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Andrew L

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  1. Coming late to this party but: Should not the infographic talk about scanning the ground for services before grinding? What about screening and signage to protect windows and the general public? And 3rd party Insurance? Surely these are the things that make a company differ from the cowboys? Although to be fair my stump grinding course did not say anything about CAT scanning 🙄
  2. And, a response from the council: "Dear Mr Linney, I refer to your message that has been passed to me. I can inform you that the information you refer to is given as guidance only, it does not imply that consent is automatically granted to cutback any overhanging branches without first specifying these works within an application. We have had several instances where a tree owner has complained that their neighbours have carried out works to their trees without first informing them (the tree owner) of the proposed tree works. Dead or dangerous trees may be removed as an exemption, however you are obliged to provide 5 days written prior warning before carrying out the proposed works, this is known as “a 5 day notice”. All 5 day notices are registered as an application. If after 5 working days you have not received a response you may proceed with the necessary works. If the works are considered to urgent (they cannot wait 5 working days) then you are advised to take digital images before taking the necessary action. Deadwood may also be removed as an exemption likewise broken branches. Consent would be required before removing any climbing plants from the canopy or the main stem. I hope this information is of assistance. Yours sincerely," For me the only surprise is "Consent would be required before removing any climbing plants from the canopy or the main stem." I thought ivy etc was not covered by a TPO,,, Andrew
  3. Thanks all for your insights on this. In answer to various comments above: Yes. Both trees are within the client property boundary and so the debate is purely hypothetical but the householder is clearly very keen to make use of whatever options to improve the light to her property. There is substantial and sustained (spade?) damage to the cherry tree roots which I believe has caused die-back to the tree and I duly documented this on my application but this aspect was not even mentioned on the permission: did the TO even go and look?! Who knows? Cherry tree prune at this time of year? Well I was originally contacted back in ~May 20. No response from householder for at least 3 months after quote sent in. First application for works to the council denied. This order gives 2 years to complete the work,,,, But it is interesting that I have yet to see a TPO with a species-specific time of year prune recommendation. However, it is my understanding that both cherry and mountain ash are ideally pruned late winter-early Spring. If and when our learned colleagues at the council do respond to my request for clarification, I will update here. Cheers and thanks again Andrew
  4. OK Just sent this to my local council,,, "Dear Sir Many thanks for your recent email giving permissions to work on the 2 TPO trees identified. I note that the email with these permissions also gives advice in relation to branches from neighbouring trees whose branches overhang boundaries "Neighbours may abate the nuisance of overhanging branches by cutting back to, but not beyond the boundary without necessarily having the permission of the tree’s owner." Given that this note is added to a TPO grant of works, it would appear to indicate that an overhanging tree branch may be pruned back to the boundary even if a TPO applies to that tree ie that council permission is not required. Could I please ask if this is what is intended by this note's inclusion to the TPO permission? My understanding was that a tree with a current TPO in situ could only be worked on without prior permission from the local authority if: 1 It was immediately dangerous to person's or property 2 The removal of deadwood and ivy was all that was being undertaken I would be very grateful if you would please clarify." Let's see what they say. A
  5. Absolutely, but my point is that when this note is tacked onto the end of a TPO permission of work, it implies that the TPO is not required: which is exactly what the householder tried to tell me when I first went to the property. Andrew
