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From the CEO

It’s Autumn and already storms have hit the UK and trees have been damaged although perhaps the forecast as to last month’s gale force winds were a little exaggerated. Taking the government’s advice I went to bed that night with a radio and a torch and woke to sunshine and a light breeze. The West Midlands had been bypassed. But that was not the case elsewhere and the phones buzzed as members of the public called to seek advice as to their nearest Tree Surgeon; advice many sought on the web site visiting the Approved Contractors Directory. We know this because we track the web site traffic and the page “hits”. Between January and September the ArbAC Directory received a total of 27,690 pageviews. So when you hear HQ talk about Google Analytics this is what we are talking about – traffic to the web.

Those same winds provided a welcome push as I borrowed a bike and joined a group of intrepid cyclists for the Ride for Research. As per usual Russell organised a brilliant day’s ride from Kew to Big Ben and back, along the river Thames, the 23 miles turning into 29! Attending the tree plantings at the two primary schools was really touching. The children were very young, aged between 4 and 7, and yet their appreciation of the environment and the value of trees was remarkable and demonstrated the shift in understanding which has taken place over the last generation. Our stated aim “to promote the sustainable management of trees in places where people live work and play for the benefit of society”, really held true and for me came to life that day.

Last month I wanted an air spade, this month I want a bike!

Karen Martin

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Laurence Vine-Chatterton
appointed Treasurer

Laurence Vine-Chatterton has been appointed to the Arboricultural Association’s board of trustees. Laurence, as both treasurer and trustee, will bring financial acumen, strategic and governance skills to complement and strengthen the board’s capabilities. AA CEO Karen Martin said,
“Laurence brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the trustee board at a very important time in the Association’s development. His commercial experience, advice and counsel will no doubt prove invaluable as we strive to extend and improve the benefits that we offer to our members. I am sure I echo the management team’s view in both welcoming Laurence to the board of trustees and looking forward to working with him in the future.”

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ICOP development formally approved

After much planning, preparation and discussion, the AA is now in a position to start work on the planned Industry Code of Practice (ICOP) for Tree Work at Height. We have received formal confirmation from City & Guilds NPTC and STIHL that they are willing to support this initiative – with sponsorship funding to cover the extensive development work required. We are really pleased to have received this support, which comes from two quite distinct quarters of the sector – but clearly the ICOP is a central piece of essential reference information that will prove to be valuable right across the sector. READ MORE in the winter ARB Magazine, out 6 December.

City & Guilds NPTC Logo  

City & Guilds NPTC, well known for its wide range of qualifications and certification provision for the arboricultural industry, and

STIHL Logo  

STIHL, whose provision of tools and equipment is ubiquitous throughout the industry.

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New faces on Media & Comms Committee

The Arboricultural Association’s Media & Communications Committee has new people steering it. Nick Beardmore has been elected as chair, taking over from Peter Wharton who has chaired the committee for two years. Nick is supported by Alistair Durkin who has taken up the position of vice-chair. The committee is continuing with some new and interesting projects, and under the new leadership is certain to achieve all of its objectives.

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A typical Facebook update – correct use of ladders for arborists!!

Social media updates

Join the Arboricultural Association’s social media platforms and access a wide range of material, from relevant and very informative articles through to very obscure ideas about safe working practices and trees works – this recent picture reached over 17,000 people, getting 188 likes and 75 comments. (Only a couple of minor issues to be resolved prior to the company’s ArbAC assessment!) We now have 1510 followers on Facebook and Twitter – and Facebook has increased by 245 in just over a week. In addition Twitter feeds and LinkedIn forums have been created, allowing groups of people to share information seamlessly and enabling the Arboricultural Association to be the ‘voice of arboriculture’.

Join us on Facebook


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Subscribe to our YouTube channel


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A Guide to Qualifications and Careers in Arboriculture

Revised guide to qualifications and careers in arb leaflet NOW AVAILABLE

The AA has produced a revised version of the leaflet ’A Guide to Qualifications and Careers in Arboriculture‘, which is available as a hard copy from AA HQ. There is no charge for individual copies; multiple copies will be sold at cost to cover printing, postage and packing. A PDF copy is available to download here:

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Ride for Reasearch 2013

London Ride for Research …
to infinity and beyond!

