Annual Review 2021

Fungi books launched

Fungi books published

Two landmark publications on the subject of Fungi and Trees are delivered to widespread acclaim, with both becoming record-selling titles.

Technical Guides now available

Technical Guides set new standards for safety

Four of the suite of five Technical Guides are released as part of a comprehensive review of industry guidance. Their launch marks the culmination of several years of work involving hundreds of days of study, research, practical workshop exercises, demonstrations, drafting and industry consultation. Technical Guide 3 – Rigging and Dismantling will also be available shortly to complete the suite of guidance.

Park Junior School become our first school membership

First school membership

Park Junior School in Stonehouse becomes the first member of a free programme that aims to engage youngsters in learning about trees, to promote arboriculture as a career choice and to raise awareness of the Association.

In-person training begins

In-person and hybrid training

Following the success of a pilot event, and in line with the latest government guidelines, the Association hosts several arboricultural training courses from its HQ in Stonehouse. This follows the successful roll-out of several popular AA courses in an online format.

Fungi Symposium is a hit

A one-day virtual Fungi Symposium is held to mark the launch of the two new fungi publications. The Association’s first paid online conference also becomes the most well attended of any in-person or virtual event in the organisation’s history, with 567 delegates enjoying the day of talks from international experts.

Henry Girling

Henry Girling: 1936 – 2021

One of the longest-standing members and a Vice President of the Association passes away. Henry is remembered for his robust stance in representing the Association and the whole industry, as well as his encyclopaedic knowledge and love of trees.

Safety Guides

Tree Safety Guides replace aerial tree work AFAG Guides

As part of the new aerial tree work Technical Guides (TGs), the Association also published a Safety Guide relating to each one. They were developed to help operators and those responsible for their supervision, e.g. the Competent Person, to identify the key safety points in relation to activities involving tree work at height.

John Parker, CEO of the Arboricultural Association

John Parker appointed CEO

Replacing Stewart Wardrop after his 4 years in the role, John said “It is a huge honour, particularly at such an important and exciting time for our profession. I am looking forward to working with our amazing staff team, our Trustees, members, and all of our other friends, colleagues and stake-holders in the UK and around the world, to build on the achievements of the last few years in promoting and supporting arboriculture and tree care.”

Building on global webinar reach

Webinars build on unprecedented success

The popular free Wednesday webinars, which started in April 2020, continue to grow the international audience. The Association has now hosted over 40 free webinars covering a broad range of topics with speakers from across the globe. Average viewer count has doubled from 200 to 400 every week and participants from 125 different countries have now watched a webinar.

Online Courses make CPD more accessible

The new suite of online training courses continues to grow, making arboricultural CPD more accessible. 500 learners have now attended an online course.

Trees & Society logo

Trees & Society – a landmark conference

The Association’s Conference is held in a virtual format for the first time, after being postponed in 2020. Trees & Society saw 250 delegates enjoy 2 enlightening days, featuring 26 expert speakers from around the globe, shedding light on the role trees can play in our future.

26 International speakers at the 2021 virtual conference

A growing and evolving membership

The evolution of membership benefits and the growing profile of the Association see over 500 new members join by October, and we are on track to reach another record total by the end of 2022.

eBooks now available


The Assocuation’s first eBooks are launched, offering increased accessibility to AA publications. New digital versions of the Technical Guides are the first to become available in an App, downloadable from the App Store and Google Play store, which will house these and all future eBook purchases.

New recruits Françoise Susanne and Richard Thompson

Strengthening for the future

The Autumn saw our first new recruits since 2020 with Françoise Susanne joining as Business Development Manager, with a focus on the ARB Approved Contractor programme, and Richard Thompson joins the team as Membership Officer, to support our growing network of tree care professionals.

Lynne Boddy

Lynne Boddy wins AA Award

The contribution of Lynne Boddy to arboriculture is deservedly recognised. Beyond achieving international recognition in her profession, Lynne has been an exceptional speaker and outreach educator, able to communicate research in plain language and in a very engaging way. Her research alone has been fundamental to the appreciation of all aspects of decay.

The Virtual ARB Show 2021

The Virtual ARB Show

With the event cancelled for a 2nd year, the Virtual ARB Show returned to fill the gap with a new series of special webinars and great support from our exhibitors.

The World Fungi Seminar 2021

World Fungi Day

Our 3rd virtual conference of the year sees over 250 delegates from a range of audiences enjoy a day of speakers from each continent, specially curated by Lynne Boddy.

Registered Consultant Application process

New Registered Consultant process

2021 sees the launch of the new application process for the Association’s Registered Consultant (RC) Scheme. This marks the culmination of a systematic review of the scheme and its operation.

Consultations Responses and Representation

The Association continues to work hard to represent its members’ interests, responding to several important consultations including the England Tree Strategy, the Plant Biosecurity Strategy and the review of arboriculture apprenticeships, to name just a few.

Trustees and volunteers

Jaime Bray’s term on the board comes to an end, as we thank Jaime, Jenny Long and Lawrence Vine-Chatterton, who are also stepping down, for their service. We also congratulate Andrew Longland, Steve Westmore and Alastair Durkin on their appointments to the board.