(Image: eA)

This piece is an extract from essentialARB's the Arborist newsletter, which is emailed out at 6PM on the first of every month, with a round-up of the latest goings-on in arboriculture. 

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WHEN it comes to a general election, you won't have to look far to find out what's important for families. You'll barely manage to scroll for two minutes before discovering the latest demands of the farming fraternity. Heck, even foresters get a say every now and again.

But arborists? Radio silence.

During an election being fought on the grounds of the cost-of-living, health, and social care, it seems strange to eA that no one has bothered to ask tree-care professionals for their opinion.

Does Rishi Sunak know the benefits shade could bring to England's cities? Has Sir Keir Starmer heard that he could save money on his annual NHS bill – and, barring a miracle/disaster (delete as per your preference), it will be his NHS bill come July 5 – by investing in tree cover?

Would Rishi Sunak invest in tree care if he knew it could save millions on the NHS bill?Would Rishi Sunak invest in tree care if he knew it could save millions on the NHS bill?

Maybe arb's lack of presence at election time is because it can provide long-term solutions that won't win votes in the here and now. Maybe it's because few people outside of the industry even know what the word 'arboriculture' means. Maybe, just maybe, it's because many arborists on the ground don't give two hoots about July 4.

At least the industry's leading representative body is trying to make its case heard.

"The Arboricultural Association is calling on all parties and candidates to acknowledge the importance of tree care and establishment, and to commit appropriate resources to supporting arboriculture as the profession responsible for the success of the trees in our towns and cities," the AA said in an election statement. "During the 2019 General Election campaign, the major political parties of the UK each promised to plant ever-increasing numbers of new trees.

John Parker and the Arb Association continue to make the case for arboricultureJohn Parker and the Arb Association continue to make the case for arboriculture (Image: eA/Jack Haugh)

"The Arboricultural Association remains pleased that trees —and the many varied benefits they bring to our communities— remain high on the political and public agenda.

"We need to act now so that the benefits of trees will are felt today, and by future generations."

Trees and tree care have fallen so far down the pecking order this time around that you'd be forgiven for assuming the UK has become the bastion of urban forestry promised in 2019. It hasn't.

It's up to arborists – together with foresters and other green-minded professions – to ensure our next government realises that, too.