December 12, 2018

Massaria related branch breakage on London Plane – Bartlett Tree Experts


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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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….

Read More

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…

Read More

How to get more pulling power


In part two in this series, Dave Vickers of Drivelink Training explains how moving pulleys can be used to create mechanical advantage and increase your pulling power Using ropes and pulleys is a fairly common occurrence in the arboriculture and forestry industry, whether for rigging situations, vehicle debogging or assisting with a fell. Despite this, there appears to be some mystique regarding setting up and using ropes and pulleys to create mechanical advantage and last month we saw that a fixed pulley only provides a means of pulling a load ergonomically, rather than providing additional ‘assistance’. If we are to create mechanical advantage, we must have a moving pulley. The simplest example is where we double up…

Read More

Apprenticeships, in association with Green-tech – Ringrose Tree Services


Pro Arb is keen to highlight the great youngsters that are currently plying their trade in our industry. This month, we speak to three apprentice arborists at AA approved Ringrose Tree Services in Oxfordshire Why have you chosen arboriculture as a career? Jamie Chaundy: I’ve always been keen on a physical job, working indoors never interested me. Working in arboriculture also has many different challenges on a daily basis, so I don’t get bored! Mitchell Good: I was born into it and I really enjoy it! Lewis Gardiner: I like working outside. It’s hard work but it’s enjoyable – I feel a great deal of job satisfaction at the end of…

Read More

The Ancient Tree Column – Major Oak

Major Oak

Each month we feature an ancient British tree.  This month the Ancient Tree Forum introduces us to the Major Oak Perhaps the most famous tree in the UK, the Major Oak has inspired countless tales and probably an even greater number of children to dress up as Robin Hood. The tree is one of around 1,000 ancient oaks found in Nottinghamshire County Council’s Sherwood Forest Country Park near the village of Edwinstowe. The pedunculate oak is estimated to be anything between 800 and 1,00 0 years old and has a trunk circumference of 10 metres. The tree’s most famous association is with Robin Hood. Folklore suggests his band of merr…

Read More

Focus On Chainsaws


Dave Murison says when it comes to chainsaws, the leading manufacturers are the ones to turn to. Here he picks his all-time favourites Saw subject When buying a chainsaw there are so many manufacturers to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. There are a number of factors to consider including usage, build quality and budget, the last of which is a priority for many people nowadays. The beauty of shopping online is that it gives you the chance to compare prices and opinions before you buy. A few of the big names you will come across are Husqvarna, Stihl, Echo and McCulloch. Some tools offer high power but don’t give you the confidence…

Read More