After many years I think I might have found it, and it comes in the form of Woolpower, merino wool clothing manufactured in the north of Sweden.
Naturally you’d expect the Swedes to know a thing or 2 about dressing warm so it shouldn’t be any surprise that their range of clothing does exactly what its supposed to. But is it worth the price tag?
What price do you put on comfort?
Woolpower certainly isn’t the cheapest clothing on the market by a long shot, in fact as far as working clothes go its probably right at the top end of the market before you venture into designer labels. I have paid varying amounts for winter clothing over the years and have tried many different base layers from well known brands such as Helly Hanson, Under Armour, and Musto, to more generic brands. Its fair to say that most will do the job well enough, with perhaps just a few extra layers needed here and there as a top up. Having said that, there are many that will just make you sweat more with their poor wicking ability, and we all know what that means when it comes to break time on a cold day. Sometimes you can get lucky with cheaper brands, but in my experience you usually get what you pay for, certainly when jumping up to the next tier in the pricing bracket.
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The effect of these crimes can be massively damaging, particularly for smaller outfits. Not only does the victim suffer the loss of their tools, but more often than not there is significant damage done to their properties in the process. The issue is only compounded by the fact that many yards are in rural areas where police response times are likely to be far longer than elsewhere, if indeed there is a response at all.
One Cheshire based tree care company recently had their Timberwolf wood chipper stolen along with many of their tools. Fortunately for the business owner, they had invested in a sure-track wood chipper tracker, which, with its 91% recovery rate within 9 hours, proved to be a hugely worthwhile investment.
The unit was put into alarm mode within a couple hours of going missing, and the sure-track team knew they had to act fast, dispatching one of their experience finders immediately to a location near Bolton. Using RF scanning equipment, they bag a thorough investigation of the area and picked up the signal from the stolen wood chipper within a matter of minutes. The police were called and promptly arrived to assist with a successful recovery.
Not only did Sure-Track recover the chipper, but also the majority of the tools were also found in the same location, leaving one very happy customer.
If you are a tree surgeon or run a forestry business then you are right to be concerned about machinery theft. We believe the tracker solution we offer right here at Arbtalk is one of the best on the market, and as has already been proved, works! Check out the sure-track wireless theft recovery tracker for more information.
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Please keep any responses sensible and constructive, use the other thread for any banter / moaning.
This is being read by the HSE so if we want to persuade them that we are a serious professional bunch whose concerns ought to be heard then we need to behave accordingly.
For staff of the AA or HSE I have tried to summarise a lot in one paragraph, if I have got anything factually wrong please post corrections.
So to very roughly summarise how we got to this point: the EU passed a directive in 2004 which the U.K. adopted into our own HSE law, this stated ‘roughly’ that for rope access 2 attachments to separate anchors were required. At this point our industry through the AA and possibly others pushed back against this citing many of the issues that have been raised on the other thread. This push back was successful since at that time almost all tree work was being carried out using DDRT (doubled rope techniques) Helpfully DDRT is classified as work positioning by the HSE and not as rope access, ( basically if the rope is static and the climber moves up and down the rope it’s rope access and if the rope moves with the climber it’s work positioning, don’t ask why!) So we all carried on as normal using work positioning techniques, usually tying in twice when we were cutting and once the rest of the time. More recently however SRT has been adopted in tree work, this shares much more with rope access and is classified as such by the HSE (fixed rope remember). So at this point it became increasingly hard for the AA to argue that tree work was a special case since the techniques used appeared identical to the rope access industry which had been happily using 2 lines for a long time.
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Can this article be translated into a couple of sentences for simple folk rather than pages of script which left me no clearer on what / when a change might be imposed?
Is it saying that HSE require climbing arbs to use 2 separate ropes rather than the 2 ends of the same rope (for those that still dwell in the 19th century?)
If so, when is this likely to be implemented? Are we non-compliant now? Is the training non-compliant?
