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

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AA Autumn Review 2018

Last Updated:  09/11/2018

A year in the life of the
Arboricultural Association

2018 in Summary

  • Work on the new Technical Guides gathers momentum, with the project due to draw to a close in 2019.
  • Jet-setting Technical Team – Work continued on the new VETCert qualifications as Simon and Jim travel across Europe developing the credentials.
  • Launch of free student membership increases student membership by 330 members in nine months!
  • The AA participates in the first scoping report of the size and value of the UK horticultural industry – 20,900 workers within arboriculture, generating £709 million in contribution to the UK GDP in 2017.
  • The All Party Parliamentary Group launches report after three evidence sessions in Houses of Parliament, setting out the industry’s key requirements of the Government post-Brexit.
  • The Association continues to put pressure on the UK Government to recognise the value of our amenity trees at events throughout the year, including presentations at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows.
  • Twenty-two new ARB Approved Contractors in 2018, with the total number of ArbACs nearing 300 across the UK and Ireland!
  • Utility Approved Contractor Scheme formally launched with support across the utility industry with three contractors approved already and several more in assessment!
  • The AA recognised the loss, and celebrated the work, of key industry figures such as Rodney Helliwell and Bill Matthews, who amongst others, sadly passed away in 2018.
  • 10 branches held events throughout 2018 with over 400 attendees.
  • 618 new members joined the Association
  • The Association held over 100 Training Courses across the UK and Ireland

End of 2017

In late 2017 the excellent ‘Talking Trees’ video series launched, with series 2 set to launch in Autumn 2018.


ISA Certified Arborist Training Programme launched.

Aspiring Registered Consultants Day, offering consultants support and guidance on taking the next step.


Our annual #ARBatWork photo contest drew record numbers of submissions with over 300 incredible photos received.

Recording breaking attendance at the ARB Show with over 8,000 visitors over two days – an increase of 22%.


The AA ran their first ISA TRAQ course, bringing this credential to the UK arboricultural industry.

New Chair for the Arborists Working Group as Navin Sehmi is elected to lead this key group.

The inaugural meeting of the Women in Arboriculture Working Group draws enthusiastic participation from women in all sectors of the industry.

Annual Branching Out meeting drew branch representatives together from across the UK and Ireland to increase member opportunities locally.


The two-day Hollow Tree event in Windsor, attracted huge numbers of attendees with 94 attendees on Day 2 alone!


The new ‘Application of Biosecurity in Arboriculture’ Guidance Note 2 is published, delivering one of the key tasks of DEFRA’s ‘Tree Health Resilience Strategy’ which called for practical guidance to raise biosecurity standards in the industry.

The AA’s Amenity Conference in partnership with the Sustainable Soils Alliance sees record breaking attendance with over 400 delegates from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

Jaime Bray appointed as AA Chairman, supported by Ian Murat as Vice Chair, as Keith Sacre finishes his very successful term. The Board welcomes Jenny Long and Michelle Ryan as new trustees.


The UKs first Arboricultural Student Conference is launched with hundreds of students enjoying 2 days of free CPD at Merrist Wood College.