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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Effect of Leaves and Static Support Cables on the Dynamic Properties of Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) with Codominant Trunks


    Professional arborists are increasingly involved in tree risk assessment and management in urban environments. Static cabling systems are routinely employed as a means to reduce the probability of stem failures due to poor branch attachments or weak codominant unions; however, their effects on the dynamic properties of the tree are largely unknown. The natural frequency of vibration and damping ratio are two dynamic properties that govern how a tree dissipates stress due to wind or other environmental factors, and were the subject of a two year study on mature northern red oaks. The trees were subjected to free vibration testing when leaves were present and when leaves were not present during the two year period. The acceleration time history of each test was recorded and used to determine the natural frequency of vibration and damping ratio for each test tree. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the effect that leaves and steel support cables had on the dynamic properties of each tree. The results of the study and the practical applications of the findings to production arboriculture are the topic of the presentation.


    Mark Reiland is a production arborist and researcher currently living in western Massachusetts.  He has 9 years of experience in the Southern, Pacific Northwest, and New England chapters of the ISA.  He studied Forest Management at North Carolina State University, and he is currently working on a graduate degree in Arboriculture at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  His primary areas of interest are tree biomechanics and the application of structural analysis techniques and testing to tree canopies.

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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