Training for Trees

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Climbing Arborists And EWP Operators

As I write this, we are finally seeing green again, after a year’s worth of rain fell in a matter of days – with heat, storms and humidity at record levels – no wonder everyone is looking forward to the winter.

At TFT we are busy with a full cohort of students, some who are graduating as trade and Diploma level arborists and some who are just beginning the journey towards achieving their goals.

Become a Good Climber

One of the commonest questions we get to our office is from individuals wanting to know what it takes to become a good climber. This is often almost echoed by the calls from employers who are either wishing to upskill their current climber or looking for a new one due to the current climber moving on to another employer.

What Is It That Makes A Good Tree Climber? Could An EWP Ever Take Over The Role Of The Climber?

Here are a few things that come to mind regarding the general requirements industry have for a tree climber role:

  • Must be qualified as an arborist at least to Certificate III in Arboriculture
  • Must be a safe operator with a good WHS knowledge and must ensure everyone will like working with them in the crew

Can They Drive A Truck And Reverse A Chipper? Can They Also Fix And Maintain The Truck And Chipper?

  • Must have a current working knowledge of all arboricultural machinery equipment and processes including the following areas:
  • PPE
  • Ropes and rigging equipment
  • Safe operation and maintenance of stump grinders, loaders, chippers, chainsaws and any other arboricultural-related equipment
  • Must be able to run a crew and organise work sites
  • General life skills are required
  • Will be required to identify trees correctly
  • Must communicate well with clients
  • Demonstrate knowledge in all aspects of the arboricultural industry
  • Must have the ability to maintain paperwork in good order
  • Would be good if they have good computer and business technology skills
  • Must be physically fit and able to carry out the works required?

There is probably a lot more that I could add here but I think you would have the general idea that requirements for a climbing arborist are quite demanding and climbing arborists often have to work under immense pressure and, even though they have excellent equipment and systems to access and work in trees, strains, sprains, musculoskeletal disorders, long term injuries and bodies wearing out are often common issues.

Use of EWPs

EWP or climber, do we need to climb at work anymore? What are some of the pros and cons regarding the use of an EWP?

Pros

  • No sick days, no heatstroke, no complaining
  • Don’t need a rescue climber on site
  • Won’t need to take long weekends and holidays
  • Reduces fatigue and easier on the body
  • Can be more suited to the older climbers
  • Good for any climber to give them a break
  • Machines are tested and load rated to a safe working load and contain many sensors and micro switches for operator protection
  • Generally the safety devices fitted as standard won’t allow operation unless the machine is correctly set up and on a stable base

Cons

  • Purchase price can be akin to that of a small house or a really nice Ute
  • Maintenance and service costs add up over time including 10-year rebuilds and retirement costs
  • Safety features are all good as long as they don’t go wrong!
  • If ground conditions are not suitable for supporting the machine, it can overturn
  • Some sites are just not able to be accessed using an EWP
  • You always need a higher reaching machine no matter how far your current one is able to reach

TFT believes that in our industry climbing arborists will always be required for areas with no access for machinery and there will always be a need for specialised climbing tree work experts and canopy explorers carrying out scientific studies and the like.

Continuing innovation and development could see the arb industry having access to EWP machines that will enable access to all areas as they say and will maybe equal or even negate the role of the average climbing arborist over time.

“The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big, noisy equipment and lifting heavy things.

Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.”

Be WHS Compliant

Within the current WHS legislation there is a general obligation for persons in the workplace to act with diligence which is a pretty open ended term placing obligations on everyone, while they are at work, including employers the self-employed and employees with the general requirement to carry out their duties as responsible operators. It is also a requirement that all workers are trained in their roles and deemed competent and current in their required skills.

Penalties for non-compliance with the work health and safety act can be quite severe so you must maintain compliance and currency of your trade qualifications.

It’s really important to update your certification levels regularly over time as new techniques and standards are developed and updated fairly often it is recommended that regular updates are carried out and documented.

“TFT believes that in our industry climbing arborists will always be required for areas with no access for machinery.”

One of the best ways to maintain currency is to undertake a refresher update for the relevant unit of competency and receive an update certificate. Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time. To be able to be recognised as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry the general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship training or RPL process to achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture, which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

Tree keepers are becoming better educated and are demanding quality work to be carried out to at least the requirements of Australian standards and increasingly are asking to see evidence of qualifications, including their currency and the subject list of units undertaken, as well as proof of adequate insurance, prior to engaging a contractor.

The pathway to achieve the Certificate III in Arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.

Once you Complete the Certificate III in Arboriculture Why Not Take the Next Step and Follow the Pathway to the Diploma of Arboriculture

Once you have achieved the Certificate III in Arboriculture or want to consolidate and recognise your industry experience, the next step is to continue to progress within the arboricultural industry and to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and take it to the next level by undertaking the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve the Diploma you will begin a journey that will see you develop and gain an intimate and considerable working tree knowledge. You will be educated through face-to-face training and assessment, resulting in the completion of the 10 nationally recognised industry endorsed units of competency making up the Diploma that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable you to operate with the highest standards with the required skills as a Business owner, lead arborist, tree officer arboricultural manager or consulting arborist in the arboricultural industry.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees. We are also so very proud that, through high quality education and training, and working within the national training package, we are seeing extremely high standards of arboricultural prognosis and tree care.

New Workers

A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is: “We need a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join our operation”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately, but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The government have realised the skills shortage and the importance of our industry and there is considerable support available for organisations that are investing in and training their staff.

One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company, where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills, while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time.

When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with your trainee and their training organisation, the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We at TFT recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that apprenticeship supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible.

As your apprentice is working their way through the training process they will steadily begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next lead climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving.

If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified, then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and if you get the balance right then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

Training at TFT

At TFT we conduct the majority of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in house trainer assessors, we supply all the required up to date tools equipment, local worksites and resources.

We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face to face classroom sessions and issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace. We work with apprentices, the self-employed, persons looking for a career change and employers to ensure students are able to progress efficiently and meet the volume of learning and performance requirements of the relevant qualifications.

“Any tree particularly if it is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist will be a very happy tree indeed.”

Training for Trees is a registered training organisation (RTO). We are completely independent and are not auspiced, attached to or operating under the direction or licence of any other RTO or parent company. This means we are personally able look  after our students and employers at  every step of their journey and beyond.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions. If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:

  • AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture or
  • AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the next intake Certificate III Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Pole saw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified.

See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

May 26, 2020 / by / in ,
Stump Grinder Training And Certification

At TFT we are busy with a full cohort of students some who are graduating as trade and Diploma level arborists and some who are just beginning their journey.

Any tree particularly if it is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist will be a very happy tree indeed. Hopefully after last month’s edition you will have had a chance to consider your workplace chipper operations and safety practices and that you continue to realise that you are part of a profession which is a bit like a family, made up from some of the most wonderful individuals involved in the arboricultural industry the world over, that generally have one thing in common – regardless of any conflicting values and opinions which often result in the experts not always agreeing with each other – the common factor is that they all care about trees.

Stump Grinder Training And Certification

The Subject that I would like to share with you for this issue involves the requirements for Stump Grinder training and certification.

AHCARB206 Operate and Maintain Stump Grinding Machines is a nationally recognised industry endorsed unit of competency that covers use of these machines.

Operators that are trained and certificated will have a greater understanding in the operation and maintenance of these machines and the end result will be seen in the standard of maintenance and operation.

There have been several serious accidents that have occurred over the past few years with these machines and training is often minimal or just not completed by operators, considering the high risk nature of these machines we feel comprehensive training and assessment for operators is essential.

