November 19, 2017

An interview with Andy Toms & Darren Kilby, Gristwood & Toms Ltd

Toms

Andy Toms and Darren Kilby of Gristwood and Toms, the UK’s largest arb company, told Pro Arb about the growth, structure, procedures and future of the company What are your roles in the company? Andy Toms: I’m the managing director and my responsibility is ensuring we win enough work to keep everybody going and employing staff who are capable of helping me build the best arboricultural company in the country. Darren Kilby: I’m the head of sales and marketing, which is a relatively new role for the company. I manage all the bids and tenders and make sure the company has opportunities in the pipeline. The other side of the role…

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Valuation of amenity trees – Jon Heuch

Jon Heuch

In the second of a two-part series, arboricultural consultant Jon Heuch considers the past and the future of the monetary valuation of trees In 2015 house prices and land values are ten times what they were in 1980, far outstripping the retail price index. So by 2006, the estimates produced by the Helliwell system appeared to be increasingly small and irrelevant. This led to new considerations of how best to estimate the value of amenity trees. Chris Neilan and others developed Capital Asset Value for Amenity Trees (CAVAT); others looked to the USA to see what the Council for Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA) and i-Tree had on offer. This divergence of opinion has led to a confusing situation…

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Client ready product – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Impressing clients is about how you present yourself and your work, explain. Jonathan Hazell. Here he outlines the steps you need to take to be client ready In the February issue of Pro Arb I wrote about the three key steps to successful project management: define, design, deliver. Another of my mantras is also a three-word phrase – client ready product. This summarises a broad concept and is not restricted to a package of information to be transferred in return for a payment of some sort. So how does it apply in the real world? 1)For service delivery teams it’s about: ● Being fully compliant with all the applicable environmental, health and safety, planning and…

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Using mechanical advantage… to our advantage – David Vickers

Vickers

“Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth.” Dave Vickers of Drivelink Training explains how Archimedes’ boast is relevant to arborists Using ropes and pulleys is common in the arboriculture and forestry industry, whether for rigging, vehicle debogging or assisting with a fell. There appears to be some mystique about using ropes and pulleys to create mechanical advantage and during rigging refresher courses I often find that people hadn’t realised they could set-up a system that would allow them to lift branches despite using a portawrap/flying capstan device; or that they could use a similar set-up when felling to gain greater control over the tree being felled. In this short…

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Valuation of amenity trees – Jon Heuch

Jon Heuch

In the first of a two part series, arboricultural consultant Jon Heuch considers the past and the future of the monetary valuation of trees Until around 2006 if a UK based arborist had been asked to provide a monetary valuation of a tree there would have been only one approach, based on what is known as the Helliwell System. Adopted by the Tree Council and Arboricultural Association it has been modified and tweaked on a number of occasions but still retains the same methodological framework proposed in 1967. However by 2006 things had changed. Professionals who had used the Helliwell System had expressed concerns with both the theoretical structure of the system and its practical outcomes. While acknowledging that placing…

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Tree planting and street trees – Rick Milsom

Rick Milsom

As an arboricultural officer for Southend-on-Sea, Rick Milsom is perfectly placed to cast light on the work of tree officers working for local authorities As part of routine street tree management, some trees inevitably require removal at some stage for whatever reason and it is usually desirable to replace them. We have various species of tree which have been historically harshly pruned and that are now somewhat problematic to manage. The worst of these are silver maples (Acer saccharinum). They produce profuse basal and epicormic growth and decay rather rapidly at these old ‘topping’ points, with Polyporus sqaumosus being an often seen coloniser. As we know, the best treatment for a topped street tree is getting rid of it. Obviously…

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Listen up – it’s story time! – Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke

Steve Clarke on converting prospects into customers through stories they can relate to There is nothing more natural than listening to or delivering a compelling story. A story that is intriguing and one that creates excitement, particularly one that stirs up the emotions. Why is that important to you? The vast majority of buying decisions are driven by emotion. That’s certainly true in landscape design and build, whether you’re involved in the delivery of products or services. From a very early age most of us have been exposed to stories by our parents, grandparents, teachers, etc. We’d sit on the edge of our seats hanging on every word. As adults, when we talk to friends and family…

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The arb industry’s code of practice – Jonathan Hazell

Jonathan Hazell

Not a law enforcement app, but a vital source of safety information for arborists. Jonathan Hazell outlines why you must read ICoP: Tree Work At Height In February the Industry Code of Practice for Arboriculture: Tree Work at Height (ICoP) was published by the Arboricultural Association with the assistance of the HSE and sponsorship and support from City and Guilds NPTC and Stihl, for which I for one am extremely grateful. The foreword, written by the HSE states: We commend the document to all arboricultural businesses as a source of information that will help managers and arborists to plan their work and operate safely. So that’s an obvious steer – follow this guidance. Early in the…

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R2: Competence Matters

R2

R2 is an online tool allowing you to demonstrate competence to potential customers in terms of skills, knowledge and experience Tree care businesses and arboricultural operatives are being encouraged to demonstrate competence through skills and experience, not merely through a fist full of tickets. This is thanks to a new online skills register for the industry. There has been a tendency in recent years for those starting their careers in the arboricultural industry to become focused on collecting various certificates rather than the development of true competence. There has been no means of differentiating between those who have just completed their training, and those who have spent several years building up critical experience in this field. It has long been…

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