A time of great changes

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Arboricultural Association.

Share this story

Posted: 25/05/2018 | Posted by Mr Jason Ward | 0 comments

My post at Westonbirt came to an end in June 2017 and having a little practical and a little academic experience I was keen to build on both. On the face of it this did leave me with a bit of a choice to make; most jobs can offer one or the other, not both. So I consider myself lucky that when wandering around the ARB Show last year I was introduced to my new boss – Ben Southall. Through his company Treetech Arboricultural Services Ltd I have been able to gain a great mix of practical and surveying work as a trainee climber and surveyor. Since being at Treetech I have completed the Professional Tree Inspection (PTI) course – important for tree risk surveying, Chainsaw from Rope & Harness ticket and Mobile Elevated Working Platform (MEWP) ticket – both important for progressing practically.

It’s been a long winter but work hasn’t slowed down; from domestic tree work, road works, planting, increased firewood sales, surveying and call outs due to tree failure in bad weather, we have been busy and I’m glad to be involved in such a range of work. One aspect of work can often inform the other – surveying often makes you question if and, if so, how works you are recommending will be achieved and practical work shows you just how different species react to decay and to being climbed or cut and even jobs like stump grinding can give you extra insights into just how decayed a tree may have been.

Arboriculture offers an extremely diverse amount of opportunities to the people involved in it and there’s no linear path and no specific ‘top spot’. This is a great advantage to the industry but can also mean that getting started can be quite confusing. The best advice will most likely come from your local college which can be found on a live map via the Arboricultural Association’s website. They also have a list of training courses they will be offering in the coming months which may better inform your decisions.

As time goes on I’m hoping to keep progressing both practically and academically. Surveying wise I am focusing on tree risk, partly because it is what most interested me whilst at Myerscough College – it was the subject of my Dissertation, and partly because by focusing on one aspect of surveying I am able to ensure I maintain the mix of practical and academic work I was looking for. In the coming months I’m looking forward to taking on more challenging work practically and securing more surveying contracts.