top of page
_Placeholder.png
Brian Kane

Massachusetts Arborists Association Professor of Arboriculture

University of Massachusett

STIHL-Logo-Square.png

Monday 8th April | 8:45am

What is Arboricultural Biomechanics and Why Should I Care?

How Well Do Arborists Assess Likelihood of Tree Failure Due to Stem Decay?


BIO

Brian Kane, Ph.D. is the Massachusetts Arborists Association Professor of Arboriculture at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst. He is an ISA Certified Arborist who began dragging brush in 1988. He also holds the ISA’s Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). He has written many scholarly and trade articles and given presentations all over the world on the mechanical aspects of tree work. Brian is co-author on the upcoming 3rdeditions of the ISA’s Best Management Practices: Tree Risk Assessment and the Tree Risk Assessment Manual.

ABSTRACT

Monday presentation title: What is Arboricultural Biomechanics and Why Should I Care?


Monday presentation abstract: Arborists regularly make decisions based on an intuitive understanding of mechanics—the study of objects and the forces that act on them. For example, when rigging a piece of wood, a tree worker judges what size of a piece is safe to take based on the rigging system and anchor point in the tree. And arborists often prune trees to reduce the likelihood of failure in the wind. In this presentation, we will introduce and define important concepts of mechanics, and see how they relate to common arboricultural practices such as climbing, pruning, rigging, and installing support systems. Understanding these concepts is essential to maintaining safety for tree workers and reducing risk for clients.


Tuesday presentation title: How Well Do Arborists Assess Likelihood of Tree Failure Due to Stem Decay?


Tuesday presentation abstract: Assessing likelihood of failure is one part of tree risk assessment. Decay is a common defect that arborists investigate to assess likelihood of failure. Assessments involve simple tools—visually inspecting the trunk or sounding it with a mallet—as well as more advanced tools such as resistance drilling and tomography. We recently completed a study to determine how consistently ISA TRAQ assessors assigned likelihood of failure ratings to tree trunks with decay. As part of the study, we also explored whether assessors changed their likelihood of failure ratings after using more advanced decay detection tools. This presentation will explain the methods and review the results of the study. The results may surprise you!

bottom of page