"Guy, it's some years since I read To Kill a Mockingbird, and I'm not sure
that the "cavity-phobia" made it into the (superb) James Stewart (IIRC)
film, so just remind me, if it's not too much trouble."
Bill, Boo Radley was a "special" neighbor to Peck/Peccary and his kids.
Boo left his carvings and other objects for the kids to find, in a cavity
in his front yard tree. Very touching exchanges took place, until Boo's
old man found out. Ashamed of his son's specialness, he concreted the
cavity, to end the interaction. I never read the book--saw the movie when
it came out though, by myself, 10 years old, in a theater 2 miles from
home. Longest walk/run of my life--the Radleys were behind every tree.
"To be fair to Scott, I don't think he was suggesting that filling a cavity
was a good thing in a cavity-phobic sense, but rather as a method to
specifically prevent failure through cross-sectional flattening. I
suggested that although relevant in theory, the actual change in
cross-sectional shape before critical values for material failure are
reached is likely to be very small, such that constructing something that
would have a beneficial effect would not be likely to be feasible."
Paul, I know Scott to be far too rational to fall prey to caviphobia, and I
would still invite anyone with experience showing that cavity filling leant
support to submit that experience to the A300 committee. The BS does a nice
job describing angles of the guys, but its "should consult with an engineer"
is not all that useful ime. And I would question the notion that arborists
are not structural engineers--we engineer tree structures every day,
especially those who are up in the tree doing the work.
I share your skepticism about the potential for gabions to be effective, but
no one *knows*.
Just because we lack those letters after our names does not mean that our
experience and good standards cannot guide us to installing effective
supplemental support systems. The last ANSI meeting took in a testing lab,
where we saw a 15,000 lb. test cable break, while the Wedge-Grip end
fasteners held. Made me feel better about using that technology--seeing is
believing, and knowledge is power--doo dah, doo dah.
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