UKTC Archive

Re: Watering trees during the establishment phase

Subject: Re: Watering trees during the establishment phase
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Feb 14 2020 17:35:40
Jon is quite right. Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when we spend months
writing damnedfoolproof specifications. The reality is that the workers
will do what they damned well please, and there is no sensible way to
supervise them. One "solution" is post-irrigation inspection of a
significant (not necessarily large) random sampling of each crew's
work--probes, cores, and "testing," all of which can range from the
ridiculously simple but adequate to the insanely involved and expensively

I will plug a Yank book here: *Water Relations of Plants and Soils* by
Kramer and Boyer, the progenitor of which *Plant-Soil Water Relations* by
Kramer, was my textbook in the 1950's.


PS: One "problem" is that the so-talented-they-are-threatening types tend
to get kicked upstairs in organizations, leaving the determined yahoos to
go back to their sinful ways . . .

On Fri, Feb 14, 2020 at 3:38 AM Jon Heuch <> wrote:


It depends whether you are writing guidelines, which need to and can
usefully be interpreted, best by a trained and proficient operator, or a
contract, in which you are laying out something which some brain-dead
facilities manager uses to cost operations (and the all pervasive
contractual terms) and deploy staff.

Explaining is different to providing specifications. If I want someone to
grow a plant, I would choose someone with "green fingers"; a Kew
in something relevant would probably do if for me (suggesting they had
proven they had some "green finger" skills), because I feel Kew would never
pass someone along the chain who had not proven they could grow plants.
Someone who had been to college for a few years would not; they may have
some text book knowledge; they may some useful experience but there is no
guarantee they will have the knowledge to do a useful job.

So..telling people in a contractual sort of way that a newly planted tree
needs x litres of water every day, every week , every month, whatever may
a useful guideline but it may not be needed at all for some periods and
greater amounts of water, with greater frequency may be needed at others.
Clearly there is a logistical challenge; the bowser that is adequate for
whole job in April is far too small for the work required in August. You
need far more watering in August than  you do in April..but it may not be.
The problem is not restricted to arboriculture; we have large empty buses
for most of the day because at rush hour they are full. We could take a
Northern Rail (& others) approach & put two small diesil cars on and they
are always full

I have no problems with guidelines; I do have a problem with contracts. We
only need to look at Sheffield to see how badly a contract can cause
problems.  I hope most of you are aware of the much larger problems the
contractor has got into in Birmingham. This is what the judge had do say

The PFI contract ... is around 5,190 pages long, excluding discs, plans and
documents incorporated by reference.

The contract is a formidable document. The definitions alone span over 200

Schedule 3 to the contract contains method statements. I shall not weary
reader with lengthy quotations from these formidable documents

Any relational contract of this character is likely to be of massive
containing many infelicities and oddities

Things only went wrong when .. thought up an ingenious new interpretation
the contract, which would have the effect of reducing their workload,
alternatively increasing their profit ...

Even the judgment itself has a glossary 10 pages long!


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The UKTC is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy