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Meet the Team- Jennifer Brookes

Jennifer Brookes has been working as a sales manager for Civic Trees since February 2013. Originally from North West Indiana near Chicago, Jennifer lived in Indianapolis until moving to the UK in December 2012.

Her role with Civic Trees sees her generating and managing sales leads from initial client discussion through to the sale and final installation. She is also responsible for after-care enquiries, inspections and overall client satisfaction.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Science from Purdue University in Indiana, she explains: “I specialised in landscape horticulture and design. It was a four year degree including courses in art and design, AutoCAD, surveying, biology and chemistry, tissue culture, genetics, entomology, pathology and soil science.

“I graduated in 2001 and went straight into a position as a trainee landscape designer with a garden centre in Indianapolis. I proceeded to work my way up through the company eventually becoming the managing designer and garden centre overseer.”

Jennifer came across Civic Trees while searching for a new job when she moved to the UK, she comments: “I checked out the website and was seriously impressed. I think you could say I was a little star-struck because I already knew how difficult it could be to do anything with semi-mature trees, let alone pick them up and move them around! I’ve known about tree spades for years but I never fail to be impressed when I see them in action, particularly Civic Trees’ 2.15m diameter spade!”

Jennifer’s job sees her visiting clients all over England and the places she gets to see are some of the favourite parts of her job, she says: “I’m in awe of the stately homes and estates I frequently visit in the course of my daily job. I love seeing the countryside while travelling between appointments and I am gaining a real appreciation for the hidden gems I discover while out and about in London.”

When she isn’t working Jennifer spends much of her spare time fundraising for Appledown Rescue and Rehoming Kennels in Eaton Bray.


Civic Trees plant trees for Mayor’s RE:LEAF scheme

Civic Trees, part of national green services company Glendale, has completed the planting of over 350 trees for the RE:LEAF scheme, led by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Specialists from Civic Trees used the latest handling, planting and maintenance techniques to install the trees across the streets, parks and residential areas of the London Borough of Southwark.

Its specialist tree-planters were responsible for preparting the ground before planting and securing the trees in their final locations.  They will also undertake ongoing maintenance.

The RE:LEAF initiative aims to encourage the planting of more trees across London, while also protecting the city;s woodlands and wildlife.

So far around 10,000 trees have already been planted, with a further 10,000 promised during the course of Boris Johnson’s second term in office.

Deric Newman, director of sales at Civic Trees, said: “Urban locations can often present many challenges when it comes to tree planting and our experienced teams overcame them through good preperation and planning to complete this project successfully. 

“The RE:LEAF scheme really benefits the whole of London as it not only improves the visual aesthetic of the city, but also offers its residents the chance to learn about and understand the growing process, while recognising the importance of trees in modern day society.” 

£25,000 tree planting project underway in London

Civic Trees, part of the national green spaces company Glendale, is undertaking a major urban tree planting project in the London borough of Brent.

The £25,000 contract for the planting programme is with Brent Council and forms part of the council’s plans for enhancing the A5 Cricklewood Broadway.

39 London plane (Platanus x acerifolia) trees have so far been planted along the route in specially dug pits designed to help the trees bed in and protect the underground utilities.

Each pit is designed to fit exactly in the space allowed and has been filled with top soil.  The trees have also been supported by underground anchors for further support.

Crews from Civic Trees battled some of the worst weather this spring has seen to complete the job on time and to budget.

Deric Newman, sales manager at Civic Trees, said: “This job is not without the many challenges urban planting can present, especially given some of the weather conditions we saw earlier this year, but our team are doing a great job of overcoming them.

 “We are using trees from our existing stock and that gives us the flexibility to deliver them as and when they were needed. Our team is self contained and that also helps to minimise disruption on this main road during the planting.

 “The London plane is a great heritage tree too, it has all the properties suited to an urban environment and has real longevity.”

New appointment for Glendale Civic Trees

Tree supply, plant and relocation specialist, Glendale Civic Trees division, has appointed James Shipman as landscape supervisor.

In this new position for the organisation, James will be responsible for managing and growing the company’s landscaping activities, supporting the sales team and leading the teams on site to ensure project targets are achieved.  He will be the first point of contact for the organisation’s clients and designers.

Chris Mills, general manager of Civic Trees, said: “James has a very impressive portfolio.  He has been carrying out hard and soft landscaping for six years and brings with him a wealth of experience managing accounts with high end clients and designers.

“Civic Trees have been providing landscaping services for a number of years but has always relied upon outsourcing more technical elements of the work.  With the addition of James we now have the ability to deliver all of our landscaping services in-house, and with his experience we will be looking to target the high-end domestic market as well as blue chip companies in the future.”

Over the next few months Civic Trees aims to continue growing its landscaping activity by building a strong team to work under James.

James said: “Landscaping is a career I want to pursue for the rest of my life and I am excited about starting the next chapter with Civic Trees.

“I have always been interested in what the company were all about and I’ve never been so excited to start a new job before!  The role will give me the chance to experience some new challenges and reignite my passion for all things landscaping.

