As if any further demonstration was needed of the value of arborist training, not just in Staffordshire but across England, it was surely in the headlines that accompanied the winds to hit various parts of the south of the country on Monday.
One such story concerned an ash tree that was torn away from the ground as a result of potent gusts in the South Gloucestershire town of Yate. The tree in Kingsgate park, which had an estimated age of between 30 and 50 years old, was discovered by staff and visitors on the opening of the park on the morning of 30th March.
Yate Town Council’s estates officer Tony Moore confirmed that the tree concerned was a medium-sized, mature tree near the boundary of the park. He added that “arrangements are being made for its removal and timber and chippings will be retained for user where possible.
“We believe it fell during the strong winds. The tree will be cut up and removed and branches will be chipped and the chips will be used for mulching shrub beds and surfacing paths. Larger limbs will be used to form path edgings around the park.”
In a signifier of the continuing relevance of arboricultural training in areas of the UK like Yate, Moore said that a tree surgeon would inspect the ash tree for evidence of ‘ash dieback’ disease. In the event of its detection, he said, the debris would be disposed of in accordance with Defra guidance.
Fallen trees were also reported in London and the south-east, which experienced winds of up to 50mph. Monday was therefore a busy day for recipients of arb training based across this area of the UK, incidents including one in Lambourne Road, Chigwell that left one house with considerable structural damage.
A large tree also fell in nearby New Wanstead, at the junction with Hollybush Hill, forcing traffic to a standstill. Thankfully, neither incident resulted in injuries.