I have included a few points for consideration regarding stump grinder maintenance and operation, however this is not intended to be used as a substitute for training and assessment.

“It’s important to update your certification over time as techniques and industry standards are often updated.”

Before attempting maintenance and operation of any machine ensure that you carry out a risk assessment and implement any relevant control measures.

Make sure to read and understand the operator’s manual.

Operation

There should be a plan of operation agreed upon and most importantly communicated to all personnel on site.

Take note of any work site issues, emergency procedures, the surroundings, exclusion zones, public access roads and any other issues that may be raised during the on site assessment.

  • Check for the proximity of buildings and obstructions and set out an exclusion zone around the work area
  • Flying debris can travel in excess of 15m and ricochet off solid objects such as boundary walls and fences so you need to plan for the unexpected suitable screens should be used to contain flying debris
  • Check to see if there are any underground services present, ask the client or check out the local phone book for the dial before you dig number if you are unsure
  • Inspect the stumps to be removed for any stones or metal that may be embedded in them and remove it prior to grinding if possible
  • When loading and unloading the machine from a truck or trailer ensure that ramps of the correct load bearing capacity and of a sufficient length to produce an acceptable angle for loading / unloading that are securely attached to the truck or trailer are used
  • Make sure that the machine can be operated on level ground that is firm enough to support its weight
  • Ensure to operate at the correct engine or PTO speed
  • If the stump is on a slope check out the machine specification and capabilities. (the machine manual will advise on maximum angles of operation)
  • Ensure correct fitment or deployment of stabilisers or extra width axles for the machine.

Q.Do Stump Grinder Operators Need A Ticket?

A: WHS states that persons must be adequately trained a nationally recognised statement of attainment AHCARB206 Operate and maintain stump grinding machines would ensure to demonstrate that approved training and assessment has been carried out.

It’s important to update your certification over time as techniques and industry standards are often updated. It is recommended that regular updates are carried out and documented.

One of the best ways to maintain currency is to undertake a refresher update for the relevant unit of competency and receive an update certificate.

Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time.

Regular refresher and update training and assessment programs to suit relevant skills as required are offered by us at Training For Trees.

The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big noisy equipment and lifting heavy things.

Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.

AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture

To be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry the general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship training or RPL process to achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

Tree keepers are becoming better educated and are demanding quality work to be carried out to at least the requirements of Australian standards and increasingly are asking to see evidence of qualifications including their currency and the subject list of units undertaken as well as proof of adequate insurance prior to engaging a contractor. a requirement that all workers are trained in their roles and deemed competent and current in their required skills.

The pathway to achieve the Certificate in Arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.

Take the next step and follow the pathway to the Diploma of Arboriculture

Once you have achieved the Certificate in Arboriculture or want to consolidate and recognise your industry experience, the next step is to continue to progress within the arboricultural industry and to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and take it to the next level by undertaking the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve the Diploma you will begin a journey that will see you develop and gain an intimate and considerable working tree knowledge, you will be educated through face-to-face training and assessment, resulting in the completion of the10 nationally recognised industry endorsed units of competency making up the Diploma that

Within the current OHS legislation there is a general obligation for persons in the workplace to act with due diligence, which is a pretty open ended term, placing obligations on everyone while they are at work, including employers, the self-employed and employees, with the general requirement to carry out their duties as responsible operators. It is also  have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable you to operate with the highest standards with the required skills as a Business owner, lead arborist, tree officer arboricultural manager or consulting arborist in the arboricultural industry.

We are also so very proud that through high quality education and training and working within the national training package that we are seeing extremely high standards of arboricultural prognosis and tree care.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is:

“We need a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The government have realised the skills shortage and the importance of our industry and there is considerable support for organisations that are investing in and training their staff.

Penalties for non-compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act can be quite severe so you must maintain compliance and currency.

Can you demonstrate evidence of recent staff training or updating within your company?

Do you have a safety policy that includes safe work method statements, risk assessment and machinery checklists?

Have staff members attended recent courses workshops or verification of competency (VOC) sessions?

Are your qualifications and licences up to date?

One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time. When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with your trainee and their training organisation the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We at TFT recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that apprenticeship supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible. Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially, although as your apprentice makes progress through the training process, they will steadily begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next lead climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving. If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and if you get the balance right then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

At TFT we conduct the majority of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in-house trainer assessors, we supply all the required up to date tools equipment, local worksites and resources.

We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face to face classroom sessions and issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace. We work with apprentices, the self-employed, persons looking for a career change and employers to ensure students are able to progress efficiently and meet the volume of learning and performance requirements of the relevant qualifications.

Training For Trees is a registered training organisation (RTO).

We are completely independent and are not auspiced attached to or operating under the direction or licence of any other RTO or parent company.

This means we are personally able look after our students and employers at every step of their journey and beyond.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions.

If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:

  • AHC30816 Certificate III in arboriculture Or
  • AHC50516 Diploma of arboriculture

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the next intake Certificate III Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Pole saw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified. See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

February 16, 2020 / by / in ,
Chippers, Training And Skills Shortages

Skill shortages, predictions of growth of the arboricultural industry and high standards both in training and work practices are the ‘hot’ topic of this summer issue.

As I write this, here comes 2020 along with summer heat, storms and at last some much-needed rain. At Training For Trees we are busy with our current cohort of students and fitting everything in before the big fella aka Santa arrives with a sack full of goodies!

Hopefully, after last month’s edition, you have had a chance to consider your pruning standards and practices and that you continue to realise that you are part of a profession which is a bit like a family, made up from some of the most wonderful individuals involved in the arboricultural industry the world over. Generally, they all have one thing in common and that is their strong values and opinions and, while they may not always agree with each other, they all care about trees.

The exciting news is that over the next few years our industry is predicted to grow immensely and, as a result of this growth, it has been identified that there will be a major shortage of skilled individuals available to fill these jobs that will be created within the industry.

This skills shortage has been recognised as significant and arboriculture is recognised and supported by government, within certain circumstances, with some quite significant incentives to both apprentice and employers to encourage development of the workforce.

As a result of this increased recognition, there is now a lot more research and interest in continuing to develop professional standards and practices and this has encouraged more individuals to volunteer and contribute their time, along with considerable knowledge and advice to the departments and organisations responsible for developing safety standards, advisory publications and training packages.

This can only be good for the industry and helps to enable high standards of training and assessment to be set and maintained.

Remember that training packages along with the individual units of competency they endorse are designed to meet the needs of industry and set the required standards.

It is great to see that this latest update has had a lot of technical experts putting their advice to good use and has seen more involvement and input than ever before.

I have been involved with arboricultural training package advisory and technical reference groups involving training packages and standards for the past ten years and am pleased to see the increase in skilled individuals willing to be involved to review, debate and comment on these important issues, to advise the skills service organisation and ensure that what is collated and proposed is valid and workable and meets current requirements of industry.

Remember, the industry standards and requirements are always being updated and industry requirements are reflected in the units of competency that depict the standard required to deem competence in the required task.

This ensures they have been through a long and arduous process of development and have been nationally mandated by industry to ensure training and assessment is able to be completed at the required standard throughout Australia.

All credit to the individuals who have attended countless meetings, industry consultation, and teleconferences, usually undertaking many hours of phone calls and emails, mostly outside of normal business hours.

Feedback from interested persons is considered along with sometimes heated debates and passionate individuals have fought tooth and nail towards the greater good which, overall, is to the benefit of training and education within the Australian arboricultural industry.

