walk in close to where they live, as defined by Woodland Access Standard (WASt)1. The Woodland Trust would like to see a bold national target to increase this percentage significantly within a defined timescale. In line with such a target, the Government should continue to target grant aid to prioritise the creation of new publicly accessible woodland close to large centres of population.


The future of England's forest's woods and trees is still in question. Play your part in ensuring its future by filling in the survey at http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/forestry/survey/ 

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Tree News

Directors Dispatch!

By Mark Chester, 03 September 2012

Directors Dispatch!

One year ago, I wrote the last ‘Chairman’s Corner’ for the quarterly newsletter that had been being sent out to members of the Consulting Arborist Society, and a few others on the mailing list. Together with Tony Brooks of InDesign, I launched the new on-line magazine ‘The Consulting Arborist Magazine’.

One year ago, I wrote the last ‘Chairman’s Corner’ for the quarterly newsletter that had been being sent out to members of the Consulting Arborist Society, and a few others on the mailing list. Together with Tony Brooks of InDesign, I launched the new on-line magazine ‘The Consulting Arborist Magazine’.

This was aimed as a platform where rather than writing a newsletter with some nuggets of information, we would provide weekly updates with technical features, news and information on courses and events of interest to those in the tree world. Rather than being contained within the rigid format of a newsletter, individual articles are now accessible via the archive and we are reaching a greater readership. When I became Chairman back in 2009, the e-mail database was just 90 names. It is now 900!

When putting the newsletter together, I wrote a piece for each edition. Moving towards a weekly update makes this no longer necessary. I shall leave it for others to decide whether they miss my musings! However, on this anniversary, I wish to review how the organisation has changed. One of the obvious changes is that I am no longer chairman! No, I haven’t thrown my dummy out of the pram and walked! At the CAS AGM in 2011, the question was asked, ‘what type of organisation is CAS’? I realised that I couldn’t answer the question. I also realised that whilst a constitution had been drafted in the early days, it hadn’t been ratified. There was also the issue of how long should a chairman stay in office, and who would succeed me? I did not wish to step down from being the administrator, and recognised the need for a new title.

Last summer (2011), Bob Widd contacted me in response to a request for a new treasurer, to offer his help. He then generously agreed to become chairman. This enabled me to become the director of the society. This arrangement was endorsed by members at the 2012 AGM. There are two factors that generally determine the success of an organisation: it can only be as strong as the weakest part, and those leading it work best when they are in agreement. Bob has become a much-valued and appreciated chairman. He has shared much of the workload, and is a great support to me. We share the same vision. Bob, thank you so much for all you have done.

CAS has, since the beginning, been run by a Management Team, through which many decisions would be made. I recognised that this was not ideal for the type of day-to –day decision making that is required when running an organisation. I was also conscious that, whilst being grateful for the support of those serving on the Management Team, there was a lack of transparency in the process. Before the 2012 AGM, CAS members were invited to volunteer for this role. I also contacted all existing members of the team to enquire if they wished to continue supporting CAS this way. As a result, six members (Ian Barnes, Andrew Coombes, Bob Widd, Keith Sacre, Rhod Taylor and Peter Wells) agreed to stand, and were endorsed during the 2012 AGM.

We have been looking at the issue of the constitution over the past 18 months. It was important that the final document would be sufficiently rigorous to stand the test of time, as it is unlikely to be comprehensively reviewed for some time. The newly elected Management Team spent time considering it at the first board meeting at Arley Arboretum in May, and by the end of a marathon phone meeting in June, we had a document ready for members to consider and endorse. I am delighted to say that there was unanimous support for it among those who considered it.

We are now in the process of forming a Community Interest Company by which CAS will operate. Once registered, it will result in some changes in terminology. The Management Team will become the Board of Directors and I shall become the Executive Director with responsibility for day-to-day management of the society. The comment of one director summed progress to date: CAS has come of age.

During September, CAS will be represented at the AA Amenity Conference in Reading at the APF 2012 trade show. On 22nd November, we will jointly host the fourth Technical Seminar run by the ISA and Gristwood & Toms in Shenley, Hertfordshire. Presented by Dr. Jon Heuch, it will consider the issue of Amenity Tree Valuations, and will be free of charge.