“One of my first goals is to take responsibility for the landscaping activities at Civic Trees and ensure they are delivered to the usual high standard and build good relationships with new clients.”

Glendale makes its mark on acclaimed designer’s legacy garden

Trees and flowers donated by national green service provider Glendale to be part of a prestigious garden created by award winning garden designer Paul Hervey-Brookes.

The Perennial Legacy Garden has been designed for the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS) Flower Show Tatton Park and will feature 2,000 plants and 10 trees gifted by Glendale Civic Trees and Glendale Horticulture.

members of the Glendale team will work alongside Paul, whose accolades include the Gardening World Cup 2014 Best in Show and gold at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013, on building the garden.

Glendale is also lead sponsor of the garden at the much anticipated RHS Flower Show Tatton Park, staged by the charity for horticulturalists, Perennial, and running from 22-26 July 2015.

The Perennial Legacy Garden highlights the importance of legacy gifts to Perennial, which provides financial assistance, help and advice to working and retired horticulturalists throughout the UK via a network of local Case Workers.  In 2014 legacy gifts made up more than 34 per cent of the charity’s income.

Andy Corcoran, managing director at Glendale, said: “Glendale is committed in its support for Perennial and it’s a real pleasure to make our mark on this wonderful show garden – especially as it ties with our 25th anniversary celebrations this year.

“It’s our aim to help horticulturists in need through our long-term association with Perennial and we hope the Perennial Legacy Garden serves as a reminder that those who care for the green spaces of modern Britain are not always as visible as the gardens, parks, landscapes and sports grounds they meticulously maintain.”

Paul’s design features a pavilion for relaxing, a separate walled working garden with gardener’s bothy and nursery beds.  He said: “Preparations for the garden are coming on well and we’re all looking forward to getting on site now.  As ever, we are a little nervous about the plants due to the erratic weather we’re having, but with Glendale on board no doubt we’ll have plenty to work with when we come to plant.”  

Anita Bates, director of marketing and development at Perennial, added: “This is a very special event for Perennial this year.  Not only is it our first show garden at the ‘Chelsea of the North’ but it is the only show garden designed by Paul Hervey-Brookes in 2015.  Glendale’s generous donation has enabled us to stage this garden and as ever, we are grateful for its support.”

58 new trees to enhance seaside refurb

Glendale Civic Trees has begun work on a regeneration programme which will improve spaces for residents, businesses and tourists in a seaside town.

Streets in South Shields are being overhauled to provide better access for pedestrians between the town centre and the seafront, through the creation of a gateway.

The company is carrying out environmental improvements as part of the overall infrastructure refurbishment.  Its experienced team will be enhancing the landscape through a planting scheme, which has already seen 21 trees planted with the intention of creating a boulevard feel.  Another 37 trees were planted in Spring.

The planting follows a programme of preparation carried out by Glendale’s arboriculture team in South Shields, involving the removal of mature trees, grinding stumps, assisting engineers in the installation of an underground system and providing tree soil.  The depot was instrumental in removing festive lights and trees and also providing an apprentice to work alongside the team, assisting with aftercare work such as watering.

The development, an initiative of South Tyneside Council, is part of a wholescale regeneration of the area.

The majority of the transformation took place on Ocean Road, which is around a half a mile and contains bed and breakfasts, restaurants and businesses.  Roads are being resurfaced and narrowed, with better positioned parking bays to make the area more pedestrian friendly.

Glendale Civic Trees worked with the council’s design and arboriculture teams on early proposals, providing advice on species selection and tree pit design.

Chris Mills, general manager at Civic Trees, said: “The improvements will bring countless benefits to the area.  A fresh look will create a more attractive, inviting feel, which in turn will attract more visitors, increase tourism and provide a boost to the local economy.

“The wider programme of work means more space for pedestrians and an increase in parking spaces, meaning better access to shops and businesses, and we are happy to be part of a scheme that has the interests of local people at its core.”

Councillor Tracey Dixon, lead member for Area Management and Community Safety, said: “The improvements aim to create a more pedestrian friendly environment for residents and visitors to Ocean Road by improving road safety and providing better parking facilities.  These wonderful new trees will help to ensure this key link between South Shields Town Centre and seafront area continues to be a great asset.”

Glendale’s arboriculture team in South Shields put the finishing touches to the landscaping scheme in early July ready for the South Tyneside Summer Festival.  The team planted some shrubs and completed some turfing to ensure Ocean Road was ready for the summer parade.


Tree of Heaven planted to acknowledge greener cities

As part of the Netherlands Business Support Office’s (NBSO) latest seminar on urban landscaping solutions held in Manchester, a new tree was planted outside Manchester Cathedral.

The NBSO’s seminar in May showcased the latest innovations that are enabling cities globally to rethink their urban landscape and pave the way to greener, healthier cities. It provided insights into the reshaping of green infrastructure for all organisations managing public spaces.

Deric Newman, sales manager from Civic Trees, said:“We’re very proud to be part of the ceremonial event promoting new urban landscaping techniques and supporting Ebben Tree Nurseries.

