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    • Contract: Full Time

      Based: Ely, Cambridgeshire

      Area of Operation: East Anglia

      Salary: NEG (Dependent on experience)



      Haine Tree Services are currently have an opportunity for an experienced arborist to join our busy, growing team.


      Established in 2008, we undertake arboricultural works both in the Commercial and Domestic sector, working for many private individuals as well as Local Authorities and Public Sector clients and continue to grow and expand, achieving Arboricultural Association Approved Contractor status in July 2017.



      Due to continued growth and demand locally we are currently seeking an arborist to join our small and dynamic team working within our busy and vibrant company.

      As an experienced climber you shall be confident and suitably able to lead a squad, and be responsible for day-to-day running of work sites, interfacing with clients in a professional and courteous manner based from our yard near Ely in Cambridgeshire.


      You should have the following qualifications as a minimum:

      NPTC CS30, NPTC CS31, NPTC CS38, NPTC CS39, NPTC CS40, NPTC CS41, EFAW +F (or equivalent)


      Other desirable qualifications include NPTC CS32, NPTC CS35, NPTC Chipper, HGV and professional qualification in Arboriculture, but are not essential.


      You should have a minimum of three years experience working in a similar or equivalent role.


      In exchange for the above, we are able to offer favourable terms of employment on a full time contract.


      Remuneration for this position is negotiable and shall be dependent upon experience.


      For more information regarding this role, and to apply, please write in confidence to info@hainetreeservices.co.uk for the attention of the Commercial Manager including details of experience and current CV.


      Haine Tree Services Ltd are an Equal Opportunities Employer.





      *Please do not reply to this post or send private messages











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    • Does anyone know of any sites that list legitimate tip sites around the uk?
      • 39 replies
    • Ivy is a plant that attracts strong opinions, especially when arborists are asked to consider its impact on trees and their ecology. Andrew Cowan considers some of the common arguments for and against ivy, while also looking at the influence of climate change on the natural balance of arboreal ecosystems.

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    • collection of my vids on youtube.
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    • Arborists get a lot of practice studying the crown, the upper tree. Studying the lower tree is less familiar, but the upper tree cannot stand without the lower tree, so it’s worth the time to inspect it carefully. I was privileged to chair the US subgroup that wrote Part 8 of the ANSI A300 Tree Care Standard, which covers trunk, flare and root inspection. I’d like to describe it to arborists in other countries, in the hope that their standards will someday adopt and perhaps improve upon it. I’ll also refer to the German ZTV standard, which inspired our work on inspection. The first requirement is for arborists to consider the owner’s goals in the light of what tree care can and cannot do, and establish the objective. The ZTV’s objective, “Provide maximum vitality health and safety of trees” is a good start but there may be other objectives to add, such as increasing wildlife habitat and shade. Once the owner and arborist agree, it’s time to write specifications – “a detailed, measurable plan or proposal for meeting the objective.”


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  • Blogs

    1. 'The hidden heath'
      David Humphries, trees management officer Hampstead Heath


      The following article is taken from a series looking at the hidden treasures to be found in London.
      Lonely Planet Magazine
      January 2012
      Words by Matt Bolton
      Main Photo Matt Munro



      David Humphries on Sandy Heath. His latest obsession is studying how fungi and trees cohabit.


      'You don't just stumble across this place,' says David Humphries a man whose excitement at clambering up the nearest trunk puts even the keenest five-year-old to shame. 'It's a place for locals only really. You'll be lucky to see two or three dog walkers a day here, unlike the rest of the park.' Here on Sandy Heath - a serene wooded Glen in the western section - there is a preternatural serenity. It's difficult to believe that this peace can be found just a couple of miles from the frantic tumult of the City, nor in an open space that attracts seven million visitors a year. 'In spring, when it's in full leaf,' says David, 'you can't hear anything except the rustle of leaves.'



      David has worked at the Heath since 1985 first joining as a sixteen year old apprentice. Despite being London bred, he says that he was never a city type, and was always drawn to a more rural lifestyle. The remarkable character of Hampstead Heath has allowed David to fulfil his dream.
      Unlike London's more sedate Royal Parks, the true mark of the wild remains in the Heath. Trees are allowed to grow in crooked angles or to fall to the floor, and dead stumps slowly rot (they are a vital habitat for insects and bats) while leaves are left to pile up and decompose. 'Some other parks are more sanitised, like a Victorian pleasure park, 'says David. 'Every leaf is cleaned away so people don't get their shoes dirty. On the Heath, we're more about leaving nature to its own devise.'