We are already planning for 2013. One of the key features will be the Tree Valuation Seminar leading to possible accreditation in this competency. We would like to hold it at Capel Manor’s Celebration Of Trees if this event continues. We are also working with Barcham Trees to develop the new BS 8545 Young Trees From Nursery to Independence in the Landscape as a new Area of Professional Competency.

The weekly CAS Magazine will continue to develop, with new technical features and resources for the arborist as well as a notice board for future events. Your comments and feedback concerning it are invited. Meanwhile, enjoy!

Mark Chester
Director, The Consulting Arborist Society 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

QTRA News

By QTRA, 03 September 2012

QTRA News

In May this year, a conference was held in Stockholm to focus attention on the loss of important trees in the name of safety and open a dialogue between all stakeholders and not least the public. The Television Oak – so called because it stood outside one of Sweden’s main radio and television station offices – was condemned and felled amidst public outcry, and concern was expressed by a large section of the arboricultural community.

The Television Oak

In May this year, a conference was held in Stockholm to focus attention on the loss of important trees in the name of safety and open a dialogue between all stakeholders and not least the public. The Television Oak – so called because it stood outside one of Sweden’s main radio and television station offices – was condemned and felled amidst public outcry, and concern was expressed by a large section of the arboricultural community.


The loss of the Television Oak brought about the formation of Sveriges Arboristförbund (SAF),a new association of arboricultural professionals. Led by Cilla Lundstrum and Jon Hartill, SAF organised a two day conference ‘Ancient Trees in Urban Environments’ at the Swedish Natural History Museum in Stockholm.


Stockholm is home to some remarkable veteran trees of oak, ash, birch and lime in particular. These remnants of a bygone agricultural landscape that have become enclosed in the expanding city are viewed by many as immensely important landscape and ecological assets and this world class conference has opened up the debate on the management of veteran trees in Scandinavia. As is often the case with high profile events, perhaps the loss of the iconic Television Oak will bring about change for the better.


Quantified Tree Risk Assessment, A Work in Progress


by Mike Ellison


Where it came from I’m not sure, but the idea that QTRA would evolve over time was obvious from the very early stages of development when I was looking for a way to prioritise the management of my client’s trees. What I didn’t realise at the time is that most of the risk control measures that I was prescribing for my clients were probably unnecessary, on safety grounds at least.


For the gradual evolution of QTRA and acceptance that the risks from trees are not quite as high as they may be perceived, it has been necessary to acknowledge that what we are doing can probably be improved upon. This acceptance of the need to change has facilitated the development of a robust approach to assessing and managing risk from falling trees. Criticism, both positive and negative, has informed the development of QTRA.


Recently, we have reviewed and revised the method to take on board feedback and address questions raised by registered users. These changes have simplified the field assessment of trees. For a number of years we have advised that the Risk of Harm (RoH) should be expressed to no more than two significant figures. A long planned for change that has been delayed until the printing of the new manual calculators is that we have revised our RoH outputs to ONE significant figure. This is in line with mathematical convention because although inputs such as Target Values can be very accurate to a number of significant figures, the Probability of Failure (PoF) component has, since 2011, been assessed to one significant figure and in broad ranges, with the upper value of that range inputted to the calculation. The RoH output to one significant figure reflects the broad nature of risk assessment and should not significantly affect risk management decisions. Calculating RoH outputs to one significant figure also addresses the criticism of inferred precision where a RoH was perhaps expressed to a number of significant figures.


How Likely is Tree Failure?


The modified QTRA output is accompanied by a change to the way that users should input their estimates of ‘probability of failure’.


For the uninitiated, QTRA inputs are selected from ranges of value, e.g. the probability that a tree will fail within the coming year is estimated to be within the range 1 in 1 000 to 1 in 9 000 or perhaps the range 1 in 10 000 to 1 in 100 000. In the previous revision of the method, the number of ranges for probability of failure was increased from five to six. In the current revision, this has been increased to seven ranges. On the face of it, the increased number of ranges might appear to complicate the process, but the increments of probability that we use actually enable the user to take a more structured approach.


