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TRAQ to replace QTRA


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I'm not entirely sure of the reasons Kevin, but Mark Chester has done the TRAQ training and thought it was very good.


Adam - TRAQ is a system developed by the ISA in America, which uses a risk matrix of descriptive words rather than numbers.


There was quite a long and detailed debate about it (started by one of the QTRA trainers ;-)) on here a while ago...I'll see if I can find a link.

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Cheers for the reply Paul. That thread was heavy going when it was active, I don't know if I dare open the link right now! Am I right in thinking TRAQ was/is used at Kew, and seen as reasonable in the case of the recent death there? Or am I getting confused?

In any case I can't make experts question time, however, I'd be open to having TRAQ rather than QTRA as a competency. I don't know the ins and outs of either but QTRA seems overly precise for something as subjective as tree hazard perception, not to mention pricey with license fees on going. As an aside I did look into going on a QTRA course but decided against it; most people I spoke to who'd done the training said it was a great learning experience, but only one out of many said they use it for tree safety surveys and would renew their license for it; which somewhat deterred me. On the other hand TRAQ seems (from an outsiders perspective) more user friendly, and it comes with a '5yr license' following successful completion of the course and assessment, which is nice...

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That's got to be a backward step. Much as I disagreed with the QTRA trainer's presentation of his critique of TRAQ, I certainly agreed with the overall conclusion - it's dangerously imprecise.


Kew used (possibly still uses) the original Matheny & Clark system, a number-based additive system that was the progenitor of QTRA.


It's probably a matter of semantics, but the word 'subjective' seems to be shifting from its true meaning, which is the opposite of 'objective'. Commonly now it is becoming synonymous with 'imprecise'. Tree hazard evaluation should be objective, even if it is impossible to achieve precision due to hidden aspects. It shuld leave no room for what the surveyor thinks a word means. As such TRAQ seems t me a masterpiece of imprecision and subjectivity.


Co-incidentally, I have the details for signing up to CAS on the desk this week, after a bit of dithering I am thinking of going ahead with it. Somehting lke this would certainly cause me to re-consider. I wouldn't want my professional competence to be pre-judged by potential clients by my being hitched to TRAQ through CAS.


Just a preliminary view for now, I'll look into it a bit more first.

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Thanks for your input guys - all very valuable.


Jules - just to reassure you, becoming a CAS member in no way hitches you to TRAQ. TRAQ will be just one of the competency areas amongst the others so you can of course decline to have it and use it and stick with whatever survey method you like.


I am a CAS member but don't have the QTRA or TRAQ badge!


I agree with your assessment of the long-winded thread too - it did (in the end) appear to expose some quite serious flaws in the way that the matrix is used.


Can you make it to Experts Question Time III on June 11th? It would be good to meet you!

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I see that the 11th June session is north of Preston, a definite bonus. I'll see if I can double it up with a visit to family in Lancaster. And I need to get over my anti-American bias and loathing of the term 'Arborist', and join the CAS.


I don't know if I mentioned it here on Artalk before, but I had plans to research and publish a paper on risk perception and comparisons of qualitative and quantitative methods. Then I ended up surveying in Wales all winter, the commuting (time) nearly finished me off and I put it the adminintensive proposal on hold. I'd be happy to revive it if someone wants to pitch in. I am partly put off by the prevalent (but tankfully not unanimous) attitude that doing tree risk asssessment better and more easily than it already is doesn't matter. Co-write credit of course if it gets to the Journal (which it should), always nice to get research peer reviewed and published. QTRA or TRAQ devotees need not apply...

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I see that the 11th June session is north of Preston, a definite bonus. I'll see if I can double it up with a visit to family in Lancaster. And I need to get over my anti-American bias and loathing of the term 'Arborist', and join the CAS.



It would be nice if you were attending, as it's something I'm planning to go to myself. Good to put a face to the name.

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