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APRIL 2014

From the CEO

Karen Martin - CEO

Last month I had the privilege of attending the Don Wells memorial tree planting – and a privilege it was to meet some of those instrumental in creating the Arb Association. Henry Girling and Derek Honor addressed those present and shared with us some of the history from those times 50 years ago. For all those present, many now retired, the passion for trees and what we as an Association can and have done is as strong today as it was then. This week the Tom Hall legacy of books was finally catalogued; we will be putting out a communication in the near future as to what we have in that library and how members can access the books.

Looking forward, I listened with much interest to several presentations at the Trees, People and the Built Environment II conference. The strength of research now being carried out in support of trees in urban landscapes and their value is growing on an international level daily, and the term ‘biophilic city’ will soon, I am sure, become part of our everyday language. May I leave you with a question? Have you had your daily portion of nature?

Karen Martin

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Laura Joule

New Admin Assistant joins AA team

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Laura Joule as Administration Assistant on a six-month contract. Laura has a BSc (Hons) in Conservation and Countryside Management and a strong administrative background. She is looking to learn more about arboriculture, having attained the Arboriculture Theory Level 2 qualification at Bicton College in 2009. Laura joined the AA on 7 April 2014.

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AA Technical Officer: a slight change of plan

Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, David Shephard is no longer able to take up the new full-time post of Technical Officer with the AA, as previously announced. David had been due to start on 31 March. We wish David all the best and meanwhile we will be announcing our new Technical Officer appointment shortly, with the successful candidate to start work in May.

The Arboricultural Association's 50th Anniversary Logo


Wakehurst Seed Bank

On 18 March Jago Keen and Andy Poynter went to Wakehurst Place to join the UK National Tree Seed Project and at the same time to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the AA.

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RHS Wisley: AA Tree Planting Ceremony

RHS Wisley: press day

The AA held a formal press day at RHS Wisley, where we planted field maple in the Jubilee Arboretum to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Association. We were joined by the arboricultural team at RHS Wisley who also prepared the planting area. Guests included Matthew Appleby, NHS Trust director, members of the Association and the general public.

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Members’ memories of the past 50 years

As part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations, it is important that we also reflect on how far the Association has come and how it has represented members and the industry. We will be compiling a timeline of significant events and a celebratory 50th anniversary book, and we want members to be part of this. Please share your thoughts, memories and any photographs either via post to AA HQ or to ChairMedia@trees.org.uk

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Winter Storm Damage Survey Results 2014

Results winter storm damage: AA member survey

Over 340 members answered the call to complete a survey on the 2013/14 winter storms. The aim of the survey was to build a picture from an arborist’s point of view and to pick up on specific issues around rogue traders and call-out rates.

A report will shortly be put on the AA website and in the ARB Magazine (out 25 May), but here are a couple of tasters:

  • Over 60% of respondents felt the storm damage was the worst for over a decade.
  • AA Approved Contractors received more call-outs than non-approved operators.
  • There are significant concerns about the way the public perceives the dangers of trees during severe weather episodes.

The survey also included a competition – both for the first completed survey out of the hat and a cash prize for the best photograph of the storms damage. We received over 70 photos here at The Malthouse and once we have sifted through them all we will announce the winner in the summer issue of the ARB Magazine.

The winner of the first survey out of the hat was picked by Laura Joule (the Association’s new admin assistant) on her first day in the office… and £100 goes to Nick Baxter, tree surgeon from Shaftesbury in Dorset – well done Nick!

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AA Gains TrustMark approval

AA gains TrustMark approval

Paul Smith has been working with TrustMark for the last six months to progress the Association’s approval under the scheme – and he’s made it! As Technical Officer and manager of the Association’s Approved Contractor Scheme, Paul is delighted: ‘This is a very exciting development for the Association which couldn’t have come at a better time as our approval coincides with Trustmark’s re-launch.’

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AA chairman speaks at Russian conference

AA chair speaks at Russian conference

Supported by the Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology for the Voronezh region and organised by the Guild of Professionals in Landscape Industry (GPLI), an international conference called Green Cities: Black Earth was held in Voronezh, Russia. AA Chair Jago Keen was invited by the President of GPLI, Karina Lazareva, to address the conference, along with Professor Marek Sewniak of the European Arboricultural Council.

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ARB Show the countdown begins

ARB Show: the countdown begins

Make a date in your diary – the 2014 ARB Show will be returning to the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 June – the Met Office have assured us the weather is going to be hot and sunny! The 2014 show, sponsored by STIHL, will build on the great success of last year’s event, which pulled in over 2,100 visitors. We’ll see you there!

