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<Stephen Wiley>
posted
Russ, I don't know if you could handle another topic. However, certain situations have caused me to think lately of the
importance of ethics within our industry.

E.G.> I recently talked with a forest scientist, who hired an "arboist" to care for their 70 year old Camperdown Elm. NO
DED present at the time of hire. The arborist, for reasons I do not know decided the tree needed systemic injections(I do not
perform these as I have not seen proof of success, rather failure). The results are more than 1/3 crown loss and further
decline. The scientist conferred with a forest pathologist who strongly advised the cause of loss was due to the inference of
the injections.

The scientist who hired the arborist full believed they were hiring another professional and feel deeply the loss of this
beautiful tree.

Question: Since, I do not know all the pre-existing conditions, nor the extent of the education of the other arborist, would it
be unethical to advise the scientist to seek retribution ?

Jump in here, Julian!!

Steve
 
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<Scott Cullen>
posted
Reply to post by Stephen Wiley, on September 20, 1999 at 22:14:22:

Stephen, there are a few ways to read your question.

The biggest picture way is "Is it unethical to blow the whistle on another arborist?" Unfortuneately, at least in my opinion, there is sometimes a "code" of silence that sort of says it's bad form to speak ill of someone in your profession or trade. Doesn't make us look good, or don't want somebody to do it to me or you're just trying to eliminate competiton. In my opinion there is no ethical duty to shield a colleague from scrutiny or to avoid exposing poor practices.

Another very big issue is "Is it unethical to make statements or recommendations without complete facts?" Well that depneds on the statement or recommendation. If you don't have the facts you should not say actions were either right or wrong and you should not say any particular remedy is justified. But if based on the facts you have you think something's not right it certainly seems appropriate to recommend that all the facts be obtained.

I believe the ASCA SPP Committee has suggested that members approach other members suspected of improper actions to get that other members version of facts - in a collegial fashion - before making complaints. The other person might have been completely justified and proper in actions taken, or might have been unaware of certain things and be grateful for your input. Or just maybe was way off base and needs to be disciplined. Such an approach might be appropriate in a non-ASCA setting as well.

Questions come to mind in this particular case like: was the arborist qualified for and experienced in the use of the particular material and technique? Was the application needed or justifiable? Was it applied according to label and other required procedueres? Are there label or literature cautions about phyto-toxic effects? Was the client advised of any such risk?
 
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