It has been some while since I have posted an update of our activities on the site; as you can imagine we’ve been rather busy! The Summer so far has been rather a mixed affair with several very hot spells but characterised predominantly by a general lack of rainfall in Oxfordshire. Ground conditions are very dry again after the Summer drought of 2018 and an unusually dry Winter. Some trees are beginning to show signs of stress after prolonged droughting in certain situations however most trees I have viewed that are exhibiting signs of dieback lately have underlying issues too; the drought compounding their problems.

The relatively mild Winter has meant that there are quite a few ‘nasties’ lingering around in the from of pests and diseases. I have seen quite a few instances of powdery mildew on fruit trees, aphid damage and fireblight too. Sadly there is very little one can do to control these issues on a domestic scale. Certainly maintenance of fruit trees and correct pruning and thinning helps to keep disease to a minimum. Ash Dieback (Chalara Fraxinea) continues to spread steadily; I have not seen it much domestically yet but there are pockets of it visible in more rural woodlands around the County.

We continue to operate 2-3 teams on a daily basis with a full diary, usually booking a month to 6 weeks ahead for larger projects. We had a very busy 2018, being our best year to date; some days we had an 8-strong team out covering all of our work from technical sectional removals of trees to hedge cutting and removal plus processing firewood to keep our log customers warm throughout the winter!

We continue to invest in machinery to make our work more efficient, safer and easier for our staff. We purchased our own Cherry Picker (work platform) last year, mounted on a Land Rover, which has revolutionised tall hedge cutting and removal of dead or dangerous trees. We also purchased a Unimog all-terrain lorry which allows us to carry much greater weights and volumes of wood chip on and off road. We are just about to take delivery of a brand-new wood chipper, painted in our Company colours too. Constant investment and upgrading of our machinery and plant ensures reliability and safety of equipment is maintained at the highest levels.

We are also very proud to have been awarded CHAS (Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) Accreditation last year and are just about to undergo our annual assessment. This service-industry wide accreditation demonstrates the highest level of health and safety compliance, something we take extremely seriously within the Company. We now have a dedicated independent retained Health and Safety Officer who takes care of all of our compliance and the staff have regular training and refresher days to ensure we are full compliant with all areas of workplace H&S legislation. Staff recently had a Emergency First Aid refresher course only last week.

We hope that we continue to provide a first-class service and our constant efforts to improve the service we offer and worthwhile. We are all looking forward to our Summer holidays before the September rush that occurs every year when the children return to school!