April 19, 2018

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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Impact and implications of Chalara – Jon Ives

Jon Ives

Jon Ives explores a number of the consequences and potential interventions where ash dieback disease is present The arrival of ash dieback disease three years ago alerted professionals and the wider public to yet another exotic disease threatening our native tree population. Unfortunately, what distinguishes Chalara from many other imported pests and diseases is that it cannot be treated or contained. The impact of the disease is likely to be on a par with Dutch elm disease both in terms of reduction of visual amenity and loss of biodiversity. Ironically, ash has benefited substantially from the loss of elm trees. In certain parts of the countryside it is the dominant hedgerow and woodland tree. Over time sites…

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There’s no shame in being an employee – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Regular work bringing regular cash or independence and the opportunity to plough your own furrow. Jonathan Hazell examines the pros and cons of being an employee I have found a certain stigma among tree workers concerning the prospect of joining a business as an employee but I do not understand why, despite the variety of reasons put forward. Many like the security of being employed while others enjoy the freedom of self-employment. There are advantages and disadvantages to both but neither model is wrong. Neither model suits everyone, nor should either be disparaged. What’s not to like? Every day a decent employer will provide you with everything you need, you will be provided with suitable…

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Natural Selection – Rick Milsom

Rick Milsom

As our thoughts turn to species selection and planting, Rick Milsom says researching why a particular tree is right for a particular site is both interesting and rewarding Attending another excellent conference laid on by Barcham Trees got me thinking. All of the speakers were excellent but two in particular grabbed my attention. Henrik Sjoman and Nina Bassuk really share my interests and at the end of the presentation Henrik encouraged us all to become tree geeks. For those of you not lucky enough to have been there, they spoke about how certain tree species are suited to particular sites, usually because the sites are similar to the trees’ natural habitat. Obvious isn’t it? I oversimplify, but it…

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Top Ten Tips for moving trees

Top Ten Tips

Marc Greenaway, operations manager at Glendale Civic Trees, outlines his top ten tips to consider before moving a tree 1) Carry out a site survey before work commences, to highlight obstructions that will impede the excavation works in both the original and relocation sites. Look for issues with hardstanding, site furniture, grade changes, etc. 2) Check the site for services. Below ground services can render some trees impossible to excavate while overhead services can block the movement of the tree, via spade, crane or low-loader. Check both sites and the route between them. Airspading the tree roots is advisable if services are expected. 3) Check the access routes to and from the…

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An Interview With Sam and Josh Weedon


Twenty-four year old Josh Weedon recently started his own tree surgery business with his brother Sam, 21. Pro Arb met up with the entrepreneurs to find out about their business, how they find working in the industry and what it’s like starting their own enterprise What is your role within the company? Sam and I are joint owners. I’m the groundsman and he does the climbing. How long have you been in the industry? I’ve been in the industry in some capacity for getting on for six years now. Sam has been in arboriculture for close to five. Did you study arboriculture? Yes, we studied at Dart Training while on an apprenticeship. Why…

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Cypress Aphid – Bartlett Tree Experts


Emma Schaffert and Luke Hailey of Bartlett Tree Reseach discuss symptoms of and treatments for the cypress aphid Browning of conifer hedging is not an uncommon sight in our towns and cities. There are many possible causes, for example it could be due to overpruning, lack of water, exposure to high winds, fungal diseases and even de-icing salts. Conifer browning is also frequently caused by the pest known as the cypress aphid (Cinara cupressi). This brown or black insect is a sap-sucker, meaning it feeds by piercing the foliage of several cypress species with its straw-like mouthparts (stylet) and drinks their sap. This causes the foliage to gradually yellow and dry out in appearance. They’re most active in…

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An interview with Paul Frainer, Senior Arboricultural Consultant

Paul Frainer

Pro Arb visited the offices of Essex County Council to meet senior arboricultural consultant Paul Frainer.Paul runs a team of eight arboriculturists in ECC’s Place Services team. Place Services provides specialist environmental consultancy services across south east England to public, third and private sector clients. How did you get into arboriculture? I started my career working for landscape gardeners at 17. They diversified into tree surgery and it looked fun so I thought I’d get involved. I went off and completed my chainsaw and climbing tickets and started working for tree surgery companies across north west London. I worked on local authority trees in London and on private contracts, eventually moving up to…

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Using mechanical advantage… to our advantage – David Vickers


In the final part of his series on creating mechanical advantage, Dave Vickers looks at using a rope-based system to help with felling trees Last month we saw how to create a system to lift a section of timber when dismantling a tree, before lowering it to the ground. In this final part, we’ll look at using a similar system to assist with felling trees, and whilst this can be achieved using a winch, we can also do this using a ropebased system with safety backup. In the photo below we can see that a felling line has been attached high up on the stem of a tree using utility arb poles…

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