The Cost/Benefit Assessment


Our approach to assessing the risk from falling trees is to take a reasonable and sufficient view of the tree. In some situations, due to very high levels of human access a detailed view of each tree may be appropriate and the stability of trees may be critical. In areas that evidently have low usage, tree stability is of less concern and it is usually inappropriate to allocate valuable resources to the assessment of each and every tree. Ours is a risk based approach where the presence of a defective tree alone is insufficient to trigger remedial action. Instead of focussing on the tree, our first consideration is land use. In other words, is anything of value likely to be harmed if a tree were to fail? Competently applied, the risk based approach reduces the need for remedial action, by recognising and conserving the value of the tree asset.


Using guidance developed by the UK Health and Safety regulator, the quantified risk of harm can be considered and balanced with the costs of risk reduction in terms of diminution of the tree asset, the financial cost of risk control and the risk to workers and the public from implementing the control measure.


In partnership with the QTRA assessor, the tree owner can achieve a reasonable outcome where resources are expended on safety only when significant risks are identified. The result is that the owner can usually manage the risk from falling trees within a reasonable budget, maintain greater value in the tree asset, and be more likely to direct resources into proactive tree and landscape management.


Training Workshops


2012 sees QTRA training workshops in the UK, Sweden and Australia bringing the tools of reasonable and proportionate tree management to an ever increasing audience. Our Quantified Tree Risk Assessment User training, User Update and Visual Tree Assessment workshops are scheduled at several locations over the next few months. Discounts are available for multiple bookings and if you provide a venue, we can arrange a workshop for your employees with further cost reductions. 

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Barcham Series, Tree News

Barcham Trees presents...

By Barcham Trees, 07 September 2012

Barcham Trees presents...

Trees and Design Action Group Seminar – Wednesday 26th September 2012 @ Barcham Trees, Eye Hill Drove, Ely, CB7 5XF. Speakers for the day include: Dr Mark Johnston Nick Grayson, Rupert Bentley Walls, Keith Sacre, Ian Phillips and Russell Horsey

Trees and Design Action Group Seminar - Wednesday 26th September 2012 @ Barcham Trees, Eye Hill Drove, Ely, CB7 5XF

Speakers for the day include: Dr Mark Johnston Nick Grayson, Rupert Bentley Walls, Keith Sacre, Ian Phillips and Russell Horsey

Trees in the Townscape A Guide For Decision Makers is the latest publication produced by the Trees and Design Action Group.

The guide takes a 21st century approach to urban trees and aims to provide decision makers with the principles and references needed to realise the full potential of UK Urban Forests.

It provides 12 principles, from planning to managing, for everyone involved in making or influencing decisions that shape the spaces and places in which we live.

This seminar brings together a group of multidisciplinary professionals as speakers, who have each contributed to the development of Trees in the Townscape.

They will explain and explore the thinking behind the guide and how best the information can be widely communicated.

It is hoped that this seminar will be attractive to professionals from all the disciplines involved in the development and maintenance of the built environment and provide an opportunity for lively discussion and debate around the 12 principles.

This seminar will be Free of Charge to attend , with breakfast and lunch included.

We very much hope that you would like to join us, to book in please email natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk or complete the online booking form.

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Tree News

Ride for Research arrives in Reading

By Russell Ball, 07 September 2012

Ride for Research arrives in Reading

In comparison to the inaugural ride – where twenty two riders took part – this was set to be a smaller and less hectic event being held on a Sunday with no schools open but to coincide with the Arboricultural Assocation’s national conference Field Day. The route was designed to be a circular tour around Reading city, avoiding the busy congested centre and taking in the quieter suburbs, and of course, the River Thames.

In comparison to the inaugural ride – where twenty two riders took part – this was set to be a smaller and less hectic event being held on a Sunday with no schools open but to coincide with the Arboricultural Assocation’s national conference Field Day. The route was designed to be a circular tour around Reading city, avoiding the busy congested centre and taking in the quieter suburbs, and of course, the River Thames.


