Detecting Decay in Trees A: The Process of Decay and its Impact on Tree Stability

Jan 30 2019 - 8:00am

Decay is possibly the most unappreciated process in nature. Without the break down of living things, critical nutrients become scare in soils. If shed leaves and twigs remained whole, we would soon be buried in debris! As a part of this good and natural process, decay in trees results in the degradation of wood that is the structural framework holding trees upright. For those working with and in trees in the landscape, understanding the decay process and anticipating how decay has spread internally is all in a day’s work.

This session will look at how decay enters and moves through trees, and how trees react to loss of wood due to decay.

Session Track: 


Owen Tree Service

Kay has had a long career in Plant Health Care starting as an applicator in Long Island, NY in 1986.  She worked on applicator educational materials and programs for MSU Extension and taught courses in arboriculture and horticulture at community colleges.

She joined Owen Tree Service in 1995 where she ran the PHC program. Kay took an eight-year break to be Forestry Supervisor with the City of Ann Arbor, and returned to Owen Tree Service in 2015 to continue to manage Owen’s PHC program, as well as develop the consulting end of the business.

She currently is Chief Consulting Arborist specializing in plant appraisal and tree risk assessment. She earned the TRAQ in 2013 and is involved in the new edition of the Guide for Plant Appraisal.

Most recently Kay became a Registered Consulting Arborist. With the added advantage of keeping the peace with family, coworkers and clients, she is glad to be both an MSU Spartan and a UM Wolverine.