UKTC Archive

RE: Marcus

Subject: RE: Marcus
From: Jim Quaife
Date: Dec 30 2009 17:09:34
                             LAST FEW DAYS!!
                  Arboricultural Association Consultation
                      The Approved Contractor Scheme

Dear Georgio,
Thank you for that explanation, which fills in a number of gaps and sets out 
your position with clarity.
I am one of those who have great faith in thermal imaging having been aware 
of all sorts of applications across many fields.
I had an exchange with Marcus on this forum in which I attempted to elicit 
some fundamental bases for the interpretation of the results, but regretfully 
without any meaningful success.
I have spoken at length with Andy Cowan, who is a rather more convincing 
presenter of the case for thermal imaging, although there are various 
practicalities of using the equipment and the commercial aspects that he was 
unable to answer.  This was due to his lack of experience with the camera and 
the interpretive software, but please don't misinterpret that comment as 
being derogatory - he is earnestly developing his knowledge and I remain 
All I can say about Marcus is that he has left a bewildering trail that has 
not really inspired confidence.  I cannot make any other comment as I haven't 
discussed it with him.
Perhaps you should visit us in the UK again?
Best wishes, 
Jim Quaife 

-----Original Message-----
From: Catena Giorgio [] 
Sent: 30 December 2009 16:48
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Marcus

                             LAST FEW DAYS!!
                  Arboricultural Association Consultation
                      The Approved Contractor Scheme

Dear All,


a couple of days ago, I Googled the words Catena, Thermography and trees, and 
among the results that came up, one featured the word Marcus, so, just out of 
curiosity, I clicked on it and entered the UKTC forum for the first time 
( . What I found was a rich 
exchange of e-mails between Mr Paul Hugues, whom I don't know (or at least I 
don't recall ever meeting him) and Mr Marcus Bellett Travers, whom I met a 
few years ago through the Arboricultural Association. As I read on, I came 
across an e-mail by MBT that directly involved me, and mentioned my name and 
surname but contained false and incorrect statements about me and 
Thermography: as this was published on a public website, I now feel free to 
respond to this e-mail to the extent to which it concerns me.



First of all, I don't understand why MBT involved me as he disappeared, after 
he and two managers from his University offered me to join their will-be 
Company: I hope he's not using my name in his courses/job, in the way he did 
in this e-mail I'm responding to, or that he gives people to understand that 
we have contacts, as I'm repeating this again, I have nothing to do with him. 

After two meetings in 2003 and 2004, during the AAAC, in which MBT and I 
discussed thermography to try and find a confirmation to my hypothesis that 
the method worked thanks to the different thermal conductivity in healthy and 
decayed tissue, which I had suspected from the very beginning, we conducted 
on-site trials (Woburn Abbey, Wimpole, Nottingham Trent 
University-Brackenhurst Campus), but I was the one who always took all the 
thermal pictures and never handed in the results or final reports, because at 
the last meeting that we had at his University, the interlocutors appeared 
very vague. After more and more occasional exchanges of e-mails, always 
started by me, during York's 2006 AAAC, MBT told me that the company had been 
set up and we could go our separate ways.


It is true that there are certain things about thermography that still have 
to be clarified (as in many other scientific sectors), but if they were 
"great many", how could we use thermography in all its sectors, and in 
particular how has it been possible for me to SUCCESSFULLY apply it to trees 
for the past 25 years?

I am publishing my website, where information about myself, and the method 
will be available, as well as a list of projects and publications and 
presentations delivered at international congresses on trees (over 50) some 
of which will be available in English for download.

I have a degree in Chemistry, I'm no expert in environmental physics. In 1974 
I started conducting research on environmental pollution at the Italian 
Institute of Health (ISS) in Rome, with the use of Thermal imaging and Aerial 
photography (remote sensing), before introducing the use of thermography to 
tree assessment, with my assistant Lanfranco Palla, back in 1984. I did not 
"fall foul of not properly investigating thermal imaging and trees": my 
assistant and I thought that everything depended on the different thermal 
properties of healthy and damaged tissue (conductivity, as I have always 
written in my articles, starting from 1990 and repeated in my presentations 
delivered in the UK and  Netherlands - AAAC 2003 and Treeworks Environmental 
Practice and BTL, 2004, and 2005), but as I'm no plant physiologist, I 
couldn't prove it.


It does not bear any resemblance to the truth that I conducted "trials in 
Holland that went badly wrong with perfectly healthy, large trees being 
felled", and I can prove this. When in the Netherlands, I only found out how 
environmental conditions uncommon in Italy affect the measurements. I cannot, 
therefore, comment on the sentence that follows the sentence that I quoted, 
as it doesn't need any consideration. I was fully paid for the contract with 
the Dutch firm, which mainly concerned measurements requested by Local 
Authorities, which received reports on the condition of the trees examined. 
If they'd felled a healthy tree, I don't think they would have paid my full 
fee or refused to mention this.


Mr MBT then goes on to mention Sam, who knows me, but I don't know who he is. 
Who, then, tried to "protect and help me" and against what? I don't 
understand in what way they tried to protect my reputation, maybe they tried 
to protect me against people who believed thermography ineffective? Well, I 
have 25 years of evidence, trees examined and felled, pictures etc. to 
"defend myself". 


Moreover, a gaffe is always a gaffe, even if trees are to be felled.


I do, however, agree with MBT on one point: thermography really works and is 
effective. You only need to know how to interpret it and have someone who can 
teach the method. It is successfully applied in a number of sectors:


military - war in Afghanistan, we all recall, I believe, the thermal images 
that news show every now and again;

healthcare-remember SARS? Remember seeing chaps with thermal cameras at 
airports to spot people with a temperature?

Water effluents

Animal censuses

Non Destructive Testing, 

And many more.


I can only speak for myself, of course, but when I teach my method, 
students/will-be experts receive an academic training and do field 
operations. I will be happy to talk about my method, get in touch with anyone 
to tell how the method works.


Let me apologise to the Administrator and the readers for this long letter, 
but I think that this was owed to my 36 years in Thermal Imaging.


Best regards,


Giorgio Catena

L'Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) è tra i beneficiari dei proventi del 5 
per mille dell'IRPEF.
Nella scheda allegata alla dichiarazione dei redditi è sufficiente apporre la 
propria firma nel riquadro "Finanziamento della Ricerca Sanitaria" e indicare 
il Codice Fiscale dell'ISS, che è 8021XXXXXXX, per destinare tali fondi a 
sostegno dell'impegno scientifico dell'ISS a difesa della salute di tutti.

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