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Karen Martin, Chief Executive of the Arboricultural Association

Message from CEO Karen Martin

May I say hello and thank you to those of you I have met or who have written to welcome me to the Association. The opportunity to take up the role of CEO is exciting and not without challenge and I am really looking forward to working with the team to support the membership and take the AA forward. I believe that with a background in the private, educational and public sector I can offer a broad perspective and commercial dimension to the existing team and the operation of the Association. I very much look forward to working with you, our members, and the wider arboricultural community; if you wish to contact me you can do so via Head Office or direct to my email: karen@trees.org.uk. Read more from Karen on page 5 of the new ARB Magazine.

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Renewal reminder 2013

AA membership renewal

It’s that time of year again when AA members receive their membership renewal letter. Please look out for this arriving on your mat/in your in-tray and be sure to quickly fill in the relevant sections and return. There has never been a more important time to be in touch with your industry and all the activities and benefits that AA membership brings. The AA is your organisation so make the most of it! We are busy representing you, supporting and informing you, improving standards at all levels of arboricultural practice and offering great value to accessing workshops, seminars and events. Make sure you renew your membership to maintain your position at the forefront of your profession!

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The Forestry Commission's QR code

Latest news on ash dieback

The Forestry Commission has developed a mobile website with a dedicated QR code (shown opposite) for Chalara ash dieback. The site has a wealth of information and photos, and includes details of how to report sightings, biosecurity measures and a video on how to spot the symptoms. READ MORE >>

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Arb Association working with government on ash dieback

by Jon Heuch

The Association has been involved with the developments surrounding the discovery of ash dieback (Chalara fraxinea) in woodlands in East Anglia and Kent. Since our participation at the ‘ash summit’ in London on 7 November, the dialogue and meetings on tree diseases have been pretty much non-stop. Significant press interest died away quite quickly but scientific, technical and practical aspects of the disease and what might be done to reduce its impact have been under the spotlight. An Ash Action Plan will guide authorities as to what actions need to be taken in the coming months. The Association has been particularly involved in advising Defra on the workings of arborists, especially with regard to how leaves are chipped and transported. The Association is also formulating input into the wider review of plant health indicated by the Secretary of State at the ash summit. READ MORE >>

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The ARB Magazine - Winter 2012

Winter 2012 ARB Magazine

The winter edition of the AA’s ARB Magazine has just arrived on your doorstep and is packed full of news, science and opinion from within the industry, including the impact of ash dieback on nursery stock, tree defence systems, pest and disease updates, as well as full reviews of Branch activities and committees.

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Professional skills framework

The plans for creating a Register of Tree Work Operatives (R2) took a big step forward on 21 November with the first meeting of the newly appointed steering group. The group, made up of pan-industry representative organisations, contractors and agencies, reviewed the work carried out to date and examined the options for the host software, which has been developed by Lantra. READ MORE >>

Anyone for PORT?

PORT (Professional Online Response Team) is a new AA team of four who will produce responses to current issues (that may include web-links to other sites) for members and for the public. They will provide interpreted information to arboricultural professionals at all levels and to the public. The information will be presented on the AA’s social media sites and on the main website as appropriate. READ MORE on Facebook >> or alternatively READ MORE on Twitter >>

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Cover of the new Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant Application pack

The updated Registered Consultant scheme

The AA Registered Consultant scheme has been operative for 30 years, and is the pinnacle of excellence in arboricultural consulting.

In order that the scheme remains current it has undergone a major overhaul to produce the best version yet. In addition to revised prerequisites, the scheme seeks a broad cross-section of reports and measures them against clearly identifiable competencies and criteria. That process is now conducted by a panel of assessors under the moderation of a newly appointed Lead Assessor, Peter Annett. READ MORE >>


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Defra Phytophthora Programme invites views

A review is under way of the five-year Defra Phytophthora Programme for England and Wales, which is tackling Phytophthora ramorum and P. kernoviae in particular. Stakeholder views are invited via an on-line survey being conducted by the Food & Environment Research Agency (Fera), which needs to be completed by 31 December 2012. For full information about the review and to access the survey, follow the “Technical review of the Phytophthora programme” link under “Latest” at the Forestry Commission website. READ MORE >>

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The National Tree Week

National Tree Week

National Tree Week ran from 24 November to 2 December and is now in its 38th year. Given the recent impact that a variety of pests and diseases have had on our tree population, National Tree Week is ever more important as a catalyst to getting new trees in the ground. The event was launched nearly four decades ago following Dutch elm disease outbreaks, and following recent events it’s even more important than usual to get involved this year. It’s a great way to do something positive which benefits your local treescape and involves the local community. READ MORE >>

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Cover of the new Arboricultural Association Registered Consultant Application pack

Technical review of planning appeal procedures – consultation

Whilst this consultation paper does not mention tree preservation orders (TPOs), further changes to the TPO system may be proposed to bring them in line with the over-arching planning system. It obviously applies to planning appeals where trees are an issue to be determined. This is only a 6-week consultation exercise and the closing date is 13 December. READ MORE >>

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Review of planning practice guidance

Lord Taylor has been charged to review planning practice guidance and feedback in time for the Autumn Statement on 5 December. The announcement can be found by clicking here to view the website and there is a link to the terms of reference. This is not a consultation but is more an attempt to identify what guidance is currently provided from the centre on planning matters and to explore what can be cancelled now, what needs to be kept, what needs to be kept pending review/ revision, and what new guidance is needed or provided by the relevant sectors and their professional bodies. The Department for Communities and Local Government has advised that the Blue Book is included in this review. READ MORE >>

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Example of Massaria - cross section

Sacs in the City

Getting to grips with Massaria in the square mile

by Jago Keen

Urban and rural alike, our trees face a gamut of novel pests and diseases, often with anthropogenic progression. Fear of losing our native ash has made government sit up and take notice of what we, the people, love dearly but often take for granted. It is not just our native trees that are in peril but also exotics such as the urbanophilic London plane; Massaria, a sac-forming ascomycete decay fungi, is in the City and requires the government’s attention if we are to retain these iconic trees. READ MORE >>


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The Cornwall Branch helping plant trees during National Tree Week

Rain doesn’t stop play!

Cornwall Branch (CAA), in association with Richard Argall, Truro Tree Warden, and Karen Utting, Headteacher, held a community tree planting day at Treyew Primary School in Truro during National Tree Week.

The idea was to create a wooded area to provide habitat which will shelter the sports field and also to plant some feature trees to improve the site, stimulate and engage the children, and provide a living teaching resource for the school. Heavy rain didn’t dampen spirits and the event was well attended by representatives from the school, the Truro in Bloom Group and the CAA. By the end of the day there were over 90 new trees in the ground, each with a rabbit spiral and a healthy dollop of mulch to suppress the weeds and discourage mowers.

The event could not have happened without the support of Bud Collins of Bud’s Tree Care and Nigel Mitchell of Cormac Solutions, both of whom provided the mulch. The trees were donated by Western Power Distribution and are a good mix of limes, hornbeam and birch, amongst others. Cornwall AA donated a feature tree, a Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Acalycina’, which was planted outside the school’s main entrance. We hope this will be the start of a programme of such events run by the Cornwall Branch of the AA.