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Red Bull Branched Out

Red Bull Branched Out, in partnership with Arboriculture AustraliaTM, is ready for its third running. The venue for this year will be Kapunda, South Australia, where 150 of the world’s best tree climbers will go against each other in a timed race.

The Red Bull Branched Out Tree Climbing Event is a new, exciting and physically challenging four- round elimination competition. In partnership once more with Arboriculture Australia, and Kapunda (SA), the three-day ‘one of its kind’ speed tree climbing event will be held on October 17, 18 and 19, 2019.

Now in its third year, Red Bull Branched Out 2019 is one not to be missed. The unique skill-based format challenges tree climbers to hit several targets in the 30 meter high tree canopy, starting at the top and swinging from fixed ropes descending down to the ground.

Up for grab a $25,000 prize in cash and over $50,000 of equipment and kit to be won, which make this the largest prize pool on offer for any tree climbing event in the world.

In each round, all climbers that have qualified for the round must attempt a tree circuit according to the rules. After each round, a designated proportion of climbers will be eliminated; climbers with the fastest times will progress through to the next round.

The fastest male and female climber to complete the Grand Final Circuit will be announced as the Red Bull Branched Out Champions for 2019.

For more information visit the event Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ events/435154957300584/

To take part to the event please register at https://www.redbull.com/au-en/events/red-bull-branched-out

September 17, 2019 / by / in , , ,
Tree Care Machinery’s Annual Conference Experience

Representatives from Tree Care Machinery (TCM) attended Arboriculture Australia’s Annual Conference, Trade Show and ATCC at the Alice Springs Convention Centre in May.

The Arboriculture Australia’s Annual Conference, Trade Show and ATCC was well organised, entertaining and most importantly, provided a platform for companies, individuals, guest speakers and competitors to foster relationships and help bring the industry together.

For TCM, it was a prime opportunity for networking and to display their new range of products at a stall during the trade show. Their unique range, that includes products from around the globe, was well received by attendees and complimented their ever-growing online store — www.treecaremach.com.au.

While networking at the event, TCM staff met ACT Arborist, Maja Blasch. Maja is an accomplished climber who is very well respected within the Arboriculture industry. Tree Care Machinery have decided to sponsor Maja in the upcoming ITCC World Tree Climbing Championship in Knoxville, Texas from August 9-11, 2019.

Maja will be representing Australia as she competes against some of the best climbers in the world. Congratulations to the winners of the Australian Tree Climbing Championships and all involved in what was a successful and inspiring event.

Thank you to Arboriculture Australia for their efforts. TCM can’t wait to be part of next year’s conference on the Gold Coast.

For further information visit www.treecaremach.com.au

September 8, 2019 / by / in , ,
Climate Change

How are insects responding to rapid climate change?

Damselflies are evolving rapidly as they expand their range in response to a warming climate, according to new research led by Macquarie University researchers in Sydney.

“Genes that influence heat tolerance, physiology, and even vision are giving them evolutionary options to help them cope with climate change. Other insects may not be so lucky,” says Dr Rachael Dudaniec, lead author of the paper.

The study, published in Molecular Ecology yesterday, investigated the genetics of an insect’s capacity to adapt and survive in a changing world by looking at the blue-tailed damselfly (Ischnura elegans) in Sweden.

“Damselflies, like other aquatic insects, are faced with a dilemma given the current and unprecedented rate of global warming,” says Rachael.

“Either they perish, move elsewhere or adapt to the new environmental conditions. It’s a classic case of fight or flight.”

The researchers tracked the frequency of particular genes in the damselfly population as environmental conditions – such as temperature, rainfall, wind speed and tree cover – changed over their range.

They found that the species’ genes strongly responded to changes in the environment as you moved from the southern core of the species’ distribution to the northern edge of their current range.

“We examined the degree of turnover from one variant of a gene to another variant,” says Rachael. “For example, how strongly does one variant of a gene change to another variant as you move to higher latitudes.”

“These patterns show us how natural selection acts upon the damselfly. “Genes that are more favourable in the new environments become more common, so that the damselfly is better adapted to its surroundings.”