      A short walk from Sandy Heath are the ruins of Pitts garden, which once belonged to the 18th century prime minister, William Pitt the Elder. A red-brick arch is all that remains, incongruous amid the woodland. A huge Beech has sprung up beside it, the roots pushing the wall of the arch over to such a crazy angle that David had to insert a support frame to stop it keeling over- a quick intervention to satisfy both the historians and the naturalists. 



      Across the road is the Hill Garden, perhaps the greatest of all the heaths hidden treasures. The huge stately home had been turned in to luxury flats, but the long serpentine pergola walkway that winds its way above the grounds for a third of a mile is open to the public. It's stone path is lined with pillars that in spring are wound with wisteria and roses.
      'Spring is a time of natural noise. You can actually hear the sap rising,' says David. 'Summer is a time of buzz, the insects and crickets. And the winter is a time of dormancy and silence. That's my favourite time of the year , when the Heath feels at complete peace'


      The viaduct bridge was built in 1845 as part of a failed attempt to turn the Heath into private gardens. 



      Hampstead Heath, NW3



    2. Some thoughts on our green infrastructure and its use as a fuel source.


      The benefits of our urban green spaces are well documented, we know for example that they aid heat amelioration, improve air and water quality and improve urban drainage helping to prevent flooding.  They are also responsible for improving our health and well-being; encouraging people to spend more time outdoors improves physical fitness and studies show beneficial impacts on cognitive function. Trees raise house prices too: estimates vary between 5% and 30% increase in value for houses in leafy areas compared with those where trees are absent.  They also harbour urban wildlife, which again has a positive impact on our wellbeing.


      What we don’t seem to do is consider our urban green space as a sustainable fuel resource. Yet huge quantities of our urban trees are felled every year, with the vast majority of this timber finding its way into the firewood market. So why don’t we notice this denuding of our green spaces? Well, it seems we plant an awful lot too, its hard to find figures but its pretty safe to say that we must be planting trees at pretty high rates too. Garden centres sell huge quantities of trees, shrubs and hedging every year, and these are the potential problem trees of the future, ready and waiting to be recycled as sustainable firewood….. While Mrs MacDonald at no 57 was having her overgrown tree removed Mrs Jones at No.28 has been to the garden centre and bought 3 poplar trees… The public sector plant a lot of trees too, we have planted around 500 amenity trees in parks and on streets in the last year for local authorities, and thats just a drop in the ocean overall. With the benefits of green infrastructure being well recognised planners are keen to ensure that any new projects incorporate an element of green space, and trees are usually involved. Most large infrastructure projects have a significant element of tree planting involved, and in some cases new urban forests are being created. Its easy to see a bright future for our urban green spaces.


      So just how green are our cities? Take a look at satellite imagery of Edinburgh, there’s definitely more green than grey,or if you live in the city just climb one of the city’s many hills, heres a view looking north from Blackford hill:





      Looks pretty green doesn’t it?


      So what about cutting them down and burning them? well clearly it wouldn’t be good if we cut them all down, but if managed sustainably surely our urban forests are a resource not to be overlooked in our push away from fossil fuel energy? Which begs the question; are we managing our urban forests sustainably? I would say that in my experience of Scottish towns and cities that we are. In 15 years of working in arboriculture I have not seen any noticeable change in the numbers of trees or the levels of green space in Central Scotland, The Lothians, The Borders, or any other areas that we cover, also I suspect this trend can be seen across Britain as a whole. Let me know if you think otherwise.  


      So how much biomass fuel are our urban forests producing? And what does that equate to in terms of energy? Well again figures are hard to come by,  TD Tree & land Services have removed around 500 tons of useable biomass from the Edinburgh area over the last 12 months. If we use that as a starting point and  imagine that averaged out each of the 30 or so professional tree surgery companies operating in the Edinburgh area had removed 200 tons of useable biomass then we have 6000 tons in total. If this was broken down into 2000 tons of logs and 4000 tons of chip the monetary value would be around £500,000 once processed, not bad! That would yield around 22.2 Gigawatts of heat energy, which is a lot when you consider that Doc Brown’s DeLorean only needed 1.21GW to send it back to the future…. Actually it would probably only heat the entire city for a couple of weeks but then a couple of weeks is better than nothing an would still be a 4-5% saving on total energy used. If every city did the same then we would have gone a significant distance towards our carbon reduction targets.


