Course Detail

Scottish Branch Winter Seminar and AGM





5 hours

Fully Booked


Exc. VAT Inc. VAT

Course Objectives:

  • 9.00    Assemble for tea and coffee.
  • 9.30    Welcome and introduction by Chris Simpson, Scottish Branch Chair.
  • 9.40    Presentation by Paul Muir, Static load testing of trees.
  • 11.10 Tea & Coffee.
  • 11.30 The assessment of tree forks – Dr. Duncan Slater.
  • 13.00 Lunch.
  • 13.45 Presentation of the Ken Martin memorial award for services to arboriculture in Scotland.
  • 14.00 Presentation of the Tom Hall memorial literary prize.
  • 14.10 Scottish Branch Annual General Meeting (see separate agenda).
  • 14.30 Commemorative tree planting, in memory of Eric Hamilton.
  • 15.00 Walk to be led by Dr. Duncan Slater (assessing tree forks).
  • 16.00 Close.

Course Content:

The Scottish Branch is pleased to announce it Winter Seminar and AGM. It will take place at the Camperdown Park, Dundee. This appropriate setting is easily accessed and provides many mature specimen trees for use to take in during our guided walk. The walk will follow two great speakers in the morning; Paul Muir and Duncan Slater. 

Camperdown has been specifically chosen because it was the base for Eric Hamilton during his long tenure at Dundee City Council. We will be planting a tree to honour Eric’s memory and hope you can join us in doing so. The event is free of charge and all members and non-members are welcome to attend. Spaces are limited, however, so please register your attendance in advance, no later than Monday 20th January 2020 please. 

Talk 1: Static load testing of trees

Presented by: Paul Muir

Paul is a principal arboricultural consultant at Treework Environmental Practice and is the leading expert in tree statics in the UK.


Paul will give a talk on the theory behind tree statics and the static load test and will offer suggestions on how the core principles behind the theory can be used to inform management decisions for trees based on experience derived from testing over 200 trees, over 15 years.

Talk 2: Joining the Dots

Presented by: Dr. Duncan Slater


Dr. Slater is a senior lecturer in arboriculture at Myerscough College, Lancashire, a professional member of the Arboricultural Association and a chartered forester. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, a bachelor of Arts Honours in Philosophy, a Master’s degree in Resource Management, a Master’s degree in Education and a PhD in Plant Sciences. His research interests are in the areas of tree biomechanics, tree pathology, tree nursery techniques and urban forestry. Duncan has been carrying out research on branch junctions for ten years now and has published over fifteen journal papers on this specific topic – which is of importance for all those surveying, managing and pruning trees. A substantial advance has been the finding of the association between natural bracing in a tree and the formation of included bark, but there is still much more to explore and clarify about branch junctions.


In this talk, Dr. Duncan Slater will outline the latest scientific work on branch junctions (including an overview of branch junction anatomy, the role of auxillary wood and how to make a bark inclusion) with illustrations and physical samples. We will then consider where the knowledge gaps are on this topic through discussion and how these might be lessened through further research and the sharing of information and relevant experience.




Module Pre-requisites:


Terms of Cancellation or Amendments to details

  • We reserve the right to cancel courses and refund applicants if there is insufficient demand.
  • A FULL charge will be applied to any booking cancelled less than 10 working days before the event.
  • A £30 administration charge may be applied to changes made to bookings that have been received and acknowledged.

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