Last week, Principal Consultants Paul Muir and Claire Harbinson joined colleagues in Gauting, Bavaria at the 14th workshop and meeting of the Sachverständigen-Arbeitsgemeinschaft (SAG) Baumstatik [Tree Statics Expert Working Community].
The group meets twice a year to share experiences, best practice and the results of research that its members and allied scientists are undertaking on tree statics. The group is a great way for us all to improve our understanding and application of statics and the static load test (colloquially referred to as the “pulling test”), and to share our own experiences with other members, who are united in their aim of improving how we assess and manage trees.
The static load test is a non-destructive technical assessment of the structural integrity of trees, and Paul and Claire are the UK’s leading experts in this system. The test is the only reliable test of root plate stability, and an excellent diagnostic tool for stem strength.
The workshop included presentations and discussion on subjects including the behaviour of root plates of trees in saturated soil, the stability of dead trees over time, and how trees react in the wind. Participants also caught up on important developments in the specialist equipment and software that are used for static load testing.
This expert community of arboriculturists, foresters and scientists comes together every year from across Europe and Canada, and provides an invaluable opportunity for members to find out about what is going on in their respective industries and countries.
Paul and Claire, along with our Director Neville Fay, are currently the only British members of the group. Treework Environmental Practice remains the primary UK-based provider of the static load test, and has conducted more than 250 tests in the 11 years that we have offered this service.
Claire and Paul were very enthusiastic about what they learned at the workshop and are keen to apply their new knowledge to the many static load tests that they carry out across the UK.