Tree limbs drop from bucket truck lifts and cranes as researchers make observations, form calculations and answer questions below.
While an individual depletes the foliage of a fallen branch by removing its leaves one-by-one, another researcher trims all limbs from the trunk of a tree to test its durability and strength without them.
The branch of a tree receives a coat of paint before camera software begins analyzing the compression in the bark upon branch movement.
Approaching the Davey Tree Research Farm, located in Shalersville, Ohio, approximately 30 minutes from the company's corporate offices, is a sensory overload. As I enter the 40-acre premises, I hear tree limbs cracking through the air. I look all around to see shiny, yellow hardhats sporadically ducking out of view behind tree trunks to make observations on their work. And I smell the scent of fresh sawdust as I take a few slow paces forward, feeling exposed roots beneath my feet.
Contrary to likely initial observations, the felled limbs, barren trunks, painted bark and exposed roots are contributing to positive initiatives in the field of tree research. But how?
This week, Davey welcomes tree researchers and arborists to the Davey Institute on its corporate campus for Tree Biomechanics Research Week. The company's research facility is hosting several experiments to answer tree biomechanics questions and support the project abstracts of 15 experts and their teams from countries all over the world.
A few experiments will analyze trees that had experienced alterations and attention during Tree Biomechanics Research Week in 2010, when Davey last hosted the event. Projects will involve the study and demonstration of a variety of tree topics and conditions, including structural failure, soil-root relationships, tree tipping, sprout management after topping cuts, uprooting strength and EAB-caused "abnormal dismantling patterns" on infested ash trees.
Davey employees from Safety, Recruiting, the Davey Institute and Davey Resource Group attend Tree Biomechanics Research Week events to represent the collaborative effort among several departments and service lines to arrange a successful program for the participants and researchers involved.
To learn more about Tree Biomechanics Research Week, visit http://www.isa-arbor.com/events/workshopsAndSymposia/index.aspx.