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Detection of discoloration and decay in living trees and utility polesAuthor(s): Alex L. Shigo; Alex Shigo
Source: Res. Pap. NE-294. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 11p.
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
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DescriptionA method is described for detecting discoloration and decay in living trees and creosoted utility poles. The method and devices have come from research involving many people over a seven-year period. A probe was inserted into a 3/32-inch (2.4 mm) diameter hole made by drill bits 8 inches (20.32 cm) and 12 inches (30.48 cm) long mounted in a portable, light-weight, battery-operated drill. The probe was attached by a flexible cable to a portable, light-weight, battery-operated meter, a "Shigometer", that delivered a pulsed electric current and measured resistance to it. As the probe was inserted into the hole, the meter measured in ohms the resistance of the wood in contact with the probe tip. As the probe was pushed inward, if the tip contacted only sound tissues, slight changes in resistance were measured. When the probe tip passed from sound wood to discolored or decayed wood there was an abrupt decrease in resistance. The magnitude of the decrease in resistance indicated the degree of discoloration or decay. The depth of the probe when the needle on the meter began to decrease indicated the position of the discolored or decayed wood.
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CitationShigo, Alex L.; Shigo, Alex. 1974. Detection of discoloration and decay in living trees and utility poles. Res. Pap. NE-294. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 11p.
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