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Welcome to the Consulting Arborist Magazine, the official magazine of the Consulting Arborist Society.

  • Tree News

    Meeting Jim Mulholland

    By Mark Chester, 14 January 2018

    Jim Mulholland is becoming a familiar face within arboriculture, with his roles in both the Ancient Tree Forum (for whom he is the Training Officer) and more recently, the Arboricultural Association, for whom he has a similar role.  He is a very rare individual in being able to combine arboriculture and ecology at a senior level, bringing his expertise to both specialisms.  He recently presented the course on Managing Veteran Trees, run by the Arboricultural Association, which I was able to attend, and his expertise was very evident.  The Ancient Tree Forum is currently seeking opinions on a proposed new training course on the management of veteran trees, to include delegate assessment.


    You can access the survey here…http://www.vetcert.eu/standards-certificates.



    I caught up with Jim recently, to find out more about his journey.  The interview is here….


    In two weeks time, the new Lantra Mortgage course will be launched at Lantra House, Stoneleigh Park in Warwickshire.  This has been a major venture between the key stakeholders and has been the most comprehensive review I have participated in to date.  The course is nearly fully booked, but one delegate had to withdraw last week and so the last place is available.  To book it, contact mark@consultingarboristsociety.com. Places remain on the other courses we are running, Tree Preservation Orders and Young Trees.


    Finally, but by no means of least importance, we have recently completed some updating to the CAS website.  Please do check that your details are correct and let me know of any changes that may be needed. 


    Now over to Jim…


  • Opinion

    Street Trees in Britain: A History. Reviewed

    By Mark Chester, 09 January 2018

    As we start a new year, we start a new feature, looking at some of the books of interest to those in the tree care sector.  This week, your editor reviews Street Trees in Britiain: A History, by Dr. Mark Johnston.  This is below….



    At the end of January, working with Lantra, we will be launching the newly updated Home Buyer (Mortgage) Tree Reports course.  This was fully booked, but two delegates have advised that they are unable to attend due to unexpected circumstances, and so two new places are now available.  To book YOUR place, contact mark@consultingarboristsociety.com.


  • Plant Health

    Touring Turin’s Trees: Combating London Plane Wilt

    By Luke Hailley, 18 December 2017

    This is the last e-news from CAS Towers for 2017.  This year has seen a landmark in the work which has been undertaken to update the Mortgage course.  Under the umbrella leadership of Lantra, Dr. Dealga O’Callaghan and Dr. Jon Heuch, the best elements of the previous courses have been combined with an update on developments over the past decade or so.  The launch, at Lantra House on Tuesday 30th January 2018, is fully booked.  Bookings are already being taken for the event at Myerscough College in May 2018.


    Professional development is a core element of what the Consulting Arborist Society is about.  Below are details of an industrt survey

    Survey exploring the potential for apprenticeships for those involved in Arboricultural management.  You are invited to comment via the link below.


    Earlier this year, Luke Hailley, who is part of the research team at Bartlett’s Research Laboratory, visited Turin to explore how the autrorities there are managing London Plane Wilt.  He shares his visit with us…..


    Finally, may I wish each one of you a peaceful and restful Christmas, that you will be able to enjoy the things that matter, and that the coming year will be prosperous and fulfilling.  Happy Christmas!


    A closing thought



    Press Release


    Industry asks, should we have apprentices for managerial positions?


    Following the successful launch of the arborist, forest operative and horticulture and landscape operative apprenticeships in England, earlier this year, the employer-led partnership behind the initiative is now asking the question, does industry require apprenticeships for managerial or advanced technical roles?


    The trailblazer partnership, which includes 50 industry employers, is now investigating if there is demand for managerial or advanced technical apprenticeships, by consulting with employers in the sector, to determine if new apprenticeships are necessary, and what skills they should contain.


    A coalition of arboriculture, forestry, horticulture and landscape industries have already been successfully developing apprenticeship standards since 2015, under the new process, often known as ‘trailblazer’.


    Trailblazers continue to be at the forefront of Government apprenticeship reforms in England and apprentices are now being recruited to the three new standards, which were announced in the summer. A fourth apprenticeship standard for horticulture and landscape supervisor, is currently in the approval process. 


    Simon Rotheram, Managing Director of Beechwood Trees, commented “It is vital that the industry provides feedback on the requirement of a new apprenticeship for managers. A lack of informed response now, may result in the wrong decision being made for future generations, resulting in a major skills gap for supervisor level arborists, and other supervisory industry roles, looking to develop their careers into more managerial positions.”


