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About mapleacer

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  1. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    Thank you for your reply Paul. As you you quite rightly state the industry doesn’t really register at a central government level but the reason for this mess is it’s never been pushed hard enough by the AA. The AA is the UK's primary organisation / ‘charity’ that supposedly cares the upmost for the future of Arb related trees and has been around for many years ‘talking the same talk’ yet gaining increased wealth / assets. The AA could revolutionise the industry via a change in law that would benefit trees and tree workers. For anyone unfamiliar with the aims of the AA, this is 2018’s – “Our vision is that by 2018: We will convert current concern about the welfare of our nation's amenity trees into a passion to ensure trees are demanded as an intrinsic and necessary component of our built environments, to such an extent that “urban greening” becomes a priority in urban planning”. Let’s just hope 2018 is the year of wake up and change. Within the AA’s vast members are a number of very well connected lord and ladies who if approached correctly and with reason could completely turn this industry around by re writing the book of law. If done correctly, a proper professional legalised industry could be created to give school leavers a future with good earnings and job prospects. We all know gas and electricity can kill, well so do trees and potentially kill the same numbers of public in an incident. Think of a tree at the side of a motorway badly felled killing many people in a multiple pile up. Then a tree at the side of a rail line badly felled straight across a line with train coming and the mass death rate. Both these cases could potentially be trees in gardens felled by unregulated people and quite legally. Gas and Electricity work is legally controlled as to who can work for financial reward. This creates true professionalism and a sensible price point for the relevant qualifications, administration and actual work time spent. Tree works, no such thing! The UK unfortunately has its fair share of 'experts' in all professions and tree work has many many 'experts' from travelling gypsies using stolen kit through to 'fast track tree experts' who were duped into college courses with a confusing, expensive and vast qualifications of which many are meaningless. The people creating these 'ten thousand' qualifications are generating more year on year to keep their own self generating industry floating along and this is crippling arb tree work by lack of interest from new recruits and increased costs. Often the ‘creators’ would say they are helping the HSE. If this was the case they would help by simplifying things or by keeping their noses out. Examples such as tree related HSE guidance, do changes swiftly condensing information and advice into a readable script ideally into one simple code of practice book called something like HSE Tree Work Volume 1. Amendments would obviously be required and the HSE simply issuing volume 2 then onwards. A freely accessible web page for anyone to access and download the latest copy, what could be simpler? This would condense all currently free HSE guidance and any other input from organisations like the AA into one freely available simple book for anyone involved in tree work to read. Unfortunately, quite the opposite is happening. If anyone has businesses in various other sectors you will be aware how ridiculous and ‘messy’ this industry is in comparison (joking apart, this is one reason why Branson’s never bothered with it). If anyone has spoken to the HSE recently with a tree industry related enquiry you will know just how confused they are. The only downside to it is the AA might have to increase their approved contractor assessments fees as their accounts would be down from reduced publication profits. With true legal regulation, rules are written and people know where they stand but with wishy washy creators of documents, certification gone mad etc more and more contradiction and confusion is spread throughout the tree industry. The Arboricultural Association has been around for many many years and is presumed by many as the UK's leading body in the industry. It has strong ties with government, HSE, colleges and training establishments. After all these years I would have hoped for some form of partnership with the government or merger to pass an act to who can legally work on trees. I believe Paul quite rightly wrote earlier in the blog this will never happen. I also strongly believe it won't. Maybe before you think of spending more money on going through with AA approval you might ask yourself what you want from it. If the answer is purely financial gain then read on as there are much easier ways of making money in tree work. If its caring for Lady LarLars private apple trees who wants an AA approved contractor, then good luck but if it’s to help create a true level playing field that eliminates the gypsy type from this industry look back as to how many years the AA have been ‘trying to’ and re think whether you could spend your AA approval / membership money elsewhere to more effect. Without this law tree work will never change to a professional occupation / business in the UK. If the AA seriously wants to promote professional arb tree care for the UK the opportunity has never been stronger. The microchip has taken out many UK sectors of employment and also created plenty of ‘made up jobs’. In times of recession these ‘made up jobs’ phase out and unemployment rockets costing the government and indirectly the citizens. Arb tree work unfortunately or fortunately depending on how you look at it has been partly mechanised using cranes, machines etc but is still a very strong future sector. Trees will always grow if the planet is alive and until a laser gun is invented that burns branches off controlled by a robot, tree workers will always be required. Tree inspector’s jobs are also pretty secure as until they invent a robot that can climb over mole hills, clamber over piles of dumped fly tipped nappies, scramble through blackthorn thickets etc and that’s before the actual inspection, tree inspector type jobs will be quite secure although badly paid in comparison to legally regulated industries. The population is on the rise not only in the UK but worldwide, school leavers need jobs / careers. If arb tree work was made a true profession by becomming legally regulated it would be greatly recession proof and a ‘new’ industry with good prospects for school leavers. The tree industry is desperate for skilled long term workers as many tree business, Local Authority, conservation type trust will agree. Maybe it’s about time the AA spoke to a few of their close House of Lords friends and put this issue forward to create a positive future for Arboriculture. For all those wanting big money………If it’s just more money you’re after and you’re thinking of AA approval then seriously think…. Travelling gypsy using your stolen kit at the bottom of the 'ladder' right through to the top of the ‘ladder’ and the largest multimillion pound UK tree sectors such as rail and power line clearance. None of these sectors specifically require Arboricultural Association Approval but they all produce the largest financial return in UK tree work. Someone in this blog wrote that his turnover increased by 10k after approval. If its big money you want in tree work go into rail and or power line clearance work or simply become a traveller and never