Advertisement

Trees

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 517–529 | Cite as

Loss in moment capacity of tree stems induced by decay

  • Cihan CiftciEmail author
  • Brian Kane
  • Sergio F. Brena
  • Sanjay R. Arwade
Original Paper

Abstract

Key message

We model varying decay in tree cross-sections by considering bending theory to estimate moment capacity loss (MCL) for the sections. We compare MCL with experiments on selected oak trees.

Abstract

Tree failures can damage property and injure people, sometimes with fatal consequences. Arborists assess the likelihood of failure by examining many factors, including strength loss in the stem or branch due to decay. Current methods for assessing strength loss due to decay are limited by not accounting for offset areas of decay and assuming that the neutral axis of the cross-section corresponds to the centroidal axis. This paper considers that strength loss of a tree can be related to moment capacity loss (MCL) of the decayed tree cross-section, because tree failures are assumed to occur when induced moments exceed the moment capacity of the tree cross-section. An estimation of MCL is theoretically derived to account for offset areas of decay and for differences in properties of wood under compressive and tensile stresses. Field measurements are used to validate the theoretical approach, and predictions of loss in moment capacity are plotted for a range of scenarios of decayed stems or branches. Results show that the location and size of decay in the cross-section and relative to the direction of sway are important to determine MCL. The effect of wood properties on MCL was most evident for concentric decay and decreased as the location of decay moved to the periphery of the stem. The effect of the ratio of tensile to compressive moduli of elasticity on calculations of MCL was negligible. Practitioners are cautioned against using certain existing methods because the degree to which they over- or underestimate the likelihood of failure depended on the amount and location of decay in the cross-section.

Keywords

Tree decay Strength loss Oscillation Oak Wind Winching 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was funded by the TREE Fund’s Mark S. McClure Biomechanics Fellowship. Nevin Gomez, Sherry Hu, Alex Julius, Dan Pepin, Alex Sherman, and Joseph Scharf (University of Massachusetts-Amherst) helped collect data.

