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    Author(s): Kevin T. Smith
    Date: 2012
    Source: Arboricultural Journal: The International Journal of Urban Forestry. 34(1): 47-48.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (28.59 KB)


    The recent article "Towards a new model of branch attachment" by D. Slater and C. Harbinson (Arboricultural Journal (2010), 33, pp. 95-105) criticises strongly the model of branch attachment described by Dr Alex Shigo in 1985. As I recall, my first glimpse of Shigo's model was literally drawn on the back of an airline cocktail napkin. He rushed into the lab that morning, in full flush of his "eureka" moment. At the time, I was a postdoctoral researcher with Dr Walter C. Shortle who was part of Shigo's team at the US Forest Service. The ballpoint sketch showed the key elements of overlapping branch and stem tissues, with the vasculature of branch and stem continuous only on the underside of the branch. For me, one crucial difference between the 1985 and 2010 publications rests on the distinction between codominant stems (referred to as "forks" in the recent article) and branches.

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    Smith, Kevin T. 2012. Letter to the Editor [response to "Towards a new model of branch attachment" by D Slater and C Harbinson]. Arboricultural Journal: The International Journal of Urban Forestry. 34(1): 47-48.


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