I have to admit, after reading it, I wasn't really any clearer on whether a change is imminent now, in the near future or maybe not at all.
Love & peace,
Confused of Cornwall..
Arboricultural Association - Background to the HSE decision on two rope working
WWW.TREES.ORG.UK A range of tree related help and advice for members of the public as well as tree surgeons.
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Tighter restrictions on oak tree imports to come into force.
Strengthened measures on the import of most species of oak into England are to be introduced to protect native trees from the threat of the tree disease Oak Processionary Moth (OPM).
The bolstered measures will only permit imports of certain oak trees, including:-
· Those from OPM free countries.
· Those from designated pest free areas including Protected Zones (PZ) - an area of the European Union declared free of OPM.
· Those that have been grown under complete physical protection for their lifetime.
This Statutory Instrument (SI) – which is due to be introduced in Parliament shortly– builds on measures introduced in August 2018 and applies to all oak trees, except cork oak, over a certain size.
The restrictions will cover both imports from overseas and the movement of trees from areas of the country where OPM is already present – in London and surrounding counties.
At the Barcham Trees nursery in Cambridgeshire, UK, we have been enforcing a strict Biosecurity Policy for a number of years.
Our trees are supplied free of OPM. Visit www.barchampro.co.uk
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The need for a sawmill directory was originally discussed right here on the Arbtalk forum. We have embraced the idea and developed a fully functioning directory of sawmills covering the UK and Ireland. We hope to make it easier than ever for customers to find a sawmill business, either static or mobile, to mill their timber into a useable product.
Ideal for chainsaw mills
Do you have a chainsaw mill and want to find more work? Perhaps you are struggling to get ahead of your more established competitors on google?
Sawmillers listings help you target customers with specific needs, such as a chainsaw mill needed for milling timber in an enclosed garden.
So why not take advantage of this special offer and list your business now. Simply click on the add listing button at https://sawmillers.co.uk
See some of our existing sawmill business listings
Sign up now at SAWMILLERS
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Alvecote Wood is an ancient woodland voted the Best Managed Small Woodland in England by the RFS a few years ago. It was also the first licensee under the new Grown in Britain scheme promoting sustainable forestry in the UK with a supply chain linked to it. There is more information on the Alvecote Wood website and Facebook page:
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From a collection of environmental photos I caught this morning from the Guardian.........
Ants harvesting fungi
Latest news, comment and reviews from the Guardian | guardian.co.uk
lets see the relationships you've seen
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Difficulties exist due to the subterranean nature of this important part of the tree, concealing it from view. The Ancient Tree Forum and the Woodland Trust have long drawn attention to this often overlooked part of the tree, emphasising the importance of healthy soil, mycorrhizae and roots and the need for appropriate management of the land around veteran trees.
In November, the Forestry Commission and Natural England updated their standing advice, Ancient woodland and veteran trees: protecting them from development. This document sets out the principles planning authorities should consider for developments affecting ancient woodland and veteran trees. The standing advice picks up from the National Planning Policy Framework with regards to the importance of veteran trees and the need for their protection. Together these documents state that planning permission should be refused if proposals involve the loss or deterioration of veteran trees, unless the need for, and benefit of, development in that location clearly outweigh the loss (see the note at the end of this article for more info).
The loss of a veteran tree is clear cut and easily defined; in such circumstances local planning authorities would weigh up the loss against the need for and benefit of development when determining an application. However, the deterioration of veteran trees is perhaps less black and white.
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Trying it on for the first time
In comparison to harnesses I have used it is very easy to adjust and felt comfortable from the offset. The buckles for the leg loops aren’t too fiddly and overall it was possible to get the harness dialled in to my satisfaction very quickly.
On my initial climb I was quite impressed with the bridge. The d-rings sit on separate parts of the webbing, the top one connects by the side d s and is adjustable, so can transfer more of your weight from legs to waist, on long ascents it really makes a difference. It generally gave quite a stable feeling when suspended.
