Nondestructive Methods for the Detection of Internal Decay and the Vitality Measurement of Old-Giant Trees

노거수 활력 측정 및 내부 부후 검출을 위한 비파괴검사법

  • Gao, Yuliang (Dept. of Plant Medicine, Chungbuk National University) ;
  • Cha, Byeong Jin (Dept. of Plant Medicine, Chungbuk National University)
  • Received : 2008.12.04
  • Accepted : 2009.03.19
  • Published : 2009.05.29


Nondestructive methods to check the vitality of trees and to find out internal decay of old-giant trees include the use of electrical resistance, ultrasound transmission time, microdrilling, and infrared thermography etc. Among these, ultrasound transmission offers some advantages compared to others such as it is an entirely nondestructive detection method and it can be applied to very big trees. However, the ultrasound equipment is comparatively expensive and not broadly spread yet. On the other hand, Shigometer is versatile to be applied to check vitality of the tree and find out internal decay. Electrical conductivity of plant tissues is a very useful characteristics to determine the vitality and internal decay of trees. Electrical resistance of cambial area tells about the vitality of a tree and electrical resistance of heartwood reveals discoloration or decay of it. For determination of the vitality of the tree, the standard equation for calibration of measured electrical resistances should be developed by measuring and analyzing electrical resistance from at least 30-40 trees of the same species with that tree. All the factors, especially tree species, diameter of the stem, and temperature, which can altered the electrical resistance of trees, should be taken into consideration in the development of the equation. If the standard equation is developed for old-giant trees that we should conserve, it will be very useful. In addition, periodical and continued measuring of a certain tree will help to determine the condition of the tree by comparing the measurement with accumulated data of the tree. Measuring electrical resistance of wood might not require the standard equation. But it also needs to check electrical resistance of sound wood of the same tree species. If the stems that should be examined is thicker than 40cm, it is better to use the ultrasound measurement combined to Shigometer.