THIS year’s ARB Show, held on 17 and 18 May, marked the 21st year of the event and saw it returning to its home at Westonbirt, the National Arboretum.

Though stands were hammered by rain and wind almost the instant the gates opened, within an hour it had dried up and, come Saturday afternoon, the sun was shining, providing ideal conditions for the crowds taking in the show.

Among the many highlights were the 3ATC UK Open Climbing Competitions and the Stihl Demo Area, which saw the latest products put through their paces by the experts (including the first ever public demonstration of the MS 500i), along with award-winning chainsaw carving.

There was also an axe-throwing arena, the Ancient Tree Forum – featuring a talk from Ted Green – and the usual excited discussions among the crowds at the Arborists’ Workshop and Tree Climbers’ Forum.

Plus, as ever, there were hundreds of exhibitors offering a huge range of equipment and services, displaying the latest products available in every market from decay detection technology, soil decompaction and enrichment to new climbing kit and almost every type of chipper and shredder available.

There were numerous prizes on offer, including a year’s supply of fuel and a log cabin. A prize draw to win a Stihl top-handled MS 201 TC-M chainsaw worth over £800 received almost 2,000 entries and was won by Joe Paxton.

A spokesperson for the Arboricultural Association said: “Huge thanks to the amazing team at Stihl for all their support and hard work. We’re proud to have had Stihl sponsoring the ARB Show for 15 consecutive years and without them we wouldn’t be able to continue developing and growing the event. 

“The same goes for our exhibitors, who did such a great job this year; there were lots of innovative new activities going on at many of the stands.

“It was great to see so many enthusiastic and engaged tree people over the two days. The brilliant atmosphere on site speaks to a fantastic arb community of passionate people keen to learn, share knowledge, develop and support each other as professionals.”

The ARB Show will return to Westonbirt Arboretum on Friday 15th and Saturday 16th May, 2020.

Forestry Journal:


Making its UK show debut with live demonstrations over the two days was the new HWP-140 wood processor from Halverson. Bio-Equipment is the UK distributor for the American manufacturer, whose owner, Glen Halverson, designed the system himself.

A logging truck driver who saw first-hand the difficulties many people (especially at the older end of the workforce) had lifting, sorting and cutting logs by hand, he set out to develop a system that would allow everything to be done from the comfort of a cab.

The tool he created is designed to attach to a skid steer, excavator, bulldozer or other machine with enough hydraulic flow and pressure. As demonstrated at the show, when put into action, the HWP-140 can pick up logs with its forks which are then rolled back onto the trough and moved to the table. Once in position, the operator engages the chain swathe, the log is cut and the cut piece falls into the splitting trough. The advancement arm of the processor moves the log to the next cutting position while simultaneously ramming the cut piece into the splitter.

Halverson Wood Products manufacturers sales representative Michel Locquegnies said: “The important point is that you can do everything from the cab. If you had the processor set up over a trailer or bucket to collect the cut pieces, you wouldn’t have to touch the wood at all.

“The controls are very simple. We supply a harness for the cab with a five-button system or a joystick. For someone who already owns a skid steer or something similar we’ve made the processor very simple to attach and remove, depending on your requirements.”

There are currently two models available – the 120 and the 140 – but it was the heavy-duty 140 that attendees got to see in action. Processing logs up to 10 feet in length and 16 inches in diameter, when operating at full speed it can produce 5–6 cubic metres of firewood per hour.

Forestry Journal:


The 3ATC UK Open Climbing Competition was once again hotly contested, with more than 60 climbers taking part across the three categories. First place in the premier category was taken by Timothy Querlioz, with Josephine Hedger and Sam Smith in second and third. In the expert category, Rob Cardus came first, followed by Will Strivens and Ben Cowell. And in the novice category, Tom Rowe took first place, with Andrew Senior in second and Joe Douglass a very close third, finishing just one point behind Andrew.

Forestry Journal:


The ARB Show provided the launch platform for GreenMech to introduce its much-anticipated new woodchipper series, the EVO 165.

Commenting on its introduction, sales director Martin Lucas said: “As the requirements of today’s arborists continue to evolve, it’s vital that we as manufacturers are listening to them and providing them with the tools to meet their growing demands. 

“The EVO 165 is designed to do just that, with years of developments and trials going on behind the scenes to create our most efficient chipper to date. This launch marks just the beginning of our EVO development programme and we’re expecting this to make a big impression at this year’s Arb Show and beyond.”

Forestry Journal:


Visitors to Aspen Fuel’s stand were invited to test their strength and determination against their friends and colleagues by taking part in the Aspen Challenge.

Participants were asked to see how long they could hold out a full can of Aspen fuel (3.7 kg) at arm’s-length, with the person setting the best time over the weekend winning a year’s supply of Aspen 2 pre-mixed alkylate petrol.

There were many brave contenders (at least 30) with most managing a time between two and three minutes. However, the winner managed to keep the hefty can aloft for over four minutes! Impressive stuff.

Forestry Journal:


Constant spectacle was provided throughout the course of the ARB Show by the team behind Go2Mill, who set themselves the challenge of building a log cabin from scratch in just two days. 

A mobile sawmill that is basically a sliding clamp attached to a running rail, allowing for the cutting of boards, the Go2Mill was in almost constant use as the team raced to complete the cabin, which was valued at £2,500 and was raffled off in aid of DART, the Disaster Arborist Response Team.

The challenge certainly attracted a good number of visitors, keen to see the Go2Mill in action and returning every so often to see how progress on the cabin was coming along. We’re pleased to report the team completed their challenge with time to spare.