      The only question remaining is are we putting all that green energy to use? I’m not sure that we are, while most tree surgeons sell their timber as firewood most wood chip goes to composting, ending up being used as mulch on paths and allotments. In environmental terms this is a waste. It would be good to see more of this being used as a fuel source, it has its problems as such though, it tends to be of differing quality, in terms of size and consistency, as well as moisture content. None of these problems are insurmountable though, chip can either be screened or burned in boilers that can handle the uneven particle size, and chip can also be dried to a moisture content that allows more efficient burning. Until we tackle these problems though we will still end up wasting a large amount of the green energy that our urban forests produce, boiler manufacturers need to come up with boilers that can handle stringy leafy chip  Furthermore if someone built one that used spare heat to dry the chip in its chip store as it made its way through to the burner then they would undoubtedly be a top seller, in most cities tree surgeons will dump chip for free as they are keen to get rid of it, someone with a boiler that was capable of taking fresh chip and drying it before burning would likely have a free source of fuel….


    3. The hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) in Catalonia

      This year we have planted 11 European hornbeams in the streets of Olot, Catalonia.


      planting of hornbeam as street tree in Olot, Catalonia


      After an initially good start, we saw the newly planted trees suffer during the extremely hot and dry summer. The trees showed different signs of stress in midsummer (wilting of leafs and leaf loss), which are of course not uncommon for freshly planted trees.


      leafs are wilting and turning brown in june


      The young trees haven’t had time to develop a proper root system after they have been taken out of the field in the nursery. Which makes it difficult for them to absorb enough water to sustain the leafs in the tree crown.


      primary roots have been cut in nursery to create rootball


      But it was not until we had seen the hornbeam in its natural habitat in Eastern Europe forests before we started to ask ourselves the question:

      Is the hornbeam a suitable tree for the landscape in Catalonia?


      hornbeam in Poland


      In order to answer this question we made a small study of its natural habitat and its preferences and compared this parameters to the situation in Catalonia.


      The hornbeam is native to central, eastern, and southern Europe, including southern England. It can also be found in Western Asia (source Wikipedia).


      map of the distribution in Europe (wikipedia)


      The map shows us that the hornbeam is not native in Spain, although it is in some countries nearby such as France and Italy. However the (small orange triangle)    in Catalonia means that the tree has been introduced and naturalized in this area.

      Natural habit

      The hornbeam prefers growing in a shade place with a moderate soil fertility and also moderate moisture. It likes growing in forests of oak and beech trees and is often found near the borders of the forests. It is also common in wet areas near rivers (source wikepedia, árboles de Europa, Margot y Roland Spohn)

      Most street trees have a lot of sun hours in Catalonia, due to the high sun elevation angle. During summer days there isn’t much shade for normal street trees. The soil fertility strongly varies in the different areas of Catalonia, however the fertility of the soil within a city is normally poor. Not only do the trees in cities have little soil available, but there also hardly isn’t any organic layer in the soil. The moisture level of the soil is low during summer. During hot periods in Catalonia the soil can even completely dry out.


      All together the conditions in Catalonia don’t seem to be favourable for the hornbeam. Some parameters can be improved, such as the soil fertility and the humidity by adding fertilizers or installing a water system. It also possible to plant the hornbeam in the shade of a high building, bridge or other high trees.

      Before planting the hornbeam it is recommendable to improve the soil condition by adding organic material. After the planting it is important to provide enough water until the roots are developed. We are going to continue monitoring the development of the planted Hornbeams in Olot and next year we can hopefully dedicate an new post to them.

      What is your experience with the hornbeam? Please let us know by writing a comment.



      leafs of the hornbeam


      this blog is an adaption from:


    4. Man has always had a direct link to the landscape, though that link, whilst it is always there, may not be in the form that it once was. Keeping with the wood pasture theme, which I am really enjoying learning about through books and journal articles, I thought we’d look at how the manner in which we approach the ecosystem has changed over the centuries (quite briefly). Of course, what is written below doesn’t stop just at wood pasture – it has cross-over to other ecosystems, where the reasons for interaction with the landscape have altered through space and, more pertinently, time.