The information is collated and published by the industry Skills Service Organisations compiled into the required training package and put forward for national endorsement, prior to the final publication and implementation.

Safe work Australia has released a free to download document for industry titled “A guide to managing risks in the tree trimming industry”.

This document is one of the latest and quite comprehensive Australian publications designed to provide guidance regarding all things health and safety that has been produced for our industry and is extremely useful regarding guidance for managing WHS obligations within our industry.

Industry has also invested in a series of guides that are being developed designed to advise on practical industry tasks and their recommended outcomes.

They are branded by the publisher as minimum industry standards and are a useful tool to reference industry best practice.

Qualifications

Tree owners are becoming better educated and are demanding quality work carried out to Australian standards and increasingly are asking to see evidence of qualifications, including the subject lists undertaken as well as proof of adequate insurance, prior to engaging a contractor.

Australian tree care associations are now operating registers of qualified members consultants and tree care companies, which is encouraging workers to get their skills checked out and begin the process of attaining training and qualifications, updating and consolidating skills already held and looking to carry out all works according to Australian standards and industry best practice.

Within the current OHS legislation, there is a general obligation for persons in the workplace to act with diligence which is a pretty open ended term, placing obligations on everyone, while they are at work, including employers, the self-employed and employees, with the general requirement to carry out their duties as responsible operators. It is also a requirement that all workers are trained in their roles and deemed competent and current in their required skills.

One way to demonstrate compliance with these requirements is to attend regular training and updating to maintain and improve skill levels.

Regular refresher and update training and assessment programs to suit relevant skills as required are offered by us at Training For Trees.

Once a competency or qualification has been attained, refreshers are a good way to ensure that the qualifications are kept up to date with the latest requirements and this is an effective way to ensure that any bad habits that may have crept in can be identified and rectified with further training recommended and carried out as required.

You must carry out a risk assessment on site before any works commence.

Control measures should include taking note of any work site issues, emergency procedures, the surroundings, exclusion zones, public access roads and any other issues that may be raised during the assessment.

There should be a plan of operation agreed upon and most importantly communicate these items to all personnel on site.

Chippers and Safety Rules

Unfortunately, we are still hearing of accidents involving brushwood chippers, with severe consequences, and it seems all too common that exclusion zones have not been established, or that safety features have been disabled or are not functioning correctly, or the issue was caused by entanglement with ropes getting fed into the machine.

If a rope inadvertently gets fed into the machine while it is operating, usually it will wind in around the cutting mechanism extremely quickly and if the rope is attached to a portawrap, it will pull tight and we have seen reports of injuries that have included limbs almost severed by the force of the rope cutting into them.

If the rope is attached to the climber then the outcome would be even worse!

These incidents are generally caused by a lack of planning and preparation on the worksite.

I have included a few points for consideration, but the list is not intended to be used as a substitute for training and assessment.

Operating A Machine

  • Only allow trained operators to use the machine
  • Ensure the operator manual is affixed to the machine and all operators are familiar with it
  • Set up on site with appropriate signage to enable appropriate exclusion zone to be established
  • Undertake a risk assessment and comply with SWMS
  • Keep all ropes a safe distance from the machine (in rope bags)
  • Operate at correct engine speed
  • Position discharge chute correctly and check security of all guards
  • Only one operator to feed the machine at a time in sequence
  • Organise feeding so that each operator leaves clear for the next
  • Keep area clear around feed hopper, rake up frequently
  • Don’t stand directly behind the machine, feed from the side
  • Don’t leave machine running unattended
  • Shut machine down when tree work operations are underway to allow communication and reduce chances of feeding in ropes accidently
  • Use a push stick for the shorter off cuts or feed another long branch to carry them in, do not reach into the feed hopper with hands or feet
  • Do not exceed machine capacity
  • If machine becomes blocked, shut down correctly and remove keys allow to reach a complete standstill lock out and clear

When winching

  • When winching ensure operators are trained
  • Use appropriate communication
  • Maintain a safe position to operate the control
  • Keep hands and feet clear
  • Use approved rigging techniques
  • Use correctly matched hardware such as slings and pulleys check the WLL of all components
  • Keep all persons clear of the danger zones
  • Prior to leaving the site check that all loose debris is removed from the machine and that the discharge chute is correctly and securely stowed

Do Chipper Operators Need A Ticket?

WHS states that persons must be adequately trained, a nationally recognised statement of attainment such as FWPHAR2206 Operate a mobile chipper mulcher would ensure approved training and assessment has been carried out.

Don’t Forget: Chipper Training And Certification

The competency unit FWPHAR2206 Operate a mobile chipper/ mulcher is a nationally recognised competency unit that covers use of these machines.

Operators that are trained and certificated will have a greater understanding in the operation and maintenance of these machines and the end result will be seen in the standard of pruning and operation even regular operators can benefit greatly from training and updating their techniques.

It’s really important to update your certification levels regularly over time as new techniques and standards are developed and updated fairly often. It is recommended that regular updates are carried out and documented.

All qualifications need to be maintained as current and the best way to maintain currency is to have a refresher update in the unit of competency and receive an update certificate.

Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time.

The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big noisy equipment and lifting heavy things!

Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.

To be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry, general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship and achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

The pathway to achieve the Certificate in Arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.

Take the Pathway to the Diploma of Arboriculture

Once you have achieved the Certificate III in Arboriculture or want to consolidate and recognise your industry experience, the next step is to continue to progress within the arboricultural industry and to follow the pathway from trade level / working arborist and take it to the next level by undertaking the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve this qualification you will begin a journey that will see you develop and gain an intimate and considerable working tree knowledge, you will be educated through face-to-face training and assessment, resulting in the completion of the 10 nationally recognised industry endorsed units of competency making up the Diploma that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable you to operate with the highest standards with the required skills as a Business owner, lead arborist, tree officer arboricultural manager or consulting arborist in the arboricultural industry.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

Make an effort to take ownership of your learning both at work and in your own time. Even when you are dragging branches to the chipper you could be learning about trees. How do they look, how heavy are they? What colour is the timber what other features do you notice? A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is:

“We need a new groundie, climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The government has realised the skills shortage and the importance of our industry and there is considerable support for organisations that are investing in and training their staff.

One of the best sources for new staff, often overlooked, is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company, where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time.

When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with your trainee and their training organisation, the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We at TFT recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible. Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially, although as your apprentice makes progress through the training, they will steadily begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next lead climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving.

If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified then at least you will have had some return on your investment, while they were employed with you and if you get the balance right then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

At TFT we conduct the majority of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in house trainer assessors, all the required up to date tools and equipment, local worksites and resources.

We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face to face classroom sessions issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace and working with the selfemployed persons looking for a career and employers to ensure they are progressing efficiently and meeting their performance requirements.

We are also able to travel and deliver and assess within the workplace if required.

Training For Trees is a privately registered training organisation (RTO). We are completely independent and are not auspiced, attached to or operating under the direction or licence of any other RTO or parent company which means we are able look after our students and employers at every step of their journey and beyond.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions. If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:

  • AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture

Or

  • AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the next intake Certificate III Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Pole saw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified.

See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

December 22, 2019 / by / in , , ,
Pruning Operations

This month we look into pruning issues as sadly, while on my travels, it seems a very rare sight indeed to find evidence of correctly finished pruning cuts on completed tree jobs.

Here comes spring and at Training For Trees, we are excitedly looking forward to receiving some new gear that was ordered at the end of the last financial year. It’s just that it is somewhere on the high seas at the moment so we just have to continue the wait.