    If you think your organisation might benefit from an apprenticeship for managers or advanced technicians, it is imperative that you complete the questionnaire, before the 2nd January. 


    The survey can be accessed here surveymonkey.co.uk/r/8FT53WY


    Your responses will help determine what decisions are taken by the group for the future of apprenticeships in our industries.



    Groups of employers (trailblazers) have been leading the way in carrying out the changes to apprenticeships in England. The arboriculture, forestry, horticulture and landscape industries became involved in 2014 and gained government approval to develop apprenticeships in four occupations at the end of that year.


    The lead employer for the trailblazer is Bartlett Tree Experts Ltd, who are also heading up the arboriculture working group.


    The Duchy of Cornwall are leading for the forestry industry and Ground Control for horticulture and landscape. 


    The trailblazer partnership is employer-led, but also has been well supported by training providers, assessment organisations and trade bodies, including The British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI). 


    To see the existing standards, visit the gov.uk website at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/apprenticeship-standards#agriculture,-environmental-and-animal-care-standards


  • Tree News

    ATF Dorset field trip reviewed

    By Hannah Solloway, 11 December 2017

    This week, your e-news comes from a snowed-in CAS Towers.  Not for the first time, I am very appreciative of modern technology and that we are not dependent on snail mail for distribution.


    A reminder that with the launch event for the new Lantra Mortgage course being fully booked, bookings are now being taken for the event at Myerscough College in May 2018.  Contact  mark@consultingarboristsociety.com to book your place on this or our other spring courses (Tree Preservation Orders & Young Trees).


    We are in the second week of the month, and the penultimate edition of the e-news for 2017.  It is fitting to present news from the Ancient Tree Forum.  Hannah Solloway shares details of their field event took place during a week-long ‘Ashscape’ event which was held at the Springhead Trust in North Dorset and explored the impact of Chalara on veteran Ash.  This seems an appropriate occasion to promote the ATF 2018 Summer Conference on Thursday 28th June to Friday 29th June 2018

    David Lovelace

    The 2018 conference will follow the same two-day format as previous events, with indoor presentations from expert speakers in the morning, and visits to veteran tree sites in the afternoons. There will also be plenty of opportunities to network with a wide range of people interested in the ecology and management of ancient and veteran trees.

    Field events will include a visit to Kentchurch Park, where the deer park is being restored under Higher Level Stewardship, and ancient and other veteran trees include the the 12 and a half meter girth Jack of Kent oak. Other afternoon destinations have yet to be confirmed but are likely to include wood pasture and farmland sites.

    The morning indoor sessions will take place at the Courtyard Theatre in Hereford, and the ATF would be keen to hear from those interested in making a veteran-tree related presentation at the conference. Please email admin@ancienttreeforum.co.uk with details of your proposed talk.

    Further details of the event will be available in due course, and bookings will open in early 2018.


  • Business Advice

    Managing Cash flow

    By , 04 December 2017

    We have just completed the Tree Council’s National Tree Week, during which thousands of trees have been planted.  The Tree Charter has been presented, but the job of promoting our trees and their importance continues.  One of the major benefits of the Tree Charter campaign was how it raised the profile of our trees nationally.


    Bookings are coming in thick and fast for the launch of the new Lantra Mortgage course at Lantra House on Tuesday 30th January with just one place still available.  We are now taking bookings for the course at Myerscough College on Tuesday 29th May.  Places are available for the other course, (TPO in March, Young Trees in April) and you can always submit reports for peer review at a time that suits you.

    Last week, we featured the service from Cedarwood Tree Care to assist those exploring writing tree reports to BS5837:2012.  This service is aimed at consultants starting their journey, or those who enjoy working with trees but prefer someone else to do the presentational work.  Would you like to share your services with the CAS audience, for 2018?  Or simply share a vase study showing how you were able to apply best practice in an innovative and pioneering way?  Contact mark@consultingarboristsociety.com.


     Finally, as it is the first week of a new month, we continue with our regular feature of the Business Blog.  Whilst December can be a busy time, there is also a period of holiday and the long days of January until the end of the month. It is a time when cash flow can present notable challenges.  This seems an ideal time to explore cash flow management….


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Places Available

Amenity Tree Valuation

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Tree Preservation Orders: Effective Application

1 day event held at Sparsholt College, Hampshire

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Young Trees – From Nursery to Longevity in the Landscape

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£350 + VAT CAS members



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Lantra Home Buyer (Mortgage) Tree Reports

1 day event held at

£250 + VAT Non-members

£250 + VAT CAS members