Compartmentalization vs. Healing

#1
I was always under the impression that the trees I have worked on in the past have been "healing".

For example: trees I have pruned will compartmentalize the pruned area. Trees that are struck by lightning will also compartmentalize. Mechanically injured trees will slowly callus over.

The definition of healing is to "fix something" according to the UGA professor that spoke at the recent seminar here in Atlanta. However, compartmentalization wasn't considered to be a form of "healing", according to the same professor.

I would like to hear from others, and their experiences with the tree cases they have been exposed to.

Do trees heal? Or is it all just "bio mechanics" with no meristematic master plan to repair wounds which I always thought of as a form of healing.

It seems a bit robotic for trees to just "compartmentalize" but not "heal".
 
#2
Trees contain, when the are wounded, i guess you could consider callous tissue and things of that nature to be healing, an attempt to fix things back to what they were(sort of). however that would just be a surface healing, underneath the callous tissue much more is going on, its not "fixing" the tree CODIT is an attempt to contain, the spread of decay from the wound, hence they dont heal the damaged portion, they compartmentalize it.

my more than 2 cents.
 
#3
I think a better term would be 'sealing' rather than 'healing'.

CODIT attempts to seal off diseased or wounded areas in the tree, thats my understanding of it.

If anyone could explain what is happening with regards to CODIT on the cross section of Holly(Ilex aquafolium) in my attachment I would be grateful.

The tree was in severe decline when it was felled.
 

Attachments

mrtree

Well-Known Member
#4
A mammal heals by actually replacing tissue that is damaged to make the organism the same as before. Because of the annualized growth in (temperate) trees there is only the possibility of laying new growth over the damaged area and not replacing it. The growth may fill a void etc. but it does not become attached via growth to the wounded area that has been scooped out.
 

Colin

Administrator
#5
You make a small 1" dia cut on a tree which grows over in a season.

First arborist says it sealed over, the second says it's healed, the third says it's compartmentalized and fourth says it callused over.

Who's right?

In true medical essence to heal is to restore or rejuvenate existing cells in same locations to pre-illness/injury status. That's not the same as trees, they dont do that.

I would say all wounds compartmentalize to some degree but they do not heal. Healing is poor dialogue when referring to trees.
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
#6
[ QUOTE ]
It seems a bit robotic for trees to just "compartmentalize" but not "heal".

[/ QUOTE ]what's wrong with robotic sealing when it works?

I dunno wasup with that holly. Crazy pattern, wood discolored but not decayed. Got me.
 

mdvaden

Well-Known Member
#7
Much of human healing provides tissue of body parts that are not just new, but sometimes even stronger where the damage occured.

Healing is a term that probably was intended just for people.

Although, I recall a scriptural reference to a land being healed.
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
#8
[ QUOTE ]
Much of human healing provides tissue of body parts that are not just new, but sometimes even stronger where the damage occured.

[/ QUOTE ]Same with trees--woundwood has been measured 40% stronger than regular wood. I use the analogy of the human bone breaking, then stronger due to added bone tissue.

Trees are not THAT different. I think Alex railed against the "healing" concept for trees to drive home the point that wounding trees is a permanent act, thus most important to avoid.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
#9
[ QUOTE ]
I think Alex railed against the "healing" concept for trees to drive home the point that wounding trees is a permanent act, thus most important to avoid.


[/ QUOTE ]

My take away from Alex is that the wound and the future consequences are ALWAYS there, in the tree. The wounded tissues don't become anything else and can open up the tree to a larger wound. This permanence really made me pay attention to what I did to trees. If I messed up my mistake was forever. Not like nicking my finger with a knife. Sure, I have scars, but the tissue has regenerated not grown over.
 

mdvaden

Well-Known Member
#11
[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Much of human healing provides tissue of body parts that are not just new, but sometimes even stronger where the damage occured.

[/ QUOTE ]Same with trees--woundwood has been measured 40% stronger than regular wood. I use the analogy of the human bone breaking, then stronger due to added bone tissue.

Trees are not THAT different. I think Alex railed against the "healing" concept for trees to drive home the point that wounding trees is a permanent act, thus most important to avoid.


[/ QUOTE ]

When a bone breaks, there is rarely a sizeable cavity of decayed, dead and weak material.