By looking at where these genes are on the damselfly’s genome, the researchers found that they performed important functions related to heat tolerance, physiology, and even visual processing.

“These genes may be helping these insects deal with extreme climates, and how they find food and mates as their distribution shifts into novel northern habitats,” says Rachael.

“Our research suggests that the blue-tailed damselfly has a wealth of evolutionary strategies available to help it adapt to a changing climate.”

But, she warns, this is certainly not the case for all species.

“Our research highlights the need to further investigate how different species will cope with climate change,” says Rachael.

“Identifying the species that are going to struggle the most in changing environments will allow us to direct conservation actions more appropriately.”

The study was co-authored by researchers from Macquarie University, the University of Aberdeen and Lund University.


Dudaniec RY, Yong CJ, Lancaster LT, Svensson EI, Hansson B. Signatures of local adaptation along environmental gradients in a range-expanding damselfly (Ischnura elegans). Molecular Ecology. April 2018.

August 26, 2019 / by / in , ,
Arbor Camp 2019

The Victorian Tree Industry Organisation’s (VTIO) Arbor Camp 2019 returned to Pax Hill, Scout Camp, Ballarat where once again we were well hosted by Greg Weiner and the local scout groups.

Students from Melbourne Polytechnic, Holmesglen TAFE and Wadonga TAFE made use of the site for their practical classes on the Thursday prior to the start of Arbor Camp. We are really pleased tree schools from around Victoria are engaging with us and look forward to working closer with them to ensure we deliver a product that provides students not only a great educational experience, but does so in manner that introduces them to networking opportunities throughout the industry.

Friday morning started off with a presentation from WorkSafe Victoria. A recent fatality in the vegetation management sector has, unfortunately, once again brought into focus inherent dangers in our industry and Claire Franklin and Brendan Baker came along to talk through some safety issues our industry faces. We were also reminded of the Occupational Health and Safety Essentials Program, a free service where WorkSafe Victoria funds an independent consultant to assist with improving your safety processes.

Next up we were extremely lucky to host Mike Ellison, who had a small window between running Quantified Tree Risk Assessment workshops in Melbourne and Sydney. Mike led a walk through the lower sections of the camp, speaking to the many aspects of tree features that we should consider when assessing trees. The holistic nature of Mike’s approach asks us to consider the many benefits of the tree, rather than focusing on the unlikely worst case scenario. It isheartening to see that, as an industry, we are moving away from the hazard-led approach to tree assessment and moving into an assessment process that includes looking at the benefits of the tree when informing management practices.

Everybody’s favourite physiotherapist, David Hall, got us up and moving with a series of thought provoking statements that asked us to assess our mental health and ways we can improve our mental wellbeing. We heard from the group that, especially when working in a team environment, constantly touching base with each other and maintaining a dialogue does much to lift the spirits of the individual worker. Many said that when they worked with an engaged crew they believed they worked in a more productive and safer work place.

Grant Harris from Ironbark Environmental Arboriculture talked through the science that supports the creation of urban habitat hollows. Grant showed us the standard nest box and a reclaimed hollow and discussed the differences between the two. As our industry increases the use of habitat hollows, so too does our understanding of the effectiveness of the different methods. Urban habitat creation is a really exciting development in our industry and, I can assure you, VTIO will be looking at providing professional development on this in an ongoing capacity.

Maja Blasch made a much appreciated journey down from Canberra to experience the comradery of Arbor Camp and demonstrate some of the latest tree work devices and then supervised a few climbers interested in trying them out. Maja detailed the benefits and negatives of each piece of equipment in a really engaging manner that was well appreciated by the audience. A special thanks to Cannings/ATRAES for the loan of the equipment and Alana Murray for the on-ground assistance.

