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International Society of Arboriculture
PO Box 191
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
United States

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International Society of Arboriculture
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Event Details

Basics of Tree Biomechanics

Date: January 27, 2020
Location: Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, Vancouver, WA, UNITED STATES
Organizer: Pacific Northwest Chapter of ISA
Sponsor: Pacific Northwest Chapter of ISA
Description: This workshop will cover the basics of tree biomechanics, and how these principles can be used to guide pruning goals, tree risk assessment, and tree healthcare.

How have trees adapted to survive wind storms? When is a decayed tree no longer safe? How can we prune trees to increase strength through structure? If you have ever found yourself asking any of these questions, then there is an answer to be found in tree biomechanics. Tree biomechanics is the study of tree biology using engineering principles to better understand how trees have adapted to withstand various forces imposed upon them.

This workshop will cover the basics of tree biomechanics and show how to use the current findings in the field to better understand tree stability and wood strength. The goal of this workshop is to increase your knowledge of tree structure, and show how to use research findings to shape your arboricultural practices. The instructor will share how studies in the field are helping us learn more about tree behavior and predicting tree failure.

The workshop will include lectures plus interactive examples to learn how trees work. Workshop participants will examine tree samples to see and feel firsthand how taper, mass damping, and sway influence tree behavior.


Location: Vancouver Water Resources Education Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver, WA 98661

9:00am – 9:15am
Review of workshop agenda
9:15am – 10:15am
Review of basic tree morphology
Tree/plant cells and function
Wood structure basics
Reaction wood
10:15am – 10:30 Break
10:30am – 11:00am
Basics of Visual Tree Assessment
11:00am – 12:00pm
Discussion of taper, branch aspect ratio, and canopy distribution
Review of studies and findings
Practical applications
12:00pm – 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm – 1:30pm
Discussion of trees and wind
Review of studies and findings
Practical applications
1:30pm – 1:45pm Break
1:45pm – 3:00pm
Bringing it all together
Pruning for structure


Chris Madison is a consulting arborist based in Bend, OR. Initially a philosophy major, Chris went on to study horticulture, receiving degrees in ‘Landscape Maintenance and Installation’ as well as ‘Restoration horticulture.’ He soon shifted to arboriculture when he discovered he could climb trees for work. While working in Seattle, Chris obtained experience with numerous advanced testing tools including micro-resistance drills, sonic tomography, and static pull testing. Chris is an ISA certified arborist, Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, and certified municipal specialist; American Society of Consulting Arborists registered consulting arborist. When not working with trees, Chris works on skis as an instructor and trainer at Mt. Bachelor.
Contact Name: Margo Thorp
Contact Email:

Seats Available: 30
CEUs available: Yes

Start Date: 9:00 AM, January 27, 2020
End Date: 3:00 PM, January 27, 2020

Address: Vancouver Water Resources Education Center
4600 SE Columbia Way
108 Events