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Davey Tree Hosts 4th Biomechanics Week Research Event

August 26, 2019 -  By
Photo: The Davey Tree Expert Company

Biomechanics researchers from around the world met at the Davey Tree Expert Company’s Shalersville research station in Ohio from Aug. 5-9 for a week of collaboration and scientific inquiry. 

Attendees included a dozen research teams with scientists and arborists from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Mexico, the Caribbean and Canada, as well as the U.S. All combined, the researchers conducted more than 14 experiments encompassing a broad spectrum of arboriculture applications in a controlled, natural environment.

“Biomechanics Week is a creative partnership of scientists working together for the good of the industry,” said Anand Persad, Ph.D., director of arboriculture and energy client programs at the Davey Institute. “Over the course of one week, these teams conduct practical research that produces results directly applicable to the arboriculture industry. It’s a lot of fun, hard work, but the research bears immeasurable value to the future of arboriculture.”

Persad defines biomechanics as a material science where researchers apply engineering principles and tests to the natural world.

Every three years starting in 2010, Persad and his team at the institute host the event in order to continue research conducted during previous Biomechanics Week events. Davey’s 28-acre research farm allows for a more controlled environment for researchers to conduct real-world testing of arboriculture theories.

This year’s projects during Biomechanics Week included updates to a long-term phosphate injection study; oscillation and torque testing of trunks after crown pruning of honey locust trees; 3D and acoustic modeling of maples to calculate crown load capacities; conducting root plate assessments using sonic tomography; strength and pull tests on red maples with root cuts; branch studies of pear trees; stability testing using cable installations in silver maples; and multiple branch strength testing projects.

Persad hopes that research conducted during the week will support development of real-world applications for the arboriculture industry, including Davey’s own residential and utility clients.

Guests throughout the week included students and professors from the University of Akron, Hiram College and Cuyahoga Community College, as well as curious residents of nearby towns and local arboriculture industry professionals.

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