UKTC Archive

Re: Standard English in Tree hazard potential assessment study and The Applicant's Dilemma

Subject: Re: Standard English in Tree hazard potential assessment study and The Applicant's Dilemma
From: Adam Hollis
Date: Nov 14 2017 10:52:24
Hi Wayne,

Don’t lose heart,  you ask all the questions you like: this isn’t ancient 
Athens - not that sort of forum!  

The purpose of this one is "to gather together a resource for all those 
interested in the care of trees”. 

You are not diverting or, rather, you are - there is only so much enthusiasm 
one can drum up for whether or not to fill in an S3.142zxy form in triplicate!

Indeed, I wish I had half your enthusiasm and were drinking whatever it is 
you are.

With regards to 'egregious statements', I don’t think the demon lies in the 
translation from US to UK English (Tomato / Tomayto): as an anglicised 
Australian, I understand you perfectly well.

The ‘trigger’ is in the leap from the general to the particular:  standard / 
Standard and pre-emptive  / opportunist felling. You say one thing, people 
hear another.

With regard to the former, it’s a perfectly legitimate question to ask what 
yardsticks people go by in formulating their decision processes, and a trifle 
offhand to refer you to the literature (typical Athenians).

However it’s not done to refer to the (British) Standard in this respect ( a 
lot of history with which you are unlikely to be familiar).  Essentially, 
there is strong antipathy to regulation of judgment in risk assessment.

Oddly though, where I’ve spoken at seminars on valuation, there has been 
equally strong antipathy to the liberalisation of judgment: most attendees 
have asked for subjectivity to be ironed out of the appraisal process,

'just give me the numbers, man!'

Similarly, pre-emptive felling is a perfectly respectable forestry term for 
the premature removal of trees, stands or part thereof to suit a recognised 
management objective: 

create a firebreak, limit the spread of endemic wind throw or pests and 
disease, or diversify the species and age classes.  

You could argue it was a tautology, in that all management is pre-emptive. I 
understood your meaning to be, when is intervention justified?  There is 
certainly less appetite for it these days.

Our Forestry Commission (USDF) realised a while back there was more public 
benefit in 'farming squirrels’ than old-fashioned timber production.

On forum though, the term (pre-emptive) seems to have taken on the more 
nuanced and, as you say, egregious connotation of wilful removal of trees as 
material planning constraints on development to maximise returns on 
investment. I like to call this the Applicant’s Dilemma.

As with the Prisoners’ one, the solution appears to lie in the realisation 
that life is neither a one-off deal, nor a zero-sum game: to clear one site 
is to prejudice all further ones in the same borough, and trees are not just 
constraints, but indexes of value.

Ironically enough, egregious once meant 'remarkably good'.  So, there you 
have it, pre-emptive felling and standards: once best practice / remarkably 
good, now outstandingly bad!

I love the expression to have your ox gored, by the way -  speaking as 
someone who was once gored by an ox in real life, but you’ll have to buy me 
that beer to hear more…

Best wishes


On 13 Nov 2017, at 21:26, UK Tree Care <> 

Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:52:39 -0800'
From: Wayne Tyson < <>>
Subject: Re: Tree hazard potential assessment study Standards

Thank you for your civil suggestions. I wish I could have a pint with some
of y'all, especially those who are repelled by my posts, to gain a deeper
understanding than is apparently possible via email alone. I would,
however, benefit from folks citing examples of my most egregious questions
and "off-beat statements."

I agree that it is best to ask one question at a time, and I will endeavor
to reform in this regard.

Normally I ignore emotionally-charged complaints that are general in
nature, simply because the complainants don't supply any specifics for me
to hang my hat on. It is not unusual for some to feel that their ox is
being gored by a comment or opinion, but without their citing/quoting the
specific statement(s) gave offence, I have nothing to hang my hat on. I do
not discourage controversy, but do not shy from it.

I do not wish to distract this forum from its intended purpose (this is not
about any one person), so I only comment (rarely, I hope) when I believe I
have something useful and relevant to contribute. Mostly, I'm interested in
learning, even though I'm rocketing to the 80-mark. I trust that other
professionals share that objective. To me, that means asking more questions
than opining from on high.

Best regards,

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