I awoke early on the morning of the ride to persistent misting rain: the kind that soaks through to the skin! Not good for any rider’s spirit. But as I rode to Reading University (the start & finish point) I was confident that we’d have a full-house and that again the ride would succeed in its quest to meet and greet: and plant trees! True to form all eleven riders* showed with an array of racing, mountain and hybrid bikes. After a round of introductions (from some who’d done the inaugural ride), handing out the yellow Ride for Research (RfR) t-shirts and a route de-brief, we set-off to a planting date in Prospect Park with the Madam Mayor of Reading who turned out to have a keen interest in Acute Oak Decline! A London Plane was duly planted. The image of Robin Helllier clutching Madam Mayor’s handbag whilst she tended a silver spade will stay with me for a long time!


With no sign of the rain clearing, we headed off to Arthur Newbery Park where a lime tree was planted. We were greeted by a solitary Tree Warden, who was keen to talk about the very active Tree Warden Scheme that had been set up in the City only the year previous. By this time the rain had cleared and our ‘tree-gang’ of riders was installing trees with great proficiency! With stakes and ties all in place, we rode across the park and down a steep grassy hill. At the bottom, Robin stole the show again by pulling up to a halt but failing to get his feet out the pedal toe clamps and slowly pitching sideways: flat onto the floor. The tiny knee graze seemed worthy of the hearty laughter it generated.


The city is furnished with ample cycle lanes. One of these took us to the site where the Reading Festival had recently been held, and the Thames path with lush river-side gardens and flocks of brilliant white swans. Once over Caversham bridge, we entered the picturesque Christchurch Gardens for the third and final public park tree planting (this time, a copper beech) but not before a cuppa from the Wellington tea barge. By this time a small group of Tree Wardens joined us to talk about the ride, and tree research, after which we assembled around the beech for its group installation.


The next leg followed the Thames path once again, this time under Reading bridge, and across a narrow weir. Despite many candid calls to Gabriel Hemery (our tour photographer) to wade out into the raging white water to get better shots, he sensibly decline! And rightly so! On we pressed through the suburbs of the city for a fine barbeque at the Bartletts lab and field trial station. After a tasty and well-earned lunch, Ian Barrow (Bartletts UK Manager) welcomed us and explained the research set-up. This was ably followed by Dr Glynn Percival and an extensive tour of the P&D plots: rows of trees subjected to an array of parasitic and pathogenic nasties, the trees then being brought back from the brink using state-of-the-art treatments (or at least, this is the aim). This is pioneering research aimed at helping to save our urban tree stocks of tomorrow!


Back in the lab Jon Banks, a fellow rider and Bartlett research technician, showed us their new dissecting stereo-scope microscope that can provide magnifications of up to 100x¹º for examining anything from fungal spores to hairs on an aphid’s leg! We were treated to Jon’s skill of peeling back an epidermal leaf layer under high magnification using forceps to expose a hidden leaf miner. A high resolution photograph was then taken of said leaf miner’s mandibles that have true alien architecture. No wonder leaves stand little chance!


A call from Rupert Taylor (Deputy Grounds Manager) at Reading University heralded our departure to meet up with the delegates attending the Arboricultural Association’s Field Day. So the last few miles were ground out with the ride’s end in sight. To this point the ride had gone smoothly. However, with literally a few hundred metres to go, at an increasingly slow speed, Tim Moya misjudged a kerb, caught his bike and landed in a heap. Assisted to his feet he was fine, only to see Ian Haynes loose his bike chain… but we made it to the final AA Field Day tree planting, this time an Atlantic cedar!


So all in all it was a fun social day. We raised over £2,000.0 and left Reading city a little greener than when we arrived……. See you at the next ride in Birmingham on Oct. 16th check out http://fund4trees.org.uk/ for details.


I’ll leave the last words to Tim Moya:


“Speaking on behalf of the older and less athletic element (me) – I loved it”.


