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GLAS Special: Busy times for Arboricultural Association Ireland

Ash Dieback, caused by the fungal pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, is now becoming very visible in the landscape

Felim Sheridan reviews the latest opportunities and challenges facing the Arboricultural Association



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20 July 2022

For over 50 years, the Arboricultural Association has been the professional body representing the amenity tree care industry in both the UK and Ireland.

With over 2,000 members, the association sets standards for arboricultural contracting (tree surgery) and consultancy, in addition to advising on international policy and standards in tree care, urban forestry and green infrastructure areas.

The association publishes its quarterly ‘Arb Magazine’ for members and also the ‘Arboricultural Journal – The International Journal of Urban Forestry’.


The Irish branch of the association was established in 1999 and holds a number of events each year for those professionally involved and interested in improving the practice in the informed assessment, conservation and management of Ireland’s landscape tree resource.

Past events have included workshops on Fungi, Bats in Trees and Veteran Tree Management to name a few, and with Covid-19 restrictions now eased we will be hoping to get back to organising some events for the coming autumn, winter and into spring of next year.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the association hosted a number of online webinars and workshops. Thanks to the popularity of the events, many of which were free to attend, the association intends to continue hosting them into the future.

Industry challenges

Challenges for the industry include items such as staffing, which we hope will now improve with the launch in 2021 of the new ‘Level 5 Apprenticeship in Arboriculture’ with the first group of qualified apprentices coming out in early 2023 followed hopefully each year after that with more qualified apprentices coming into the workforce.

Other issues facing the industry will include climate changes and the management of pest and diseases in our tree population, with the band of these broadening with climate change. The biggest change facing the industry at present will be the management and the safety of our Ash tree population with ‘Ash Dieback’ caused by the fungal pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, now becoming very visible in the landscape.

As always, the arboricultural industry and the general public need to be vigilant for new pest and diseases so that early detection and the necessary protection measures can be put in place to contain these and to prevent an impact on our tree population.

To get in touch with the Irish Branch, please contact Felim Sheridan on 01-2742011 or at, or Roy Goodwin on 087-222-5811 or or visit

For more information about the objectives and activities of the association, and about the grades and benefits of membership, please visit

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