April 18, 2018

Fungus threatens Britain’s plane trees


The threat posed to Britain’s plane trees by plane tree wilt (Ceratocystis fimbriata f. platini), an ascomycete fungus which originated in the eastern United States, is growing as it works its way northwards through France at a faster range than previously. Keith Sacre of Barcham Trees recently attended a two-day workshop on plane tree wilt, organised by Treework Environmental Practices. He shared his knowledge with Colin Hambidge.   What is plane tree wilt and what does it do? It is a fungal infection which causes canker stain on plane species. The fungus causes vascular dysfunction, canopy dieback and then death. There is…

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An Interview with Lee Marshall, Torbay Council


Pro Arb were recently given the opportunity to interview Lee Marshall, who left a career in engineering to work for a decade as a tree officer for Torbay Council- and is still going strong. Lee chats to Pro Arb about how he came to live and breathe the trees of Torbay.   How did you get into arboriculture? I’ve always had a love of the outdoors (forgive the cliché) but didn’t know what to do for a career after leaving school. I had a series of roles in engineering which I didn’t feel fulfilled me professionally, so my  wife Rachel…

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Timberwolf at 30


UK Chipper manufacturer Timberwolf celebrates its 30th anniversary this month. Joe Wilkinson recently caught up with Richard Marshall, an original family member to discuss the past, present and future of the company. ‘Timberwolf started off as a family business,’ Richard explains.  ‘My father is the founder and he invented our first chipper. My mother was the bookkeeper and i used to sell the chippers. Dad built it, i sold it and Mum counted it. That was the basic principles of the business.’ Timberwolf chippers have always been made in the UK. Everything is designed in house, using as much local…

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Reducing urban diffuse pollution and surface water flooding


City of Trees looks at a groundbreaking new project in the City of Salford to study how trees can aid the management of urban stormwater. Nature-based solutions for the management of urban stormwater have been growing in popularity, but there is a lack of empirical performance data for field-scale installations, especially in a UK context. To address this, a novel retrofit street tree demonstration project was commissioned in the City of Salford, near Manchester (UK), in June 2015. The ground-breaking study, which will run for three years until 2017, is a partnership between the Environment Agency, The University of Manchester, City…

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A National Tree Charter for the UK


In its written evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment – Building Better Places (published 19th February 2016), the Trees and Design Action Group proposed the need for a National Tree Charter or Framework incorporating trees in integrated urban solutions. This proposal was inspired by the work of Frédéric Ségur and his team at the Greater (Grand) Lyon Authority and the second ‘Tree Charter’.  The Charter updates and develops the first Charter published in 2000 to reflect the environmental, social and economic conditions which have changed over the last decade or so. Notably,…

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Tree surveys


In the first part of the new mini-series, Jonathan Hazell considers the value of a good tree survey.   Common reasons for a tree survey include being able to discharge a tree owner’s duty of care, to help draw up a cyclical work programme, to assess the possibility of the retention of trees on a development site, the preparation of a TPO or management agreement, quantifying the environmental services that the urban forest provides, informing habitat management, a response to an insurance claim or court case, health surveillance and so on. At the outset remember my two oft-repeated mantra, which…

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Pro Arb advises on targeting your branding at the audience you want to do business with. Company branding is a touchy subject. This is because a lot of people have a different understanding of what branding is and what it means. There tends to be a lot of focus on the company logo, but branding should be a lot deeper than that. Your company branding is one of your greatest assets. It’s not just about your logo, slogan and design scheme, it’s also about your clients total experience of your business. Your brand is: Your customer promise Your business values…

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Boxwood Issues


There are a number of reasons for boxwood to decline. Dr Glynn Percival and Emma Schaffert of the Bartlett Tree Expert Company examine symptoms and treatments. Box blight One of the most common problems is Box Blight, caused by two fungi; Cylindrocladium buxicola and Pseudonectria buxi. When boxwood plants suffer from this disease, the symptoms tend to manifest as prolific leaf browning and crown dieback, with powdery spores visible on leaves later on in the season. With C. buxicola, young stems often also exhibit black stains. The disease thrives in warm, humid conditions, so maximizing air circulation is essential. Thinning…

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Small Business Guide to VAT


Business owners often struggle to make their way through the labyrinth that is the UK VAT rules. David Marples, Federation of Small Businesses, highlights the key issues and de-mystifies small business’ relationship with VAT.   Registration for VAT It should be noted that it is the person, not the business that is required to register for VAT. In this context “person” means legal entity; i.e. normally a sole proprietor, partnership, LLP or limited company. A single legal entity can have more than one business, but only one VAT registration that will cover all those businesses. Whether or not you become…

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Report Writing: The Conclusion


In the final part of his three part series Jonathan Hazell looks at writing your report’s conclusion and offers some advice on presentation. In the beginning you will have reported the facts about the tree population that you have captured, in the light of the brief and scope that you have agreed with your client.   You may have used photos to help illustrate more exactly what you mean.   There’s no point in gathering more data than you need, but remember the golden thread – if you refer to something at the end of your report then it must first make…

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