Tree decay: a few questions still worth asking

Tree decay: a few questions still worth asking

January 2024

Tree decay: a few questions still worth asking

CPD hours or CEU points available

With Dr David Lonsdale

In 1982, David Lonsdale took on the job of leading a research project on decay in amenity trees. At the time, tree work practices were changing in response to research findings in the USA, where Alex Shigo and co-workers had developed the concept of “compartmentalisation of decay in trees” (CODIT). They had also demonstrated failures of wound paints to prevent decay. The resulting changes in tree work practice are now long established but David believes that there are still questions worth asking, especially the following:

  • The CODIT model was developed to replace the allegedly flawed heart-rot concept, which dated back to the late 19th century. Was the heart-rot concept really flawed?
  • Are decay fungi ever parasitic or pathogenic?
  • The “D” in CODIT is now often taken to represent dysfunction, rather than decay. Why might this be appropriate?
  • Wound paints: are they really useless?
  • Biocontrol of decay in pruning wounds: could this be worthwhile?
Dr David Lonsdale

Dr David Lonsdale is a consultant, author and educator, specialising in the biology, pathology and mechanical integrity of trees. After obtaining degrees at the universities of Southampton (1971) and Manchester (1975), he led a wide range of research projects on tree diseases and decay for Forest Research until taking early retirement in 2002. He also served on the Council of the British Mycological Society, of which he was Vice-president in 2000. He has continued to contribute to scientific journals and has also worked as a consultant and expert witness in cases involving tree failure.

Books written or edited by David include Habitat Conservation for Insects (1991), Principles of Tree Hazard Assessment and Management (1999) and Ancient and other Veteran Trees: further Guidance on Management (2013). He is a recipient of the Marsh Award for Insect Conservation from the Royal Entomological Society (2009) and the R.W. Harris Citation from the International Society of Arboriculture (2016).

January 2023

Thinking Arbs: Retrenchment

With Ted Green and Reg Harris

Ted Green, Reg Harris and friends join us for a webinar to discuss retrenchment.

December 2022

Arbor Day: Time for Trees

With Charlotte Bancroft and Dan Lambe

The significance of a day for communities to celebrate the efforts of those who plant and advocate for trees in and around their urban forests. It's an opportunity to engage the public in more than a drive for planting with a focus on large numbers of trees without consideration, but of the importance of getting it right. Arbor Day UK seeks to give the industry visibility and credibility whilst encouraging growth. Empowering school children in tree planting activities could lead to present and future growth.

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