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MARCH 2014

From the CEO

Karen Martin - CEO

It’s spring – well, nearly. March 19th/20th, the equinox, is the astronomical first day of spring, whilst the ecological definition of spring relates to biological indicators: the blossoming of a range of plant species, and the activities of animals, or the special smell of soil that has reached the temperature for microflora to flourish. We are nearly there. I drove in yesterday and caught my first sight of lambs, finally out in the fields after weeks of rain, daffodils along the lanes and hedgerows just coming into leaf. At last: sunshine and clear skies, and for those of you who have spent weeks struggling with the elements, no doubt dry weather is a welcome relief.

The photographs you have sent in response to our survey about the recent storms bring to life the scale of what arborists have been dealing with across the UK, in town and country and in maintaining the utility networks. As I write we are capturing the survey results to share with you and the press, to raise the profile of our work and the value of what we do. If you have not responded, please do. The more you share with us the better able we are to represent arboriculture and to share information from across the country with you.


Karen Martin

The Arboricultural Association's 50th Anniversary Logo


Don Wells

Don Wells tree planting

On Friday 7 March we celebrated the life of Don Wells, a founder of the Arboricultural Association, with the planting of a Lucombe oak at the Guy Chester Centre in London, a place close to Don’s heart. The tree was planted and presentations made by Derek Honour and Henry Girling, the perfect way to begin the Association’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Thank you to Robin and Jenny Byles of Custom Cutters for preparing the planting location and to Dulford Nurseries for supplying the tree.

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Kew's Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place, West Sussex. Image courtesy of ©Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Wakehurst Seed Bank

On 18 March there will be a tree planting at Wakehurst Place to celebrate the AA’s 50th anniversary and to promote the UK National Tree Seed Project. With all the current pests and diseases attacking the UK’s native trees, Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst Place is tackling the threat by establishing the UK National Tree Seed Project as the country’s first national collection of tree seeds.

The AA attended a UK National Tree Seed Project partners’ meeting in February to talk about the project’s need for tree-climbing seed collectors. Once venues have been identified, aerial seed-collecting events will be planned with the assistance of AA Branches and members. Read more about the UK National Tree Seed Project

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RHS Wisley. Image courtesy ©Royal Horticultural Association

RHS Wisley - press day

We would like to invite members and the public to our press day at RHS Wisley on 25 March where we will be planting a field maple in the Jubilee Arboretum to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the AA. The event will start at 10.30am and there will be a short programme of presentations on the history of the Association, the results of a survey of members’ experience of the recent severe weather and advice on the use of Approved Contractors. We would be delighted if you can join us for this planting celebration. Light refreshments and drinks will be provided in the Tower Room – which provides extensive views across Wisley.

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Anniversary year grants

Anniversary year research and educational grants

Reminder to all that to support the anniversary year, the Arboricultural Association is pleased to be able to offer a number of grants to support small research or educational projects. Applications are invited for funding from £500 up to £1,000 for projects based within the UK. The grants will be awarded at the discretion of the Arboricultural Association to support activities considered appropriate; applications associated with promoting arboriculture to the public would be particularly welcome. The deadline is the end of this month and applications should be made in writing and addressed to the Education and Training Committee at HQ, or via email admin@trees.org.uk. Further information can be found in the ARB Magazine.

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Members’ memories of the past 50 years

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations it is important that we 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 also 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 or by emailing chairmedia@trees.org.uk

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BS 8545 Road Show

The AA Spring Road Show:
BS 8545 Young Trees:
From Nursery to Independence in the Landscape

The publication of BS 8545 Young trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape is imminent. The document has been four years in preparation and offers a completely new perspective on the process of successfully taking young trees from the nursery to independent features in the landscape. The road show seminars explain the thinking behind the document, focus on the contents and offer further explanations where necessary.

The series will be delivered by Keith Sacre, chairman of the drafting panel, Jeremy Barrell and Peter Thurman. This is a great opportunity to question, clarify and discuss the whole project with the people involved in the drafting process over the last four years.

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FREE Legal Advice

New member benefit!

FREE legal advice on employment law issues

We are pleased to announce a new addition to the benefits offered to members of the Association. Following the recent membership survey it was apparent that you wanted legal advice on employment law and to that end we have secured free-of-charge initial general advice for members from Taylor Rose LLP.

