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Tree Doc
Nancy Fisher | 24th Street

Bruce Allison, holding his own invention.
Photo Nancy Fisher.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Have you ever wished Superman could use his X-ray vision on that huge tree in your yard to see if it was healthy or if it was about to fall and crush your Toyota? If so, there’s a new pro in town who can help you out.

Bruce Allison, a San Diego native who recently started splitting his time between Del Mar and Verona, WI, is an internationally recognized expert in advanced technology in tree decay detection and tree risk assessment. So, along with the City’s other fine arborists, Bruce brings the specialty of Tomography, which produces computer generated pictures representing wood density changes in a tree trunk cross section. Think of it as similar to a Sonogram, but instead measuring the time it takes sound waves to propagate through wood. Since sound waves pass more quickly through solid wood than decayed wood, Bruce can produce an image that reveals the location and magnitude of internal defects.

An author, educator, researcher, and inventor, Bruce holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and a Master’s of Science and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he’s currently an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. But wait, there’s more! He’s also a Cooperative Researcher at USDA Forest Products Lab, and travels the country and world to consult with Urban Forest Managers of large cities.

Wearing his “inventor’” hat, Bruce recognized that today’s Tomography equipment can be prohibitively expensive and developed a version with fewer features, but that is still capable of giving arborists in the field enough information to detect a problem.

Soft spoken and witty, Bruce clearly loves what he does and gave us such a thorough demonstration of his equipment that we almost felt we could use it ourselves. To learn more or to contact him, please go to www.allisontree.com.


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