References

  1. Archer RR (1987) Growth stresses and strains in trees. Springer in wood science. Springer-Verlag, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bodig J, Jayne BA (1993) Mechanics of wood and wood composites. Krieger Publishing Company, MalabarGoogle Scholar
  3. Butnor JR, Pruyn ML, Shaw DC, Harmon ME, Mucciardi AN, Ryan MG (2009) Detecting defects in conifers with ground penetrating radar: applications and challenges. For Pathol 39:309–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Coder KD (1989) Should you or shouldn’t you fill tree hollows? Grounds Maint 24(9):68–70Google Scholar
  5. Deflorio G, Johnson C, Fink S, Schwarze FWMR (2008) Decay development in living sapwood of coniferous and deciduous trees inoculated with six wood decay fungi. For Ecol Manage 255(7):2373–2383. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2007.12.040 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fink S (2009) Hazard tree identification by visual tree assessment (Vta): scientifically solid and practically approved. Arboric J 32(3):139–155. doi: 10.1080/03071375.2009.9747570 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gilbert EA, Smiley ET (2004) Picus sonic tomography for the quantification of decay in white oak (Quercus alba) and hickory (Carya spp.). J Arboric 30:277–281Google Scholar
  8. Glaberson W, Foderado LW (2012) Neglected, rotting trees turn deadly. The New York Times, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Gruber F (2008) Reply to the response of Claus Mattheck and Klaus Bethge to my criticisms on untenable vta-failure criteria, who is right and who is wrong? Arboric J 31(4):277–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. James K (2003) Dynamic loadig of trees. J Arboric 29(3):165–171Google Scholar
  11. James KR, Kane B (2008) Precision digital instruments to measure dynamic wind loads on trees during storms. J Arboric 148(6–7):1055–1061. doi: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2008.02.003 Google Scholar
  12. Johnstone D, Tausz M, Moore G, Nicolas M (2010) Quantifying wood decay in Sydney Bluegum (Eucalyptus saligna) trees. Arvoric Urban For 36(6):243–252Google Scholar
  13. Jullien D, Widmann R, Loup C, Thibaut B (2013) Relationship between tree morphology and growth stress in mature European beech stands. Ann For Sci 70(2):133–142. doi: 10.1007/s13595-012-0247-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kane B (2007) Branch strength of Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana var. ‘Bradford’). Arboric Urban For 33(4):283–291Google Scholar
  15. Kane B, Ryan D (2003) Examining formulas that assess strength loss due to decay in trees: woundwood toughness improvement in red maple (Acer rubrum). J Arboric 29(4):207–217Google Scholar
  16. Kane B, Ryan D (2004) The accuracy of formulas used to assess strength loss due to decay in trees. J Arboric 30(6):347–356Google Scholar
  17. Kane B, Ryan D, Bloniarz DV (2001) Comparing formulae that assess strength loss due to decay in trees. J Arboric 27(2):78–87Google Scholar
  18. Kane B, Farrell R, Zedaker SM, Loferski JR, Smith DW (2008) Failure mode and prediction of the strength of branch attachments. Arboric Urban For 34(5):308–316Google Scholar
  19. Kretschmann DE (2010) Mechanical properties of wood. In: Wood handbook, wood as an engineering material, vol 5. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, Madison, pp 1–46Google Scholar
  20. Langum CE, Yadama V, Lowell EC (2009) Physical and mechanical properties of young-growth Douglas-fir and western hemlock from western Washington. For Prod J 59(11/12):37–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Langwig JE, Meyer JA, Davidson RW (1968) Influence of polymer impregnation on mechanical properties of basswood. For Prod J 18(7):31–36Google Scholar
  22. Mattheck C, Bethge K, Erb D (1993) Failure criteria for trees. Arboric J 17:201–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mattheck C, Lonsdale D, Breloer H (1994) The body language of trees: a handbook for failure analysis. HMSO, LondonGoogle Scholar
  24. Mergen F (1954) Mechanical aspects of wind-breakage and windfirmness. J For 52(2):119–125Google Scholar
  25. Mortimer MJ, Kane B (2004) Hazard tree liability in the United States: uncertain risks for owners and professionals. Urban For Urban Green 2(3):159–165. doi: 10.1078/1618-8667-00032 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Nicolotti G, Socco LV, Martinis R, Godio A, Sambuelli L (2003) Application and comparison of three tomographic techniques for detection of decay in trees. J Arboric 29(2):66–78Google Scholar
  27. Okuyama T, Yamamoto H, Yoshida M, Hattori Y, Archer R (1994) Growth stresses in tension wood: role of microfibrils and lignification. Ann For Sci 51(3):291–300CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ozyhar T, Hering S, Niemz P (2013) Moisture-dependent orthotropic tension-compression asymmetry of wood. Holzforschung, vol 67. doi: 10.1515/hf-2012-0089
  29. Peltola HM (2006) Mechanical stability of trees under static loads. Am J Bot 93(10):1501–1511. doi: 10.3732/ajb.93.10.1501 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Ruel J-C, Achim A, Herrera R, Cloutier A (2010) Relating mechanical strength at the stem level to values obtained from defect-free wood samples. Trees 24(6):1127–1135. doi: 10.1007/s00468-010-0485-y CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schmidlin T (2009) Human fatalities from wind-related tree failures in the United States, 1995–2007. Nat Hazards 50(1):13–25. doi: 10.1007/s11069-008-9314-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schneider MH, Phillips JG (1991) Elasticity of wood and wood polymer composites in tension compression and bending. Wood Sci Technol 25(5):361–364. doi: 10.1007/BF00226175 Google Scholar
  33. Schneider MH, Phillips JG, Tingley DA, Brebner KI (1990) Mechanical properties of polymer-impregnated sugar maple. For Prod J 40(1):37–41Google Scholar
  34. Shigo AL (1984) How to assess the defect status of a stand. North J Appl For 1(3):41–49Google Scholar
  35. Sinn G, Wessolly L (1989) A contribution to the proper assessment of the strength and stability of trees. Arboric J 13:45–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Smiley ET (2008) Root pruning and stability of young willow oak. Arboric Urban For 34(2):123–128Google Scholar
  37. Smiley ET, Fraedrich BR (1992) Determining strength loss from decay. J Arboric 18(4):201–204Google Scholar
  38. Wagener WW (1963) Judging hazard from native trees in California recreational areas: a guide for professional foresters. US Forest Service Research Paper, PSW-P1, p 29Google Scholar
  39. Wang X, Allison RB (2008) Decay detection in red oak trees using a combination of visual inspection, acoustic testing, and resistance microdrilling. Arboric Urban For 34(1):1–4Google Scholar
  40. Wilhelmy V, Kubler H (1973) Stresses and checks in log ends from relieved growth stresses. Wood Sci 6:136–142Google Scholar
  41. Wilson BF, Gartner BL (1996) Lean in red alder (Alnus rubra): growth stress, tension wood, and righting response. Can J For Res 26(11):1951–1956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Yao J (1979) Relationships between height and growth stresses within and among white ash, water oak, and shagbark hickory. Wood Sci 11(4):246–251Google Scholar
  43. Yoshida M, Ohta H, Okuyama T (2002) Tensile growth stress and lignin distribution in the cell walls of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia). J Wood Sci 48(2):99–105. doi: 10.1007/BF00767285 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cihan Ciftci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brian Kane
    • 3
  • Sergio F. Brena
    • 2
  • Sanjay R. Arwade
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringAbdullah Gul UniversityKayseriTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental ConservationUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Personalised recommendations