Many thanks to our Fund4Trees founding sponsors: Arbol EuroConsulting; ArborTrack; Brian G. Crane & Associates; Glendale; Institute of Chartered Foresters; TreeLife; UKI ISA Chapter; Symbiosis and the Sylva Foundation. Also to the RfR t-shirt and insurance sponsors Tree Surveys and Patrick Stileman Ltd. Special thanks to Barchams for the trees.


Russell Ball
Ride Leader


* Jon Banks (Bartlett Tree Experts), Mick Boddy (Symbiosis Consulting Ltd.), David Dearsly (Tim Moya & Associates), Martin Gammie (South Oxfordshire & Vale of White Horse DC), Ian Haynes (Glendale Countryside), Robin Hellier (Epping Forest District Council), Gabriel Hemery (Sylva Foundation), Tim Moya (Tim Moya & Associates), Patrick Stileman (Patrick Stileman Ltd.) and Peter Wharton (Wharton Arboriculture Ltd.). Three Riders had deferred to the 16th October Birmingham ride.   

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Business Advice

How to generate more sales

By Mark Chester, 17 September 2012

How to generate more sales

The following is based on a series of blogs written by Mick Merrick of Percept UK. Mick works with sales teams to improve their performance. His blogs have been edited for a wider audience.

(even if selling is not your natural skill)

The following is based on a series of blogs written by Mick Merrick of Percept UK. Mick works with sales teams to improve their performance. His blogs have been edited for a wider audience.


For those of us to whom selling is not a natural skill, generating work often remains a necessary part of our regular work. There are some key tips to make the process easier and help to avoid common pitfalls.

  1. Be prepared to ask your clients (or potential clients) how well you have done, in their eyes. Ask for their opinion on what has worked well, and what could be improved upon.
  2. If you have tendered for work, and there has been no news, give the client a call to see how things are progressing. There can be numerous reasons for not proceeding, such as having forgotten to instruct you, needing to clarify a point, or not appreciating the importance of your part in a larger project (for example, leaving the tree survey to the end when the architects will need the results part way through). The phone call may be the nudge that a busy project manager needs.
  3. If your client is resisting from making the decision, ask directly (but diplomatically) what is holding them back. Are they simply procrastinating? If they don’t have the funds at present, then it may be prudent to offer payment in instalments, or to arrange a timescale that fits in with their budget. They may not be able to afford all of the work now; you may be able to reduce the amount of work for a lower fee, and still get a commission.
  4. If it is appropriate, you may wish to show a client how much you appreciate their commissions. A small gesture (card, bottle of wine, gift vouchers) can go a long way to showing value. Or just an e-mail to wish them well and say ‘thanks for the payment’. 60% of clients who move to a new supplier do this because they no longer feel valued.
  5. Plan ahead. Many of us experience the peaks and troughs of workload. Not only can this be stressful, it may affect the quality of work we do, if we are asked to complete a commission with insufficient time. If work is time sensitive (such as many pruning operations or inspecting trees for vigour), then highlighting this to the client can allow it to be properly scheduled. Similarly, you may have a pending project, but suspect that it may come in the middle of a particularly busy period because the client tends to leave things to the last moment. Discussing in advance and scheduling it so that it receives the attention and priority it needs, can really help. ‘The next three months are almost fully booked, but if you instruct me to do this work now then I can schedule it to be completed when you need it’ can help to give your client the gentle nudge. 

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News

Herefordshire Parklands Project

By Mark Chester, 17 September 2012

Herefordshire Parklands Project

Parklands have been part of the British landscape for much of the past thousand years. Medieval kings set aside areas of woodland to be enjoyed as royal hunting parks where deer and boar, among others, were kept.

Parklands have been part of the British landscape for much of the past thousand years. Medieval kings set aside areas of woodland to be enjoyed as royal hunting parks where deer and boar, among others, were kept.


Over the centuries, wealthy landowners have created landscaped grounds to reflect their standing. Some, enjoying patronage were given estates for their private use, with the focus on recreation. The Tudors created symmetrical formal gardens. In the 18th century, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown and his followers such as Humphry Repton, were commissioned to design more natural landscapes which could involve changes on a vast scale including creating hills, planting mature trees and moving villages that may detract from the picture being created. The Georgian Picturesque movement was also influential in designs.


