An article on AWA Tree Consultants in Pro Arb Magazine.
Pro Arb Magazine is an industry magazine and website that offers business tips, latest news, and the latest equipment information relating to arboriculture. The magazine promotes best practice and highlights the positive aspects of the arboriculture industry, and works closely with the associations to advance the arboriculture market in the UK.
contacted us recently as they were looking for suitable people to feature in a magazine feature that was promoting and focusing on young people in the industry. They interviewed Guy from AWA and asked questions about him and his role within the company, as well as looking at his future plans for his career within arboriculture.
What’s your full name, age and job title?
Trainee Arboricultural Consultant
Why did you choose arboriculture as your profession?
To begin with I kind of stumbled into arboriculture, I was working during the school holidays as a gardener for a large landscape company, and one day they needed help on the trees team. I helped out and really enjoyed working with trees. From then on I didn’t look back, I worked full time with the trees team, and from there it’s been a natural progression for me to study the subject and move into professional arboriculture.
Is anyone else in your family in the business?
Yes, my little brother is a climber and holds his level three in Arboriculture. He’s now studying his foundation degree in arboriculture at Plumpton College.
Did you go to college? If so, where and what qualifications did you get?
I studied at Askham Bryan College to attain my level three in arboriculture and Forestry, I then went on to Myerscough College and completed my foundation degree. Now, while working, I am studying for a Bsc in Arboriculture online, with Myerscough College.
What are the most important qualities an arborist needs to have?
Tree identification and general arboricultural knowledge, writing skills, the ability to follow instructions and good communication skills with clients and senior staff.
What does a typical day at work include?
Get to the office, have a coffee.
Prepare a site plan using CAD (have more coffee!)
Discuss projects with senior staff or clients.
Site visits for tree surveys, mostly these normally for BS5837 trees and development but we also undertake a lot of tree risk assessments. On completion of the site visit we go back to the office, (drink more coffee!), and upload the survey data onto CAD plans and manage the tree data in preparation for tree reports.
What do you like most about the job?
The variety in jobs and sites, no two days are the same.
And the least?
AWA provide a nationwide service and this can often mean staying away and long distance driving; I hate being stuck in traffic!
How important is teamwork to the job?
Teamwork is very important as often multiple people can be working on the same projects. I have to make sure I clearly communicate my findings with other team members. The ability to take on board criticism when learning is important, listening to what more senior staff are showing you and the ability to apply this.
What’s your favorite piece of equipment to use?
The Leica Disto D810, is a great bit of kit to accurately map sites and plot trees.
What do you wish you’d known when you started out?
How to use CAD (Computer Aided Design). I had no knowledge of the system and it was a steep learning curve, almost every job will require some element of CAD work, whether it’s design or interpretation.
What has surprised you most in your career?
The amount of work on CAD we do.
What’s been your biggest challenge on the job?
Providing high quality tree survey data, plans and reports often in very short amounts of time. It’s not like at college where you can ask for an extension – meeting client deadlines is critical.
What skill do you wish you had?
Some more, higher level, qualifications to supplement my existing qualifications> I’d also like to get involved in other related areas such as bat surveys.
Have you had any close calls?
Where do you hope to see yourself in ten years’time?
I hope to stay with the company and work towards becoming a senior consultant. In ten years’ time I hope to have undertaken an MSc in arboriculture and urban forestry and to gain Chartered Arboriculturist status with the Institute of Chartered Foresters ICF.
Would you recommend the job to others?
Yes. Although consultancy work isn’t for everyone; you have to genuinely be interested and get excited about trees.
Guy contacted us earlier this year, just as he was completing his foundation degree. I invited him over for a chat and was immediately struck by his enthusiasm for the profession. We needed someone with good technical knowledge, but as a small company, it’s essential to be able work well independently and get on as a team player. Guy ticks all these boxes and has quickly proven himself as a key member of AWA!
AWA Tree Consultants
provide professional advice on managing trees in the built environment, specialising in expert tree surveys and reports. Based in South Yorkshire, we offer our private, commercial and public sector clients across the UK a range of tree consultant services, including: planning applications for development, safety responsibilities and liabilities, mortgage approval and expert witness work.