January 21, 2018

Phytophthora root rots – Bartlett Tree Experts


The genus Phytophthora is composed of 60 species of pathogens that cause considerable damage to trees and shrubs worldwide. Within the UK several species of Phytophthora exist, including P. ramorum, which has had a devastating impact on Japanese larch forests after ‘host jumping’ from rhododendrons and other under storey shrubs. Free water is necessary for Phytophthora to successfully infect a tree and therefore most commonly associated with soils that are poorly drained or receive excessive irrigation. Phytophthora can be especially common on newly developed sites where soil is severely disturbed or compacted from construction activities. Phytophthora is also a common disease in commercial ornamental tree and shrub nurseries. Infection usually progresses from the root collar or finer roots, into the larger roots and eventually the…

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Apprenticeships – Matthew Laine – Conservation Contractors

Matthew Laine

Each month Pro Arb’s apprenticeship feature showcases a young person starting out in the arboriculture industry. This month, we meet Matthew Laine. What is your name and age? Matthew Laine, 24. What is your role within Conservation Contractors Ltd? I’m the apprentice arborist here. Why did you choose arboriculture? My previous jobs included working on tug boats in Portsmouth and spending time on a tall ship for six months. I then moved to Wiltshire where I was land locked, and I realised I wanted a job outside in the elements that was as challenging as boating. Arboriculture seemed my best bet. Did you go to college? If so, where and what qualifications did…

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Ancient Tree Column – The Tolpuddle Martyrs Tree


Each month we feature an ancient British tree. This month the Ancient Tree Forum introduces us to the Tolpuddle Martyrs tree. It was under this sycamore tree in Dorset that six agricultural labourers, who later became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, met in 1834 to form the first trade union in Britain. It was very common at that time for meetings to take place under village trees and the sycamore on the green in Tolpuddle would already have been a good size. The struggle of the Tolpuddle six to improve the conditions and wages of their fellow farmworkers led to their arrest and the men were charged…

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The Ancient Tree Column – Copper Beech Tree

Ancient Tree

Each month we feature an ancient British tree.  is month the Ancient Tree Forum introduces us to the Copper beech tree, St John’s Churchyard, Frome The old copper beech in St John’s churchyard is a distinctive natural landmark, much-loved by many local residents of the Somerset town of Frome. Brackets of a Ganoderma fungus are highly visible and the tree is hollowing naturally through the slow decay of the heartwood. This releases locked up nutrients that the tree can recycle to its benefit. With all its decaying wood and other veteran features, the St John’s beech has great biodiversity due to the range of habitats it provides…

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Visiting Vermeer


Pro Arb visited the head office of Vermeer EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in the Netherlands to meet regional manager Stephan Oppelaar, marketing specialist Pim Nolting and solutions specialist Jasper De Smit along with the managing director of Vermeer UK, Leslie Goodman Vermeer was established in 1948 by Gary Vermeer, an American of Dutch descent in Pella, Iowa. Gary had a background in farming when he moved into engineering and his first experience of manufacturing came on his invention of a mechanical wagon hoist in the early 1940s. Since then, Vermeer, has developed many machines across a vast range of markets. The family-run business is soon to become third generation…

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Apprenticeships – Annie Price – High Elms Tree Surgery

Annie Price

Each month Pro Arb’s apprenticeship feature showcases a young person starting out in the arboriculture industry. This month, we meet Annie Price What is your name, age and job title? Annie Price, 21, apprentice tree surgeon. And why did you chose arboriculture as your profession? I love working outdoors. The work is exciting, every day is different and I enjoy the work atmosphere among men. Where are you conducting the study part of your apprenticeship and what courses have you taken? I am studying at Capel Manor College where I go for five days every six to eight weeks and focus on a specific arboricultural ticket during the working week. I have my CS30 Chainsaw maintenance and cross…

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Messenger Tag


Electronic tags combined with a smartphone app and central database give arborists the information they need to get every detail right. Mark Chester of PINE Technology explains how The management of trees within the urban forest has been in the headlines in recent years. Young trees face so many challenges on the journey to becoming established. Once in the landscape (providing the planting location has been recorded), watering and postplanting maintenance can be difficult to monitor. There is often little information about a tree’s history and no easy way to record its vigour. PINE Technology has identified several areas where using electronic tags could revolutionise the management of urban trees. These include monitoring on the nursery; correct planting; surveying; preventing pathogens entering the landscape; assessing…

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Service Delivery in Arboriculture part two: Collaborative working – Martin Gammie

Martin Gammie

Martin Gammie discusses how we can work with other disciplines to achieve a sustainable urban treescape Last month we considered the need to change the way we engage with our clients and how this might influence the effectiveness of the services we provide. Now I want venture beyond the world of arboriculture. I have given presentations at seminars and conferences to audiences from a variety of disciplines with the aim of disseminating the principles and best practice the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) is promoting. I often suggest we spend too much time talking to each other, preaching to the converted. This could be said of most professions. We are all comfortable engaging with our…

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Sell the sizzle, not the sausage – Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke explains that your customers don’t just care about the size of your widgets My wife and I are about to take on a great project and build our own place, meaning country living half mile down a rough road. We have one grandchild with a second on the way. And then of course there’s Trevor, our dog. All this was pointing towards 4×4 – a Chelsea tractor, albeit with the justification of actually living in the country. We whittled the list down to the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, an amazing hybrid that does 149 miles to the gallon; the Kia Sportage with its famous seven year warranty and the Ranger Rover Evoque, which is just…

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A Guide to assisted felling: Part one – Using an offset system – David Vickers


In our brand new series, David Vickers looks at how to set up an assisted felling system to give greater control of the felling direction and to remain safe Using ropes and winches to assist with felling trees is fairly common, especially with boundary trees such as those on woodland edges. Such trees will have healthy canopy growth on one side due to phototropism and limited growth on the other, where other trees have been competing for the light. The result is an unbalanced tree weighted towards the neighbouring land or property. Setting up an assisted felling system gives us greater control of the felling direction, minimising the risk of the tree landing in the wrong place….

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