Friday, November 21, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Job Position for Arboricultural Adviser

Dear Station Members,

Below is an Job Advertisement posted by a Govt Dept of the HKSAR today for a position which may be of interest to our Station Members. Please review & apply if any of you can meet the requirements.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

Leisure and Cultural Services Department Non-Civil Service Contract Vacancy
(When dollars are quoted in this web page, they are Hong Kong dollars. About HK$7.8 = US$1.)

Arboricultural Adviser

Salary: HK$50,000 per month

Entry Requirements:

Applicants should have:

(1) a bachelor's degree in Botany / Biology / Forestry / Horticulture / Arboriculture or a related field from a Hong Kong university, or equivalent;

(2) a Certified Arborist qualification of the International Society of Arboriculture or National Certificate in Horticulture (Arboriculture) or equivalent;

(3) no less than three years of post-qualification experience in tree management work; and

(4) proven experience in providing tree management advisory service.

Duties: Advise the Department on and assist the Department in its tree management work; staff deployment for tree management; staff training for tree management work; management of tree database; and public participation in and public education on tree management.

Terms of Appointment: Successful candidates will be appointed on non-civil service contract terms for 2 years.

Fringe Benefits: A gratuity may be granted to the appointee upon satisfactory completion of the contract with a consistently high standard of performance and conduct. Such gratuity payable will be the sum which, when added to the Department's contribution to an MPF scheme in respect of the appointee as required by the MPF Schemes Ordinance, will be equal to 15% of the total basic salary drawn during the contract period. Rest days, statutory holidays (or substituted holidays), annual leave, maternity leave, sickness allowance, where appropriate, will be granted in line with the provisions of the Employment Ordinance.

Enquiry Address: Appointments and Establishment Unit Leisure Services Branch 7/F, Leisure and Cultural Services Headquarters 1 Pai Tau Street, Sha Tin, N.T., Hong Kong Enquiry Telephone: 2697 4932

Closing Date for Application: 28/11/2008

Newspaper(s) Advertised and Date(s): Career Times: 21/11/2008 Ming Pao: 21/11/2008

How to Apply:

(1) Application Forms (G.F. 340 (Rev. 3/2008)) are obtainable from any Public Enquiry Service Centres of District Offices, Home Affairs Department or any Job Centres of the Employment Services Division, Labour Department. The said form can also be downloaded from the Civil Service Bureau's web site ( ).

(2) Completed application forms should reach the enquiry address on or before the closing date. Please specify the post you apply for on the envelope. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

General Notes for Non-Civil Service Posts :

(1) Non-civil service vacancies are not posts on the civil service establishment. Candidates appointed are not on civil service terms of appointment and conditions of service. Candidates appointed are not civil servants and will not be eligible for posting, promotion or transfer to any posts in the Civil Service.
(2) Candidates appointed must be permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region unless specified otherwise.
(3) The entry pay, terms of appointment and conditions of service to be offered are subject to the provisions prevailing at the time the offer of appointment is made.
(4) It is Government policy to place people with a disability in appropriate jobs wherever possible. If a disabled candidate meets the entry requirements, he/she will be invited to attend the selection interview/written examination without being subject to any further shortlisting criteria.
(5) Holders of academic qualifications other than those obtained from Hong Kong institutions/Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority may also apply but their qualifications will be subject to assessments on equivalence with the required entry qualifications.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Incoming Mail (World Champions to train HK)

*** 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 e-mail enquiry which was followed by a phone call to make sure we were addressed. We wish to repeat our reply to you in an open Station Mail without disclosing your identity, since we thought your enquiry is of a nature interesting to our +700 Station Members & public. We thank your understanding on this.

It is indeed true that ISA HK/China has the ability & connection to invite world class champion climbers to conduct tree climbing training in our territory. We are part of the global ISA network which can be verified with ISA HQ ( anytime.

The reason why we have not done so is obvious. We do not think our Station is ready to be taught by world champions for basic tree climbing while most of our Station Members would have difficulties in getting up 10 feet off the ground. It would be like inviting a Nobel Prize Winner to come to teach Kindergarten in our territory. Would that be justified?

HK appears to go for brands & credential collection is popular among our public. On the other hand, ISA HK/China would have great doubt in the belief that by inviting world champions to teach our beginners on the Certified Tree Worker (CTW) program would enhance the chance of getting this credential, if the students would not practise hard on their own to prepare for the exam.