The Victorians were renowned plant collectors, travelling to exotic places including India, China and South America. The pioneer collectors would bring back samples of the trees and plants they discovered, and create collections within their estates.


However, there has been a gradual decline in the numbers of parklands and their quality over the past 90 years. In fact, 50% of the parklands in the West Midlands have been lost in this time, affected by the pressures for land from housing, roads, more intensive farming, lack of resources and, sometimes, a lack of appreciation. This loss is greater in the West Midlands than in any other region in the UK. Of the parklands remaining, the condition is generally unknown. They remain at risk from continuing development pressures, ill-informed management, lack of planning, lack of appreciation and limited protection.


Herefordshire still contains a dynamic collection of parklands which continue to be used to providing a landscape setting, increasingly alongside farming, leisure, residential use and business. Some remain untouched for more than 1000 years. Those running the project are confident that these multiple uses of modern life can continue alongside the protection that the parks will hopefully benefit from in the future.


However, our knowledge of what exists and its condition is fragmented. In 2001, the historian David Whitehead produced ‘A Survey of Historic Parks and Gardens in Herefordshire’. This weighty text describes the parks and gardens of some 203 properties within the county. However, it is probably incomplete and in many cases is mostly a summary of the individual property and its history.


The Parkland Project began in 2010 with the aim of surveying a representative sample of sites in order to improve our understanding of their current condition and inform process in the future. It is being co-ordinated by Herefordshire Nature Trust with support from Herefordshire Biological Recording Centre, Herefordshire Council’s Archaeological Department, the National Trust, the Woodland Trust’s national Ancient Tree Hunt project , and other specialist wildlife interest groups across the county.


This is more than simply a survey of each site; it is a very dynamic project. Ecology is a key aspect, with much of the on-site work being undertaken by a dedicated team of volunteers. The project leader is Lewis Goldwater. Lewis’ background is as a systems designer in the defence industry. After ten years of this, he decided to pursue his growing interest in nature conservation and took an eight month placement with LEMUR, a Heritage Lottery Funded, nationwide training programme, which trained a new generation of natural history professionals through 8 month, work-based placements. This was followed by 3 1/2 years as a Nature Reserves Warden in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, working for Natural England, a role which would have continued, had he not seen an advert for a job with Herefordshire Nature Trust……


His role involves co-ordinating the training of the volunteers in the various skills of surveying, including species identification, habitat surveying and using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to identify archaeological evidence. A central and key aspect of the project is the close liaison and co-operation with parkland estate owners, their agents and staff to arrange access and to feedback on survey results.


LIDAR is an exciting recent innovation in remote, aerial surveying, which the Parklands Project has been keen to use. The results from LIDAR surveys have helped us to direct our archaeological survey efforts and assist us with landscape-scale historical investigations, which may extend beyond the known parkland boundaries. LIDAR uses an infra-red laser beam to scan the terrain. This identifies changes in levels to reveal features such as ancient field boundaries, settlements and more subtle archaeological evidence including ridge and furrow lines which may not be evident when walking the ground. It is not fool-proof, and can be caught out by wire fences covered in bramble, but it remains a valuable tool. Whilst there is a cost to using the LIDAR data, much of the county has been surveyed by the Environment Agency as part of their flood analysis.


The project is keen to engage parkland estate owners, to help explain the purposes of The Herefordshire Parklands Project, the benefits it can bring them in terms of realising the enormous potential value of their parks in the Herefordshire landscape of today and for the future. Lewis has found most appreciate the benefits and are happy for the team to walk their estate. Indeed, the staff on several estates have joined in the work, guided the volunteers to key features and even provided welcome refreshments.

Mark Chester is a practising tree consultant at Cedarwood Tree Care, director of the Consulting Arborist Society and a former Tree Officer. A graduate in Amenity Horticulture, he holds the AA Technician′s Certificate. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Professional Member of the Arboricultural Association and the Institute of Horticulture. Follow me on Google +.

