UKTC Archive

Re: New guy from the Isle of Man

Subject: Re: New guy from the Isle of Man
Date: Dec 23 2015 09:15:14
I'll second that!

A bit of advice? In planning matters at least, don't waste your client's 
money gathering data that are not likely to be used.....

All the best.


-----Original Message-----
From: Alastair Durkin <>
To: UK Tree Care <>
Sent: Wed, 23 Dec 2015 9:00
Subject: RE: New guy from the Isle of Man

Hi Ben, welcome.

In terms of genuine arboricultural discussion. If you are like me you will be 
educated and exasperated in equal measure. UKTC has provided me with some 
excellent advice over the years.

Sounds like you are doing fine re your systems. These things can always be 
improved, but if your surveys are consistently accurate enough then all is 


Alastair Durkin
Senior Tree Officer
Planning Development Management

Tandridge District Council
The Council Offices
Station Road East
Oxted, Surrey

Tel: 01883 XXXXXX
Fax: 01883 XXXXXX
-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Ben Brooker
Sent: 22 December 2015 18:19
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: New guy from the Isle of Man


I’ve just joined the list so thought I’d send a message to see how it works.

My name’s Ben, I studied arb at Merrist Wood form 2000 to 2002 and have 
worked in few different countries doing mainly climber / crew leader / 
estimator type work. I recently finished my ABC level 4 Diploma in Arb with 
Tree Life AC in Syston and have starting providing consultancy services along 
side the usual tree surgery stuff.

I have found there are so many Facebook groups and pages catering to tree 
surgery / arborist discussion (slagging) but nothing for genuine 
arboricultural discussion, so I hope I’ve found the right place here.

As i said, I’ve been working with trees for 15 years but only really started 
in consultancy. My level 4 Arb course was amazing and gave me the next level 
knowledge but offered very little i terms of recording tree data and 
manipulating the data with software as to produce drawings etc. All of this I 
have had to figure out myself, with very little online information available.

Because I’m self employed, and the tree surgery work still pays most of the 
bills, I’ve had to build my methods of surveying on a boot string. This is 
how I currently carry out surveys:

I bought a laser measuring tool from eBay for around £30. It is plenty 
accurate enough for measuring crown spread and reasonable at measuring 
height, providing you have a good high spot to bounce the laser off.
I use my iPad to input the data into a free app by GIScloud. The app requires 
that you setup a free account and then allows you to build your forms. The 
data can be collected offline and is then upload to ‘the cloud’ when you get 
to wifi. It is a really robust system and allows you export the data as CSV.
I have a Garmin bluetooth GPS / GLANOSS receiver (£67) which links to the 
iPad and allows coordinates to be attached to the tree data but it is not 
accurate, so I either use the topo for tree position or bring out the old 
paper and pen… this is the weak link in my system.
Once i have exported my CSV data I import it into KEYTree LT (£230 per 3 
months or £1500 ish outright). This software includes a stand alone version 
of Autocad and plots all of m crown spreads and RPAs, calculates my RPA 
incursions and categorises my trees by colour as per BS5837. It took a few 
hours, and lots of coffee, to get my head around but it is great as i can 
concentrate on my report instead of my drawing.

I’m guessing that the above may be obvious to many of you, but it is a break 
through for me, given the lack of info available online, and my slim budget.

Why is there so little info for arb constants? Is it because the industry is 
so young or that we like to keep our methods to ourselves.

Anyway, that’s me, thanks for reading. I will happily take an advice or 
feedback you can give. Or even if you wanted to drop me a message with a view 
to sharing ideas and info in the future, that would be great.

Merry Christmas.


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