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AUF May 2020
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  • AUF May 2020
CEUs are available for this product.

Load-Bearing of Bark-Included Junctions in the Presence and Absence of Natural Braces CEU Quiz

By Dean Meadows and Duncan Slater
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Arboriculture & Urban Forestry quizzes are available free online to members for one year after the date of publication; a maximum of six quizzes are available at any time. CEU quizzes for older articles may be purchased by both members and non-members.

Bark-included junctions are frequently encountered defects within the aerial structures of trees. The presence of included bark within a branch junction can substantially reduce the junction’s factor of safety. Recent research has found naturally occurring bracing to be a primary cause of the formation of included bark within branch junctions. This study tested the load-bearing capacity of branch junctions in hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) using rupture tests and compared the mechanical performance of “control” branch junctions, bark-included junctions with the natural bracing retained, and bark-included junctions where we had intentionally removed their natural braces by cutting them out. Substantial variability was observed in the failure kinematics of bark-included branch junctions when their natural braces were retained. The type of natural brace present affected the mode of failure of the branch junctions when pulled apart. A single specimen with fused branches presented the strongest form of natural brace in this study, followed by entwining branches, whereas crossing branches were found to provide the least mechanical resistance. This study provides initial evidence that the type of associated natural brace is an important consideration when an arborist is trying to assess the likely mechanical performance of a bark-included junction within a tree and its likelihood of failure. (A, M, T, Bs, Bp)

ISA's scientific journal Arboriculture & Urban Forestry (AUF) helps disseminate new research findings about the management of trees in urban environments. This quiz highlights an article from an issue of AUF with the objective of bridging the gap between scientific research and practical application. Learn about the latest arboricultural research happening around the world while also earning your CEUs.

CEUs for this quiz may be earned only once during the life of your certification.


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