Friday, September 25, 2009

ISA HK/China --- Incoming Mail (The Spirit of Supervision)

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Dear xxx,

Thank you for your enquiry. We broadcast our reply by covering your personal details so that your identity is protected as our usual practice. We have been asked several times on the same topic in the past.

Your enquiry is of a common nature in our territory in the belief that books & lectures can cover all knowledge & credentials alone can help to conduct good work. This common hypothesis would not stand up in the Arborist Profession internationally unfortunately.

We would direct you to first of all understand the word of 'Supervision' in dictionary. In the computer dictionary of Wikipedia (, this term would be defined as:

"Supervision means the act of watching over the work or tasks of another who may lack full knowledge of the concept at hand. Supervision does not mean control of another but guidance in a work, professional or personal context.

In work environments, a supervisor is one who oversees workers."

In other word, anyone conducting Supervision should be very knowledgeable in the trade, has experience in the work & is able to show or even take over the work from the subordinates when it becomes necessary.

In the case of Tree Pruning, we would expect the Pruning Supervisor to be able to climb to inspect tree, lay out a Work Plan, tell his/her workers exactly where to cut & with what, & is able to demonstrate chainsaw operation for cutting if his/her workers become subversive. In general term, the subordinates would only respect the senior if the senior is better & stronger than they are. If not, mutiny or feet dragging would occur to slow or mess up the whole piece of work.

Imagine an Army Sergeant who can not fire a gun. Would his soldiers listen to him/her in a firing practice? Or in the case of a Driving Instructor who can not handle the car?

Similar analogy would apply to other Tree Work like transplantation, removal or tree survey as you have mentioned. The Supervisor must be experienced, well trained & capable to conduct the assignment, before he/she is accepted by his/her workforce for Supervision.

ISA HK/China do not know of a Tree Work Supervisor in western country who can not climb, operate chainsaws or rig, but just waving credentials & qualifications on site. This person will become a laughing stock among the tree workers.

Therefore, perhaps your enquiry has been answered in an indirect manner & we hope you would now appreciate why ISA HK/China had set up the IPA ( credential to ensure our Practicing Arborists can design & supervise Arboricultural Work in any form it may arrive. The IPA is the next step to aim after your Certified Arborist credential & the conditions to become one would ensure you to be good enough to carry out Tree Work Supervision along with others.

ISA HK/China would expect you to have a long way to go before you would consider to conduct Supervision in Arboricultural Work after your first qualification.

best regards,

Sammy Au
Station Manager

"If a tree is not designed, installed, maintained & inspected properly, it is likely to become a liability rather than an asset."

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


寄件人: xxx
收件人: Eurasian Garden Ltd / ISA HK/China
傳送日期﹕ 2009 年 x月 xx 日 星期x 下午 x:10:08
主題: 查詢

Dear Mr. Au,

I am recently qualified & I am asked to supervise tree work (pruning/transplanting/survey) by bosses. Any books you recommend to study to do well on site?

Thank you for reply.