Arborists frequently consider defects such as decay and poorly attached branches when assessing the likelihood of tree failure. Very few experiments have rigorously measured the effect of such defects. A recent experiment quantified the effect of co-dominant stems and decay on the likelihood of tree failure, giving some insights that Consulting Arborists can use when assessing tree risk.
Dr. Brian Kane is the Massachusetts Arborists Association professor of commercial arboriculture at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He has been involved in arboriculture since 1989 as a production arborist, arborist representative, educator, and researcher. Dr. Kane currently serves on the ISA board of directors, and he has published 46 scholarly papers on different aspects of arboricultural biomechanics, tree risk assessment, and tree worker safety.