Codominant Stem Failure - Research - 2nd Apr 2013

Your chance to help

Dr Tom Smiley of Bartlett Tree Research Lab is conducting a survey of arborists to help identify tree species that are susceptible to codominant stems.

The term ‘codominant stems’ is used to describe two or more main stems (or leaders) that are about the same diameter and emerge from the same location on the main trunk. Codominant stems tend to fail more often than other stems, especially during storm conditions.

This survey is designed to help formulate a global picture of tree species that have codominant stems and therefore may have a higher potential failure risk.

If you are familiar with tree species that are prone to developing codominant stems then click the link and fill in the survey, it’s only five questions so it will not take long.

Arborist trainers in Australia - 25th Feb 2013

Expressions of interest

Thoughtplanters is looking for good, keen and competent arboricultural trainers in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. We need people capable of delivering Certificate 4 (Arboriculture) and/ or Certificate 2 (ESI Vegetation Control).

Like all our industry trainers, we are looking for practical people with heaps of passion and skill. You should be innovative, with a can-do attitude and want to be part of a progressive organisation with lofty goals. You’ll need to hold a Certificate 4 in Training and Assessment and have at least 5 years of recent and relevant industry experience.

Work will most likely start off part-time and may require traveling. If you are interested and think that you might have what it takes to join our team then send you CV to Trevor Gardiner <>

Thoughtplanters, beyond conventional training – we grow better thinkers

No more blankets for trees - 21st Dec 2012

The Resource Management Reform Bill has been introduced to Parliament and passed its first reading on December 11, 2012. The Bill will see changes to the Resource Management Act 1991 (the RMA), allowing protection only of specific trees mentioned in district plans. So-called ‘blanket’ tree protection, where any tree over a certain height or trunk diameter was protected, will be a thing of the past.

The aim of the Resource Management Reform Bill is to amend the RMA and various Local Government Acts to deliver 'some fast and discrete improvements' to the consenting regime and provide further powers to make regulations, and make ‘technical and operational change’.

While in principle removing some of the bureaucratic delays and complexity may seem desirable, it leaves those that can’t speak for themselves i.e. trees, vulnerable.

Technical changes to the RMA include clarifying that a tree protection rule can only apply to a tree or group of trees that is specifically identified in a schedule to a plan by street address or legal description of the land, and that a group of trees means a cluster, grove, or line of trees that are located on the same or adjacent allotments identified by precise location.

What can you do to help?

Help your local council by identifying and informing them of trees and/or groups of trees that are worthy of protection.

From the first reading it progresses to ‘Select Committee’ before going back to the ‘House’ for a Second reading – this process is expected to be completed early in 2013.

Thoughtplanters’ director takes up global post - 9th Nov 2012

Mark Roberts

Thoughtplanters’ director Mark Roberts takes up global post

Thoughtplanters is proud to announce academic director Mark Roberts has become the first-ever Australasian president of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Mr Roberts is the second non-American elected to lead the 88-year-old society, which represents more than 20,000 arborists from 18 countries.

“I’m excited about the role and the opportunity to put my training, experience and strategic planning skills into practice,” he says.

Mr Roberts plans to encourage more arborists to take an active role in their local arboriculture organisations and to take advantage of the membership benefits offered by the ISA.

“After all, New Zealand arborists are some of the best in the world,” he says.

“We’ve got a lot to contribute to the ISA. We’re not afraid to innovate, try new techniques and we’re big users of the latest technology. Yet we’re also known for maintaining high standards of health and safety,” he says.

“It’s important, as arborists, we keep improving our knowledge and skills by taking advantage of what organisations like the ISA and its local affiliate, the NZAA, have to offer.

“It’s about making sure we’re all the best arborists we can be and taking our skills to the world – that’s what Thoughtplanters is all about and that’s what the ISA is about too.”

Mark will spend next year as president-elect and 2014 in the presidency role.