The down side of that is it can feel a bit ‘busy’ with the main waist strap which has an SRT/chest attachment point also.
Behind the side d-rings it has purpose made caritool attachment points and two tool loops on each side, I would have preferred the one nearest the side d s to be slightly further back.
In terms of overall comfort the Edelrid Treecore excels. The width and thickness of the waist padding is just right as are the leg loops, offering just the right amount of support when in awkward positions.
Once correctly fitted and adjusted the harness stays where it’s supposed to most of the time, although using bigger chainsaws does tend to drag it down more than I’d like. The optional chest harness would eliminate this if necessary.
The one negative I found was the side d-rings sit too far forward for my liking. When dangling from my lanyard under a branch I found the way they pulled uncomfortable. No doubt someone with a different body shape would have a completely different experience however.
Moving from 20 years of thick leather to the lightweight Edelrid was quite a shock to the system, and I was quite skeptical of the change. To my surprise overall I really like the tree core but realise it’s very much to peoples personal taste when it comes to harnesses. As always, if you can try before you buy then all the better. In terms of build quality, ergonomics and adjustability it gets a thumbs up.
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Why haven't logs gone up in price in line with electricity and gas, mine are the same price they were 5 years ago, the same could be said for tree work, costs have risen but have your prices?
Are us tree surgeons really bad businessmen? We all know the big businesses look after each other really well, like the energy companies and oil companies who only compete "in theory" while in reality prices remain high and they make huge profits.
"There are only 6 of them" I hear you say, "and loads of tree surgeons", so we can't have a cartel.........yet the plumbers manage to get consistently high rates for their services, as do joiners and sparkys, are we alone in the trades as the only suckers who will work for peanuts. Why is this? do we like the job so much that its irrelevant how much we earn, we'd do it for free? Or are we secretly all hippies who are not into the money "thing" and would rather barter our services for nuts and berries, (or stella in Mark Bolam's case)?
Perhaps we just don't have that capitalist gene?
What is the answer? I do think that (generalising) as a group we are a little more aloof than the general public and possibly a bit more hippyish, or maybe thats just those of us who come here on AT. I also think that as a bunch we tend to have a much stronger work ethic and would have far more interest in doing a job well than being paid well to do it.
In reality we should be paid well to do a good job, sadly thats often not that case.
My theory is that a self employed tree surgeon who has a van, chipper and a decent groundy ought to earn 40k+ for himself, how many actually manage that? Its hard to compare self employed income with salaried income as there are many perks to being self employed and you pay a lot less tax too. However the point I am making is that someone in the above situation ought to have the lifestyle of someone on a £40k+ salary.... do you agree?
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They are also encouraged to help control the pest by reporting sightings to the Forestry Commission, and to take care not to spread the pest when removing oak material from tree surgery sites.
As well as damaging oak trees by feeding on the leaves, the caterpillar can impact human and animal health: contact with its hairs can cause itching skin rashes, eye irritations, sore throats and other health problems. In rare cases they can cause breathing difficulties and allergic reactions. Arborists in the affected areas are therefore strongly advised to wear protective clothing.
The hairs can be blown on the wind, left in the caterpillars’ nests on and under oak trees, and can stick to bark, clothing and climbing ropes. The greatest risk period is May to July, although nests should not be approached at any time because the hairs remain active for many months.
The known affected areas include much of greater London and parts of Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, West Berkshire, Surrey and Essex. The affected areas are organised into ‘Core’, ‘Control’ and ‘Protected’ Zones, and maps and explanations of the regulations and procedures applying in each zone are available in the oak tree owners’ manual at www.forestry.gov.uk/opmmanual.
OPM nests and silken webbing trails. Nests can be attached to trunks and branches anywhere on the tree,
but not among the foliage. ©Forestry Commission/Crown copyright.
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If you’re interested then you could forward me a copy of your CV.