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The 3ATC Climbing Competition

Summer offers something all tree climbers

The Arb Association Arborist Tree Challenge (3ATC) season starts with two College Climbing Competitions (CCC). These are team (students only) events: the Southern CCC will take place at Bentley Wildfowl Trust, Kent, on 7 May (sponsored by www.steinworldwide.com), followed by the Northern CCC (sponsored by www.gustharts.com) at Kirklees College, Northumberland, on 21 May. Both events offer great prizes for the winning teams and their supporting college. The UK OPEN event (sponsored by www.arbjobs.com) will be held at the 2014 ARB Show in Cirencester on 6 and 7 June. Entries are welcome from Novice, Expert and Premier climbers. If you have any questions about the events please email 3atc@trees.org.uk or see our website www.3atc.com for further information and online advance booking.


Claus Mattheck Seminar

Scottish Branch

Claus Mattheck Seminar

23 May 2014, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh

A review of Professor Dr Claus Mattheck’s most recent update to his visual tree assessment methodology. As ever with Claus Mattheck, it will be a day where may questions will posed and new ideas put in front of attendees.

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Ancient Trees Forum Highland Gathering

Scottish Branch

Ancient Tree Forum at Highland Gathering

Parkland and Pinewoods of Tayside and the Cairngorm on 12–13 June 2014

The objective of this event is to bring together anyone with an interest in increasing knowledge about Scottish tree conservation issues to enable the Ancient Tree Forum to further its charitable aims towards conserving our ancient trees and the species that depend on them.


Chalara guide

Symbiosis Consulting in association with the AA presents

Claus Mattheck Seminar, 20 and 21 May

Professor Dr Claus Mattheck comes to The Field Centre, Hatfield Business Park on 20 May and Holywell Park Conference Centre, Loughborough University on 21 May. A review of Mattheck’s most recent update to his visual tree assessment methodology. As ever with Claus Mattheck, it will be a day where many questions will be posed and new ideas put in front of attendees.

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Chalara guide

Chalara guide released in Kent

Britain’s trees are under unprecedented threat from new pests and diseases, including Chalara dieback of ash. Mike Sankus, AA trustee and Chair of the Association’s South East Branch, has worked closely with partners in the Forestry Commission, Kent Downs AONB and Kent County Council to produce a guide which offers practical advice for local councils, highway authorities, private tree and woodland owners, and contractors in Kent, to help slow the spread, minimise impacts on biodiversity, protect economic return from timber production, safeguard the public, and comply with legislation. Particular thanks go to Jonathan Harding from the Forestry Commission and Dan Docker, a tree officer in Kent, who drafted the document with Mike Sankus.

You can help by being aware of Chalara symptoms and reporting them for investigation using the Tree Alert app or online form at www.forestry.gov.uk/treealert

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Trees and air pollution

Trees are woven into our urban and rural fabric, and in highly populated areas precious space is given over to their retention. Trees provide so many benefits to our way of life, from urban temperature regulation and noise reduction through to carbon storage and, in an increasingly polluted world, air purification. So how do trees affect air quality, and should the scientific community be bringing more pressure to bear on landowners and legislators to recognise the role that trees have to play in helping to manage and cleanse our day-to-day living environment?

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More trees needed for health in London

There was a net increase of just under 9,000 street trees planted by London boroughs over the three-year period 2010/11–2012/13. During this time 30,680 street trees were planted, and 21,705 felled. The data, obtained through a Freedom of Information Request sent by London Assembly Member Jenny Jones, revealed that several boroughs (Barnet, Bromley, Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Lewisham, Southwark and Sutton) removed more street trees than they planted, with Kingston recording the worst net loss. Bexley, Havering and Wandsworth were virtually unchanged. Ms Jones said, ‘At a time we should be preserving and building up our street tree stocks to help cool and combat the health impacts of heatwaves, a number of boroughs are going backwards, chopping down more street trees than they are planting.’

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Government website

Government asks businesses to comment on regulators’ appeals process

The government has invited businesses to help shape plans for potential legislation to make regulators’ appeals and complaints processes more responsive to their needs. The government proposes to appoint Small Business Appeals champions to work within each non-economic regulator (of which Forestry Commission is one), scrutinise their appeals and complaints processes, and make public recommendations for their improvement. The closing date for the consultation is 22 April.

