At the end of November, Arboriculture students from Bridgwater & Taunton College attended a workshop with tree guying company, Platipus Earth Anchoring Systems. Murielle Jayer, Head of Sales for UK, Europe, Middle East and Asia provided relevant and up to date information to students about the methods used for underground tree guying. Platipus has been providing different systems of underground tree guying since 1983, researching and developing their techniques over the decades to keep pace with the demand of planting ever larger trees.
Why is there a need for underground tree guying when trees can just be supported above ground? Basically, it is all down to aesthetics, maintenance, tree health and safety. Underground tree guying helps to provide stability for trees where the support system is hidden. This method of tree support is more aesthetically pleasing and is especially useful in high profile planting schemes particularly within the urban realm. It is often used for very large trees (what arborists term ‘advanced nursery stock’), sometimes where space is limited. Traditional methods of above ground support are often very ugly to look at, cumbersome, require regular maintenance, can damage tree roots and are potential pedestrian hazards.
Murielle discussed with the learners the need to adapt the techniques depending on site conditions and the size of the tree species. This involved visual and hands on demonstrations of how these systems are used and the different fixing options available. Platipus has been involved in several very high-profile projects with landscape architects; planting trees in Qatar, Singapore and Dubai over the last few years. In Doha, 30,000 very large trees were successfully guyed in extremely restricted ground conditions. Further east in the Chinese city of Macau, 1000 18-metre-high palms were guyed in restricted conditions able to cope with typhoon winds of up to 173 kilometres per hour! Murielle explained to students that this required a number of load tests before planting commenced to check the efficiency of the system. Other systems that were discussed involved methods of guying trees on green roofs, where species have to be guyed ‘on structure’ and the system needs to be very light to enable planting on roofs.
Following the workshop, students engaged in a series of discussions looking particularly at the costs involved with the systems and the need for further research and development to successfully guy already planted mature trees.
If you enjoy working outdoors, a career in Arboriculture may be for you. Find out more about studying Arboriculture with us here or call the Information & Guidance team on 01278 441234.