December 12, 2018

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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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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