Sharon Hosegood

And so it was, writes Sharon Hosegood, that on a day of sunshine and showers, 22 intrepid cyclists from across the country embarked on Fund4Trees’ second 2013 Ride for Research, heading along the Thames Path from Kew Gardens to Westminster and back, a total of 29 miles in all. Along the route two schools were visited and some of the pupils were treated to a tree planting and arboriculture lesson. St Paul’s Primary was the first. Russell Ball led the pupils out to the spot where a sweet gum tree was to be planted and gave a short lesson to the throng of fascinated faces – the arbs of the future perhaps? Russell asked the question, “Children, how many trees do you think there are in London?’ To which the reply came “100? No, ten hundred. No, 500?’ Then one voice ventured the best answer to be heard all day: INFINITY!!!!
READ MORE >> on the website and in the winter ARB Magazine, out 6 December.

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TKen Martin

Scottish Branch

Ken Martin Memorial Award Nomination deadline looms

The AA Scottish Branch is calling for all nominations for the 2013 Ken Martin Memorial Award to be entered before 1 December 2013. The Scottish Branch inaugurated this award in 1998 to celebrate Ken’s life and commemorate his contribution to Scottish arboriculture. Nominees must be shown to have contributed significantly to arboricultural practice and/or research over a number of years OR have made a single outstanding impact in either or both of these activities.


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Ride for Reasearch 2013

Urban tree diversity, photo Cecil Konijnendijk

We need tree diversity!

Professor Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences & University of Copenhagen

At the Arboricultural Association’s conference in Exeter there was a lot of doom and gloom in the air. Had we ever seen this many challenges posed to maintaining healthy and functional urban and rural tree populations, we wondered? One pest or disease after the other strikes across the globe and wipes out part of the urban forest.

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The ObservaTREE pilot project website page


The AA, along with The Tree Council, has been invited by the ObservaTREE team to explore the options of collaborative working on a new early-warning tree health system. The team thinks the Association has an important role to play in ObservaTREE. AA Chair Jago Keen said, “I cannot think of any reason why we wouldn’t want to have such a system, so we will monitor the progress and help where we can.’ READ MORE in the winter ARB Magazine, out 6 December and at www.forestry.gov.uk/fr/observatree


Click here to download the PDF

Restrictions on movement of plane, sweet chestnut and pine

The government has introduced new restrictions concerning plane, sweet chestnut and pine as part of its measures to help protect the UK’s plant health status. Since 11 November, the new measures introduced through the Plant Health (England) (Amendment) (No.3) Order 2013 mean that movements of plants and trees of plane (excluding seeds) and sweet chestnut (including seed for planting, but not nuts for consumption) into and within England, and from England to other EU member states, need to be accompanied by officially approved documentation confirming that they have been grown in a place of production in a country in which Ceratocystis platani or Cryphonectria parasitica, as appropriate, is known not to occur or an area designated by plant health authorities as free of the relevant disease.

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The Woodland Trust website page

Woodland Trust:
ash dieback one year on

Last year ash dieback reached our shores and as part of the Woodland Trust’s response the charity created a 3-point plan to tackle the growing threats to our trees from pests and disease.

In just one year, ash dieback has now been recorded in over 600 locations across the country. With over 120 million ash trees in woods and forests across the UK and another 12 million gracing our cherished hedgerows, tackling pests and diseases that threaten our woodland is our number one priority.

One year on, here’s what WT is doing:

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The Fraxback website

Webcast – Living with ash dieback in continental Europe

29 November at The Linnean Society, London

The event itself is now fully booked, but if you would like to follow the meeting online, the organisers are planning to webcast it on the FRAXBACK website:

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Visit the EFUF website

European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF)

Crossing Boundaries Urban Forests–Green Cities 1st call

3–7 June 2014, Lausanne, Switzerland www.efuf2014.org

The European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) provides a meeting place for practitioners, scientists and educators involved with the planning and management of urban forests and urban green infrastructure. The forum is associated with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) – Urban Forestry Research Group. It was founded in 1998 and has met yearly ever since. The event is an important gathering of national and international expertise and provides an opportunity for practitioners, researchers and policy makers to share experience and good practice. It also plays an important role in trans-national net-working, generating research ideas, developing funding consortiums and providing for the professional development of both practitioners and those working in the research community.

