Arboricultural Association ARB Show 2017

Arboricultural Association ARB Show 2017

The move inside the gates of Westonbirt Arboretum, a huge range of activities and a record number of exhibitors and visitors combined to make it the most successful ARB Show in the trade fair’s 19-year history.


The new and improved showground enabled more space for exhibitors with more large kit stands on display than ever before. In total a diverse range of 109 organisations presented their wares; from books to wood chippers and climbing kit to tree surveying equipment.

6,834 people attended during the 2 days and despite a couple of torrential downpours, dedicated arborists arrived in scores throughout Friday 12th May. Providing the bar for the first time, Stroud Brewery were busy; even during a heavy shower there was a long queue for a pint of ‘Stump Grinder’, the official Arb Show Ale. The tills of many kit suppliers in attendance were constantly busy, some having to travel back to their headquarters on Friday evening to replenish stock for the final day.

The STIHL stand was buzzing with the sound of professionals demonstrating some of the world’s best top-handled chainsaws, with hands on testing and great displays. The winner of the prize draw for a brand new £800 STIHL arborist saw, Michael Brown from Romsey, was thrilled to be the picked from over 1000 entries.

BBC cameras were on site capturing the fantastic STIHL demonstration of speed chainsaw carving skills with Simon O’ Rourke, as well as some of the incredible times set during the Knot Tying Competition; won by Mathew Graham for the second-year running, completing 5 arborist knots in just 17.09 seconds.

Taking center stage at the heart of the showground, and showcasing just some of the many technical skills involved in being a professional arborist, was the ‘3ATC’ Tree Climbing Competition sponsored by Nearly 50 climbers took part across 3 skill categories in a hard-fought competition, which drew in the crowds and had many in awe of their daring efforts high in the canopy of Westonbirt’s magnificent cedars.

The sun came out on Saturday and with it, families, arboretum members and members of the public showing a keen interest in trees and professional tree work. Arb Show regulars and industry professionals were spoilt for choice between an array of workshops, tree climbers’ forums and the stunning landscape and remarkable trees within the arboretum itself.

The popular kids’ tree climbing area sponsored by Marlow Ropes was inspiring the next generation of young arborists and popular all day, with 106 youngsters enjoying the attraction. The main arena saw the ‘Forst Xtreme Challenge’ with a ninja assault course, gladiators style travellator and one of the great moments from Arb Show – Russell Ball, from the charity ‘Fund4Trees’ setting the record of 424 loops on the Looping Bike.

Thanks again to everyone who came to Arb Show; exhibitors, visitors, sponsors, press and our brilliant host Westonbirt Arboretum.

We’re already looking at ways to build on the success of the new showground inside the arboretum and look forward to seeing you in 2018.


Visitor Quotes:

“It was a great show, great friendly vibe”

“Best Arb show I’ve been to; had a right laugh and loads to look at. A lot of effort went into it from all the exhibitors… much appreciated!”

“Arb show 2017 was great fun, met some great people & look forward to next year.”

“Went to the show yesterday for the first time. Great day thanks, can’t wait for next year.”

“A brilliant weekend at Arb Show to ensure the company is completely up to date on available equipment, processes and regulations.”

Key statistics:

Visitor Stats

  • 6834 Visitors
  • 3486 more visitors than 2016 – 96% increase
  • 3128 more visitors than our record year in 2015 – 84% increase
  • 3015 Visitors on Friday
  • 3819 Visitors on Saturday

Exhibitor Stats:

  • 109 Exhibitors
  • 26 more exhibitors than 2016 (31% increase)
  • 65 exhibitors returning from 2016 (78% returning)
  • 39 exhibitors attended for the first time
  • 17 Exhibitors selling wood chippers

Climbing and competitions:

  • 48 Climbing Competition Entrants
  • 3:36.00 – Expert Climb Winning Time
  • 14:25.00 – Premier Climb Winning Time
  • 5 Arborist Knots in 17.09 seconds – Knot Tying Competition Winning Time
  • 150 children enjoyed the kids climbing tree

Arb Ale:

  • 1700 Pints sold by Stroud Brewery (1100 Friday, 600 Saturday)
Arb Show 2017 Stats

ARB Show is a highlight on the annual calendar for arborists and those who care for the nation’s trees, and is the ideal chance for professionals to discover the latest tools and kit with a host of industry suppliers in attendance; while members of the public enjoy an educational and enjoyable day out.

Since 1964 the Arboricultural Association has been the national body in the UK and Ireland for the amenity tree care professional in either civic or commercial employment at craft, technical, supervisory, managerial or consultancy level. There are currently over 2,300 members of the Arboricultural Association in a variety of membership classes.

The Objectives of the Arboricultural Association:

To advance the study of arboriculture and raise the standards of its practice.

To raise governmental and public awareness of issues relating to arboriculture.

To foster and promote an interest in trees.

To be the ‘Voice of Arboriculture’ to the public and other external organisations.

The Arboricultural Association’s Website is

The Amenity Conference ‘Protect and Survive website is:

About the author: PETER WHARTON, Director & Arboricultural Consultant