HK would need to learn the basics first, if our Tree Work is to be performed satisfactorily. Tree Climbing is a start, & then Chainsaw Operation & Rigging in the field to follow. TCHK ( can offer this kind of training but it appears that most of the enquiries would focus on getting the CTW credential alone. The CTW exam does not test for Chainsaw Operation & Rigging in the practical part. One has to master them outside the CTW credential.

Our Independent Practicing Arborist (IPA) system is meant to produce Arborists who can perform quality Tree Work in field operation under self-practice, besides other abilities. This system follows that of the Medical Practitioner & Practicing Lawyers since Arborists are Tree Doctors & Tree Detectives. You have to gain your Certified Arborist & CTW with other knowledge & experience in order to become an IPA. We wish you to head in this direction if you want to enter into self-practice eventually.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"Trees are good for the community. Trees need care like human beings. Arborists are the Tree Care Professionals."

----- Original Message -----
From: xxx
Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2008 8:14 PM

Dear Sammy,

Recently, i know that LCSD employ world champions come to HK do some tree work. Can ISA HK/CHINA invite theme to train us ???



為了不斷提升Yahoo! Mail,雅虎香港誠邀你參與意見調查

Sunday, November 16, 2008

ISA HK/China --- Crown Thinning for Mature Trees

*** 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 Station Members,

The Station Manager was called out to perform some Tree Pruning Work for about 40 no. of mature trees in an upper-class housing estate in the past few weeks. This housing estate is particular in that about half of the residents were against Tree Pruning & the other half were for. Therefore an Independent Practicing Arborist (IPA, ) was required to provide a third party opinion on anything to be done for this sentimental property. Curses & praises were equally loud during the operation.

A proper Tree Inspection with an Arborist Report was first carried out to ascertain condition & defects among the mature trees before any work was to be done. Crown Thinning under the supervision of the IPA was prescribed as the treatment after detailed diagnosis. Two pruning contractors were called in to perform the work while the IPA was required on site every minute to attend the progress, climbing up the trees with chainsaws if necessary for clarification & demonstration, to ensure no unnecessary cut was to be made for these old ailing trees.

Crown Thinning is something unusual in HK projects because most clients would just want tree parts removed for convenience rather than for future development of a tree. Selected photos of this particular job (due to protection of privacy) are attached for general reference as compared to common pruning job as seen in HK.

This particular client was also attentive to the Station Manager's advice to withhold the pruning to until lower temperature when the mature trees would be dormant. Dormant season is the best time for pruning mature trees due to inactive growth & lower chance of pest attack. However in our territory, pruning is mostly carried out during active growing season to trim back tree parts which would pose inconvenience or danger. Many trees are trimmed unnecessarily to restrain growth in this manner in the name of 'controlled pruning' by untrained personnel like common gardeners & construction workers. Is that one reason why we do not get the North American trees as shown in Station Mail just a little while ago?

Tree Pruning is very different from Tree Felling which would focus primarily on safety & efficiency. A simple comparison would be 'to kill an animal with surgery' against 'healing an animal with surgery'. Anyone can fell a tree with whatever tools & skills as long as the work poses no danger to themselves or public. But can everyone prune a tree to assist future development with good structure & health against wind & pests??

Tree Pruning is sometimes regarded as properly done in our territory if a cut is performed from Branch Bark Ridge to Branch Collar alone, without much attention on why, where, how & how much to cut, & without much consideration on whether the tree would react by diverting interior reserves to develop responsive growth to compensate for the removal. Crown Raising is usually confused with Crown Thinning. Topping is regarded as proper Crown Reduction. Live examples can be seen in many of our public places where the tip of the tree is hardly touched, but only the lower parts taken off like a naked dancer.

There is also popular belief that Tree Pruning can be performed with Lifting Platform alone & Tree Climbing is an unnecessary chore. Therefore we rarely see the inside of the canopy is thinned out in our trees, but rather just the outside perimeter accessible by crane from bottom up. Hardly anyone would study the Tree Biology & Tree Biomechanics before any pruning job in our territory at present.

One of the best Tree Pruning Practitioner in the world from ISA called Tim Bushnell will be visiting HK during the HK Flower Show next March to deliver a seminar on proper Tree Pruning. ISA HK/China will try to arrange some seats for our Station Members for his seminar or demonstration or to organize our own Informal Dinner to welcome this excellent mentor. More details will be released in Station Mail later.

Maybe by listening to international exerts & compare with our own, we can make some sense out of how the advanced world would prune their trees, & discover why our trees would actually deteriorate faster after our pruning, not usually before.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"Trees are good for the community. Trees need care like human beings. Arborists are the Tree Care Professionals."