Taking a break away from the office, I find myself sat under an olive tree. I also sat under this tree last year. The difference this year is that over the winter, someone has absolutely butchered it! At least, if we apply the principles set out in British Standard 3998.
When out and about, I see thousands more olive trees, all bearing the scars of what we might count as ‘acts of vandalism’, and yet, they survive (and have done for many hundreds of years) in spite of this destructive management – certainly long before the BS was last revised.
One might also count the ancient methods of coppice, stub and pollard as acts of vandalism. They were carried out with simple tools – no precision ground Japanese steel or carbon-zero chainsaws.
Where does this take me as an arboriculturalist? I find myself musing that British Standards are possibly more for humans than trees.