January 22, 2018

Dare to be different – Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke explains how to differentiate your business without driving down profits. What can you gain from swimming in the sea of sameness, just doing the same as everyone else? If your aim is keep below the radar and shoot for mediocrity, then maybe I get it. However, I doubt that’s what most people in business want. I doubt very much that it’s what you want either. Would I be right? When you’re offering the same as your competitors, all you can compete on is price and that’s never a good thing from a profit perspective nor is it a healthy place to be for your sanity. To succeed in business today it’s vital to…

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Consultancy Vs Contracting – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell illustrates the differences between consultants and contractors with a closer look at a consultant’s report. It goes without saying that there are some very good practitioners in the fields of both arboricultural contracting and arboricultural consulting. However, an expert in one field may be ineffective in the other and you, as the practitioner, may well have a role in guiding the customer to the right expert. The consultant’s role is to evaluate a client’s needs and provide expert advice and opinion on what needs to be done, whilst the contractor role is generally to actually perform the work. We all know of examples of the point I am trying to make. One such…

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Pest and diseases: Honey Fungus


Emma Schaffert and Luke Hailey of Bartlett Tree Research discuss the cause, symptoms and treatment of Honey Fungus. Honey fungus or Armillaria root rot is a soil-borne disease that attacks trees’ roots and trunk. It is caused by members of the genus Armillaria, most commonly in the UK by A. mellea and A. gallica. A. mellea is considered the most aggressive species and infects trees in many places worldwide. Honey fungus infects more than 500 species of trees and shrubs, although some are more resistant to infection. It is a particular threat to ornamental and urban trees. Armillaria fi rst attacks the roots of the tree, infecting and killing the cambium. It then moves into the base of…

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Your client approach needs updating – Martin Gammie

A fresh look at how we engage with clients and collaborate with other disciplines is long overdue,  says Martin Gammie. Arborists can’t always allow clients to dictate on key issues like timing.   My recent work with the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) on its latest best practice guidance document gave me an opportunity to consider the delivery of arboricultural services more broadly. What I hope to do here is stimulate thoughts on how we might change our approach to service delivery while focusing on two main areas: ● Engaging with the client ● Collaborative working with other disciplines The first question is perhaps ‘why change?’ To answer this we need to consider…

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Pro Arb Survey: Arborist Training

Pro Arb

Pro Arb asked its readers about their experience of and further requirements in education and training With training high on arb companies’ agendas, Pro Arb has carried out a survey of its readership to find out what training arboriculturists have undertaken, how they found it and what more is required to make sure professionals working in the sector are well enough equipped to do their job. Seventy percent of those answering that question had studied full-time with the remaining 30% having studied on a part-time basis. Among those who had studied full time, longer courses were more popular with 44% having taken three or four years, 40% two years and only 16% completing their full time training in one…

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The Ancient Tree Column – Penalt Yew

Penalt Yew

Each month we feature an ancient British tree.  This month the Ancient Tree Forum introduces us to the Penalt Yew, Monmouthshire Yew trees are an iconic part of our landscape, playing a role in communities up and down the country. Why do we find so many in our churchyards? According to the Ancient Yew Group, there are three main religious themes associated with yew trees around the world and in the UK it is death and burial that takes precedence. It is possible that some yews could even pre-date the churches they abut. Our most well known, the Fortingall Yew in Perthshire, is said to be as much as 3,000…

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2015 An Arb Odyssey – Rob McBride

Rob McBride

Rob McBride reviews the arboricultural odyssey in which he ‘met’ some unusual entrants for the European Tree of the Year 2015 The main purpose of my trip in February this year was to promote the great trees of Europe and the European Tree of the Year 2015 contest (ETOTY15), organised by the Environmental Partnership Association (EPA). The first goal was to visit all 14 trees entered into the awards, which were to take place on 20 April, and to meet the wonderful people associated with them. The second objective was to highlight to each country’s population how the trees can be celebrated. The trees in the contest are not the oldest, largest or most well known but they…

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Top Ten Tips – Urban Tree Planting

Top Ten Tips

Marc Greenaway, operations manager at Glendale Civic Trees, shares the top ten things you need to think about when planting trees in the urban environment 1) Choose the right tree for the environment This is important, as planting a large Araucaria araucana (Monkey puzzle) next to a children’s playground would not be a good idea. Also, check the health of your chosen tree before planting. Ask the supplier if the tree has been field grown or container grown: if the latter, how long has it been in the container? Trees left too long in containers will be susceptible to root girdling. 2) When planning the task, make sure you think…

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Apprenticeships, in association with Green-tech – Jay Gibbins

Jay Gibbins

Each month Pro Arb’s apprenticeship feature showcases a young person starting out in the arboriculture industry. This month, we meet Jay Gibbins from Totally Trees What is your full name, age and job title? Jay Gibbins, 21, apprentice arborist. What is your role within Totally Trees? I get to carry out a wide range of jobs from felling trees, climbing and pruning trees and shearing hedges to dragging brash, chipping and sweeping up. I do what I am told, really! It gives me the opportunity to learn about the whole job, not just the glory bits. Why did you choose arboriculture as your career? I volunteered for a bit with a…

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Showcase your skills with the R2 register


R2, the new online tool that allows you to demonstrate your skills, knowledge and experience to potential customers, will soon be live. Here’s how it works… The new Register of Tree Work Operatives (R2) looks set to provide arboriculturists with the opportunity to demonstrate their attained skills and experience, businesses with the necessary information to identify which operatives have the required skills to undertake specific types of tree work and to prove compliance when tendering for new contracts. Speaking about the positive feedback the scheme received from a recent pilot group, the chair of the project’s management committee, Jaime Bray of Treetop Arboriculture, said: “It is exciting to hear that most have found R2 to be…

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