  6. Dear experienced colleagues, Just had a TPO letter of approval arrive by email from my local council with an additional note, which I think is confusing. Cut n pasted below, all identifying names etc deleted. "Proposed works: Cherry tree ~remove any deadwood and crossing branches, and reduce the crown height by 1-2m. Mountain ash - deadwood and remove minor crossing branches only to maintain shape and tree form. Following consideration of your application, XXXXXXXX District Council, as the District Planning Authority, pursuant to powers in the above legislation, raises no objection to the above proposal as follows: Consent is granted to carry out a crown clean to one Cherry tree located within the front garden and reduce it in height by up to 2 metres. Consent is also given to remove the dead wood and crossing branches to one nearby Mountain Ash, which is all as applied for. This decision is subject to any informatives shown below: (1) Works hereby permitted should be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the current edition of BS 3998 by a competent person. (2) The tree works hereby approved shall be completed within two years of the date of this decision notice. Please note Neighbours may abate the nuisance of overhanging branches by cutting back to, but not beyond the boundary without necessarily having the permission of the tree’s owner. However, it would be polite to discuss the matter before starting work and you should offer back what you cut. If you are proposing to carry out any other work to a tree that is not on your own land, you should seek permission from the landowner before starting work." In my opinion, the note after the TPO appears to imply that council permission is not required if a neighbour's tree has annoying branches and so there's apparently no need to even find out if the tree in question is subject to a TPO?! Which to my current understanding is absolutely wrong. Be grateful, as ever, for your thoughts on this Andrew
  7. No worries: I told you I failed maths O level first time around. Thank you for putting me straight. A
  8. Update: Youngest birthday has gone very well, she is v happy. I have engaged a bookkeeper who will pick up my receipts on 2/1/21. My work site landlord is happy for me to apply for a Op licence: I am guessing I should be applying for a restricted licence? Planning to do a leaflet drop in my road at least after checking costs before putting out the advert in the local paper. I know almost everyone on my lane, so I don't think there will be objections,,, Meanwhile, struggling with a quote for 140 Lombardy Poplars to be reduced by 50%. Height varies from 50-80ft, tree condition variable. Square plot, road and BT line down one side, farm access and buildings down 2 other and a footpath on the last. Have identified 3 local chip sites, and made contact with the local council re TPO. Defo no CA etc. Back to the hospital tomorrow, hoping for a quiet day,,, A
  9. I am in Sevenoaks area. It's my youngest daughter's birthday so got to go. Thanks for all advice: excellent. The felling near-miss was because I was doing 2 jobs cos of C19. Fulltime NHS ie 12 hr shifts plus commute as well as the tree jobs. I never intended to do this, and was hoping it would stop but here we are. Groundie? Yup, no real harm done, so lucky but it easily could have been a game-over thing, in so many ways. Truly hope he gets himself sorted though,,, Andrew (RGN, RNc, ENP and ex Emergency Planner, so I was expecting the Pandemic, just didn't know when,,,
  10. Ta muchly. Have a waste carriers licence already. Was just looking up the Regs: from what I read it seems to be that if I attach a snow plough to the front of it, its exempt from needing an O licence,,, Seriously, best speak to the site landlord. A
  11. Good idea and I have grandpa rights, licence wise: but doesn't a 7.5t truck mean I need an Operator licence for the work site?
  12. Be gentle with me, it's my first time,,,, OK, deep breath, cards on table. 33 years almost full time NHS (mostly CN A&E), dual qualified, MSc blah blah blah but last 8+ years struggling in a job I detested being a bed manager at a well-known children's hospital. Probably partly because of the grief from the job, the missus kicked me out about 5 years ago. But when I had my own hair n teeth, I used to be a tree surgeon and I had been keeping my hand in around the NHS job. And so, Feb 19 I resigned from the NHS, borrowed £30k over 5 years, bought a 03 plate tipper Transit, an ex-demo TP155 chipper and a 2nd hand stump grinder. Me and the now ex were competing for GB at age-group triathlon, so my fitness/age wasn't an issue. 