January 22, 2018

The Ancient Tree Column – Birnam Oak & Sycamore

Birnam

This month, the Ancient Tree Forum introduces us to the Birnam Oak and Sycamore Perthshire in Scotland calls itself ‘Big Tree Country’ and one of the highlights of the Ancient Tree Forum’s 2014 summer event in the county was a trip to these two enormous trees that grow near the banks of the River Tay on the outskirts of Birnam village. Birnam Wood was made famous by Shakespeare in Macbeth, set in the 11th centur y. While it’s unlikely that the Birnam Oak (middle and below right) was around that oak’s exact age is not known but as its gir th is around seven metres, it’s likely to be…

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Apprenticeships, in association with Green-tech – Lewis Evans

Lewis Evans

Each month Pro Arb’s apprenticeship feature showcases a young person making their way in the industry. This month we talk to Lewis Evans, a 20-year-old trainee arborist with Beechwood Trees and Landscapes Ltd What is your full name, age and job title? I’m Lewis Evans, aged 20, and I am a trainee arborist at Beechwood Trees and Landscapes Ltd. What is your role within your company? Groundsman and trainee arborist roles, including rigging, dragging brash, plus tree climbing, pruning works and tree felling. Why have you chosen arboriculture as your profession? I have always been keen to work outdoors and enjoy working within a team. It’s great having a job that changes from day to…

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An interview with Peter Wharton, Wharton Arboriculture

Peter Wharton

Joe Wilkinson catches up with Peter Wharton, an Institute of Chartered Foresters registered consultant, at his new offices in Alcester. Peter talks about his views on the industry, the perception of consultants and where arboriculture is headed So Peter, how long has Wharton Arboriculture been in existence? We have been a limited company since 2008. To begin with it was just me and my wife, with a number of sub consultants. In 2014 we employed our first consultant, Sebastian Onslow, as a part-time student and he was promoted to arboricultural consultant in April. What’s your history in the industry? Like a lot of people I started by mistake. I couldn’t get…

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Using mechanical advantage… to our advantage – David Vickers

Vickers

In the second part of his series on using mechanical advantage, Dave Vickers discusses how to build upon a Portawrap lowering system to more safely dismantle a tree There is some mystique surrounding setting up and using ropes and pulleys to create mechanical advantage. Last month we saw that using a moving pulley provides additional ‘assistance’ when pulling loads. This month, we’ll be building on this to present a real world tree dismantling scenario. There are times when we want to lift the section being cut; this can be safer as the lifting action can be achieved from the ground, allowing the climber to complete the cuts then move away from the cut section. The issue…

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Massaria related branch breakage on London Plane – Bartlett Tree Experts

Bartlett

Dr Glynn Percival and Jon Banks of Bartlett Trees describe the symptoms of Massaria disease in London Plane Massaria disease of plane (Splanchnonema platani; syn. Massaria platani) is a fungal disease capable of killing the bark and cambium on the branches of London Plane, Platanus x hispanica, resulting in branch drop. The pathogen has been present in the UK for some time, with the disease recorded at Kew in 2003, Jersey in 2008 and Darlington in 2009, but until recently had not caused any major problems in the UK. Symptoms have mostly been observed across London and in some parts of Oxford in mature trees of at least 40 years old. At a recent London Tree Officers meeting it…

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Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? – Rick Milsom

Rick Milsom

With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, Rick Milsom discusses how we can mitigate their effects on the trees in our charge I am more familiar with Shakespeare fishing tackle than Shakespeare the playwright and poet, but I am aware of one of his sonnets, which is what I recently discovered they are called. In Sonnet 18 Shakespeare says, ‘Rough winds do rock the darling buds of May.’ Spot on there William, or near enough, as these rough winds at the beginning of May did a bit more than rock a few buds this year. They blew a few trees down and a few branches off ! It may be fair to say that…

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Where focus goes… energy flows – Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke’s regular sales lessons – this month from the Sahara I’m no petrol head, not an engine kind of a guy at all, but I do love adventure. I spent the other week powering my way up and over the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and riding off -road in the Sahara desert on a monster BMW GS1200 motorbike. A new experience for me. Breathtaking scenery, eye opening cultural experience – what a trip. And on reflection, some very important business lessons too. The night before we got going we had a briefi ng from our guide. A highly skilled and experienced rider, Patrick had completed the iconic Paris Dakar rally on a number of occasions. He…

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Who is right? – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell discusses the difficulties of keeping all parties happy while taking into account the necessary health and safety and regulatory considerations There is a dilemma that will be faced almost every day by every professional in arboriculture, be they contractor, technician or consultant. And that is – who is right?  A contractor delivering a tree service contract, maybe for a local authority or other client of similar covenant, may arrive at the work site and totally disagree with what he has been asked to do under the specification proposed by the client for a particular consumer or customer. Back in the day I remember being told by certain clients that we must not engage with…

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Pests & Diseases: Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner – Bartlett Tree Experts

Horse Chestnut

Dr Glynn Percival and Emma Schaffert of Bartlett Tree Experts give a rundown on HCLM and how to manage it Since its introduction to Britain in the 1600s, the common white flowering horse chestnut tree (Aesculus hippocastanum) has become one of the commonest ornamental trees in towns, cities, parks and woodlands. Over the past decade this species has been attacked by the leaf mining insect Cameraria ohridella. The horse chestnut leaf miner is a moth about 5mm long first seen in the UK in Wimbledon in 2002. Since then it has spread at a rate of 40 to 60km per year. It is the larvae that are most problematic for the horse chestnut foliage, however….

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The trees they are a changin’- Rick Milsom

Rick Milsom

As an arboricultural officer for Southend-on-Sea, Rick Milsom gets to see changing tastes in trees and shrubs first hand At the time of writing it looks like spring has sprung down in Essex. The sun is out, the magnolias are blooming and the Prunus cerasifera and its cultivars ‘Pissardii’ and ‘Nigra’ are almost done flowering. I must admit I am not a great lover of these purple leaved cultivars. It can be a bit of a problem replacing one tree in a line of these, as whatever you plant looks a bit odd unless it’s another of the same. Many other Prunus now take over flowering and I for one welcome their flowers in the spring. I still…

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