Sunday, July 13, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Method Statement on Pruning

*** Our weekly Station Mail is for the information of Station Members only, but Station Mail has given up copyright & can be freely circulated. For administrative reasons, comments from outsiders are usually not entertained & may be circulated within our system locally & overseas. Please note Station Mail is sometimes given in Blog at , although images are usually not attached due to size. ***

Dear xxx,

Thank you for your enquiry.

Your enquiry on Method Statement of Pruning a mature tree has come up quite a few times in this Station already. Therefore, for the benefit of our Station Members, we are repeating our reply to you in open Station Mail without disclosing any of your details of which we have erased anyway to protect your identity. Please note any enquiry coming in can be circulated within our system as stipulated above in red & Station Mail is regarded as part of our internal system.

We can not provide you a Method Statement for your pruning work due to the following reasons:

1. It is your work & you get paid for it. You should employ an Independent Practicing Arborist, like an Auditor for limited companies, to do it for you & let him take the liability. Your enquiry is simply outside the scope of service of our Station.

2. We have a saying in Arboriculture that Prescription without diagnosis is Mal-practice. Any responsible Arborist would not prescribe Pruning Specifications without first examining the tree, like any good doctor would not give medicines to a patient before examining him. Arboricultural work is legally sensitive & any removed branches can not be nailed or glued back. Once cut, the case is there & the Arborist would need to accept liability.

3. We were surprised to learn from you that the instruction would actually come from your Landscape Consultant for the Method Statement. We would think that your consultant would be technically superior than you are as a contractor to provide Method Statement to you on what to do. In tree work overseas, it would be the Arborist giving Method Statement to the contractor, be they tree climbers or general workers, on how to prune a tree. This Station has not yet seen it the other way round anywhere in the world so far. Station Mail is now circulated to +670 Station Members in HK & to +20 countries around the world. This Station would be humble to learn of the reasons why the cart is to be put before the horse elsewhere.

Pruning to a tree is equivalent to surgery on a person. If anyone goes to a doctor to complain his appendicitis, would the doctors ask him to provide a Method Statement on how to remove it on a surgical table?

Therefore, in your case, it would either be you go back to your landscape Consultant to ask for further advice, or you would employ an Independent Practicing Arborist to inspect the tree & provide the Method Statement. This Station simply can not do it for you.

Thank you for your enquiry again & please do not hesitate to contact us anytime if you have further queries. By not evading questions & providing an efficient reply are what makes this Station strong & popular in our territory. We also believe reasoned debate by educated people is the sole means to resolve contemporary human problems.

Wouldn't you?

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

The ISA Mission - Through research, technology, and education, promote the professional practice of arboriculture and foster a greater public awareness of the benefits of trees. (

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