Determining the damage from tree wounds and decay
Document Type: Journal Article
Author(s): R. E. McNiel; D. L. Hensley
Publication Year: 1930

Cataloging Information

  • Acer
  • bark
  • decay
  • Fagus
  • fire injuries (plants)
  • forest management
  • fungi
  • hardwood forests
  • insects
  • K - potassium
  • moisture
  • plant diseases
  • plant growth
  • Quercus
  • roots
  • trees
  • wood
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 38474
Tall Timbers Record Number: 13078
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text... 'Decay is a natural recycling process, but it is also a constant problem in wood preservation, said Shortle. Decay is also the biggest disease of living trees. It represents a hazard to people and to property. Decay begins with a wound or break in the bark. There are two basic types of wounds: stub and scar. They can occur on the roots as well as the stem. Wounds can result from animals, insects, fire, machinery and man's activities. Wounding triggers the tree*s defense system. compartmentalization. Only wood present when the wound occurs can become discolored and decayed. "If a tree is wounded when it is six inches in diameter and it grows to 24 inches, the biggest column of decay you can have is six inches,” Shortle said. "The decay won*t spread into the wood laid down after wounding, unless it is wounded again.” After wounding, a tree lays down a new type of wood, which Shortle called a barrier zone. Decay organisms cannot cross it. Wood discoloration within the barrier zone varies with species.'

McNiel, R. E., and D. L. Hensley. 1930. Determining the damage from tree wounds and decay. Southfornet Monthly Alert, no. 76, p. 15, 104-15, 112.