I was lucky to dash off to Germany over the holiday season to meet up with friends and family, and there was the opportunity to have a good look at the German arboriculture scene. I was very interested to see how arboriculture has developed in the years that I have spent overseas.
Already just by having a quick look around it is obvious that the arboricultural industry has grown rapidly. Many different qualifications and certificates are available for those who are looking for a career in the industry. Germany alone has 17 education providers for arboriculture and hosts 5 arboricultural conferences a year.
The legal system in Germany requires every tree owner to have their tree checked for hazards regularly. The awareness of this rule has been promoted and has created a lot of extra work in the last decade. Many tree owners have put aside an annual budget to deal with their arboricultural needs. Although many of us would love to hear this from our customers in New Zealand it also has a downside for the trees. Tree care demands are not as consistent as an annual budget as weather and diseases can change dramatically the amount of work necessary for the trees. The annual budgeting style not allowing for a flexible approach can drive companies to perform unnecessary tree work in one year and not have the money to perform necessary tree work the next year.
I also caught up with Johannes Bilharz from the Munich Tree Climbing School and Freeworker and can only say that it is well worth going there if you have the chance. Johannes has a lot of passion for trees and the industry and has definitely left his mark on arboriculture in Germany.
Cultivated pear tree on Fort Burghausen, Germany.