Sunday, December 6, 2009

ISA HK/China --- Incoming Mail (Tree Work is not the same as Landscape Work)

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Dear xxx,

Thank you for your message. We are responding to your enquiry while broadcasting it in our public Station Mail since your enquiry may be of a nature of interest to some of our +1,200 Station Members, but we have covered every of your details to protect your identity. We hope you do not mind.

We say that 'Tree Work is not the same as landscape Work' because in general term, Landscape Work primarily involves items like soiling, planting & gardening maintenance for new development. The majority of work is on-ground & frequently only gardening hand tools are used. Landscape Workers are trained & equipped in horticultural work where minimal Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required. There also appears to be more female than male Landscape Workers with basic education in the industry & the majority of them would also be new immigrants from China. Many are also aged with inadequate stamina to conduct risky or heavy physical work.

On the other hand, Tree Work like Structural Pruning or Sectional Felling would usually involve elevated work above-ground. Aerial Platform & power tools like Chainsaws are commonly used in the process. Qualified Tree Workers like the ISA Certified Tree Worker (CTW) are trained in Tree Climbing, Chainsaw Operation & Rigging to work at as tall the tree needs to be. They are equipped with approved PPE & they have to learn First Aid & Aerial Rescue as a pre-requisite for their credential. Tree Work is governed by international standards like the ANSI z133.1 (2006) for safety, equipment & operation. In our territory, currently most Tree Workers are male & are physically fit to perform risky & heavy duty work aloft. The majority of them are educated to at least F.5 level & several of them are also degree holder.

There is common area like Transplanting Work where Tree Workers & Landscape Workers are doing at the same time in our territory at present, & ISA HK/China would like to see more Tree Workers taking over this work due to their superior knowledge & training in Tree Work.

In brief, we do not see how Landscape Workers can conduct Tree Work to international requirements if they are not trained & equipped like Qualified Tree Workers. Then if they are trained & equipped to such, they would be no longer Landscape Workers but Tree Workers. By the same logic, we do not quite see how Landscape Supervisors can oversee Tree Work unless they are trained, qualified & experienced in this field. Please see our Station Mail on 'The Spirit of Supervision' at for additional information. This is something we would like to bring to the attention of the future Tree Management Office in the HKSAR Govt if Tree Work in HK is desired to match international requirements as such.

ISA HK/China would like to show you a few photos (attached) of how Tree Work is usually conducted in our territory by Qualified Tree Workers as well as the machineries / equipment deployed. You may wish to make judgment for yourself of whether such work can be conducted by your known 'Specialist Contractors' & 'supervised' by your own good self in fairness & logic.

ISA HK/China would respond to any rational enquiry with our Station Principles of Integrity, Professionalism, Participation, Fact-finding & Truth-telling.

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: xxxxxday, December 0x, 2009 xx:xx AM
Subject: Disagree with your comment at HKCTU seminar

Dear ISA HK/China Station Manger,

My friend was in the HKCTU seminar on 5/12 & listened to your talk in tree work. You claimed tree work is different from landscape work. I do not agree.

I am in landscape profession for some years & I supervise Specialist Contractors doing tree work (pruning/planting/removing, etc.) in projects. Some are trained in horticulture classes by experienced teachers in design & planting. I think they are capable to do your so called 'tree work'.

I have to insist tree work is part of landscape work . I think you are unfair to mislead the audience. Are you trying to avoid tree work from landscape supervision?

Appreciate your reply.