, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 985–1000 | Cite as

The effect of simulated trunk splits, pruning, and cabling on sways of quercus rubra L.

  • Brian KaneEmail author
Original Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Biomechanics


Key message

Cabling co-dominant stems at different heights and tensions altered neither frequency nor damping ratio, but the location and proportion of pruned crown mass significantly influenced both frequency and damping ratio.


Amenity trees provide many benefits, but can damage property and injure persons. Arboricultural treatments like pruning and cabling intend to reduce the likelihood of tree failure, but the effect of such treatments on tree sways is not well known. We measured the sway response (frequency and damping ratio) of seven Quercus rubra L. before and after consecutive arboricultural treatments, including the addition a climber swaying freely or secured rigidly to the tree. We also quantified crown architecture and tree mass. Cabling two co-dominant stems did not influence sway response, but pruning increased frequency and decreased damping ratio. The effect of pruning depended on the proportion and location of pruned crown mass. Adding a climber predictably affected frequency and damping ratio in accordance with physical principles. This work adds novel insights to the understanding of tree sways, since previous studies have been limited by single trees, pruning types, or pruning severities.


Pruning Cabling Frequency Damping ratio 



This work would not have been possible without diligent data collection by A. Ahlquist, T. Aronson, T. Beals, D. Burcham, N. Eicholtz, J. Esiason, A. Grove, N. Morrell, M. Palaschak, S. Schunk, J. Sidman, A. Wilkie, S. Zolondick, and Dr. Noel Watkins, and was partially supported by a Summer Scholars grant through the University of Massachusetts Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental ConservationUniversity of Massachusetts-AmherstAmherstUSA

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