TREES-STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION, cilt.27, ss.1175-1189, 2013 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
Tree failure may cause significant economic and societal disruptions in urban environments. A better understanding of the relationship between branches and stem as they affect the dynamic response of decurrent trees under wind loading is needed to reduce the risk of tree failure. Finite element (FE) models were used to identify the parameters that primarily impact tree response. A base model was developed using data from a sugar maple (Acer saccharum L.) located in Belchertown, MA, USA, from which parametric models were subsequently developed. Confidence in the base model was gained by comparing the natural frequency of this tree with experimental results. Results from a parametric study incorporating changes in eight different tree parameters (stem diameter, slenderness ratio of branches, number of branches, damping ratio, branch attachment heights, branch attachment angles, branch azimuth angles, and elastic modulus) are then presented to help identify critical model properties that affect the dynamic amplification factor (Rd) of the tree. A single parameter was varied in each model while keeping others unchanged from the base model. Parameters with the greatest effect on Rd included stem diameter, number and slenderness of branches in the crown, elastic modulus of stem and branches, and damping ratio. Thus, it may be possible to use pruning to alter crown architecture to reduce the risk of tree failure.