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November 2014

From the CEO

Karen Martin - CEO

It’s so dark: arriving in the dark and going home as night falls. Has it been a glorious autumn? I’m not sure. The weather has been mild, but the leaves in this part of the world had barely changed colour when we were hit by high winds and rainstorms. As the year comes to an end for us here at The Malthouse, it’s that time when we review 2014 and plan for 2015. More training to take into account what you have suggested, using the expertise of Simon Cox who has now been with us 6 months; discounts for training workshops and courses remain a key benefit for our members and we hope to provide an insight into the 2015 programme in our renewal communications. The Approved Contractor Scheme continues to grow at a pace and we look to build upon this in 2015, with an additional focus on growth in the Registered Consultants Scheme – now that all our assessors are trained and in place. We are planning to include electronic publications in our offering and will continue to use marketing wherever possible to support all activities and raise the profile of arboriculture.

I mentioned last month that we would be asking you to participate in a survey in support of the FC on sycamore browning and what you are seeing. Unfortunately we heard no more, but as all our partners know, we are always happy to assist and reach out to you all for information and input to any associated work.

On a final note, many thanks to those of you who attended Conference and responded to the survey. Capturing constructive feedback enables us tailor the Conference to meet needs, and using the feedback from this year we are now working on next … watch this space!

Karen Martin

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Industry Code of Practice for Arboriculture - Tree Work at Height: Available as a draft for public consultation

Have your say!

The Industry Code of Practice (ICoP) for Arboriculture – Tree Work at Height is now open for consultation and we invite you to offer your comments and rating. If you would like to participate, please go to our feedback survey where you will be able to offer comments and ratings on all or part of the document as you wish. The AA is grateful to STIHL and City & Guilds for their sponsorship of this project. The consultation will close 5pm on 21 November 2014.

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Our committees need your support

Committees need your support

Do you want to support the Association in working to achieve its objectives? The AA’s Committees are seeking new full members to complement the existing committee structure. The committees work closely with HQ in delivering key pieces of work such as: improving communications, developing member benefits, developing mobile technology, marketing structure and training programmes. Committees meet 4 times a year. If you think you can spare the time or would like more information, contact HQ on 01242 522152 or email

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TrustMark Survey now online

TrustMark sets up new customer feedback site

Are you a TrustMark-registered Arb Approved Contractor and looking to get instant client feedback for potential customers to see? The standards body has now set up a customer feedback site – and contractors have a right of reply. Stuart Carter of TrustMark says, ‘In the eyes of customers, a business becomes more credible if they can find a great deal of information about it online and read positive reviews of other people who have had a good experience with the company.’

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AA ARB Approved Contractor Scheme

Are you getting your share of business?

Paul Smith, Technical Officer at the AA probably puts in more motorway miles than any other member of staff as he gets around the country running contractor workshops, training and assessments for the ArbAC scheme. One of the first questions Paul is asked when he meets people out and about is how to put a value on joining the Arb AC scheme – so he’s put together some of the key reasons that prospective Arb Approved Contractors should consider. READ MORE in the winter ARB Magazine (out 5 December).

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AA Amenity Conference 2015 at Warwick University

Amenity conference survey results

Over 140 delegates and speakers took the time to offer their views (12% up on 2013) and we received an enormous number of open text commentaries and suggestions – all of which really help to fill in the gaps and generate new ideas for future events.

The profile of attendees has changed this year; nearly 25% of delegates were female – nearly double the number who attended the 2013 conference.

The Royal Holloway certainly proved to be a popular venue with ratings for location and parking up on the previous year although some improvement is needed for catering facilities

Tuesday was rated as the best of the three days and it appears that the three day format remains popular with the majority of delegates. The split sessions that ran this year have not been universally popular and thought will be given to how we optimise the presentation of speakers and content for the next conference.

The overall measure of the conference significantly improved – over 98% of delegates were ‘quite’ or ‘highly’ likely to recommend next year’s conference to a friend or colleague!

READ MORE in the winter ARB Magazine (out 5 December).


Western Branch

The AA brings you the MAGNIFICENT THREE
­– the best in the West

Single Rope Technique workshop
New Equipment Demonstrations - 4 December – Bicton College, Devon
Basic Trees and Inspection course


Barcham Big Barn Conference 2015

Barcham’s HOST Big Barn Conference

Supported by the Arboricultural Association, Barcham Trees, Europe’s largest container tree nursery, has announced details of the Big Barn Conference to be held at its Ely, Cambridgeshire, headquarters on Wednesday 17 June 2015.