Saturday morning started off with Bambra Park ‘Agroforester’ Rowan Reid talking through the experience of growing timber products in Victoria’s South-West. Rowan has been growing trees for around 40 years and has developed a market for his wood products from ice-cream stick to guitar fretboards, he even grows shitake mushrooms of off-cuts from Oak trees. The breath of his operation is as remarkable as his knowledge of tree establishment. Anyone interested in learning more about Rowan’s projects should consider attending a tour of his farm or reading his recently released book ‘Heartwood’, both can be found at www.agroforestry.net.au

Anne Gleeson is VTIO’s go-to person when it is grammar with which it is an issue we are having. Anne runs GAPS Professional Writing Group and talked us through the basics of setting out a coherent argument when drafting our reports. Anne’s thoughtful approach to clear and precise language, and a ‘less is more’ approach, is well appreciated. We’ll be seeing more of Anne over the next few years.

The Speciality Trees’ Formative Pruning Challenge, as always, proved to be popular with the crowd, with more participants than secateurs. Hamish Mitchell once again put in a huge effort to travel the trees used to and from his farm in Narre Warren. Hamish scoped the project by demonstrating the end result he was after; which was heavily influenced by Ed Gillman’s teachings. Rowan Reid helped judge and talked about how the process for formative pruning trees for agroforestry was completely different to that used for amenity tees. This was a really enjoyable competition for all involved and selecting the winners is always difficult.

Paul Ryle finished of the official program with a demonstration of old fashioned woodworking techniques. Paul transported us back to the days of bodgers, benchman and framers. Paul made some spoons for the presenters last year and this year he showed us the process for making wooden spoons. I’m amazed he has all his fingers, but as he explained, if you follow the right process, then the work is really safe. Which takes us back to the theme from WorkSafe, following safe work practices is the best thing we can do to make sure we get home each night.

Hope to see you at next year’s Arbor Camp – more details soon.

For more info visit http://vtio.org.au

August 7, 2019 / by / in , ,
Safety Culture

Safety is not just about following regulations and check lists. On-point culture is key to a team fine-tuned and focused on what it wants to achieve. Nick Peardon of Treeincarnation tells us more.

More often that not, attempts to improve safety commonly consist of ‘safety’ meetings (largely their fundamental purpose isn’t to improve safety), gear checks, arial rescues and ensuring sufficient time is allocated towards jobs.

However, what has the biggest impact, and what also largely goes overlooked, is ensuring an on-point culture.

Culture, especially in larger organisations, is typically put aside or dumped in the ‘too hard’ basket due to the fact it’s difficult to report on, and because there is a general lack of awareness on how to effectively develop and nurture it.

Bottling culture and putting metrics on it so it can be reported on can be difficult, sure, instilling procedures to ensure the longevity of a culture can also be deterring as well.

However, choosing to remain ignorant to it because of its perceived complexity is a poor excuse in allowing it to fall by the wayside.

I’m a big advocate for having alignment within an organisation. Alignment in the sense of being on the same page, sharing similar values and uniting to work towards what the business intends to achieve.

This not only provokes a camaraderie within a team, but most importantly serves to ensure each team player has everyone else’s back.

Being the third most dangerous job in the country, in a lot of scenarios the nature of the work means a worker’s life is commonly in the hands of one of their colleagues.

All the safety meetings in the world wouldn’t prevent an accident from happening nearly as well as compared to an aligned team in an on-point culture.

A Word On Culture

Culture is not wishy-washy. Leaders who neglect it find a whole amass of greater problems they have to deal with and it is this misconception that is largely is foundational to the inefficiencies many businesses face today.

To avoid it would be to largely do the biggest disservice to all in the business and to all who come into contact with the business.

For a lot of organisations, the problem stems not from a lack of structures in place to best help promote great culture, but from their recruitment process.

It was the masterful Jim Collins who stated, in his proclaimed book Good To Great “get the right people on the bus, and the right people in the right seats”.

Our staff on boarding process at Treeincarnation ensures that only the right people get in. What determines a candidate to be ‘right’ largely comes down to identifying alignment in values.

For instance, if a candidate applies for a position and doesn’t recognise benefits in having an informal, fun, spontaneous and high-energy approach to how we go about doing business, then likely they aren’t going to resonate with our practice of having ‘prank days’ every week. Prank days stems from recognising the importance of having fun at work and everyone’s need to want to enjoy coming to work as well. It is one of the ways in which we maintain and amplify the camaraderie in the team.

While no one really lasts in the industry unless they enjoy it, no one is going to last in an organisation unless they get along with the people in it. Alignment is where it starts.