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The Fraxback website

Health and safety statistics 2012/13

The latest statistics on work-related health, safety and enforcement in Great Britain 2012/13 include the following key annual figures:

  • 148 workers killed at work – data over the past five years indicate a levelling off in the previous downward trend.
  • 78,222 injuries to employees were reported under RIDDOR – due to changes in legal reporting requirements it is not possible to compare directly with previous years although statistical modelling suggests the downward trend is continuing.

Click to download the 2012/13 statistics

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Visit the BBC website

BBC features trees and air pollution experiment

A recent episode of Trust Me, I’m a Doctor on BBC2 showed an experiment to test the capacity of trees in towns to cut air pollution and improve human health, using a row of 24 silver birch. The results are worth looking at!

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Assessment says rich urban biodiversity is possible and can improve sustainable development

Montreal/New York – Preservation of larger outlying green areas, green corridors that connect larger green patches, green roofs and ‘brownfields’, or land previously used for industrial purposes or certain commercial uses, can also be used as carbon sinks rather than emission sources.

Increasing urbanisation over the next decades presents not only unprecedented challenges for humanity, but also opportunities to curb climate change, reduce water scarcity and improve food security, according to the world’s first global assessment on the relationship between urbanisation and biodiversity loss, released today in New York.

The assessment, entitled Cities and Biodiversity Outlook (CBO), argues that cities should facilitate for a rich biodiversity and take stewardship of crucial ecosystem services rather than being sources of large ecological footprints.

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James Farquhar, Confor’s National Manager for Scotland

James Farquhar, Confor’s National Manager for Scotland

Confor welcomes P. ramorum support

Confor has welcomed the announcement by the Forestry Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, of additional support in the form of a replanting supplement of up to £1,000 per hectare for larch sites which have had to, or will, be felled following Phytophthora ramorum infection.

Immediately the extent of the spread of infections in south-west Scotland became clear this spring, Confor asked Scottish government for increased funds to be made available to encourage private sector woodland owners to replant any larch sites, rather than doing nothing following felling, which could lead to widespread deforestation, and a significant loss of future roundwood supplies.

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Big Tree Country iCONic Project

Conifer crisis?
What crisis?

Big Tree Country Annual Lecture

Gleneagles Hotel, Monday 25 November, 7pm

Conifers – the world’s oldest and largest organisms – are showing worrying signs of decline according to The Red List of Threatened Species. Martin Gardner OBE has worked with the International Conifer Conservation Programme since 1991 and has visited over 30 countries to study and collect research material from threatened conifers. He is involved in ex situ conifer conservation, including Perthshire Big Tree Country iCONic Project.

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Call for abstracts

Arboriculture Australia Conference 2014

Arboriculture Australia Ltd’s annual conference caters for three industry streams:

  1. Urban Forestry – Any subject related to trees within our built environment. For example, topics can include human health and well-being, design, biology, physiology, soils, ecology, technology, energy benefits, pollution, hydrology, preservation, development, planning etc.
  2. Utility Arborists – Any subject related to trees within utility easements or rightaways above and below ground.
  3. Practical Arboriculture – Any subject related to tree surgery techniques, practices and equipment.

If you would like to submit an abstract for consideration by the Conference Programming Committee for 2014,

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University of Birmingham

Major £15 million gift to the University of Birmingham enables creation of Forest Research Institute

A new Institute for Forest Research will be established by the University of Birmingham to study the impact of climate and environmental change on woodlands, and the resilience of trees to pests and diseases, thanks to a transformational gift of £15 million.

The gift of £15 million, which has been donated by former academic and alumnus, Professor Jo Bradwell and his wife Barbara, is one of the largest gifts to a UK university, and will enable the University of Birmingham to establish a unique, world leading centre and to be bold and ambitious in its research intentions to understand how forests react to the combined threats of climate change and invasive pests and diseases…



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