Tree Surgeon News – Oxleas Tree Care

Residential News

7th Sept 2010

A dispute has broken out in a Plymouth street over the height of trees surrounding a property.

David Alvand, of Weston Mill, has planted about 16 Leyland cypress trees at the front of his house which stand about 35ft (10.6m) tall.

Residents in the street have complained to Plymouth City Council.

The council said it was hoping further mediation would resolve the dispute before its tree officers visited the street to see if action was necessary.

The Leyland cypress trees which Mr Alvand planted overshadow the house and road.

He told the BBC that there was "no story to tell" and that he had "nothing to say" on the matter.

In a statement, the council said it had put the complaint on hold to see if a resolution could be found without the council's involvement.

The statement continued: "If Mr Alvand and his neighbours cannot agree a way forward, then our tree officers will need to visit the property and take measurements to determine the 'action hedge height' and establish what, if any, remedial action needs to be taken."

Roger Palfrey, 71, who lives opposite Mr Alvand said: "You certainly can't see the house through the trees.

"I'm concerned, although they're quite nice to look at and it's a roost for the birds, the rootage system underneath must be phenomenal.

"It can't be doing the infrastructure underneath the roads any good."

Mr Palfrey is friends with Roger Coath who lives next door to Mr Alvand.

He said: "I know Roger [Coath] doesn't like heights and the gutters are full of needles, and he can't grow any grass or decent lawn in his front garden because the sunlight doesn't get there."

This is the second time Mr Alvand has faced a formal complaint over the use of his land.

In 2003, he lost a legal battle against a 3m (9.84ft) high wall built around his property, which neighbours dubbed the "Berlin Wall".

A jury at Plymouth Crown Court decided that Mr Alvand had failed to comply with a planning enforcement order and fined him £700 with costs of £2,500.

BBC Online reported

15th July 2010

Recession fuels rise of cowboy tree surgeons, says Health & Safety Executive

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is responding to a rising number of complaints about rogue tree surgeons, according to field inspector Ian Whittles.

Speaking at The ARB Show, he said: "There's been more cutting of corners, though we can't easily get a handle on numbers. It can be lack of training, not using proper kit, not having a ground crew, pulling trees down with ropes, charging over the odds or just doing a bad job.

"Often workers only have a mobile number. Customers will have paid them in cash then want to know what we are going to do about it." But he urged people to report cases to local HSE offices.

According to Arboriculture Association director Nick Eden: "The industry isn't Government-regulated so anyone can buy a chainsaw and call themselves a tree surgeon - and in a recession, more people are tempted to do that. But it's bad for safety, bad for trees and bad for the committed industry members."

Horticulture Week Online 25 June 2010

Commercial News

12th Sept 2010

Staff Continual Professional Development

As part of our staff members continual development groundsman Jake Clarkson will be attending Kingswood training in October to complete his NPTC 30 & 31. This will give him a qualification in chainsaw maintenance and the felling of small trees.

15th July 2010

Housing associations urged to survey trees to cut insurance bill

A company that specialises in managing landscape has produced a document outlining the responsibility of housing associations to look after trees.

The document urges all associations to produce surveys of trees and suggests that proper planning will ultimately reduce insurance costs. There are currently 1,800 housing associations in the UK, which manage a total of 1.7 million homes.

An Overview of Tree Risk Management for Housing Associations is produced by Landscape Planning, which works with around 75 housing associations, helping them to manage trees. The company pointed out that associations have a duty of care - both to their tenants and to anyone who might be in the neighbourhood of their trees.

It suggested regular tree surveys and said most attention should be given to trees in common areas such as paths and open spaces in front of the homes where people are most likely to be hurt by falling branches. Landscape Planning recommend that surveys should be carried out every three years.

It said associations should respond to any issues raised by tenants. They should also be careful only to employ contractors and sub-contractors that are properly accredited and insured. Leaflets should be distributed so that tenants understand the safety issues around trees, it added.

The document suggests that a properly laid out policy will enable housing associations to obtain more competitive insurance rates. Landscape planning is holding a series of tree management seminars aimed at associations and other large landlords. It advocates the use of GIS systems to record information about individual trees.

Jack Shamash reported in Horticulture Week 02 July 2010

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