Understanding that culture is a constantly moving target. These weekly rituals that boost culture are key to ensuring each team member remains aligned for the purpose of high performance, staff fulfilment and safe work practices.

What similar procedure could you implement within the organisation in which you work?

For some it might be an in-house climbing competition, for others it would be singing kumbaya.

What ever it is for you, the point of it all is not to simply have an exercise that you do each week. That is against the point. It’s about alignment and it’s about congruence with what ritual fundamentally encompasses the culture at its’ core.

It may be difficult for you initially to think of something. If this is you, good. This means you’re on the right track. Wrestle with it and continue to unpack it until you think you are close to the answer. What this might also uncover is a lack of parameters in the recruitment process around determining who gets into your organisation in the first place.

If this is also you, have a think about the values your people on your bus most commonly share and recruit based on them.

When you have a culture of what I call ‘3am guys’ (a team who would remove a dead body for each other at 3 o’clock in the morning), the chances of having accidents or even close calls are significantly reduced.

Nick Peardon is a Business Growth Partner and is the Founder and Owner of Treeincarnation – Australia’s No. 1 Tree Removal Company that makes furniture out of the trees being cut down.

August 1, 2019 / by / in , ,
Teeth Types

What is the difference between these saws?

When it comes to finding the perfect Silky Saw it may feel overwhelming! But don’t worry there is a Silky Saw designed just for you and what you want to cut.

There is very little these boys can’t handle! Extra Large Teeth: these are to be used as an alternative to a small chainsaw. Sounds crazy, but trust me, you can cut a 30cm log with these babies.

Large Teeth: large branches and green sappy wood.

Medium Teeth: great general purpose, can cope with smaller branches and ok with larger ones too.

Fine: smaller pruning, carpentry, rope, plastic, PVC and DIY/hobby.

Confused, call Arborlab Tree Care Products, they love to help!

“Why can’t you use a fine tooth saw for medium to large general pruning?” You will feel the difference if you cut a live branch with a fine tooth saw. The sap will get stuck in the teeth. Result… time and frustration. The right tooth size gives:

speed and enjoyment.

“What about a large tooth saw for every pruning job?”

If only it was that easy but unfortunately not. Using a large tooth saw on a small branch will cause the saw to jump around on the branch and ultimately land on your hand. And trust me, they cut skin even better than wood. If you try to cut a small branch or fibrous material with a large tooth, they will feel like they are fighting with the material, not cutting it enjoyably.

Call Arborlab Tree Care and chat with Jannita on (07) 3823 1599.

For more information http://www.arborlab. com.au

July 31, 2019 / by / in , ,
Work Athletes

At Citywide, we take a holistic approach to arboriculture that ensures all our staff take care of themselves and their teammates.

Whether it involves climbing and rigging, using one of our specialised elevated work platforms (EWPs) or constantly feeding wood chippers with heavy, cumbersome logs, the importance of maintaining good health and fitness through proper nutrition and staying well hydrated is paramount.

Observe a climber who is hungry or thirsty and wants to get out of the tree. The timber he or she cuts grows bigger and more unwieldly. They won’t climb as high and they refuse to limb walk. Decision-making gets worse, frustration builds and an incident occurs.

As Arborists and Ground Crew, we work long hours often in extreme temperatures, doing heavy manual labour and often in awkward positions. We climb out on long branches and contort ourselves into weird positions, wielding heavy chainsaws at weird angles, always striving to get a perfect cut.

We spur-climb with a heavy chainsaw hanging from our harness. We flex every abdominal muscle while holding the tools of our trade to ‘block down’ large timbers. And we drag heavy branches through narrow areas, to a chipper truck that always seems to move further away each time.

Indeed, the life and work of an arboristis akin to being a high performance athlete. A ‘work athlete’.

So, just as hydration and nutrition are key elements to an athlete’s wellbeing and ultimately helping keep them on track, so too do we ensure our people are in the best possible physical and mental shape.

It’s a duty of care that’s in our DNA and central to our mission and purpose of safely shaping liveable cities.