Hopefully, after last month’s edition some of the myths surrounding work methods have been dispersed and every day we realise that some of the most wonderful individuals make up the arboricultural industry the world over and that generally we all have one thing in common and that is we all care about trees.

This month I would like to discuss some pruning issues with you all because, sadly while on my travels around this part of the world, it seems a very rare sight indeed to find evidence of correctly finished pruning cuts on completed tree jobs.

Good pruning skills and techniques can take many years to learn and sometimes the best place to start is with the aid of a short course in basic pruning techniques followed up by plenty of supervised practice in the workplace.

To begin with it is usually important to choose the right time of year to carry out the works as some species react adversely to being pruned at the wrong times. This can also affect flower/fruit production. It is very easy to cause irreversible damage to trees through poor pruning practices and it is essential that operators have at least some basic arboricultural knowledge regarding tree anatomy and physiology.

Careless pruning not only shows up as the work of someone who is not competent or professional in their work, but can cause irreversible damage to the subject tree in the form of scars along the branches coat hanger like stubs large flush cuts or wrongly angled branch collar pruning cuts preventing essential mechanisms and processes from happening, leaving the tree open to secondary infection, future decay and at risk of structural failure.

So Why Prune At All?

There are numerous reasons for carrying out pruning work to trees and shrubs but some of the common ones are as follows.

  • Overhanging branches causing problems with neighbours
  • Statutory clearance requirements for utilities such as power and phone lines
  • Satellite signal reception problems
  • Overhanging or low branches that impede traffic flow lines of sight and road signs
  • Restructuring of storm damaged canopies
  • Trees that have outgrown their current surroundings can be made smaller and retained as an alternative to their complete removal
  • Removal of dead diseased dying and deranged wood (the four Ds)
  • Formative pruning of young trees to produce a sound structure for future growth.

First and foremost the tree must be taken into consideration and factors including its current form condition structure and the required outcome for the pruning works.

Prior to commencing any pruning operation you must be aware of any legal and environmental restraints such as tree protection legislation and avoid disturbing any nesting birds or wildlife.

Make sure you are familiar with the specifications set out in the current Australian standard AS 4373 Pruning of Amenity Trees which you have to purchase from Standards Australia.

You should carry out a risk assessment on site before any works commence.

Control measures should include taking note of any work site issues, emergency procedures, the surroundings, exclusion zones, public access roads and any other issues that may be raised during the assessment. There should be a plan of operation agreed upon and most importantly communicate these items to all personnel on site.

Ensure that high quality pruning tools are selected. Care should be taken to ensure they are clean, sharp and maintained correctly.

Plan the sequence of operation and always consider the outcomes of your actions before cutting. As the old saying goes, you can always take more off but you can’t put it back on.

Make sure that final pruning cuts are made neatly and to the correct position retaining the branch collar.

Pole Saws

A lot of tree cutting is carried out using powered pole saws and while these machines are a great asset to have in the toolkit, it just seems as if every crew has one as standard issue and I really feel they are somewhat overused, a bit like an adjustable spanner in a toolkit, and this one machine is used far beyond its intended capabilities as a one-tool-fits-all solution to tree pruning.

Imagine if your mechanic only used one spanner when working to fix your vehicle.

They are available with two or four stroke power and even come in rechargeable battery powered forms.

The most popular machines in our industry are the extendable, high reach types and over the years there have been some nasty accidents caused by severed branches falling on the operator and innocent bystanders, and in some cases have contacted with overhead power lines and caused fatalities.

The needs of the tree must be taken into consideration and this means you must consider whether the proposed pruning operation be carried out cleanly without tree damage using the pole saw.

Consider if the tree should be accessed utilising the skills of an experienced Arborist to prune the tree with chainsaw or hand saw, using a rope and harness, and working within the tree or by using an EWP for aerial access.

Due to the nature of a fast cutting attachment on the end of a 4m pole, the pole saw has a tendency to be a little difficult to control at full stretch. Achieving the final pruning cuts in accordance with industry best practice and the Australian standard for tree work is not always possible. The result is usually that a lot of unnecessary damage is caused to the tree. Damage often takes the form of causing scars along the branches and coat hanger like stubs, large flush cuts or wrongly angled and flush cut pruning wounds. This is an area of extremely bad practice that must be stopped.

“It’s really important to update your certification levels regularly over time as new techniques and standards are developed and updated fairly often.”

A lot of irreversible damage can be done to the subject tree in a very short space of time and it is essential that operators are trained in correct pole saw maintenance and operation along with them having at least a basic understanding of arboriculture and pruning requirements.

  • Plan the sequence of operation and always reduce the weight of the branch gradually as you go by cutting it into manageable sections. Undercut the branch first and, when making the top cut, ensure that an overlap occurs to reduce the risk of tearing the bark past the branch collar. The resulting stub can then be cut back cleanly to the branch collar
  • Don’t forget that the primary task that powered pole saws are intended for is the removal of lateral branches. It is almost impossible to make a correct pruning cut on upright growth and these normally result in a steeply angled, pointy cut which will not be able to compartmentalise correctly
  • Regular maintenance of the machine will ensure that you are able to achieve maximum performance from the pole saw and should help to ensure the pruning cuts can be made in the correct position and cleanly finished
  • Maintenance of the bar and chain is the same as for a conventional chainsaw, so don’t neglect the maintenance duties, just make sure you use the correct chain tension file size and stick to the correct filing angles as per the chain manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Remember these machines are not insulated, so unless you have the correct training insulation and certification in electrical awareness, stay well away from overhead power lines. If in doubt call the local power supply company for advice.

Don’t Forget: Pole Saw Training And Certification

The competency unit FWPCOT3238 Operate a Pole saw is a nationally recognised competency unit that covers use of these machines.

Operators that are trained and certificated will have a greater understanding in the operation and maintenance of these machines and the end result will be seen in the standard of pruning and operation even regular operators can benefit greatly from training and updating their techniques.

Regular Updates

It’s really important to update your certification levels regularly over time as new techniques and standards are developed and updated fairly often. It is recommended that regular updates are carried out and documented.

All qualifications need to be maintained as current and the best way to maintain currency is to have a refresher update in the unit of competency and receive an update certificate.

Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in over time.

The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big noisy equipment and lifting heavy things.

Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.

To be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship and achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

The pathway to achieve the Certificate III in Arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.

Take The Pathway To The Diploma Of Arboriculture

Once you have achieved the Certificate III in Arboriculture or want to consolidate and recognise your industry experience, the next step is to continue to progress within the arboricultural industry and to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and take it to the next level by undertaking the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve this qualification you will begin a journey that will see you develop and gain an intimate and considerable working tree knowledge, you will be educated through face-to-face training and assessment, resulting in the completion of the 10 nationally recognised industry endorsed units of competency making up the Diploma, that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government-funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable you to operate with the highest standards with the required skills as a business owner, lead arborist, tree officer, arboricultural manager or consulting arborist in the arboricultural industry.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

Make an effort to take ownership of your learning both at work and in your own time. Even when you are dragging branches to the chipper you could be learning about trees. How do they look, how heavy are they? What colour is the timber and what other features do you notice?

A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is:

“We need a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately, but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The government have realised the skills shortage and the importance of our industry and there is considerable support for organisations that are investing in and training their staff.

One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company, where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time.

When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications, and you are prepared to work with your trainee and their training organisation, the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We at TFT recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support, but bear in mind that supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible.

Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially, although as your apprentice makes progress through the training process, they will steadily begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next lead climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving.