buy kit, you will soon find your extra10k is much easier to earn! Before you spend, ask what you get, (as you would when purchasing a new car etc). Ignore the mumbo jumbo sales talk and get straight to the facts that will benefit you. Ask what date the AA will aim to get an act passed by parliament as to who can legally work on trees and with which of the 'ten thousand' NPTC type qualifications will this act be applicable. If you’re still seriously thinking AA approval take a look at the Arboricultural Association Limited accounts. Remember this is a company and its making a financial profit, from your subscriptions, your approval vetting and other activities. You will find a copy of the Annual report of financial statements on line. You might like statements like ‘Grow sales and revenue, ensure publications achieve the overall aims of the association’. Let’s hope these new profitable publications are not going to create more contradiction and confusion with the HSE and tree work. An AA approval applicant still pondering may also want to question ‘Financial – To build reserves’. Let’s hope some of these reserves will be spent on getting UK tree work sorted out once and for all with a change in law. Let’s hope it’s not for buying bigger printers creating even thicker paid for health and safety guides merged into HSE recommendations not necessarily affordable to the man on the ground as unlike true Government HSE publications are not available for free in any form. The contractor / company whose kit was stolen by the gypsy is not going to be buy any of this important new safety documentation in a hurry. No health and safety type document should ever be charged for, its unethical. There should always be means for the poorest in society to access such especially those directly involved in the industry. At least as an approved contractor you might now get these issued for free. If you want true world renown quality recognition and another sticker for your vehicles go for Lloyds ISO accreditation. All big multinational industries recognise this and as far as I’m aware it is possible for a tree company of any size to gain accreditation. It’s also sensibly managed as big industry developed it for purpose to enable one to work with another and both know where they stand. Lloyds ISO is a total different ball game from Trust A trader and CHAS type pay your money pour the tea at right interval get the ‘accreditation’ sticker schemes. In all fairness to the AA they are the only organisation (Limited company) who actually inspect quality of work on site, but is weakened by two main fundamental issues – 1. The inspection is only as good as the sites shown on the day. Who’s working / worked those sites can easily be fronted. I.e. ‘Your’ best sub contract climber / team may be set up on the actual work site and as for a drive round showing historic work, I will leave you to think on that one! Maybe one for the future Paul, stealth random anytime site inspectors. 2. The UK which has changed dramatically for the worse in many sectors. Nowadays the majority of big business isn’t bothered about quality, unfortunately just quantity, how fast and how much can you get for x. Proper regulation controls quality but the fact is tree work in the UK is unregulated and until it is legally controlled you may as well p*** up the tree you were about to fell, leave it standing and invest your time and money in other things. Keep your fingers crossed for a change in law. The Arboricultural Association could substantially contribute to making this happen if they really wanted, they have the contacts deep within. Remember think twice, spend once…….
  2. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    Reply to: Haironyourchest I think you misunderstand. A change in law to who can and cant work on trees would benefit you financially in a big way. If you are already working professionally and meeting current HSE Legal requirements (which at present are nearly none for tree work, PUWER and LOLER being the only examples) you have nothing to worry about. I will simply put it like this..... An HGV (now LGV) driver in the UK has a licence, with this licence he knows he's going to get a minimum of £x for driving a lorry depending on how many other licensed drivers there are out there and how many lorry loads of 'stuff' need moving at any one time. A random person with no licence whatsoever can not just jump in a lorry for half the £x as we have a law to stop this happening. With tree work there is no such law. There is no law as to who can and cant work on trees, anyone can 'have a go'! Those participating in tree work doing it correctly are pricing/taking wages against those not doing it correctly and some are even using 'your' stolen kit. Nothing is stopping them. This is why wages / earnings / profits in tree work are retarded compared to similar risk related but legally regulated industries. I am not for one minute suggesting the law is changed to AA approved contractors only, no way. What the industry needs is a change in Law to allow a level playing field eliminating 'have a go' types. If you drive a car on the highway you should legally have a licence. If you cut a tree you should have a licence, valid just like your driving licence, simple. With this you could earn sensible money and you probably have xyz training that would automatically grant you this licence. You would be much better off financially with a licence to cut / work with trees.
  3. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    Question aimed directly for Arboricultural Association Paul - With regard to changing the law as to who can and cant work on trees Paul wrote - "it's never going to happen unfortunately". Why not?
  4. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    This question is for Arboricultural Association Paul
  5. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    As for who is going to push for a change in the law..... that should be high on the to do list of the AA as the UK's leading body and with mixed charitable status (I believe) to after trees. The primary aim of the AA for 2018 - Our vision is that by 2018: We will convert current concern about the welfare of our nation's amenity trees into a passion to ensure trees are demanded as an intrinsic and necessary component of our built environments, to such an extent that “urban greening” becomes a priority in urban planning. This vision only happens with a change in law. A change in law would not financially help the AA in its current state but it will the professional consultant, climber, grounds person and tree company who can then charge professional fees for a professional service as the gardeners, painters, cleaners, those folk who use your stolen kit and dump in lay byes then move on etc will no longer legally be allowed to do any works to trees, consulting or contracting. If you want a professional industry with professional related money for all those certified then change the law, if not good luck.
  6. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    Forget the AA, its simple, if person x has got yz piece of paper like for driving a lorry (called a licence, issued by the government), then they are the only people allowed to work on trees and arb consulting exactly the same. Simple, fair and would professionalise the whole 'lopping' UK!
  7. mapleacer

    ARB Approved...views please.

    With regard to changing the law as to who can and cant work on trees Paul wrote - "it's never going to happen unfortunately". Paul why not?


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