For more information about our company and values visit http://citywide.com.au or send an email to [email protected]

July 5, 2019 / by / in ,
Hansa Grand Opening

In the world of chippers and shredders, Hansa is a family business that sets a great example of using specialist design and manufacturing, to not only compete against larger machinery brands around the world but giving them a good run for their money.

Hansa was originally formed when founder Manfred Vogel saw the opportunity to make chippers for domestic use. No one else was interested, so in the 1980s he left his job as a mechanical engineer to build his first chipper. Now under the leadership of husband and wife team, Martin and Kate Vogel, Hansa continues to excel in producing top quality chipping and shredding equipment with a range that now includes domestic chippers suitable for gardens and acreages, all the way up to compact-but-powerful commercial chippers designed for arborists in urban spaces.

To supplement their chipper line, Hansa are also the local distributor for Predator Stump Grinders – a brand well known for grinders that can fit through tight gateways. In recent years Hansa have also released a unusual product – a Chaff Cutter – based on a remodelled Streamline product when friend and founder of Streamline discontinued the business.

If this dynamic duo didn’t already have enough on their plate, Hansa have just completed undertaking a massive task of building a new 3000m² dedicated production facility. This build started in March 2018 and saw the production facility become operational late last year in December. Offices and administration followed in early 2019. Rather than simply adding new equipment, the facilities were built with a clear focus on streamlining their processes to produce more efficiently and sustainable growth. However, several key areas of production have expanded – such as incorporating an additional coating booth, assembly bay and service bay.

This is a huge leap from Hansa’s origins, where the first chippers were originally built in a relative’s honey shed. Hansa have since moved several times over the years – promptly outgrowing the honey shed, moving into a small workshop, undertaking several expansions to the workshop, before leasing a bigger production space in 2012. By 2016 it was already evident that Hansa was fast outgrowing this production space also, as a multi-generational business

Hansa’s leadership knew that they wanted to invest in the future for a truly sustainable long-term home, so in 2018 they launched this project to give Hansa a more permanent home with plenty of room to grow.

The newly completed headquarters at Te Kowahi Road East, Hamilton are only three minutes away from Hansa’s last home but shows a much larger site of more than 8300 m². The building design was by Stiles and Hooker, while the build was completed by Livingstone Builders.

Formsteel rafters were used for the structure to provide a pillar-free clear-span across the production areas and allows for better utilisation of the floor space.

Hansa pride themselves on being an innovative family business. Listening to the feedback of their customer base has been a core value since the beginning of Hansa. Product developments and advancements usually come from the first-hand experience from the field by actual users in their working environments, and are tested in the field.

Another key consideration for the move was to take the opportunity to maximise efficiency – optimised for leaner production systems. Hansa has often looked to utilise the best avaliable technologies in their design and production, including: solid works design, CNC machining, metal folding, laser cutting and robot welding, and the new headquarters is no exception. There is no doubt that Hansa has come a long way from their humble beginnings and are ready to tackle the next decade of production and growth in their stride.

Give a freecall to Hansa 1800 426 722.

For more information visit http://www.hansachippers.com.au

June 24, 2019 / by / in ,
Tree Care Machinery Brand New Website

The wait is finally over! Shop online with Tree Care Machinery in 2019.

Tree Care Machinery (TCM) has launched its brand new e-commerce website that allows customers to purchase or enquire about machinery, arborist equipment, accessories, services and more.

2019 has seen TCM begin to build a strong online presence by increasing efforts on social media and launching their new online store. For too long customers have had to find their way to TCM’s premises in Melrose Park, South Australia, in order to collect any products they desire. This year, TCM customers are able to order at the touch of a button. Whether you’re at home, on the job or doing some weekend shopping from the couch, TCM products will always be available online.

What Will You Find On The New Website?

TCM stocks reputable brands such as Bandit, Husqvarna, Silky, Hydralada, Hansa, Monitor, Petzl, DMM, Samson, Teufelberger, Reecoil, Safe Eyes, Sawpod and more. You will also find an extensive range of new arborist equipment that TCM has imported from around the world.

