Tree Risk Symposium Draws a Capacity Crowd: Fall 2012

Return to Table of Contents – Fall 2012

A Tree Risk Assessment Symposium hosted by ISA and The Morton Arboretum and sponsored in part by the TREE Fund, attracted a capacity crowd of researchers and practitioners to the Arboretum Sept. 24-25. The agenda focused on assessment and management of tree risk and featured a roster of internationally recognized experts in the field of biomechanics.

Lecture presentations were followed by field demonstrations of state-of-the-art equipment and techniques for measuring the structural integrity of trees. The varied program earned enthusiastic reviews from participants, according to Gary Watson, Head of Research for The Morton Arboretum. “The field demos took the lectures to the next level,” he said. “Our participants really enjoyed the outdoor sessions and the roundtable discussions that followed. We heard directly from industry practitioners about the issues most in need of attention in this field. Their input also drove the discussions during the Research Summit the following day, and will help direct the future of biomechanics research.”

Bartlett arborist David Boone appreciated the opportunity for a firsthand look at the technology that’s driving the evolution of tree risk assessment methods. “Arborists tend to err on the side of caution when evaluating a tree,” he said. “We use what we see and what we know in order to predict the risk of failure. A more uniform set of evaluation standards, supported by a clearer picture of what’s really going on inside a tree, will give us better tools for assessing risk and help us make better decisions about whether a tree should stay or go.”

The organizers of the Symposium and Research Summit will summarize the program and its outcomes in a whitepaper to be published in 2013.