City Trees

January/February 2011

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

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Page 17 of 39

ANSI A300: Writing Clear Specifications by Gordon Mann, Consulting Arborist and SMA Representative to the ANSI A300 Committee A tree worker makes smaller diameter cuts in the outer canopy with a handsaw. Photo by Gordon Mann The ANSI A300 Standards apply to the manage- ment of landscape trees, including the majority of trees we manage as urban foresters and municipal arborists. There are currently seven sections to the standards: Pruning, Fertilization, Supplemental Support, Lightning Protection, Management (Construction), Transplanting, and Integrated Vegetation Management (Utility Right-of-Way). The ANSI process is based on industry consensus—i.e., what the involved committee members/industry practi- tioners can all live with as defendable practices. Some innovations and practices may not be “proven” enough to be included in a Standard. Consensus can leave some wiggle room (or sway), especially when dealing with trees. The ANSI process requires that each A300 Standard is reviewed and updated every five years. Furthermore, ANSI 18 audits the A300 committee to assure compliance with the ANSI Standards process. From a user’s perspective, the A300 Standards are perfor- mance standards for writing specifications. Specifications are developed to achieve an objective. Specifications developed in accordance with the appropriate A300 sec- tions direct the work to achieve the objective. The A300 Standards for Pruning have been in use since 1995. Fifteen years and two revisions (2001 and 2008) later, many practitioners are still unaware of the Standards and how they are meant to be used. To remedy this, A300 committee representatives are working to get the word out. As the SMA Representative, I will provide updates to City Trees, the listserve and bulletin board, and at the annual City Trees

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