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.

Share this story


#ARBatwork #ArbMatters #PledgeLessPlastic & 12 Faces of Arb 1987 storm 2018 3ATC 3ATC UK Open 50th annual AA AA award AA Awards Aboricultural Association Accident accreditation advice AFL aftercare AGM Agrilus Biguttatus aid air quality Alert Alex Kirkley All Party Parliamentary Group on Horticulture amenity Amenity Conference Ancient Tree Forum Annual Awards app APPGHG apprentice apprenticeship Apprenticeships Approved Approved Contractors ARB ARB Approved Contractor ARB Approved Contractors ARB at work ARB Magazine ARB Show arb training ArbAC ArbCamp Arboricultural Association Arboriculture arborists Arbsafe Ash ash dieback Asian Hornet Assessments atf Australia Autumn Review award Awards Barcham Trees Bark Beetle Bartlett Bartlett Tree Experts bats beetle beyond ism Bill Matthews biochar biodiversity biosecurity branch Branches brand Brexit bs5837 bursary business Call for papers Campout Canker stain of plane carbon Cavanagh CCS Cellular Confinement Systems CEnv Ceratocystis Ceratocystis platani chainsaw chalara charity Charles charter Charter for Trees chelsea Chelsea Flower Show Claus Mattheck climate climate change climber climbing Colleges committees competition competiton conference Confor conifers conservation Consultant consultation Contractor Coroner Council Countryside Stewardship Course for beginners cross industry news Crown & Canopy Cryphonectria parasitica Cumbria DART Date for your diary deadwood death defra Design Devon disease document donate dothistroma draft EAC East Anglia ecology Economic Report economy Ecotricity education Electricity England English Elm environment environmental EPF equipment Europe European Arboricultural Council European Wood Pastures exeter Exhibitors Fatal Fatality felling Fellow Fera Field Trip Fine flood flooding Forest Research forestry Forestry Commission forests FSC Fund4Trees funding fundraiser fungal fungi Futurebuild gardening GDPR Geocells Gold Medal Gov.uk government grant grants Green Brexit Green Infrastructure Green Infratructure guidance Guidance Note 2 guides Hazard Tree Health Helliwell Help Henry Kuppen History Honey Brothers Horse Chestnut horticulture horticulturists HortWeek housing HRH HRH Prince Charles HS2 HSE ICF identification industry industry skills Infographic InfraGreen Inspiration Insurance Intermediate Tree Inspection International Urban Forestry Congress Investigating Tree Archaeology Conference Ips typographus Irma irrigation ISA iso i-Tree IUFC Job job opportunity judgement JustGiving Karabiner Kew land-based Landscape Institute Landscape Show landscaping Lantra law Leaf Minor Lectures legal legislation Liability licence London longevity LTOA Magazine maple Mayor of London MBE Melbourne Member Benefit Membership mentor Midlands moth' NASA National Geographic National Tree Safety Group National Tree Week NATO New Year’s Honours News nominations Northern Northumberland notification NTIS NTOA NTOC NTSG oak 'oak Oak Processionary Moth Oak-boring Beetle obituary Observatree occupation opm Padua parks parliament Perennial Pests and Diseases petition photo Phytophthora planning Planning Law planting Plumpton College policy poll Power Preston Twins Prince Charles Prince of Wales processionary prosecution Protect and Survive protected tree protection Qualifications Quotatis ramorum RC Reg Harris Registered Registered Consultant Registered Consultants Rememberance Day renewal Report Rescue research Research grant Resilience response results retrenchment review RFS rhs RHS Chelsea Flower Show Ride for Research Ride4Research rigging Rodney Helliwell rogue tree surgeons RSFS Safety Safety Bulletin Saftey Scotland Scotland Branch Scottish Branch SDG Accord security seminars Share Sheffield Show Sierra Leone Site Guidance skills SocEnv soil soils South East South West SRWP staff statement Stationary Rope statutory STIHL strategy student Student Conference survey Sustainable Soils Alliance Sweet Chestnut sweet chestnut blight T Levels Tatarian maple TDAG technical guide Technical Guides Technical Officers Ted Green tender Thames & Chiltern The Arboricultural Association The Woodland Trust Thinking Arbs Thinking Arbs Day Timbersports Tools top-handled chainsaws,Elcoat, TPBE4 TPO Trading Standards trailblazer training transport Tree Tree Champion Tree Council Tree Fayre Tree Health Tree Inspection tree loss tree management Tree of the year Tree Officer Tree officers Tree Protection tree register tree species Tree Surgeon Tree Surgeons Tree Week Treeconomics tree-felling TreeRadar trees trees' Trees, People and the Built Environment trust' trustee Trustees TrustMark UAG Uitlity UK favourite ukas UKWAS urban urban forest Urban Forestry Urban Tree Cover urban trees Utility Arboriculture Group vacancy VETcert veteran trees video Videos volunteer VTA WAC Wales watering solutions webinars website Western Westonbirt Wharton Witley Women Women in Arb women in arboriculture woodland woodland trust woods World Environment Day Xylella young young arborists Young People’s Breakfast Event zoo