18 months down the line. Good: The job is mostly great. Don't mind getting wet. Like being outdoors. Enjoy the climbing challenges and like the feedback from doing a good job (absent from NHS job). Debt paid off (with govt bounce-back help), I have a healthy order book and growing customer base. I have been steadily increasing my skill set so now have CS 32 & 40 on top of the basic tickets and put one of my groundie's through his 30. The TP has been mostly reliable but its warranty runs out in Feb 21. This summer I have also bought a 22 ton capacity towed splitter which I bring to bigger jobs to reduce humping about useless softwood lumber and just fire it through the chipper. I use the Arbtalk chip website and have yet to pay to offload chip. Work landlord: Very lucky to have a great worksite. Own secure space for tools and truck/chipper, handy skip burn site and even has an engineer also on site for the inevitable breakdowns etc. Bad: The paperwork, just hate it. Due to C19, I went back to the old NHS job and have been sending my crew out to do non-climbing hedging jobs etc. I have been letting invoices slip sometimes over 3 weeks, which is crap but now up to date. Bank balance is healthy but I am now waaaay behind on it and the 31st Jan deadline is looming. I have decided to splash out on a bookkeeper to help. Groundie's: Hard to find good one's. Just had to let one go: Kit constantly being mysteriously broken but no-one 'fessing up to it. Used a lowering rope and then discovered a 50% "nick" in it halfway along its length, ffs. He'd told me about a forthcoming court case but not any detail: he neglected to tell me he'd been told not to have contact with kids. When challenged he said he hadn't had any contact. Well, he had met mine and a customer's last week: off you f*ck (with a full day's pay for half a day's work, cos I'm soft). The Transit. It has been mostly reliable but it is so slow: we have big hills round here and with any load at all it drops to 1st gear. Its had new clutch, battery, 2 outer rear tyres, windscreen, and the water pump gasket has just let go. But it has just passed its MoT and I only hoped it would last 18 months, so not complaining. LOLER: Due to C19, finding it hard to get my climbing kit checked. Now way out of date but planning to sort this/next week. Legality: Very aware I am constantly climbing w/o a 2nd climber. Truck is always over-loaded as soon as any chip goes in there. All my tickets are up to date (30/31/32/38/39/40/41 plus stump grinder n 1st Aid) but groundie's are mostly worked "under supervision" or whatever. Near misses: There have been a lot. Bust head of fibula May 19 taking on a nasty hung-up tree which I didn't want to do but needed the work. Lucky to get away with only a day off work (confess I quite enjoyed telling the ENP in ED what was wrong at triage: she didn't believe me cos I was still walking ;). Pretty sore climbing with spikes the following week but doable. Working flat out, knackered: managed to top myself out of a tree ie hinge and back cut applied and I am tied into the top. Groundie's not paying attention either,,, Only still here because tree hit the floor before the rope got tight on my harness (felling from about 12 ft up). Scared the crap out of myself once or twice but I like adrenaline and its why I left the NHS job. So, background over: crossroads. Debt paid off. £12K in my business account (less this year's tax bill tbc). I have been thinking about getting a 4x4 pickup to replace the Skoda estate which would mean I could pull a tipping trailer (still to be bought) which could either be a back up tipper and/or could take plant to bigger jobs Or Do I replace the truck with something newer, safer (for my guys) and EU6 compliant (I have a London job to quote for, the exclusion zone is coming out to near me in Sept 21)? I'd be grateful for your thoughts Andrew
  13. Coming to this late but "260 working days in a year"?? Je ne comprends pas. 5 days a week 4 weeks a month 12 months or 5x4x12=240 (but I did fail my maths O level first time around,,, ) Otherwise I agree with what you are saying. Looks like a days work and £750 for a 3 man crew seems reasonable particularly if you are not having to take the timber away. Confess I do struggle with pricing, though. Andrew
  14. Happy Boxing day!! Which engine does it have? 4x4 or rear wheel drive? Cheers A
  15. Be aware the Regs are changing very soon. From memory large scale production has to be certified by March 21, small scale March 22 I believe. And it's a complete ball-ache. You have to demonstrate how you are drying the wood, and storing it so that the customer is burning it at less than 20%. Your drying method has to be compliant with latest emission regs,,, Got to get truck MoTd in 35mins but will try and find the Regs later,,, Honestly? Very difficult to make a living from it without investing very heavily to buy serious kit. Margins are going to be tight. Andrew


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