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GreenMech is putting on a couple of dates for factory tours etc. The first date will be Wednesday 25rd April and will be limited to 18 to 24 places for the first date with another proposed a week or two later. I have a few names already on the list but if you wish to come, please email your contact details to either [email protected] or [email protected] to book a place. The factory is at B49 5QG
The day will start at 09:30 with coffee and bacon bun. There will be a short welcome speech, followed by a Power Point slide show showing the pedigree of manufacturing at the GreenMech site and a few facts and figures about what it takes to manufacture machinery for a year. The GreenMech factory tour can take a couple of hours and this will be followed by a buffet lunch. There will be a chance to try various woodchippers and following an open forum/coffee break the day will end. We try to get visitors away by 14:30/15:00 to allow for distances etc.
If attendees have a special dietary need, please add this detail to your email and we will try to accommodate you. It is a proper working facility and we would ask that you dress appropriately - especially if you wish to use a chipper too!
Applications will be screened but otherwise, are open to anyone who has a 'bent' for machinery, factory processes, is considering a purchase and is curious etc. Previously held events have been well received by all and your picture may well end up in the national trade press/social media.
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1. STIHL MS880 48” BAR (spare 36” bar also taken) S/N 181034060 2. STIHL 084 25” BAR 3. HUSQVARNA 390XP 36” BAR 4. HUSQVARNA 390XP 28” BAR S/N 201410000080 5. HUSQVARNA 372XPG 20” BAR 6. STIHL MS441 20” BAR S/N 171534211 7. HUSQVARNA 560XPG 18” BAR S/N 2012130038 8. HUSQVARNA 560XP 18” BAR 9. HUSQVARNA 346XPG 15” BAR S/N 20114500234 10. HUSQVARNA 346XPG 15” BAR S/N 20120100240 11. HUSQVARNA 346XP 15” BAR 12. HUSQVARNA 550XP 13” BAR S/N 20161300190 13. STIHL 026 15” BAR 14. STIHL 026 15” BAR (plastic “026 tag” missing from the top) 15. STIHL MS200T 14” BAR S/N 170098247 16. STIHL MS200T 12” BAR 17. STIHL MS200T 12” BAR 18. STIHL 020T 14” BAR 19. HUSQVARNA T540XP 12” BAR 20. STIHL MS211 16” BAR 21. STIHL 020AV 16” BAR
HEDGECUTTERS AND POLESAWS
22. STIHL HS45 24” BAR 23. STIHL HS81R 30” BAR S/N 175940322 24. STIHL HS81T 30” BAR S/N 176639882 25. STIHL KM131 KOMBI UNIT WITH ANGLED HEDGECUTTER AND STRIMMER ATTACHMENT 26. STIHL HT101 POLESAW S/N 297634206 27. STIHL HT75 POLESAW S/N 67952532 (CHAINSAW HEAD HAD JUBILEE CLIP REPAIR) BLOWERS
28. STIHL BR600 MAGNUM S/N 289778131 29. STIHL BR86 S/N 283523220 30. HUSQVARNA 570BTS (BRAND NEW) They also took a transit tipper which was later found burnt out near Farndon. I would imagine the thieves are working out of the Wrexham/Whitchurch England/Wales border area (but that is largely speculation on my part at present). If anyone has any possible information relating to any of this kit, or more directly to the thieves themselves please contact me in strictest confidence on 07970188050. This type of crime (and those who support it by buying the stolen equipment) destroys people’s livelihoods - those machines belong to a guy who is no different to any of us on here, and have been paid for through years of hard graft. It wasn’t undertaken by amateurs who got lucky - this was a professional crew and we are all at risk from people like them... Please please please let me know if you hear anything!
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It's colonised by Laetiporus sulphureus aka - Sulphur Polypore.
Due to the presence of the fruiting bodies on the scaffolds, we carried out a 20% canopy reduction to reduce the load on the branches.
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I split the the woods into 12 compartments and pollard roughly 50% of the trees in each compartment/winter. Targetting the trees with inferior timber potential and leaving the better ones to become standards. All arisings are dead hedged to create more deadwood habitat and develop soil quality. Survival rate is around 90% and the 10% dead adds more valuable deadwood.