If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified, then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and, if you get the balance right, then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

At TFT we conduct the majority of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in house trainer assessors, all the required up-to-date tools and equipment, local worksites and resources.

We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face-to-face classroom sessions, issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace and working with the self-employed, persons looking for a career change and employers to ensure they are progressing efficiently and meeting their performance requirements.

We are also able to travel and deliver and assess within the workplace if required.

Training For Trees is a privately registered training organisation (RTO).

We are completely independent and are not auspiced attached to or operating under the direction or licence of any other RTO or parent company which means we are able look after our students and employers at every step of their journey and beyond.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions.

If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:

  • AHC30816 Certificate III in Aboriculture Or
  • AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the next intake Certificate III Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Pole saw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified.

See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

November 14, 2019 / by / in , ,
Myths And Legends

This month we answer a few questions frequently raised at training classes. We also look into how to qualify as a professional arborist.

I write this as we head into tax time and beautiful winter temperatures which, after the long hot summer, are making tree work really acceptable – working without your eyes steaming up with sweat, yes how lucky are we? Winter in Queensland really is the time to be an arborist.

Don’t forget to keep your hands warm through and even consider wearing some gloves as damage to the nerves in your hands and arms from vibration (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome – HAVS) is more likely in cold weather.

Gloves will help to insulate against the vibration and keeping hands warm helps too.

You could also consider a few stars jumps stretches and a general warm-up routine before starting work.

The big task at TFT this month is the need to convince the minister of finance that the list of new kit we have proposed really is needed (we are optimistic and excited!)

We have noticed that during some of our training sessions at TFT several common questions are raised regarding various techniques and practices that have often been passed on to newcomers within the industry.

Usually by well-practiced mentors are often misconstrued and as myths tend to prevail as a legend!

I would like to share some of them with you with and attempt to explain a few of the more commonly discussed points as we go.

“It’s OK to use climbing irons and spike trees especially on smooth-barked trees when I have to branch walk for speed and safety. The spike holes are only small and the tree won’t feel it!”

The practice of using climbing irons on trees that are not dead or being removed is proven to wound and cause severe long term damage to trees. The practice is not aligned with any current industry standards or recommendations.

The Australian Standard AS4373 Pruning of Amenity Trees makes a specific reference under section 5.1 to the fact that any equipment particularly climbing irons or spikes used when climbing or pruning that will cause wounding of the bark and conductive tissues must not be used on trees that are to be retained. “I make all my final pruning cuts on a 45-degree angle so that rainwater runs off to stop the wood rotting out.” Absolute myth – not correct. It is well documented and proven within the long-established works of the legendary Dr Alex Shigo and his ‘CODIT’ model that final pruning cuts have to be made at the appropriate position and angle, dictated by the branch bark ridge and the branch collar to enable the tree to react and

It will not increase the chains cutting performance and is generally performed as an excuse for poor sharpening techniques. “I always make the back cut at an angle when felling trees so the tree won’t come back at me.”

“I always make the back cut at an angle when felling trees so the tree won’t come back at me.”

Myth

Some old school tree felling crews considered that this was the case but it has long been proven through extensive discussion, workshops, theory and standard-setting within the industry that the main back cut used as the final protect itself which has absolutely nothing to do with water run-off. “I always file my rakers down so the saw cuts better.” On all brands of chainsaw chain, the depth gauges (commonly called rakers) regulate the depth of cut and amount of wood each tooth can cut. They are designed to be one of the main safety features of the chain. If they are not set to the correct level when sharpening the chain by using one of the various measuring tools/file guides available the chain will not conform to the manufacturer’s recommendations. The practice of filing down the depth gauges to a position that is lower than that recommended by the chain manufacturer is generally irresponsible and constitutes to the modification of a major safety feature.

Unlawful chain modification has been proven to have been a major contributor in many chainsaw accidents and causes an increased risk of kickback push back and pull in accidents with the chainsaw. It also increases wear and tear to the machine and greater operator fatigue.

It will not increase the chains cutting performance and is generally performed as an excuse for poor sharpening techniques.

“I always make the back cut at an angle when felling trees so the tree won’t come back at me.”

Myth – Some old school tree felling crews considered that this was the case but it has long been proven through extensive discussion, workshops, theory and standard-setting within the industry that the main back cut used as the final cut to release the tree is made at the back of the tree at a height of up to 10 percent of the tree diameter above the flat cut of the scarf or felling notch retaining a strip of holding or hinge wood of a suitable width that is used to control the fall of the tree.

This practice is well documented in the tree fallers manual published by CSIRO and is also covered in all felling courses carried out by TFT.

“I have my chainsaw ticket for level 2 tree felling so I am certificated to fell any size tree that comes along.”

This is not correct as this level will only cover the holder to fell small trees.

The definition and content of various competency standards and training guidelines are compiled by the relevant industry advisory boards and based upon extensive industry consultation processes.

Currently, the majority of tree felling units are based on forestry practices or amenity tree work practices or a combination of the two industries, therefore in the current AHC Cert III arboriculture qualification units of competency are included to cover both forestry and urban tree felling techniques.

The tree felling tickets are generally referred to as levels 1, 2 or 3 are defined in the latest standards in detail but generally recognized as the following.

  • Level One

The chainsaw is the maintenance of the saw and the trimming and cutting of trees felled by others and already on the ground

  • Level Two

A chainsaw is felling of small trees sometimes referred to as simple felling using basic cuts to fell a tree considered to be small which is generally considered to be less than a standard chainsaw bar length up to approximately 40cm in diameter

  • Level Three

Chainsaw consists of two competency units that refer to intermediate and advanced level tree felling.

These advanced levels require the operator to demonstrate a range of techniques with the advanced level currently the highest ground-based competency unit level covering the felling of multi-stemmed hollow and dead trees with no height or diameter restrictions.

For your chainsaws, you should make sure that you have a dedicated tool kit to enable you to carry out chain maintenance and the following items should be carried as a minimum.

  • File holders marked with correct filing angles
  • Roller guides for the file if applicable
  • Suitable chainsaw round files with handles to suit the above file guides
  • Fine toothed flat files for depth gauge maintenance
  • Depth gauge regulating tool
  • Guide bar dressing tool
  • Vernier callipers to measure and ensure even cutter length
  • Marker pen so that you can mark the first cutter filed as the starting point.

Your local dealer should also be able to advise on the correct tools and equipment to maintain your saw chain in the correct condition.

A blunt chain can usually be recognised from visual inspection by the fact that it is covered with baked-on tree sap or the chrome plating of the cutter is scuffed and serrated along with the top plate.

If the chain becomes blunt while in use, then woodchips will become a dusty powder, cutting performance will decrease rapidly and extra pressure will need to be applied. This can be extremely dangerous as loss of control due to the extra pressure needed to make the cut can easily occur.

Blunt chains will not self-feed into the cut and may skate and bounce which will increase the risk of kickback.

So if you find any of the above symptoms happening then you must stop let the bar and chain cool down and sharpen the chain.

  • Make sure you have the correct size of file and guide
  • Check all components for excessive wear or damage
  • Maintain correct filing angle
  • Maintain even pressure and strokes on the file
  • Keep all cutters the same length then they will all enter the wood at the same height reducing vibration and one sided cutting habits
  • Remove all damage from cutters
  • Check the height of depth gauges using the correct gauge
  • Avoid damaging other component parts of the chain.

