(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 came to the 2024 edition of the ARB Show, it would be fair to say we didn't know what to expect. Having only taken place 12 months prior and this year competing against September's APF Exhibition, there had been predictions – uttered in whispered voice – that it may all prove a bit of a damp squib.

How wrong those doomsayers proved to be.

While, understandably, several names chose to stay away, having more than one eye on the UK's largest tree-care show that's now looming over the horizon, those who ventured to Westonbirt had a ball. Whether it was Carr's Billington Safety debuting its new line of Zamberlan boots – and selling out several models – or ARB Show newbies Home Forestry being genuinely surprised by the interest in its products, there was more than a sense that it was two days well spent in the Cotswolds.

James Bradshaw proudly shows off Carr's ARB Show offeringJames Bradshaw proudly shows off Carr's ARB Show offering (Image: eA/Jack Haugh)

What did we learn, then? We learned that Solidur, spurned on by the ever-increasing prevalence of female arborists, has developed a prototype range of protective clothing for women.

“Like a lot of industries, the number of women doing jobs that would traditionally be considered a male thing has increased," said Bruce Salisbury of Solidur's UK dealer, Severnside Safety Supplies. "There are more and more female arborists and foresters, and they have had to put up with not always having a great fit. The same applies to footwear.

“We are trying to cater for as many people as possible.”

We also learned that Ohashi – another ARB Show debutant – had been so overwhelmed by demand since arriving in the UK last year, that dealer TH White Machinery actually ran out of stock.

“It caught us by surprise,” said TH White's Bill Johnston. “I will admit, we temporarily ran out of stock earlier in the year but I am pleased to say stock is now good. It’s a good news story.”

Bill Johnston was delighted with the reception Ohashi received Bill Johnston was delighted with the reception Ohashi received (Image: eA/Jack Haugh)

We could go on – and subscribers will soon be receiving June's essentialARB and its extensive ARB Show coverage – but you get the picture.

While some continue to predict the downfall of events like this, the reality suggests that reports of their demise have been greatly exaggerated.

You can also head to our website to read more from the ARB Show and check out exclusive interviews on our YouTube channel.