Women in trees – Sharon Hosegood

Author:  Lisa Sanderson
Last Updated:  25/03/2019
Sharon Hosegood

In this third of a series of articles celebrating successful women who work with trees, I posed some questions to Sharon Hosegood. Sharon is a successful consulting arborist currently running her own practice in Chelmsford. Amongst other things, Sharon is an expert witness, a Chartered Arboriculturist and is actively involved in engaging communities to develop sustainable treescapes. Recently, Sharon represented modern arboriculture by demonstrating tree radar investigations on a 440-year-old oak for the BBC television programme Britain Beneath Your Feet.

Lisa: Why you are an arborist/ What attracted you to arboriculture?

Sharon: Initially I was attracted to arboriculture as I was interested in environmental conservation. I focused on trees as I loved the interaction between science, landscape analysis and communication. Working in arboriculture takes you to a wide variety of different place, from industrial wasteland to historic landscapes and everything in between. The people you meet come from all sectors in society. I love variety and challenge, so this career meets my curiosity in trees, land use and of course, people.

Sharon and Dallas Campbell on Britain Beneath Your Feet (BBC1) 

Lisa: Can you summarise the challenges you faced in establishing your success?

Sharon: In the late 1980s I had a poor perception of what arboriculture was and focused on landscape design in my local authority role. Without the guidance and support of tree officers at Essex County Council, I would have been directionless. As my career progressed, I am indebted to prominent individuals in the industry for believing in me. I had low self-esteem due to being a full-time mum for so long and due to my slight dyslexia. I had poverty of expectation of what I could achieve which was blown away when I went into private practice in 2005.

Lisa: What is your most challenging memory about being an arborist?

Sharon: Returning to work after a seven-year break as a full-time mum and having to turn on a computer for the first time. That was in 2000! Realising that hand drawing, talking and jotting things down would no longer cut the mustard!

Lisa: Who were your early role models / best supporters and why?

Sharon: My life has been, and continues to be, full of teachers, for which I am very grateful. However, the first person who really believed in me as an arb was Andy Summerly of Tree Life. His confidence in me changed my life.

Lisa: Who do you now admire most in arboriculture and why?

Sharon: They know who they are. More generally, anyone who openly shares information and encourages others to get involved and feel empowered. I am so grateful for the friendship of other wonderful female arbs.

Lisa: What are the other secrets to your success?

Sharon: Perseverance and hard work. Boring, but true. Taking a risk in making a fool of myself. Being curious.

Sharon taking part in a charity abseil.

Lisa: What is your proudest career moment?

Sharon: Working with Mencap in the woods and seeing people gain confidence. Many Mencap clients were uncomfortable outside and, in particular, getting dirty. To see the team start to carry out coppicing and work with them was very heart warming. It's not all about trees, but about how trees can affect a life change.

Lisa: What do you do now?

Sharon: I run my own consultancy practice - Sharon Hosegood Associates Ltd, based in Chelmsford. We provide services to the construction industry, large landowners, pressure groups and I practise as an expert witness. I am also involved with a community tree project for Epping Forest District Council. I work with Lloyd Bore with the new TreeRadar. Having my own practice has given me more freedom to try new things.

Lisa: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

Sharon: Communicating, exploring, questioning and still dyeing my hair.

Lisa: Favourite tree?

Sharon: The Ankerwyke Yew. It has it all: historical importance, beauty, age, reliance, public interest, biological fascination ('It's how old? Wow!'). And it brings people together.

Lisa: What advice would you give women entering our industry or trying to progress within it?

Sharon: What I would say to anyone. First of all, you are privileged to work in an industry which is so diverse and will require you to develop multiple skills (not all of which are tree related). Then, never stop learning and listening. Finally, be your best and true self. Who cares about conformity and people's perception of what you should look like to be an arb? I don't. Just get the job done well, on time, on budget, and with a smile!

Lisa: Final thoughts?

Sharon: Show people who we are and what we do. Show people what a rewarding career this is. Enjoy it and encourage young people to join the profession. We all have a responsibility to do this.

Teachers love questions (and answers). Lisa Sanderson is a Training Developer and Lecturer for The Training Tree and an Arboricultural Consultant for Ian Keen Limited.