Friday, April 30, 2010

ISA HK/China --- Incoming Mail (CTRA Program in 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 message. I hope you do not mind us sharing your message on Station Mail since our reply would be of interest to our 1,300+ Station Members.

There was indeed a ISA Pacific North West (PNW) Chapter Certified Tree Risk Assessor (CTRA) program running in HK in mid-April 2010. ISA HK/China was well informed beforehand by ISA HQ of the event but did not participate, because we were not invited by the commercial organization running it. After all, the CTRA credential belongs to PNW Chapter only & not that of ISA. It is an ISA policy for Chapters to be independent in administration & credentials from one another. An example is our IPA ( class of membership.

Upon informed by ISA HQ of the above program, ISA HK/China had spent several days reviewing the CTRA Training Manual. We were also told by ISA HQ that this program may become an ISA international credential to qualify Tree Assessors some time next year. For this reason, we felt it important to review first hand to prepare our territory for it in advance.

After review, we have identified many areas that might require further clarifications by international experts in both writing skills & technicality. It also appeared that the Training Manual was the product of just one person without the usual "Peers Review" process of ISA publication. There are disputable notations like the definition of "Included Bark" with "Axiom of Uniform Stress" but not the universally acceptable fiber splitting; & the claim that ANSI suggests that dead branch over 2.5 inches should be cleaned out in canopy, which does not appear to exist. We have also noticed that the end product of the CTRA program is a quantitative analysis of scenario points which are subjective but without as much details measured as in the 1994 Risk Evaluation Method of Matheny & Clark.

The trainer of this program Mr. Flanagan visited ISA HK/China on Apr 17 to spend two hours with the Station Manager to discuss some of our queries we had in the Manual. At the end, Mr. Flanagan invited the Station Manager to be part of the reviewing team for the CTRA to become an ISA international credential. The invitation was politely turned down, because there are many more international experts like Dr.Thomas Smiley & Nelda Matheny in the reviewing committee. The Station Manager does not regard himself to pair adequately with these international experts on their level of knowledge & expertise. However, he has agreed to review the final product if he receives the invitation in future.

When the CTRA program goes international to become an ISA credential (not Chapter credential) perhaps next summer, ISA HK/China will positively advise our Station Members to participate. It is likely that we shall run the preliminary part of the training in our territory & then invite in international experts to complete the final process.

All these will be announced in ISA HK/China weekly Station Mail in due course.

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."

----- Original Message -----
From: xxx
Sent: xxxday, April xx, 2010 x:x3 PM
Subject: tree risk programme training by ISA

Hi Station Manager:

My friend told me there is tree risk programme training by overseas ISA person here. When? How do I apply, any information from you?