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Modern Day Arboriculture History

Today the term ‘arboriculture’ has become more recognised as an industry that has needed to become an individual sector found in many councils and large contractor departments within the UK.  Arboriculture evolved from landscape designers and is now a worldwide profession- John E. Kuser (2007). An arboriculturalist is not a tree surgeon even though the terms are closely related. Being an arboriculturalist involves a lot more than just being able to ‘work your way around a tree’.


In 1989 Bs3998 was set, the British standard for tree work throughout the United Kingdom. When the Bs3998 draft was being written there was a need to work very closely with the HSE which in turn set up ‘AFAG’ the leading body in modern day arboriculture specifically designed to deal with arboriculture matters. When the agricultural advisory committee set to making health and safety leaflets they worked very closely with the working sector. This meant information produced was relevant and wasn’t too restrictive. These leaflets, that can be downloaded from the HSE website,  give practical guidance to employees and employers on how best to minimize accidents at work when using arboricultural based machinery or carrying out tree operations.


When Bs3998 recommendations for tree work finally came out in 1989 it was up to date information that had come from a wide variety of resources, this now meant all tree work from that point in time had to meet a certain standard of professionalism. It explains what to do and the type of treatments expected to be carried out by those claiming to be specialists of today


Written By Simeon Balsam


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