Ben, I am told that I may have offended you. I apologise. I did not think
of the backstory when reacting to what looked like an accusation of
plagiarism, or theft of intellectual property. The digest here is
impossible to follow, so just 4 brief points.
1. As you quite admirably admit, your writing is horrible. In 2007 I
strongly recommended you get your piece reviewed by someone, anyone,
before submittal. You assured me you would, but precious little changed.
The first reviewer made it worse, changing your mishmash of first- and
second-person voice into all third-person voice. You saw the sea of
changes and flipped. I assured you there would be other reviews, but you
fired off a tirade of F-bombs to several parties that would make a rap
concert sound like Sesame Street. That did put a chill on relations, and
must have hurt receptivity to your excellent input on fasteners and on
grounding. All of which was most unfortunate.
1. Accusing Bartlett of stealing your research is kind of like accusing
Bill Gates of stealing change out of parking meters. Locally we refer each
other, but my only other connection to that firm is as a grateful consumer
of their research, from the UK in particular. Please cite exactly where
these pilfered ideas are posted, or your original post seems a bit like
slightly slanderous or conspiratorial stuff cut loose at the pub. No harm
in that really—forums are social media, after all. I am sorry to take this
so seriously, but no company, and by extension its employees, can be
accused in fairness without evidence.
1. Accusing the A300 of improperly using your work hits a bit closer to
home, as I volunteered to work in the lightning subgroup this time around.
Hence my prompt but naïve post. Again, please put up a reference to
exactly what and where these ideas are, prove that they are yours, and I’ll
try to make sure that you are cited. If there is a wrong, let’s right it.
If there’s not, keep it at the pub, or at uktc for all that matters; I
won’t get in the way any more. I also won’t air any of the more personal
laundry; that’s not cricket, at least in the pubs I frequent.
You or anyone in the UK is welcome to review and even comment on A300
Parts as they come up for review; see the last paragraph. If you want to
make a case for requiring heavier conductors, or better grounding, go for
it! An A300 synopsis follows, a US perspective on the US Standard, if
anyone is interested. Ta for now.
The ANSI A300 Tree Care Standards Committee’s spring meeting was chock full
of changes to our industry’s authoritative guidelines to writing
specifications for the work we do The best way to describe this spring’s
progress may be to count down the Parts of the A300, starting with the
*Part 11, Urban Forest Products*, is forming in response to the need to
find the best and highest use for tree parts after removal. Arborists
benefit when the trees they manage retain maximum value after they die,
from veneer and artwork to timber to pulpwood to mulch. The working
document is underway, so the committee decided to meet in southern
Michigan, ground zero for the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) invasion, to get more
input from experts with experience.
*Part 10, Integrated Pest Management*, has a first draft underway. Part 10
of the A300 already has a companion ISA Best Management Practices volume on
the topic. The ISA BMPs are typically revised on a 5-year schedule,
following the A300. IPM will also get a boost at the fall meeting, when
local EAB and ALB experts share their experience managing the pest. Like
the others, Part 10 will incorporate the expertise of practitioners,
academics, manufacturers and researchers.
*Part 9, Tree Risk Assessment*, a Tree Structure Assessment, was newly
published in 2011. A basic safety check involves a 360-degree inspection
of the entire tree, including the trunk flare and site conditions. This is
not a “should”, a recommendation. It is a “shall’, a requirement, and
using hand tools shall not be precluded. Part 9 was the basis for the
ISA’s new BMP booklet on tree risk, as well as the upcoming TRAQ, Tree Risk
Part *8, Root Management*, passed subgroup and full committee
review . Standard rootzone management was left to soil management, Part
2. Selective pruning and non-selective cutting were clarified. Distance
and percentage parameters were set. Part 8 was scheduled for a second
public review. Check http://www.tcia.org/standards/a300.htm for viewing
and commenting on this and other A300 documents.
Part *7, Integrated Vegetation Management*, IVM, covers work on
utility rights-of-way. The 2012 revision has new guidance on conservation
and lower-impact management methods. The full committee reviewed public
comment and approved the document, which undergoes a limited 30-day public
review period for the substantive changes (changing or moving “shalls” and
“shoulds”). The topics being similar, Part 7 is serving as a template for
Part 10, further speeding that effort
Part *6, Planting* is newly revised for 2012. “Flare to grade or
higher” remains the cardinal rule, while methods such as bare-rooting are
covered in more detail. The Annex on staking was expanded after the vote,
because annexes are not part of the official A300 Standard. Establishing
objectives and writing specifications gets easier by using the flowcharts
and templates found in the annexes.
*Part 5, **Management of Trees and Shrubs During Site Planning, Site
Development, and Construction is newly revised and in print. The name
reminds us: Trees are protected before construction-not after! This
revision further defines the site surveys, tree resource evaluations, and
conservation plans that arborists perform to preserve trees from
construction damage. *
******Part 4, Lightning Protection Systems* is due in 2013. The 2008
revision approved a smaller minimum conductor size, which saves a lot of
copper—and money! Any reference to installing fuses to determine strikes
have occurred, or managing trees that have been struck, has yet to be
*Part 3, Supplemental Support Systems* include cabling, bracing, guying and
propping. The subgroup reviewed changes that accommodate the use of some
emerging technologies. Through-fastening allows for smaller holes to be
drilled for steel cables, and uses fewer parts, but is relatively
untested. Dynamic systems do not require any drilling at all, and they
allow more strength-building motion. The subgroup is currently reviewing
the durability of dynamic cable material. One portion was moved from an
annex to the standard, and a 45-day public review was approved.
*Part 2, Soil Management: Modification, Fertilization, and Drainage* was
printed in 2011. The old fertilization standard now has a broader range of
potential objectives, and practices like soil aeration, replacement,
injection, augering, and amendment. Recommended ranges for applications of
compost, mulch, and soil chemistry are included, along with expanded
guidelines on calculations, and parameters for performance .
*Part 1 – Pruning*, is the oldest part of the A300 standard. In 2001,
reduction pruning’s “1/3 Rule” of the relative diameter of the remaining
lateral, was set aside in favor of a 25% guideline for the maximum amount
removed. In 2008, “predetermined” was out of the definition of topping,
and “interodal” was in. When it is revised in 2013, the terminology will
get a fresh look, as always, along with development of research since the
First, make sure your copies of the Parts most relevant to your practice
and study are current. Follow the flowcharts first, to feel the process as
the job evolves. Next read the text, marking sections that are important
or unclear. You may find seeds for new services in there, and areas ripe
for study. Look for ways to build from the core practices described. If
they are in the A300, they are tested in the lab, or in the field, or more
For clarification on unfamiliar sections, look again to the Definitions.
See how the concepts fit together, forming an integrated structure. If
they don’t fit, consult a dictionary or thesaurus to get a wider context, a
better view of the meanings. Consult with a colleague, a chapter member, a
mentor, a local expert, to see if they can help sort it out. Visit
http://www.tcia.org/standards/a300.htm to see when that Part is being
revised. Public comments are always welcome, but they are best understood
when the relevant clause is quoted, and noted by number. Alternate
wording--additions, deletions, and changes—should be literally specified.
Like using the A300 itself, when objectives are clearly established, and
specifications are accurately written, the work will go well. Cite
references, such as publications, images, and documented practice, that
support your position. Unsupported rants on unprovable philosophy are
difficult for outsiders to understand, much less incorporate. Keep
comments simple and defendable. All comments to the full committee get a
response. You can always contact a committee member in your organization.
ISA’s representative is Rich Hauer.
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