Refreshers Update Training

Hopefully, some of the myths have been dispersed by now, but just to say there are some wonderful individuals that make up the arboricultural industry the world over. They all have one thing in common and that is they are all about trees and at the end of the day local knowledge regarding the characteristics of a particular tree or timber can be a key factor to using our various skills and techniques along with regular training and updating of skills and knowledge which as you all know knowledge is power.

It’s really important to update your certification levels regularly over time as new techniques and standards are getting developed and updated fairly often and it’s recommended that updates are carried out and documented.

Qualifications need to be maintained as current and the best way to maintain currency is to have a refresher update in the unit of competency and receive an updated certificate.

Refreshers are generally carried out in a shorter time frame than a full training course consisting of an assessment and update of current skill levels which generally picks up and corrects any bad habits that may have crept in overtime.

The modern world of arboriculture is a far cry from the days that we just felt lucky to be doing a job using big noisy equipment and lifting heavy things!

Making the effort and spending the time to study and achieve the relevant arboricultural qualifications will lead you on a lifelong journey in one of the most diverse industries I know and build you a skill base that you can use anywhere in the world.

Training assessment and refresher courses are available for operators in all areas of the arboricultural industry some of the popular ones include:

  • Chainsaw maintenance
  • Pole saw operations
  • Tree felling
  • Brushwood chipper
  • Stump grinder
  • Pruning
  • Climbing
  • Top handled chainsaw use with techniques for operators working from a rope and harness or from the basket of an EWP.

Qualifications

To be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship and achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

RPL – Recognition of prior learning

There is an extremely involved process in collating and providing the required evidence for an RPL and it generally is not the easy way out that some people seem to believe.

The pathway to achieve the Certificate iii in arboriculture qualification involves the completion of 23 industry-endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government-funded skills organisations.

Once you have achieved the Certificate III in arboriculture the next step if you wish to continue to progress within our industry is to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and step up to undertake the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve this qualification you will need to have a considerable working tree knowledge and complete training and assessment in 10 industry-endorsed units of competency that have been engineered approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government-funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable the graduate to operate with the required skills for consulting arborists in the arboricultural industry.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

Common question to the office at the moment is: “What Do I Need To Do To Become An Arborist?”

Our advice regarding entering into the arboricultural profession is to enroll in the course that best suits your needs then commit to invest as much time learning the processes and procedures of the job as possible ask lots of questions and make an effort to learn some tree names.

Make an effort to take ownership of your learning both at work and in your own time. Even when you are dragging branches to the chipper you could be learning about trees. How do they look, how heavy are they, what colour is the timber what other features do you notice.

A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is:

“We need a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The process requires a level of investment both financially and in time and effort requiring amongst other things large amounts of support tolerance patience understanding and so on!

One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company, where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while, to some extent, learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time.

When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with the student and the training organisation the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially although as your apprentice makes progress through the training process they will gradually begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate they will probably go on to become your next head climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train your next apprentice to keep your company evolving.

If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and if you get the balance right then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery, after all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

At TFT we conduct most of our training and assessment at our modern training centre with access to in-house trainer assessors, all the required up to date tools and equipment, local worksites and resources.

We take our students on a journey which begins with their enrolment and continues through the individual units of competency that collectively make up the qualification with regular face to face classroom sessions issuing of assignments to be completed in the workplace and working with employers to ensure their apprentice is getting experience at work and meeting their performance requirements.

We are also able to travel and deliver and assess within the workplace.

Training For Trees is a privately registered training organisation (RTO).

We are completely independent and are not auspiced attached to or operating under the direction or license of any other RTO or parent company, which means we are able to look after our students and employers at every step of the journey and beyond.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions. If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist/you will need to complete the appropriate level of qualification:

  • AHC30816 Certificate III in arboriculture

Or

  • AHC50516 Diploma of arboriculture.

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the next intake Certificate III Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking Chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Polesaw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified.

See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au  for details or email [email protected]

September 19, 2019 / by / in , , , ,
Safety Mission

This issue we look into a major review of the training packages and components which is currently underway as well as an audit on WHS White Card Certifications and everything you need to know about safety on the workplace.

Welcome to winter and the Easter bunny season. It’s so nice to feel cooler after the record-breaking days above 30 degrees.

There is a lot happening in our wonderful industry at the moment. Probably the most significant change underway is a major review of training packages and components, so I hope those of you that are interested in standards of training and its outcomes managed to get a look at the new proposals and sent in any comments you felt were relevant to Skills impact.

They are the Skills service organisation that represents our industry and have been working with industry volunteers regarding this update.

Now is also a good time to be thinking about your health and safety duties which are often sadly neglected within our industry. It’s not uncommon to hear about individuals attaining their WHS White Card Certification in a matter of 45 minutes online.

Most of that should now be finished with as the regulators have recently completed a massive audit process and shut down a lot of unscrupulous providers. This also resulted in the cancellation of a large number of white cards with those holders required to retrain at their expense.

The requirements now are that a white card course shall run for at least a six hour face-to-face period and if done online must have extensive sections completed on camera.

We felt it is appropriate to remind everyone of their responsibilities regarding WHS. All employers and self-employed in charge of a business are deemed to be known as a Person Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBU).

Their primary duties required by law are to:

  • Provide and maintain a safe working environment
  • Ensure the safe use handling and storage of all plant and equipment
  • To provide workers with information, instruction, training and supervision that is necessary for them to be able to work safely without risks to their health
  • To monitor workplace conditions and ensure suitable control measures are in place to ensure workers health and safety

There is a major emphasis on a process that is required to be carried out by all persons in a workplace called “due diligence”. This basically means that it is everyone’s duty to carry out their work with due regard to safe operating practices.

Everyone has a responsibility and the responsibility level runs both uphill and downhill from the workers back up to the business owner.

Employees and the self-employed must strive to take reasonable care that their actions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons. They must follow all policies and procedures of their workplace and follow all reasonable instructions from their employer.

Some common terms used in the WHS Act:

Hierarchy of risk assessment: this consists of the following steps that must be taken:

  • Elimination (of the hazard)
  • Substitution (use a safer method)
  • Isolation (of the hazard from people)
  • Engineer (work out how to make it safer)
  • Administrate (the process to reduce exposure)
  • PPE (Ensure to wear required personal protective equipment)

“It is everyone’s duty to carry out their work with due regard to safe operating practices.”

Hazard means a situation or things that have the potential to cause harm.

Risk means the possibility that harm might occur when exposed to a hazard.

Control measures means taking action to eliminate or minimise the risks as far as is reasonably practicable.

Penalties for non-compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act can be quite severe so you need to be able to maintain compliance and currency.

Tree owners are becoming better educated and prior to engaging a contractor are demanding to see evidence of insurances and WHS policies as well as requiring quality work to be carried out to comply with as a minimum to the requirements of relevant Australian standards and increasingly are asking to see evidence of staff qualifications, including the subject lists undertaken as well as proof of adequate safety and environmental policies.

TFT – Second Graduation

At Training For Trees we are proud to be educating the latest and potentially the greatest up and coming stars of our industry who will be dedicated to providing a high-class service to all things arboricultural.

“If a tree is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist it will usually be a very happy tree indeed.”

We have recently seen our second graduation of successful Diploma students who have all worked hard over the past 14 months to become our second class to have completed their Diploma of Arboriculture, all earning their qualification through hard work, dedication and regular face-to-face training within class and major workplace assignments that were completed.

To be able to work as a qualified person within the arboricultural industry general requirements are that you will complete an apprenticeship and achieve the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture which is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as a trade level qualified working arborist.

The pathway to achieve this qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government-funded skills organisations.

