Innovation in Tree Assessments
Written by: Nathan Schuettpelz, ISA Certified Arborist WI-0887AM
Posted: 2022 | Spring | Tree and Shrub Care
Trees are magnificent, beautiful organisms. Trees can also be imposing, scary organisms. What makes trees scary are the unknowns. The unknowns become “known” after trees fail in storms and we are left to clean up the mess. What was once a large, stately tree that shaded a home may fail and reveal extensive internal rot that weakened the tree. Thankfully Wachtel Tree Science has the advanced tools to avoid this type of outcome.
I am specifically talking about the Tree Check and Resistograph assessment tools. The Tree Check is a simple tool that measures the speed soundwaves travel through a tree trunk. Soundwaves can pass directly through good wood. Internal trunk decay or cavities slow soundwaves or force them to take an altered path around the trunk. Fast time readings indicate good wood, slow readings indicate the presence of decay or cavities. We will use this information to decide if further assessment is needed.
If we can see an open cavity in the tree, or we believe it is likely there is internal decay we cannot see, we will utilize a Resistograph. The Resistograph is a modified drill that provides a reading of resistance as it drills into a tree. Good wood is dense and provides a lot of resistance to the drill. Bad wood is soft and provides lower resistance. A hollow trunk provides no resistance. Employing the Resistograph allows us to measure the extent of internal decay compared to good wood in the tree trunk. We will then make recommendations for future care based on that knowledge.
How will this benefit you as a tree owner? The goal of our consulting operations is to provide you accurate and detailed information so you can make the decision that best suits your needs. Our assessments go beyond what we can see to gain meaningful understanding on what is happening inside trees. We can provide peace of mind and confirm your tree is structurally sound. We can also detect extensive internal decay before a tree fails so you can have it removed in a controlled fashion. As a homeowner, you can be confident knowing Wachtel Tree Science is committed to keeping your trees healthy and your property safe!