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David Humphries

Managing Trees with Decay & Dysfunction

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Good wall behind that 26 cm colonised area.


I share Nick's question about basal info--is 50 cm the typical height sampled? When using a tomograph I typically start at the base.

Maybe more resi sampling at the base is avoided because it could assist colonisation unintentionally?

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For me it depends on whether we are sampling the roots/lower buttresses or the basal section of the trunk.


The height varies whilst undertaking trunk readings depending on the height of fruiting and/or exposed heart wood.


Setting a tomograph up off the ground is such a faff !



of course it also varies depending on what your probing :biggrin:










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Placed a couple of tethers on a beech pollard that has significant Kretzschmaria & Ganoderma basal issues.


We reduced it recently via a highline.......






Even with the reduction we felt it needed a little more management.


We chose 2 beech maidens apporximately 17m away as anchor trees










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Here's a Quercus alba, Armillaria conks and mycelia rolling through the middle.


Got the call to refer a removal company. Wound up selling 1.5 hours root collar work and 2 hrs pruning. Told them the work was good for 10 years. Got paid in cash and got a nice dinner as well. :)


Columns grafting across the hollow in 2 locations. The fungus appears to be in scavenger mode; sapwood is largely intact. Fungi are considered beneficial associates, unless and until pathogenicity is demonstrated.

Pruned some girdling roots (the white root was from the nearby ash) and redirected others (buried and held down by bricks).


Got my tie-in point on the 2nd shot with the slingshot. While ascending, i noted that the branch my rope was around was long dead.


I'll get an after shot of the crown soon.











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Thanks Guy for emphasizing the structure which is present, rather than what is "missing". I'm with you there. What are the two columns to which you refer?

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Kevin, columns are functional vertical segments of the tree connecting leaves and roots. The two I speak of are on either side of the cavity. Instead of forming a 'rams horn', they are grafting where they meet. i'm inclined to try some bark tracing to speed this grafting.

David Lonsdale I believe referred to these as 'segments' in a recent article in AA. The importance of following these vascular and supporting these connections is why the A300 has them high on the list of features to inspect for: “83.3.4 Inspection should include…:

Conditions in the crown that may reflect root conditions;

Stem tissue connecting the crown and the roots;

Girdling of buttress roots or stems by roots or foreign objects, and the tree’s response;

Tree association with beneficial and harmful insects;

Tree association with pathogenic and beneficial microorganisms (e.g. mycorrhizae);

Wounds, and the tree’s response to wounds;

Mechanical damage to detectable roots, and response;

Indications of root disease and response, and

Graft unions in grafted trees;”

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Kevin if you squint at the 3rd pic you might see not 2, but 3 locations where grafting is taking place. I'll try to get closeup pics, and demo the tracing.

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Thanks Guy, that makes sense to me! In my shop, when we speak of columns, we mean columns of discoloration and decay. I knew that was not what you meant! I don't know much about the tracing, I hear folks refer to it.

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