December 12, 2018

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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The Ancient Tree Column – Birnam Oak & Sycamore


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


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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