TREE Fund research keeps trees – and people – safe in stormy weather

Frazer Pehmoeller of Bartlett

“Storms like Sandy and Katrina take down a lot of trees. Thanks to Dr. Gilman’s investigations we’ve learned a lot about how to prune large trees to make them less likely to fail in high winds.”

Frazer Pehmoeller, Arborist, Bartlett Tree Experts


As an arborist at Bartlett Tree Experts in New York state, Frazer Pehmoeller was on the front lines of the Superstorm Sandy cleanup effort. He knows firsthand the value of strategic pruning to reduce wind damage. He relies on techniques proven in extensive testing by industry expert Dr. Ed Gilman, funded in part by the TREE Fund. “Dr. Gilman’s work is cited regularly in Bartlett Tree Experts’ best practices training sessions, and backed up by the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory,” says Frazer.

Dr. Ed Gilman (FSU)Dr. Ed Gilman (University of Florida) has devoted much of his career to understanding how trees react to stress, why and how they break in hurricane-force winds and how strategic pruning can produce a stronger, safer tree. His Illustrated Guide to Pruning, now in its third edition, is the tree care industry textbook on the subject. It’s a compilation of lessons learned from multiple research projects, many of them funded by the TREE Fund.

Stronger Trees = Safer Neighborhoods

Tree felled by Hurricane SandyDr. Gilman’s research findings are applicable everywhere the wind blows. Arborists like Frazer, working to protect and preserve his clients’ mature, valuable trees, rely on science-based pruning techniques to help trees withstand high winds. The goal is fewer tree failures, less property damage and fewer tree-related injuries in the next big storm, wherever that may be. Read more about Dr. Gilman’s research and other investigations funded by the TREE Fund.