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Sir Sydney Chapman 1934-2014

Sir Sydney Chapman 1935–2014

Sir Sydney Chapman sadly passed away on 9 October. Whilst MP for Birmingham Handsworth, he was the primary parliamentary agitator for a proper response to the loss of elms through Dutch elm disease. His efforts were recognised by the launch of National Tree Planting Year, which urged everyone to ‘Plant A Tree In ’73’. Its success led directly to the launch of The Tree Council in 1974. Following the loss of his seat in the general election of that year, Sir Sydney became the Director of the first (and second) National Tree Week.

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TrustMark Marketing Videos

Marketing assistance from TrustMark

TrustMark has produced a series of short marketing videos encouraging homeowners to use reputable TrustMark-registered tradesman to tackle jobs in the home and garden. The videos also start a process to promote better communications between customers and tradespeople so that any potential problems and misunderstandings are resolved faster. These three videos are available at VIMEO >>

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Open Source Canopy Cover Audit

The London Tree Officers Association (LTOA), with the support of the Greater London Authority, has devised a straightforward means of estimating tree canopy cover in London boroughs. The tool is called OSCCA, which stands for Open Source Canopy Cover Audit.

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Horse chestnut bleeding canker

Horse chestnut bleeding canker

A new Research Note presenting the latest research findings on horse chestnut bleeding canker by Forest Research scientists has been published by the Forestry Commission.
Download the Report >>

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The new ArbSafe website launches

Arbtalk launches Arbsafe

A new initiative for the tree care industry is enabling companies and individuals to securely manage their business assets online and to publicise thefts in an attempt to make it harder for criminals to pass on stolen goods. Heralded as the tree care industry’s first asset management and stolen equipment register, Arbsafe – sponsored by STIHL – has already seen more than 250 individuals register over 480 items in the two weeks since its launch.

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RFS launches new forestry qualifications

The Royal Forestry Society (RFS) has launched two new qualifications – the ABC Awards Level 2 Forestry and Level 3 Silviculture – which can be taken as standalone qualifications.

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International Student Exchange Award: apply by 30 November!

The Institute of Chartered Foresters has announced that an international student exchange award, offered in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Forestry and the Duchy of Cornwall, is open for applications. The Prince of Wales Forest Leadership Award will recognise outstanding students in the UK and Canada, and encourage their personal and professional development through employment experiences. Closing date for applications is 30 November 2014.

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Sir Harry Studholme and Dr David Humphreys

Key figures to receive ICF Honorary Fellowships

The Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) has awarded Honorary Fellow titles to two leading figures in the forestry industry. Sir Harry Studholme, Chair of Forestry Commission GB, and Dr David Humphreys, Reader in Environmental Policy at the Open University, are to receive the prestigious ICF accolade.

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Spectacular autumn

Experts predict spectacular autumn

Impressive displays of vibrant autumn hues are expected this year if weather conditions remain consistent over the coming weeks, according to Forestry Commission England. The warm temperatures, lots of sunshine and spells of rain experienced during the summer, twinned with recent dry, warm early-autumn days and cooler nights is a promising recipe for a spectacular show of seasonal colour in England’s woods and forests.

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The Gruffalo's Child

Join The Gruffalo’s Child on her forest adventure

From 3 October 2014 until February 2015, self-led Gruffalo’s Child activity trails will be located in 24 Forestry Commission forests across England, continuing the nationwide celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the book’s publication.

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Trees in Hard Landscapes: A Guide for Delivery

Trees in Hard Landscapes: A Guide for Delivery Launched

The Trees and Design Action Group has published Trees in Hard Landscapes: A Guide for Delivery. It explores the practical challenges and solutions for integrating trees in 21st century streets, civic spaces and surface car parks, detailing the process, design and technical options.

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Novel garlic treatment for tree diseases

JCA Limited has tested and developed a new product which, when introduced into a tree using various injection methods, provides a breakthrough in the fight against many tree and shrub diseases, including horse chestnut bleeding canker, sudden oak death, acute oak decline and ash dieback. The product is manufactured from garlic (Allium sativum) which is grown under European GAP (Good Agricultural Practice) conditions. The company has tested the solution on over 400 trees over the last 4 years and the results have been very encouraging against four major tree diseases in the field and very successful against a further six in the FERA laboratory in York.

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New arboretum tree trail

New arboretum tree trail opens at Alice Holt Forest




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