Its been a great playground for practising and experiments an array techniques. This winter we got even more creative than ever creating coronet cut pollards, rip cuts, bored out cavities and partially broken off limbs. One of the lads got to practice his first few coronet cuts which he did a bloody goog job of. Basically, anything that might increase aerial deadwood and habitat is fair game!
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We are currently recruiting staff form the above position.
Candidates should be hardworking, self-motivated and enthusiastic.
Minimum Climber & Team Leader requirements:
NPTC CS30,31,38 & 39
Minimum Ground Staff requirements:
Additional qualifications which are preferable, but not essential, as training will be given:
Drivers Licence (with towing)
Emergency First Aid at Work
PA1 & PA6
CS40 and/or CS41
Excellent rates of pay, pension scheme, paid holiday, PPE and high quality kit.
Please apply via email to [email protected] or call 07875 070811
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First expect to pay yourself below the minimum wage for al least the first 5 years. Work your nuts off all day then get home and spend all evening quoting, writing up quotes TPO applications etc... Keep your phone on always, expect calls anytime of the day or week.
Get used to messing up quotes and finding that you are going to have to do that HORRIBLE ivy clad tree over the conservatory and end up making sod all...
Be ready to wait for payments, some times months, especially the jobs for big commercial clients who needed it doing yesterday and made you jump though hoops before you got the job. Be ready for turning up on site to find the job being done by another outfit, or have already been done and the customer forgot to tell you.. Be prepared to turn up on site to do a simple job and have to spend half the day waiting for pointless inductions, or to be sent home because you don't all have your cscs cards.
Enjoy the drive halfway across town to look at a "huge" tree (20 min job), with a client comparing your price with the 12 other tree surgeons they had found in the yellow pages. Except that someone can do the job cheaper!
If you do well and manage to get a half decent reputation you will need to take on staff to help do the work. Once you do that expect kit to last half as long as when you looked after it yourself.. Jobs take longer then when you did them. Saws are no longer EVER sharp. Your role changes and you spend more time running around fixing issues caused by others mess-ups. Land rovers stuck after warning them NOT to go go there, weaved oak fence panels broken (costing £200 each).
Learn to become a manager, cope with staff being amazing when you are on site, but as soon as you leave they end up sitting in truck. Deal with their sulks and squabbles, organise jobs so you have people with the right mixture of skills and personalities..
Then have your plans thrown out the window because someone, overslept/is ill/forgot/has a funeral/wife is poorly/hungover, car wouldn't start, etc...
Pay your employees for holidays, for wet days, days when the truck broke down and all there PPE and training... Remember that your staff/freelancers expect to be paid regularly even though you may not be paid for months.
Expect stuff to break all the time chippers, trucks, saws. Get used to spending money; repair bills, insurance, advertising, replacement kit.. Live with the worry when work goes quiet that you will have to let people go, and that someone could hurt themselves when doing a job you have sent them on...
And then as your work changes from doing what you loved (climbing trees) realise that you are going to get fat as now all you do is drive round and look at trees..
Would I change it......? .
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The difference in grip between summer and all season tyres on ice and snow is enormous. Any vehicle on summer tyres in the snow is fundamentally unsafe.
If you feel the same and would like to improve road safety in a way that costs nothing (all season tyres cost no more than summer tyres), please sign my petition!
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Arbtalk.co.uk is a hub for the arboriculture industry in the UK.
If you're just starting out and you need business, equipment, tech or training support you're in the right place. If you've done it, made it, got a van load of oily t-shirts and have decided to give something back by sharing your knowledge or wisdom, then you're welcome too.
If you would like to contribute to making this industry more effective and safe then welcome.
Just like a living tree, it'll always be a work in progress.
Please have a look around, sign up, share and contribute the best you have.
See you inside.
The Arbtalk Team