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The NEW Fellow Membership Application Form

New Fellow application form

We are pleased to announce the launch our new Fellow application form. Both the form and the criteria have now been updated to make the process not only easier to navigate but more relevant and accessible. If you have been considering upgrading for a while, take a look at our new form and see if you could become a Fellow of the Arboricultural Association. With this in mind, we would request that any Fellow applications that are currently being compiled using the previous forms be submitted for consideration by 31 March 2014. Please note that after this date we will only accept applications submitted using the new application form.

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The Winter 2014 Storm Damage Survey

WINTER STORM DAMAGE – AA Member Survey – win £100!

Thanks to everyone who has already completed the survey – we’ve already had hundreds of responses, so don’t miss out on your chance of a prize!

£100 first name out of the hat.
£100 for best photo of tree damage and tree work.

Please spare just a few minutes of your time to complete a short online survey of your experience of the recent storm damage. The results will be used at a number of events and with the press in the coming months, and will help raise the profile of the great work that members have done to deal with the impact of this winter’s storms.

Hurry as the final deadline for submissions is 18 March 2014. All you have to do is go to www.trees.org.uk/Winter-Storm-Damage-Survey-2014 or email your photographs to marketing@trees.org.uk.

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AA Conference 2014: Call for Papers

Call for papers now closed - Arboricultural Association Conference

We have received a fantastic range of potential papers for this year’s conference and the Steering Committee are now finalising the programme. The theme for the Arboricultural Association’s 2014 Amenity Conference is ‘Applied Arboriculture: Healthy Trees, Healthy People’ and it will be held on 14–17 September at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Egham, Surrey. The conference picks up on a topic which is gaining increasing traction within the profession and with the general public: trees make places better for people. It’s a viewpoint that we can all broadly recognise, but can the argument be supported through research, what further work needs to be undertaken and how should practical solutions, schemes and recommendations be implemented? Trees exist in a social, physical and natural context that has to be balanced within a wide range of environments – and they have a particularly critical role within urban infrastructures where they provide aesthetic, social, economic and commercial value.

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The ARB Show 2014

ARB Show 6–7 June 2014

Make a date in your diary – the 2014 ARB Show will be returning to the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester again this year but is going to run a week earlier 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 again by STIHL, will build on the great success of last year”s show which pulled in over 2,100 visitors – We’ll see you there!

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3ATC Tree Climbing Competition

The summer ahead offers something for all who enjoy tree climbing

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.

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ARB Magazine, spring 2014

Simon Holmes MSc. MICFor. M Arbor A.,
Chartered Arboriculturist

The byline for the article on page 29 of the latest ARB Magazine (issue 164, spring 2014) should have identified Simon Holmes as Chartered Arboriculturist with Tree Surveys and Urban Tree Experts. Tree Surveys is an arboricultural practice offering cost-effective solutions to tree problems in central and southern England. The practice has extensive experience of working on a wide range of tree issues from decay and dysfunction, development and planning, to subsidence and litigation, spanning the last 25 years. Simon is also Chair of the Arboricultural Association’s Professional Committee and an AA Trustee. While Land Based Training continues to offer training and assessment services to the sector, Simon has been involved in developing his consultancy business for the last 14 years. We apologise for the error and thank Simon for his continued commitment to and work on behalf of the AA.


Ancient Trees Forum Highland Gathering

Scottish Branch

Ancient Tree Forum 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.

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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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An indroduction to pruning apple trees for fruit

South East Branch

An introduction to pruning apple trees for fruit – HURRY only 1 ticket left!

15 March 2014, Brogdale, Kent

After an initial visit to the National Apple Collection, delegates will review the various pruning cuts and other techniques available to anyone seeking to prune apple trees, including remedial and restoration pruning. After lunch there will be a pruning demonstration, followed by supervised pruning practice and, if time allows, a look at different tree forms at Brogdale. Delegates will meet at the FAST offices, at the rear (east) of the Brogdale buildings as approached from the car park.

Times: Registration is at 09:45 with a prompt start at 10:00. Lunch will be at 12:15 and the day will close at 16:00.