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Tree News, Training

Windsor Great Park Avenues Seminar 9th October

By Barcham Trees, 21 September 2012

Windsor Great Park Avenues Seminar 9th October
The day will start at 9.30 at The York Club, (Within the Great Park) with tea and coffee.

This will be followed by an introduction by Bill Cathcart and Ted Green. Before a short drive out to view the avenues.

The day will start at 9.30 at The York Club, (Within the Great Park) with tea and coffee.


This will be followed by an introduction by Bill Cathcart and Ted Green. Before a short drive out to view the avenues.


A break for buffet lunch around 1 o’clock


The afternoon will be filled with a discussion on the future of the long walk avenue and time permitting maybe a tour of some of the ancient trees.


The day is free of charge. Places are limited to 60 so book now.


Please complete the webform here to reserve your place or email natasha@barchamtrees.co.uk.


For further details of seminar location and speakers please see the invitation here

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Tree News

Woodland Trust records suggest autumn set to arrive late this year...

By Woodland Trust, 21 September 2012

Woodland Trust records suggest autumn set to arrive late this year...

The Woodland Trust is urging people to visit their nearest wood and help scientists track the arrival of autumn. The charity has been assessing seasonal change and its effect on trees and plants for 12 years, with public records of autumnal indicators this year being universally low compared to the same date last year, indicating autumn could be later arriving in 2012.

The Woodland Trust is urging people to visit their nearest wood and help scientists track the arrival of autumn. The charity has been assessing seasonal change and its effect on trees and plants for 12 years, with public records of autumnal indicators this year being universally low compared to the same date last year, indicating autumn could be later arriving in 2012.


So far there have been 81% fewer records of ripe bramble, 96% fewer records of oak trees' first tint and only one record of a fieldfare arriving compared to a dozen at the same date in 2011.


According to data recorded by the Trust's Nature's Calendar project the benchmark date for the UK's most symbolic tree – the oak – to show the first signs of autumn colour is September 25th1, with full tinting appearing by October 30th. Autumn colour dates vary considerably from year to year as they are affected by temperatures and rainfall; both of these factors also determine the intensity of autumn colour. However autumn as a whole is getting later as warmer temperatures mean that the trees continue to grow for longer.


The charity's VisitWoods.org.uk website contains details of over 11,000 publicly accessible woods, which people are being encouraged to visit and observe the changes taking place. Without these public observations the Trust will not be able to assess the effects of the changing climate on our native trees. In autumn 2011 over 25,000 observations were recorded by people across the UK.


Dr Kate Lewthwaite, Nature's Calendar Project Manager, said: "Autumn is the best time of year to get outdoors and visit one of our many beautiful native woods. You can also do your bit to help us learn when and where autumn is arriving, the information you provide is absolutely crucial to us understanding how flora and fauna is adapting to the changing environment. We are particularly keen to receive more records from the public in autumn too.


"Recommendations made by the Independent Panel on Forestry in its final report, include the call for an action plan to deliver the Natural Environment White Paper’s2 proposals on reconnecting people and nature. With projects such as Nature's Calendar and VisitWoods the charity is leading the way in inspiring the public on the importance of our native woods and we urge Government to play its part."


The creation of the VisitWoods website has been made possible by funding of £1.2 million from Natural England’s Access to Nature scheme, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund, with further support coming from Yell and DoubleTree by Hilton. To find your nearest wood go to VisitWoods.org.uk/autumn

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Business Advice

Moving from Domestic to Commercial

By Paul Elcoat, 21 September 2012

Moving from Domestic to Commercial

By far the most regular request from a new enquiry is for us to help them move from solely operating in the domestic market to breaking into the commercial market. Usually the target is the finding and winning of a term contract with a local authority or a housing association. A term contract is when you are the appointed contractor for the next five years for example rather than just doing ad hoc jobs for the local council.

By far the most regular request from a new enquiry is for us to help them move from solely operating in the domestic market to breaking into the commercial market. Usually the target is the finding and winning of a term contract with a local authority or a housing association. A term contract is when you are the appointed contractor for the next five years for example rather than just doing ad hoc jobs for the local council.


There are some significant benefits to winning your first term contract and even though the work will be relatively low profit compared