December 12, 2018

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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Coping with Chalara – Jon Ives

Jon Ives

Ash dieback’s march across Europe brought it to the UK in 2012. There may not be a cure but recognising the symptoms early on may help with its management. It is three years since Chalara Ash Dieback was first identified in the UK in imported nursery stock and in the wild in East Anglia. This disease affects the native common ash Fraxinus excelsior as well as other non-native but widely planted species such as F. angustifolia and F. ornus. Ash dieback does not have any known effects on human health and is not known to infect other members of the Oleaceae family such as privet. DEFRA banned the import and movement of ash trees in October…

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Pests and Diseases: How informed are you? – Rick Milsom

Rick Milsom

Keeping up to date on the new pests, disorders and diseases is the best way to ensure the health of our trees, says Rick Milsom. My first recollection of coming into contact with a tree-related pest was with the brown tail moth caterpillar. Ghastly, hairy little fellows, I used to see them years ago while I was in junior school, munching through various shrub beds, many of which were Rosaceous, which I obviously didn’t know at the time. We were told by the adults to keep away from them as they would give you a rash. I can remember picking up lackey moth caterpillars, but never brown tails, as I didn’t like the look of them. In…

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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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