Cross-industry call for flood experts

A cross-industry open letter to the government, published in the Telegraph, urges ministers to call in the flood experts. It was compiled on behalf of a number of professional bodies from around the UK. The Arboricultural Association is a signatory to this letter, believing that the arboricultural industry offers invaluable expertise in helping prevent some of the flooding we have seen in recent times.

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BS 8545 Young Trees discount available

Discount on NEW standard extended to all members

BS8545 Young Trees: from nursery to independence in the landscape

The offer to BS 8545 Road Show attendees of a 25% discount on the printed standard is being extended to all members. Just go to shop.bsigroup.com/bs8545trade to order your copy. Who may benefit from purchasing the standard? Anyone involved in the specification, planning, commissioning, managing and planting of new/replacement trees in the urban or peri-urban landscape, including maintenance and after care management and practice.

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TPO planning update

The government launched the new Planning Practice Guidance on Thursday 6 March: click for the Ministerial Statement. 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.

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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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Ride for Research 2014, 1 April 2014

Ride for Research 2014 in Birmingham, 1 April – to coincide with Trees, People and the Built Environment II conference

Register to enjoy a day out with like-minded professionals on a leisurely ride around south Birmingham and some plant trees! Register online. The start time will be 8.30–9.00am and the ride will finish at 2.30pm. Please pass this message on to your colleagues as well. The route starts at Birmingham University student union/Winterbourne Botanical Gardens and heads past the hospital before turning south, then back into the city via Bourneville, Edgbaston Cricket Ground and back to the university. We will be planting trees at three schools along the way. Follow the link and you can overlay the route on aerial photographs.

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Trees, People and the Built Environment II Conference booking now open

Trees, People and the Built Environment II, 2–3 April

Conference to focus on role of urban trees in moderating climatic effects

The role of urban trees in moderating climatic effects will come under the spotlight in the forthcoming Trees, People and the Built Environment II (TPBE II) conference, 2–3 April, University of Birmingham. Internationally recognised experts will deliver the latest evidence on the benefits of urban trees and greenspace in our towns and cities. These benefits include reducing climate effects such as surface overheating, flooding and transmission of airborne pollutants.

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Matilda van den Bosch and Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch

Urban trees for human health

Barcham Trees, Ely, 19 March

Barcham Trees presents a seminar with Matilda van den Bosch and Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch on the benefits of urban trees for human health.

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

International conference on urban tree diversity

16–18 June 2014, 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, 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.

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Energy and the environment

Free seminar on 17 March 2014

This is a free event open to all Chartered Environmentalists, their professional colleagues and Energy Institute members interested in applying for CEnv or Chartered status, through the Energy Institute.

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Sir Harry Studholme

Sir Harry Studholme appointed Chair of FC

Her Majesty the Queen, acting on the advice of Ministers, has appointed Sir Harry Studholme as Chair of the Board of Forestry Commissioners. He will serve a term of three years. Sir Harry, who has been a non-executive Forestry Commissioner since 2007, Interim Chair from January 2013 to January 2014 and a woodland owner for more than 20 years, said, ‘It is a great honour to be appointed Chair of the Forestry Commission.’

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Professor Nicola Spence

New Chief Plant Health Officer announced

Environment Minister Lord de Mauley has announced that Professor Nicola Spence will be taking on the important role of Chief Plant Health Officer from the start of April. Lord de Mauley said: “Professor Spence will be advising Ministers, industry and others about the risks posed by plant pests and diseases and ensuring that measures are in place to manage those risks and minimise their impact. I am very pleased to welcome her to the team and look forward to working with her.”

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Claus Mattheck Seminar

Symbiosis Consulting in association with the AA presents

Claus Mattheck Seminar

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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The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 in force on 1 April

The High Hedges (Scotland) Act 2013 will come into force on 1 April 2014. The legislation tackles problems caused by hedges which grow over 2 metres tall, blocking out light, and will give home owners and occupiers a right to apply to a local authority for a high hedge notice. It also empowers local authorities to enforce decisions made in relation to high hedges in their local area. See the Act here, and recent statutory guidance on the Act for local authorities here. The Scottish government’s press release is available here.

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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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Flying the flag for England’s woodlands

Twenty award-winning woodlands across the country and six schools have picked up the challenge to prove they are the very best in England – and owners of new woodlands across the country are being urged to enter a free Woodlands for Climate Change award.

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Track a Tree website

Track a Tree

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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