Skip to Main Content
Acoustic tomography for decay detection in red oak treesAuthor(s): Xiping Wang; R. Bruce Allison; Lihai Wang; Robert J. Ross
Source: Research Paper FPL-RP-642. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 7 pages.
Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)
Station: Forest Products Laboratory
Download Publication (886 KB)
DescriptionThe science of tree stability analysis uses both biological and engineering principles in attempting to rate a tree’s structural soundness and make reasonable predictions of potential for failure. In such analysis, arborists are often challenged by internal structural defects hidden from view within the trunks. This paper reports the results of an investigation using acoustic tomography to detect internal decay in park trees. Two century- old red oak (Quercus rubra) trees located at the Capitol Park in Madison, Wisconsin, were nondestructively evaluated using an acoustic tomography technique. The trees were subsequently felled, and a disk at each test location was obtained and examined. We found that the light-colored zones in the tomograms were larger than the true decay present in the disks. The oversized light-colored areas were the composite effects of both decay and large internal cracks. The results of this study demonstrated that acoustic tomograhy cannot distinguish between large internal cracks and heartwood decay. To make a better assessment of internal condition for urban trees, resistance microdrilling should also be used prior to tree removal.
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationWang, Xiping; Allison, R. Bruce; Wang, Lihai; Ross, Robert J. 2007. Acoustic tomography for decay detection in red oak trees. Research Paper FPL-RP-642. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory. 7 pages.
KeywordsAcoustic tomography, crack, decay, tree stability
- Decay detection in red oak trees using a combination of visual inspection, acoustic testing, and resistance microdrilling
- Sustaining northern red oak forests: managing oak from regeneration to canopy dominance in mature stands
- Effects of Fertilization on Shoot Growth of Defoliated and Undefoliated Red Oak Seedlings
XML: View XML