Arbor code on line - 8th Nov 2012

Eighteen long years after the first edition and twelve years after the review began the NZ Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Arboriculture has been released

The Hon. Kate Wilkinson - Minister of Labour ‘This Approved Code of Practice has been developed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in partnership with
industry representatives and other agencies. It is focused on improving safety practices and reducing workplace accidents in the industry’

Down load the code free from:

A TRoQ update (Horticulture) - 16th Oct 2012

As previously noted Thoughtplanters Academic Manager, Mark Roberts is part of a team working on the Horticulture ‘Targeted Review of Qualifications’ (TRoQ).

TRoQ is a Ministerial requirement to simplify all of the existing qualifications on the NZ Qualifications Framework (NZQF) and replace them with a reduced number of New Zealand Qualifications.  The governance and working groups have been working on a needs analysis and a qualifications map. Yesterday (October 15) the three working groups met in Wellington to focus and consolidate the work that they have been doing before sending it out for wider consultation.

A draft combined plan will be sent out shortly as part of the consultation process. The draft plan will be made available for comment until November 16.  If you would like to be send the consultation document or have a say in the review please contact Mark < > 

To give you some idea what the new horticultural qualifications framework may look like, below is what the 'Hort Services' work group has proposed.  Hort Services includes; Amenity, Arboriculture, Landscaping, Sports Turf, Nursery and Floristry. 


A rough guideline proposed by 'Hort Services' work group (Oct 15)

  • A generic Level One NZ Certificate - an introduction to the horticulture industry
  • A generic Level Two NZ Certificate - (pre employment) focusing on health and safety, work skills with focus towards certain sectors within the industry
  • A Stranded Level Three NZ Certificate - focusing on core horticulture knowledge but with strands (a percentage) of the qualification targeted at specific skills and requirements of a named industry sector
  • A Specific Level Four NZ Certificate - focusing on specific skills and requirements of a named industry sector
  • A generic Level Five NZ Certificate or Diploma - focusing on horticultural management skills
  • A Specific Level Six NZ Diploma - focusing on specific skills and requirements within an aspect of a named industry sector

Subject: ACOP Part1 - 10th Oct 2012

Begin forwarded message:

From: Rick Mexted
Subject: ACOP part1
Date: 10 October 2012 9:54:27 AM NZDT

Good morning

I have the pleasure in letting you all know that the ACOP part 1 (Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Tree Work. Part One: Arboriculture) has now been signed off by the minister and will be gazetted for a month on the 11 October 2012 where it will be out for public use on the 11 November 2012. DOL are looking at the cost of reprinting the code in the small A5 books for resale but until they sort this out it will be available on the DOL website for downloading in November.

As we all thought Armageddon would come before this happened it is a great achievement for all that have been apart of this from the early days.


Rick Mexted | Training and Development Manager | Asplundh

Release of the 2013 BPG for Arboricultural - 26th Sep 2012

The 2013 Best Practice Guidelines Safety Requirements for New Zealand Arboricultural Operations

Industry approval to produce a Best Practice Guideline (BPG) for Arboriculture was given at the 2010 Annual General Meeting of the New Zealand Arboricultural Association.

The original BPG document was based on the 1994 Approved Code of Practice for Safety and Health in Tree Work Part One: Arboriculture, and all subsequent review material through to and including the 2010 review. The 2013 document will be the 4th NZ BPG for Arboriculture.

The document is freely available for downloading via the New Zealand Arboricultural Association (NZAA) web site or you can click here for a copy

The BPG is reviewed and updated annually. Submissions and comments received by the 1st of May each year will be reviewed by the NZAA’s Education and Training Committee and if accepted will be incorporated into the followings years document.

If you would like to make a comment about the content of the document, or would like to make a suggestion regarding best practice in New Zealand Arboriculture please make them in writing to;

The New Zealand Arboricultural Association
P.O. Box 5596, Wellesley Street
Auckland 1141
New Zealand

Or via email on:

Submissions should be headed; Submissions to the Best Practice Guideline and include your name and contact details. Please use the section numbers to identify where your submission relates to or where your submission should be included.

PO Box 132183, Sylvia Park, Auckland 1644
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