Once you have achieved the Certificate III, the next step, if you wish to continue to progress within our industry, is to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and step up to undertake the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve this qualification you will need to have a considerable working tree knowledge and complete training and assessment in 10 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government-funded skills organisations to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable the graduate to operate with the required skills for consulting arborists in the arboricultural industry.

Become an Arborist

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

Favorite question the office gets at the moment is:

“What do I need to do to become an arborist?”

Our advice regarding entering into the arboricultural profession is to enrol in the course that best suits your needs, then commit to invest as much time in learning the processes and procedures of the job as possible, ask lots of questions and make an effort to learn some tree names.

Make an effort to take ownership of your learning both at work and in your own time. Even when you are dragging branches to the chipper you could be learning about trees. How do they look, how heavy are they? What colour is the timber what other features do you notice?

“Penalties for non-compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act can be quite severe so you need to be able to maintain compliance and currency.”

A tried and tested process that we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is

“We need a new groundie, climber or consulting arborist to join our operation.”

New workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them.

The process requires a level of investment both financially and in time and effort requiring, amongst other things, large amounts of support, tolerance, patience, understanding and so on.

One of the best sources for new staff often overlooked is that some of the best new recruits could actually come from within your company where a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills, while to some extent learning on the job and continuing to earn their keep at the same time.

When this process is coupled with the journey through the arboricultural Certificate III or the Diploma qualifications and you are prepared to work with the student and the training organisation, the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

We recommend employing as many new recruits as you are able to support but bear in mind that supervision is recommended to be one qualified worker to one apprentice.

Various incentives are available to assist employers and students that are eligible

“If a tree is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist it will usually be a very happy tree indeed.”

Training in general could tend to slow things on the work site down a little initially, although as they progress through the training process your apprentice will gradually begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate, they will probably go on to become your next head climber, crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train the next apprentice you’ll take on board to keep your company evolving.

If your apprentice decides to leave and move on once they are qualified, then at least you will have had some return on your investment while they were employed with you and, if you get the balance right, then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing, giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business.

It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention safety awareness productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions. If you want to be officially classified as a qualified arborist, you will need to complete the appropriate qualification:

AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture or AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the new intake Certificate III in Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking Chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Polesaw and AC/DC. Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified. See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

April 29, 2019 / by / in
Strategy For Training

There are some amazing employment opportunities out there at the moment with well trained and qualified arborists in high demand.

At Training For Trees we are proud to be educating the latest and potentially the greatest up andcoming stars of our industry, who will be dedicated to providing a high class service to all things ‘arboricultural’.

There are some amazing employment opportunities out there at the moment with well trained and qualified arborists in high demand.

At TFT for the start of 2019 we are excited to have seen our first Diploma of arboriculture class reach graduation.

After committing to the program our students have worked tirelessly for the past 14 months to become our first Diploma of Arboriculture graduates who all achieved their qualification through regular face-to-face training, with in-class and major workplace assignments that were completed.

These graduates are able to appraise and identify with trees and have the ability to use sophisticated diagnostic tools to support their judgements along with state-of-the-art mapping and software systems which complement the training provided.

This enables them to prescribe quality arboricultural diagnostic evaluations and treatment programs as well as to be able to audit tree work and specify trees for replanting.

Hats off, guys! Well done to you all. Most importantly, our Diploma graduates have learned to really appreciate and evaluate trees. I can’t begin to describe how excited and proud I am of the class of 2017/18 and for them to be out there, able to recommend ways of working with trees, rather than just opting for the easy way of “Just fell it, they grow fast here!!”

This should help to promote high quality tree care and preserve trees rather than just removing them.

We are also so very proud that, through high quality education and training and working within the national training package, we are seeing extremely high standards of arboricultural prognosis and tree care.

Any tree, particularly if it is lucky enough to be under the supervision of a TFT qualified arborist, will be a very happy tree indeed.

“The arboricultural rumour mill is working overtime at the moment and some of you that qualified a few years ago are being told that your present, hard-earned qualifications are no longer valid!”

This is not true.

As far as any qualifications that you already hold, please rest assured they will never be worthless. No one will be able to take them away from you and they will always show that you are qualified at whatever level they depict and they will never expire.

However, you should always strive to keep your qualifications current and update them periodically.

This can be achieved by documenting your professional development, attending workshops, seminars, conferences etc… or by upgrading to any new qualifications as they are created, usually on a basis of every five to ten years. Usually this process will just involve the addition of a few new units of competency which, if you are currently working as an arborist, should not really present too many problems for you to achieve and the process will also serve to assist you to maintain your currency and status within the industry.

We as trainers have to upgrade our trainer assessor qualifications on a very regular basis as well as stay current within the industry so, if anyone needs any advice regarding their qualifications, please feel free to call us at TFT.

If, for example, you wish to become recognised under an industry scheme for licencing recognition and validation of your qualified status, then you will usually be expected to follow the organisations entry requirements and if they specify their requirements for particular qualification levels and particular categories of recognition, then you will need to upgrade as required.

Have your say

It has been said by some in our industry that there is a need to make the arboricultural qualifications easier to attain and deliver as the journey to achieve qualifications in arboriculture requires high standards from the student and the training organisation.

You may have seen recently that the arboricultural training packages are undergoing another review which, unlike the usual process of an industry training package running for at least a five year period, this review is being undertaken within two years of the current training package being endorsed by industry and released. This is an industry review and request for industry comments and validation has been made by our industry Skills Service Organisation, so if you feel that standards need to be raised or that things need to change, then you need to register and send in your comments to our industry Skills Service Organisation (SSO).

Our industry organisation is called Skills Impact and they have initiated and are managing this major review.

Please, visit their website look up arboriculture and register your interest and make sure to have your say. This is really important because, if this review  is not done correctly this time around, there will probably not be any options to change things for a very long time!

“The arboricultural rumour mill is working overtime at the moment and some of you that qualified a few years ago are being told that your present, hard-earned qualifications are no longer valid! This is not true.

The arboricultural industry used to be considered as just an offshoot of forestry or horticulture and just a job you did if you got poor grades at school and could lift heavy things use spikes like a pro and wanted to look like a champion body builder.

The arboricultural industry is a fantastic profession that generally seems able to provide a source of income even in difficult economic times.

Over the past ten years or so there has been a lot of industry involvement regarding standards of training packages and the constant need for updating them to meet the ever changing requirements of industry.

“The arboricultural industry is a fantastic profession that generally seems able to provide a source of income even in difficult economic times.”

Training packages and individual units of competency are the only way to meet industry requirements and to achieve the required qualifications is the way to be considered as competent and qualified in your trade.

To be able to work in the arboricultural industry general requirements are that you need to be qualified to at least as – but not limited to – WHS experts, social media gurus, diplomats, relationship counselors, businessmen accountants and sales experts and there is probably a whole lot more too!

The completion of the AHC30816 Certificate III in Arboriculture is currently accepted as the minimum industry standard requirement to be able to be considered as trade level qualified working arborist.

The pathway to achieve this qualification involves the completion of 23 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations.

Once you have achieved the Cert III, the next step if you wish to continue to progress within our industry is to follow the pathway from trade level working arborist and step up to undertake the AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

To achieve this qualification you will need to have a considerable working tree knowledge and complete training and assessment in 10 industry endorsed units of competency that have been engineered, approved and nationally mandated by industry working groups and government funded skills organisations, to ensure that achieving this qualification will enable the graduate to operate with the required skills for consulting arborists in the arboricultural industry.