The website allows you to easily browse the TCM product range, find useful information on machinery and equipment maintenance, access their video library or just find out more about a particular product or service. TCM aims to provide value for money, so their prices are very competitive. Should you spend $400 or more, TCM will cover the cost of delivery (excluding bulky items). One product you will find on their new website is the all new wood chipper knife box. After years of research, development and testing, the knife box is finally ready to be released to the industry and at a similar price to any knife boxes currently available.

The new knife box offers safe storage of sharp blade, is easy to carry, stands up for better storage and uses a high grade PPUV stable plastic that increases longevity and combats the effects of time in the sun. Not only can the new knife box fit more knives but the handle allows you to carry two boxes at once.

The small knife box is $35 and the large is $45, but when paired with multiple sets of knives, the box comes free.

TCM is continuing to grow both online and off as a part of their commitment to helping make their customers lives easier, more convenient and more enjoyable.

For more information visit www.treecaremach.com.au

June 19, 2019 / by / in ,
The Annual 2019 Arboriculture Conference In Australia’s Red Centre

Arboriculture Australia’s Annual Conference is the singular opportunity for our industry to get together, network and learn from industry experts. It is a must-attend event for industry leaders and practitioners.

The 2019 Arboriculture Australia Annual Conference will attract more than 250 delegates from all facets of the industry. Local, national and international arborists from public, private and government sectors, encompassing Urban Forestry, Utilities above and below ground, researchers, consultants, contractors, nurserymen, and landscape architects.

Situated in the Red Centre of Australia, at the foot of the MacDonnell Ranges, the Alice Springs Convention Centre is the perfect location for our conference.

Our programme runs over two days, May 20 – 21, and includes speakers from the Urban Forestry and Utility Arborist streams. And because we’re in Alice this year, we’re tapping into the region’s talent. Our Conference Tour of the Todd River and Olive Pink Botanic

Gardens is hosted by gardens curator Ian Coleman with the Northern Territory’s senior botanist, Peter Jobson, providing insight into arid species and the effect of introduced species in the local ecology.

2019 Conference Speakers Include:

  • Daniel Heyburn, Eastern Tree Services, QLD
  • Denise Johnstone, University of Melbourne, VIC
  • Greg Moore, University of Melbourne, VIC
  • Heath Frewin, Essential Energy, NSW
  • Janet McDonald, Department of Agriculture, QLD
  • Kelly Hertzog, City of Melbourne, VIC
  • Lyndal Plant, Urban Forester, QLD
  • Mark Hartley, The Arborist Network, NSW
  • Melissa McManus, North Sydney Council, NSW
  • Mike Daleo, San Diego Gas and Electric, USA
  • Nigel Tapper, Monash University, VIC
  • Peter Jobson, Northern Territory Herbarium, NT
  • Randy Miller, CN Utility Consulting, USA
  • Shane Brunker, Sophie Davison, Network Mapping, NSW and Scott McKenzie, Endeavour Energy, NSW
  • Stacie Grassano and Jeff Filip, Intelfuse, VIC
  • Stephen Martin, Powerlink, QLD

The conference programme will also include panel sessions devoted to the utility stream with more presenters confirming their involvement over the coming weeks. Keep an eye on our website for updates.

Our wonderful association sponsors will be well represented in our trade exhibition space which will provide excellent networking opportunities before the conference, during breaks and during our Annual Gala Dinner which will also make use of the exhibition space.

Our entertainment programme ensures that even if you’re only in Alice for a short time you won’t miss out on cultural experiences. Our Welcome Reception and Annual Gala Dinner feature local performers and artists including youth drumming group Drum Atweme and indigenous artist Tommy Crow.

With the permission of traditional owners, the 2019 Australian Tree Climbing Championships will be held in the historic Alice Springs Telegraph Station on Friday 18 May. In a unique Northern Territory twist, we’ll use a crane anchor point for the first time in ATCC history. This year the whole event will take place over one day only and the Alice Springs locals are looking forward to seeing what our climbers can do.

Words | Arboriculture Australia

Conference registration is now open at http://bit.ly/ArbAus2019

Further information and regular updates are available on the Arboriculture Australia website http://arboriculture.org.au/

May 31, 2019 / by / in