Claire Harbinson – Principal Consultant
We’ve just finished an incredibly rewarding week in Singapore. Our two workshops on the principles of tree statics and the static load test were well received by the 60 or so participants, principally National Parks (NParks) staff. NParks Singapore is a government department of around 750 staff responsible for the city’s 300 parks, 4 nature reserves and 165,000 or so street trees, as well as being the lead agency in nature conservation. Its mission is to make Singapore a “City in a Garden”.
NParks is a highly professional unit that positions itself at the cutting edge of arboricultural theory and technology in meeting the challenges of maintaining urban trees in a densely populated city. The workshops were organised by the Centre for Urban Greening (CUGE), the training and research arm of NParks, as part of their excellent training and professional development programme for NParks staff.
It’s been a fantastic organisation with which to share our knowledge and experience of the engineering-based principles of statics, and Paul Muir and I were hugely impressed by the knowledge of the workshop participants and their openness to new ideas. They readily grasped how applying statics could help them to manage their trees with confidence and make evidence-based decisions about tree retention and pruning.
After the workshops, we were introduced to some ground-breaking research on tree stability and pruning being carried out at CUGE that is set to make a great contribution to the industry worldwide.
We return from our trip inspired, enriched and enthusiastic to continue to promote and develop statics at Treework Environmental Practice, and we hope that we can find opportunities to collaborate with NParks Singapore again in the future.
As well as running the workshops, Claire presented at the 8th Regional Arboricultural Seminar “Tree Feet Under” on the importance of managing and specifying soils for urban trees, discussing the consideration of biological component when doing so. This continues Treework Environmental Practice’s commitment to all matters soil and tree planting services along with the work of the Sustainable Soils Alliance.