At TFT we believe the message is finally getting through regarding the importance of training and qualification and the benefits that it can bring to everyone including the trees.

The favourite question the office gets at the moment is:

“What do I need to do to become an arborist?”

Our advice regarding entering into the arboricultural profession is to enrol in the course that best suits your needs, then commit to invest as much time learning the processes and procedures of the job as possible, ask lots of questions and make an effort to learn some tree names.

Make an effort to take ownership of your learning both at work and in your own time.

Even when you are dragging branches to the chipper you could be learning about trees.

How do they smell? How heavy is the wood? Do you get splinters in your hands? What colour is the timber? Are there flowers or fruits? Why is the heartwood soft or hollow? What is in the pruning standard AS4373?

At TFT we believe that the latest arboricultural qualifications offer a challenging process both in their delivery and in the journey required to achieve their required outcomes, but the outcomes far outweigh the challenges and are producing well rounded graduates that are well trained and able to offer a high level of skill back to their respective employers in the workplace.

A tried and tested process we at TFT have been suggesting for several years now is proving to be so true regarding the almost everyday question we get from employers which is…

“How do I get a new groundie climber or consulting arborist to join my operation.”

Well, new workers don’t grow on trees unfortunately, but if you want to have reliable professional staff you have to be prepared to invest in them and train them up, which is a process that requires a level of investment both financially and in time and effort requiring, amongst other things, large amounts of support, tolerance, patience, understanding etc… etc…!

One of the best sources for new staff often comes from within your company when a current employee is encouraged and supported to step up to the plate and develop new skills while to some extent learning on the job and earning their keep at the same time.

When this process is coupled with the journey through the Cert III or the Diploma qualification and the employer works with the training organisation, the outcome is a well-rounded competent and qualified staff member that is a real asset to your business.

Ensure you maintain currency of your own existing qualifications as well as for employees. For example, can you demonstrate evidence of your professional development or of recent staff training or updating recently carried out within your company?

Do you have a safety policy that includes safe work method statements, risk assessment and machinery checklists?

  • Are all qualifications certificates and licences up to date?

As the new recruits progress through their training and apprenticeship process they will almost immediately begin to repay your investment in their future by becoming more useful and able to operate more efficiently within your company.

By the time they graduate, they will probably go on to become your next head climber crew leader or manager and could also be helping to train the next apprentice to keep your company evolving.

If your apprentice decides to leave and move on, once they are qualified, then at least you will have had some return on your investment, while they were employed with you, and if you get the balance right, then there will always be upcoming apprentices that will keep the cycle flowing giving you access to staff that already know your business and systems, that will continue to provide a return on the investment you have made in them.

Consider your strategy for training and how you can keep your existing qualifications up to date.

“Everyone engaged in carrying out work with trees must be trained and qualified in their designated task and strive to maintain and improve their industry currency by continuing to gain relevant experience and qualifications”.

Training is as important as the servicing of vehicles and machinery. After all, workers are the machinery that you run and need to maintain to enable the smooth operation of your business. It has been proven that independent training and assessment increases staff retention, safety awareness, productivity and efficiency.

Remember to schedule in regular refresher and update training sessions. To be classified as an arborist you need to complete the qualification AHC30816 Cert iii in Arboriculture or AHC50516 Diploma of Arboriculture.

“Safety Rules”

Check out your eligibility for funding. Enrol now for the new intake Certificate III in Arboriculture and Diploma. Now booking Chainsaw courses running regularly (all levels), EWP Licence, First Aid, Working at heights, Chipper, Stump grinder, Polesaw and AC/DC.

Contact us for your qualifications, short courses VOC, RPL and refresher training. Train with us and leaf qualified. See our website www.trainingfortrees.com.au for details or email [email protected]

February 19, 2019 / by / in
Cadaghi

Not all environmental weeds are exotic species; some native plants can behave like weeds when planted beyond their native range.

The beautiful Corymbia torelliana, commonly known as Cadaghi, is one such plant. Cadaghi was originally classified in the genus Eucalyptus but reclassified to genus Corymbia in 1995.

The Cadaghi is native to coastal ranges of northern Queensland from Ingham to Cooktown and once only grew in this area. However, it was only a matter of time before propagators would realise its marketing potential for the nursery industry. There were some concerns raised at the time but the fateful decision was made to release plants for sale. In hindsight, many curse that more consideration should have been given to the effects on ecosystems and wildlife including native bees and koalas – Cadaghi is not palatable to koalas.

The Cadaghi has proven to be somewhat of an unwelcome guest further south where it was initially planted widely as an ornamental and on farms as a windbreak. Since then, it has gradually naturalised itself across Queensland and into districts of northern New South Wales, in some areas even hybridising with local gums.

Growing to a height of 30 metres, and with a very dense canopy of large leaves, the Cadaghi creates a heavy shade over native understorey plants preventing them from growing. It has a significant potential to modify the diversity and structure of the native forests in sub-tropical Australia and is now regarded as an environmental weed in these areas.

Reproduction and Dispersal

The Cadaghi is able to produce large amounts of wind borne seed; a single specimen may be responsible for widely dispersed and numerous offspring.

Seedlings can easily be identified in bushland areas by the dense cover of reddish hairs on their stem and leaf stalks, which makes them rough to touch.

Seeds are also spread by native bees as they actively forage on the flowers during October and November. The Cadaghi is one of the few Corymbias where the opening of the gumnut is large enough to allow the entry of a stingless bee.

The sticky resin inside is used for nest structure but often seeds stick to the bees in the process. They struggle to carry them as the seeds are about half the weight of the bee itself.

Native bee expert Bob Luttrell, known as Bob the Beeman, said the bees do not intentionally collect these seeds and will go to some trouble to remove them. “This is why you’ll find groups of young seedlings at the base of a nest – they can come up in their hundreds. Sometimes seeds coated in sticky resin can clog or even seal the entrance of the nest. It appears to be more of a problem with poorly designed boxes that have tiny entrances rather than in natural hollows.”

Bob said bee keepers began noticing a new behavioural anomaly with their bees when the trees began flowering in southern regions.

“There is a difference in their pattern here. I believe that in the north there are greater sources of resin available over the season, and the bees do not build up a ‘deficit’ demand for resin. There is no need for them to rush to collect it when it does become available.

“I have observed my bees to fly just over a kilometre to collect  this resin and bring seed all the way back. They would also have dropped seed on the flight path and that is a very extensive spread of seed. The bees have changed the character of the landscape by spreading these trees,” Bob said.

In the 1970s Cadaghi, with its easily recognizable light green trunk and flaky base, was extensively planted as a garden and street tree. Its fast growth rate, strikingly smooth branches and attractive red growth tips made it popular with landscapers.

However, as the trees reached maturity, gardeners began noticing some negatives. Its large horizontal limbs are prone to snapping but a more common complaint is the black sooty fungus, which quickly coats whatever is under the canopy including pavers, outdoor furniture and vehicles. Cadaghis are highly attractive to Red-shouldered leaf beetles (Monolepta australis );yellow sticky traps provide an early indication of beetle presence.

Brisbane City Council has listed Cadaghi as a “Class R” (reduce populations) plant and other Councils have done similar as the best way to stop the spread of invasive plants is stop their initial incursion. The Nursery & Garden Industry Australia (NGIA) acknowledges the large number of ornamental plantings has created a large ‘seed bank’ that enables Cadaghi to invade natural bushland. Its ‘Grow Me Instead’ website encourages growers not to grow and sell plants which could be invasive. The advice to consumers considering planting Cadaghi trees is to seek out and plant local native species instead.

January 4, 2019 / by / in