Dr Rob Hawkins reports on The ARB show 2017

Dr Rob Hawkins, ICF Technical Officer, attended The ARB Show 2017 in May, the biggest show in the event’s 19 year history. Dr Hawkins reports on his experience.

The ARB Show 2017 took place on the 12-13 May at Westonbirt Arboretum. I went along to see what makes it the place to go for Arboriculturists and Tree Surgeons.

On Arrival

I arrived at Westonbirt not long after 9.15am and was directed to the secondary car park as the primary one was already full – a testament to the popularity of the event which, this year, was the biggest yet. Through the main gate, I was soon met by the Arboricultural Association staff handing out the official show guide and an entry form for a competition to win a chain saw – perfect for our Bristol office!

It was here I also met up with Stewart Wardrop, CEO of the association. Although understandably busy, Stewart welcomed me to the show and explained a little about the show which has grown over the years, increasing demand means they have had to increase the number of trade stands which he says is an indication of a vibrant industry. The show has also moved to a site inside the arboretum, giving visitors access to the grounds and the option to explore some of the 17 miles of paths where over 15,000 specimen trees can be found.

Promoting “Keep it Clean” Campaign at The ARB Show

Professional Member Dr Kat Deeks promoting Show 2017 to promote the Forestry Commission’s “Keep it Clean” campaign

As I walked around the site, one of the ICF members I bumped into was Dr Kat Deeks. Kat is a Biosecurity Officer for Forestry Commission England and was there to promote the Forestry Commission’s “Keep it Clean” campaign. Their stand was host to a wealth of information on biosecurity measures designed to prevent the ever present threat of spreading pests and diseases. You could even take away a hoof pick to help you in the battle!

STIHL Demonstration Area

The STIHL demonstration area was an interesting place to visit. Visitors could try equipment and product experts were on hand to help with any queries potential buyers might have. They also had a demonstration of chainsaw carving happening later in the day, but unfortunately I was not there to see it.

3ATC Climbing Competition Area

The 3ATC Climbing competition was held alongside the Tree Climbers Forum. I caught an interesting, (if not slightly disconcerting) talk on field dressings and the use of tourniquet’s to prevent bleed outs after chain saw accidents at height. Watching tree climbers rope up and swing amongst the branches ringing bells situated in the midst of a huge tree was a happy distraction from thinking about what could go wrong in what can be a dangerous occupation a good reminder of the importance of maintaining professional standards.

Sharon Hosegood FICFor giving a talk and demonstration of Tree Radar at The ARB Show

Inspiring Talk and Demonstration from Sharon Hosegood FICFor

As part of the Ancient Tree Forum’s contribution, ICF Council Member Sharon Hosegood FICFor gave a talk and demonstration of Tree Radar. Sharon outlined how Tree Rader can be used to identify and map subsurface roots without the need for invasive trenches, which can obviously damage a tree’s root system. She gave a demonstration of the system to map the root of a nearby oak with impressive results!

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