UKTC Archive

RE: Throw away your resistographs

Subject: RE: Throw away your resistographs
From: Tony Sorensen
Date: Dec 12 2008 14:14:54
Some guy called Mattheck seems to agree with you...

Tony Sorensen
Assistant Conservation Officer (Arboriculture and Landscape)
Broadland District Council
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-----Original Message-----
From: Rupert Brasier [] 
Sent: 12 December 2008 13:26
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Throw away your resistographs


The larger the opening, the more it dries out making it less inviting to a 
pathogen. The smaller hole, full of frass, as with a microdrill, remains a 
moist dark environment that is more inviting. This tied in with your comment 
about the tree not being able to identify that it's under attack due to a 
lack of oxygen could be an interesting mix.

Head above the parapet. Waiting.


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-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Quaife [] 
Sent: 12 December 2008 13:10
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Throw away your resistographs

Francis Schwarze mentioned a few years ago that when he started to
examine the effects of drilling on trees, he discovered that microdrill
holes filled with frass don't have sufficient oxygen content for the
tree to register it as a wound.  He showed slides of cross-sections
showing the extensive spread of fungal infection.  The Pressler borer
made a large enough hole for the tree to react to the wound and
compartmentalise it.  The slides showed the infection spread to be very
significantly less!
We have a Resistograph but use it very sparingly and usually to confirm
our worst fears.
Where we discover that there is nothing much to worry about, yes we
probably have breached a CODIT barrier, but if the tree is vigorous
there is no reason to suppose that it won't cope, or at any rate won't
cause lasting harm.
We have a P borer as well and use that even less, although very useful
for evidence as the wood is actually there for examination.
This is all a very grey area and one has to balance the claims of the
manufacturers of the various gadgets with one's own judgement.
Somewhere in the small print they all say (or allude to) the fact that
decay detection contraptions should only be used to confirm VTA.

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Davies [] 
Sent: 12 December 2008 12:24
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Throw away your resistographs

Back in the old days my boss used to use a large 1, inch drill bit to
check for decay, Swiss cheesed a few trees, moving on from that I still
now a few who take core samples leaving a 5mm hole so a 1mm hole on a
tree which is already though to have decay and be in an unsound
condition don't seem that bad, but still would could always look at
pounding in a load of nail and then testing.  Any testing beyond visual
causes damage, the exercise is in minimising it and only using when
absolutely necessary. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Durkan, Paul [] 
Sent: 12 December 2008 12:06
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: Throw away your resistographs

Extract from a tree report:
"0 - 10cm:- sound wood, with increasing resistance;
10cm: greatly increased resistance;
10 - 40cm: decayed wood, with low resistance"
Yes, at 10cm you drilled through wall 4 of the CODIT model, the
and structurally altered (chemically resistant and strengthened) wood,
was restricting the fungus to the "heartwood." Now the fungus might
into the sound and biologically active wood laid down in the years after
injury, possibly even be transported around the tree by the vascular
Suppose this was a TPO tree,  in reasonable health and dealing with the
decay, might this constitute "wilfull damage"?
The German mycologist chappie speaking at last year's TEP seminar
07), was adamant that we must strive to not damage intact parts of trees
with such probes; that we must use other methods to assess decay.
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