      Historically, wood pastures were managed for economic purposes. The grazing of animals on grasslands containing trees (and the feeding of the livestock with cuttings from pollarded trees, and a tree’s fruit crop), such as cattle and pigs, was for the direct benefit of communities, who relied upon the produce of the livestock (milk, meat, and so on) in order to make a living, and to generally therefore survive. Of course, the wood pastures needed to be conserved, so that they did not disappear, due to over-grazing. In this sense, they were actively conserved (by replanting dying and dead trees, and limiting grazing intensity), though largely because, without actively conserving them, the livelihood of many tens of thousands of people would be challenged. A by-product of this conservation of wood pastures, for the benefits created from grazing livestock, was that the sites were very rich in biodiversity – birds, fungi, insects, and plants, for example. The complex mosaic of niches within the wood pasture, ranging from open and disturbed soils through to the (perhaps sizeable) groves surrounded by the mantle and fringe vegetation, meant that a large number of organisms could viably frequent the site. However, for all of the biodiversity present as a result of the careful management and conservation of wood pastures throughout history, biodiversity was not the reason for management – until recently.

      The shift, in Europe, probably begun when wood pasture became disliked (for hope of a better word), during the 19th-20th century (varies depending upon the country). Foresters wanted to maximise output from the trees (coppice – sometimes with standards), and farmers wanted to maximise agricultural output. Therefore, the two practices, initially married, were divorced from one another (somtimes farmers were forced to stop grazing their livestock in wood pasture!). Wood pastures were thus either cleared of trees entirely, or alowed to regenerate into forest. With this came a decline in the richness of biodiversity and, eventually, this loss of biodiversity caused a rather evident of panic amongst conservationists. Ironically, therefore, the rationale behind creating and maintaining wood pasture became largely ecologically-driven, in place of economically-driven (though, particularly in Spain and Romania, wood pastures remain, are these are generally economically viable). Regardless of reason however, the status of wood pastures essentially went full-circle.


      A fantastic wood pasture in Estonia. Source: Ideas for Sustainability.

      Of course, this new found love for wood pastures does not necessarily mean that they can ever exist in the manner in which they did before. First and foremost, wood pastures are extensively grazed, and thus, for operations to be self-supporting financially, they must cover large expanses of land (unless the wood pasture is maintained for subsistence purposes, or grants are provided as a means of financial support). As farmers in Europe are generally in ‘the game’ for profit (they must make a living), managing livestock in wood pastures is probably not going to be all too popular, as it’d probably signal a marked drop in profits and / or a marked increase in labour input (at least, initially). Scope does exist to harvest edible mycorrhizal mushrooms from the wood pasture, such as truffles, though this is a specialised pursuit that is far from the current farming status quo of Europe.

      Furthermore, European culture has changed. Gone are the days of communities being self-sufficient, and instead many Europeans now work a job (that they may even hate) and buy their food from the supermarket (or even order it online). Therefore, is there even the desire to re-introduce wood pastures, for anything other than ecological reasons, or to supply the market with a niche animal product (such as Iberian ham from the black Iberian pig, in the holm oak dehesas of Spain). With this change in culture there has also been a change in learning priorities, and unfortunately many today seem to be fixated with knowing pointless facts about sports teams and celebrities. Functional and practical knowledge is largely gone. As a consequence, the management of wood pastures will be left to an expert few, where knowledge has either been gained academically, or via being passed-down through the generations (usually limited to rural areas where grazing still takes place). However, as more people now live in cities than in rural areas, and this trend will likely continue as rural areas are swallowed up by urban sprawl, or people move into cities for economic reasons, this tradition of passing practical knowledge on and keeping up the family tradition of extensive livestock grazing within wood pasture may very well become ever more the stuff of legend.

      black iberian pig dehesa

      The black Iberian pig grazing amongst a landscape of holm oak, in a Spanish dehesa. Source: Andrew Petcher.

      Society is simply in a different place than it once was. For this reason, the conservation of wood pasture is to be far from mainstream. People are certainly aware of nature (of which wood pastures feature), though more and more awareness comes from watching on the television and less from direct experience, and with this comes a discord. There is less emotional and cultural attachment to nature, and as a result, less of an impetus to associate with nature. Why help with the recreation of wood pasture when you can watch about its conservation on television, utter some lamentations, and then switch the channel and soon relegate it to a mere memory? That’s even assuming people watch such programs, in large numbers, in the first place.

      This probably turned out far more dystopian than I ever intended for it to come out as, though hopefully this illustrates how social changes have led to landscape management changes, with specific focus upon wood pastures in Europe. This is obviously applicable to other landscape types as well, of course. The principle generally carries across.

      Source (of inspiration): Hartel, T. & Plieninger, T. (2014) The social and ecological dimensions of wood-pastures. In Hartel, T. & Plieninger, T. (eds.) European wood-pastures in transition: A social-ecological approach. UK: Earthscan.

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