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Natural England standing advice

New standing advice from Natural England on ancient woodland and veteran trees

National Ancient Woodland and Veteran Tree Standing Advice covering England was issued by Natural England and the Forestry Commission in March (replacing the previous version issued by Natural England for the south-east of England).

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New research projects announced

Seven new research projects have received a share of £7m to help address threats to UK forests, woods and trees. The multi-disciplinary Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Initiative (THAPBI) will generate knowledge to tackle pests and diseases and to support the future health of the UK’s woodlands, commercial forests and urban trees. The societal benefits of the UK’s trees are estimated at around £1.8 billion per year.

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Lantra study

Lantra analyses the land-based industry sector

At the House of Lords on 3 April 2014 Lantra announced that its study has found the sector to be larger than official figures suggest. Lantra calculates that there are 35% more businesses employing 89% more people than official figures say and that 95% of those businesses are micro, with fewer than 10 staff. Trees and timber, which includes arboriculture, ranks fifth in the land-based sector with 3,280 businesses employing 99,100 people.

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Ride for Research, 1st April 2014, Birmingham

Ride for Research 2014 in Birmingham

Taking in the sights of south Birmingham on 1 April, the latest Ride for Research – following a route organised by Peter Wharton, Vice-Chair of the AA – passed through a number of large urban parks and along canal towpaths, and included tree plantings at Woodgate Primary School and Allens Croft Primary. As ever, the stars of the ride were the schoolchildren who greeted all the riders with huge cheers.

First-time rider Ben Southall sums up his experience. Inspirational! It was my first time on the Ride for Research: like many things, it is something I’ve admired as a bystander and said, ‘That looks fun’ but never quite got my name down for it. Well this time I did!

I coaxed Jim, one of our climbers, to join me on the ride and we didn’t know what to expect. We’ve seen pictures of Lycra and thought it was going to be Tour de Trees with tree planting in skin-tight shorts…

Read more news from the ride by Jonathan Mills in the summer ARB Magazine (out 25 May).

The schoolchildren of Woodgate Primary School help plant a tree
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TPBE II conference April 2014

TPBE II: focus on urban trees’ role in moderating climatic effects

The Trees, People and the Built Environment II conference took place on 2–3 April at the University of Birmingham, attended by nearly 350 delegates. Major themes to emerge from the event included the economic and social benefits of urban trees, the innate connection of human beings with nature (biophilia) and the need for better collaboration between natural and built environment specialists for the benefit of urban environments. The opening session also featured a short video from HRH The Prince of Wales, which offered his support for the conference and promoted better collaboration between natural and built environment professionals.

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UK’s first biophilic city announced

Birmingham is the first UK biophilic city. The Biophilic Cities Network was launched in October 2013, in recognition of the need for people to access and respond to nature as part of their daily lives. It currently consists of 11 pioneer cities, all at various stages of the transformative journey from 19th- or 20th-century cities to new global 21st-century cities, measuring their future success on their local and global imprint, on ecosystems and well-being.

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Urban Tree Diversity, 16-18 June 2014, Alnarp, Sweden

Conference on Urban Tree Diversity

16–18 June, Alnarp, Sweden

Urban tree diversity in all its aspects, from selection and establishment to biocultural diversity, is the theme of an international conference to be held in Alnarp, Sweden, on 16–18 June. This research conference, hosted at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and organised by some of the leading international organisations within arboriculture and urban forestry (including ISA and IUFRO’s urban forestry group), will discuss various aspects of urban tree diversity. Register now at www.urbantreediversity.com.

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Urban forestry and related topics: conferences and seminars 2014

TDAG (the Trees and Design Action Group) has liaised with UK, European and other partners to produce a useful calendar for 2014 of urban forestry conferences and other conferences and seminars relevant to urban trees.

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Planning Practice Guidance

TPOs and planning update

The government has launched its new Planning Practice Guidance. This includes the new guidance replacing Tree Preservation Orders: A Guide to the Law and Good Practice (the Blue Book). This resource is now only available online at planningguidance.planningportal.gov.uk, not in hard copy. Launching the web-based resource, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said, ‘For the first time, planning practice guidance is now available entirely online in a usable and accessible way. Important information for any user of the planning system previously only published in separate documents can now be found quickly and simply.’

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Rethinking Cities website

Rethinking Cities: ‘Tree or False?’

This nationwide initiative is looking for volunteer recorders to collect observations of woodland trees and flowering plants during successive springs. These records will shed light on the seasonal timing of UK woodlands, and how changes in climate could affect them.



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