“City centres drastically need trees, not just to give visual appeal but they are an important aspect of the natural environment and we need them in our cities. We arrived on site and removed the stump of the Hungarian oak which had been felled by Manchester City Council’s arboriculture team earlier in the morning.

“The team then created a new tree pit for the tree before planting and backfilling the hole leaving enoughsoil for Manchester’s Lord Mayor, Susan Cooley, to lay during the ceremonial planting.”

Glendale’s Civic Trees division planted a purple leaved Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus Altissima Purple Dragon), which was donated to the City Council by Ebben Tree Nurseries replacing an existing Hungarian oak that was in decline.

Civic Trees was involved in the project through Ebben Tree Nurseries, one of its main European suppliers, which was involved in organising the seminar with NBSO. Ebben supplied the donated tree and delivered it to Civic Trees’ site in Watford for the team to take to Manchester ready for planting.

Pictured (L-R): Deric Newman, Marko Mouwen (Ebben Tree Nurseries) and Manchester’s Lord Mayor, Susan Cooley.

UK tree species facing growing threat

National green services provider, Glendale, is urging UK nurseries to step up biosecurity to prevent the potentially devastating spread of tree pests and diseases.

The company reports that over the past decade, at least a dozen tree pests and diseases have been found for the first time in the UK.

Increasing numbers of threats have also been discovered in areas which make their introduction to the UK a real possibility. Trade, transport, travel and tourism are the key entry routes for invasive species.

In addition, some existing species of pest or infectious disease have become more damaging to UK tree stock in recent years.

Chris Mills, general manager at Glendale Civic Trees, said:“The UK is always at threat from new pest and disease species and with more and more importing happening every year, it’s vital that we step up the biosecurity.

 Ash dieback has been well documented in the media, but there is more on the horizon posing a major threat to trees. Southern Europe is suffering withceratocystis platani, also known as canker stain of plane, an invasive fungal pathogen which will have a devastating effect on the urban tree population. There’s also agrilus planipennis, a green beetle more commonly referred to as emerald ash borer, which is spreading from Moscow at a rate of 25 miles per year.It’s believed that this insect, which is native to Eastern Asia, has spread through wooden packaging such as crates and pallets.

While research into treating trees is ongoing, Chris warns that responsibility also lies with people doing the planting to ensure they source quality stock. He said: “There is always research taking place in the background. However, in most cases when a pest or disease has entered the UK it is already too late. An exception to this was the Asian longhorn beetle which was found in Kent. These insects are very slow spreading so they could be contained and eradicated in a small area.

“When planting new trees it’s vital that the trees are selected from a well-established nursery that has tight biosecurity measures in place. Where a tree is already infected, we need to act fast to minimise destruction as far as possible. Anyone worried about an existing tree should contact a local tree consultant who can offer advice on what measures should be taken. There is also useful information available from the Forestry Commission website.

“The spread of disease in trees has a devastating effect on the environment, the diversity of wildlife and our landscape. It will also have significant financial ramifications for the forestry industry and the UK economy as a whole.”

 A report by MP Zac Goldsmith in partnership with the Countryside Restoration Trust cites that the total annual cost of invasive species to the British economy has been estimated at approximately £1.7 billion.

60 seconds with team leader Neil Everett

Neil Everett has been with Civic Trees for over seven years.  He tells us in 60 seconds why he loves what he does and and his top tree care tip.

  1. How long have you worked for Civic Trees and what do you do?
    Seven and a half years and I am a team leader 
  2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
    The travel and working with my team mates 
  3. What has been your most rewarding experience/biggest achievement with Civic Trees to date?
    Completing the planting project on Ocean Road in South Shields
  4. What is the greatest challenge of your work?
    Meeting deadlines whilst maintaining our high standards 
  5. How did you get started in the tree relocation industry?
    I needed a change to outdoor work, I was spending too much time indoors
  6. What advice would you give to anyone wanted to work in the industry?
    Get up early and ignore the weather! 
  7. What piece of kit could you not cope without in your day-to-day job?
    A flask of coffee
  8. What is your top tree planting or tree care tip?
    Water!  Always water! 

60 seconds with supervisor Simon Copleston

Supervisor Simon Copleston has been with Civic Trees for over 24 years.  He tells us in 60 seconds why he loves what he does and his top tree care tip.

  1. How long have you worked for Civic Trees and what do you do?
    24 and a half years and I am a supervisor/HGV driver
  2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
    The variety and the satisfaction of seeing trees grow that we planted years ago.  It is great to see how the landscape changes
  3. What has been your most rewarding experience/biggest achievement with Civic Trees to date?
    Moving two large crab apple trees in the same rootball at Newton Aycliffe, planting avenues at a private estate in Oxfordshire and working up from tree planter to supervisor.  There are too many to list!  
  4. What is the greatest challenge of your work?
    Dealing with and solving problems on site whilst keeping the client happy
  5. How did you get started in the tree relocation industry?
    By luck!
  6. What advice would you give anyone wanting to work in the industry?
    Be prepared to work hard and work long hours
  7. What piece of kit could you not cope without in your day-to-day job?
    A crane to lift/unload trees
  8. What is your top tree planting or tree care tip?
    Aftercare!  Water at the correct amount