2019 Brian Kane, PhD, University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Trees in our communities provide many benefits, but they also present a degree of risk. Tree failures can sometimes have severe consequences-fatalities or catastrophic disruption of essential services like electricity. To reduce risk, arborists assess the likelihood of tree failure. For some trees, the assessment is straightforward, but for others, arborists rely on advanced techniques. But very little research has explored how accurate the advanced techniques are, and whether they provide better information than less costly and time-consuming techniques. This is important because most consumers and communities cannot afford to conduct advanced assessments on trees. Working with faculty at UMass (Nick Brazee, Meg MacLean) and Mendel University in Brno, Czech Republic (Ludek Praus), as well as consulting arborists, I will compare risk assessments using simple and advanced techniques. Our goal is to determine whether advanced techniques provide different assessments than simple techniques. If the answer is yes, we’d also like to know whether the difference depends on the assessed likelihood of failure: Is the advanced assessment better if trees have a low likelihood of failure or a high likelihood of failure (or does it matter)?
Funding Duration: 3 years
Grant Program: John Z. Duling Grant
Grant Title: Comparing the efficacy of pull tests versus expert opinion when assessing decay and likelihood of tree failure
Researcher: Dr. Brian Kane
Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:
General Audience/Trade Publications:
For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org.