But maybe the 40% greater potential strength you mentioned, makes up the difference and averages-out for an near equally strong region.

One of the things I like most about hiking is the extra abundance of trees that have been damaged and overcome with extra tissue or redirection of growth.

Landscape trees can look really nice, but sometimes they are kind-of boring looking
 

guymayor

Well-Known Member
#12
[quote One of the things I like most about hiking is the extra abundance of trees that have been damaged and overcome with extra tissue or redirection of growth.

Landscape trees can look really nice, but sometimes they are kind-of boring looking


[/ QUOTE ]I agree; we can learn a lot about coping from seeing trees in the wild I saw a lot of that in OR too.

And Tom, yes it is the permanence of the wounds that we make on trees that should keep the awareness high of minimizing the wounds we make.
 
#13
[ QUOTE ]
[quote One of the things I like most about hiking is the extra abundance of trees that have been damaged and overcome with extra tissue or redirection of growth.

Landscape trees can look really nice, but sometimes they are kind-of boring looking


[/ QUOTE ]


[/ QUOTE ]

i like this concept and always tell homeowners that "form follows function" if half a tree splits off over a drive but is still attatched, you know it has to come out due to safety at a minimum, restoring the form of the tree based on the the function of the property and the tree (to look "nice" and shade the lot). however, if that same thing hapened to a tree in the wilderness, it would be left to form an interesting specimen full of character.

and as far as the ehaling concept goes...I have always held the trees do not heal because, like stated earlier, healing will replace what is damged with new and healthy tissue. Then i thought about this...durring hurricane seasson high winds will defoliate some species of tree. the trees will leaf out again in the same season...so is that healing or would there be hundreds of small wounds to compartmentalize from where the petioles were ripped off?
 

treehumper

Well-Known Member
#14
The leafing out is from dorminant buds. In effect yes, the tree does need to deal with these wounds.

It is definitely wrong to call it healing. This is a chance to demonstrate to your client your depth of knowledge of how trees behave and respond to stresses and damage.

That holly looks like a woodworkers dream! Lots of colour, pattern and character! Hope you have some pieces left in a marketable size.
 

TheTreeSpyder

Well-Known Member
#15
People's structure remains a core of relatively the same size for that person at maturity; the circulatory system is the same veins powered by the same heart etc. Damages should be replaced; then fortified; but relatively within the confines of the same size. Soft parts may bloat or inflate around the structure of this core; but still within a relatively finite confines; especially by non-soft/ structural 'tissues'. Being confined to this structure, internal damage must be healed or is total loss to structure.

The tree creatures are a different animal altogether. They will keep on increasing to massive size; a new layer every year, do not maintain 'soft' tissues eternally etc. Past year's growths are it's structure all the way thru, not just at core. In fact; they can lose 50% of the internal core, and still maintain 94% of the strength; as long as no violation to the outer diameters(by some experiments). So, they seal over the damage and just keep going on; they can forgo core or what will be core(everything) to some extent. Because, they keep growing in these layers eternally; and the core (where the damage will be after so many years of sealing) is forsakeable (whereby ours isn't). So, most of their strength and stiff structure is in the outer 50%; ours is in the inner "50". More of an 'ekto-skeleton'(past damage) or "mono-skeleton" (no damage/loss) for trees i've all ways thought; at least for structural dependency.

Circulation wise; we mechanically push and pull blood around through mechanical pump through same veins, arteries and pump etc. always. A tree uses new stomata every season to pull water by transpiration; and also heavily depends on the cohesion of the water column created. This process is able to use the weak pull of cooling evaporation(and then the force of the rest of the water feeding back 'down' to previous years' tissues to help the pull and feed those tissues) to get water to climb sometimes 300+ feets. No small feat on it's own; both structurally and translocation / 'pump' wise!). If damage is suffered to this cohesive train of traveling water; the vessels must be immediately plugged over the damage to preserve water to the final sinks and not reverse the flow(create siphon) using the same cohesion train. Seal below to maintain the water stores below as much as possible; as well as internal pressures to rest of the plant etc. The present year's growth gives the input to the stomata part of the circulatory system; versus our veins and arteries we use always. Next season, the stomata feeds will be new tissue anyway(as well as the stomatas). The damaged positions will soon be core; which is forsakeable unlike us, so our personifications should end here. The air enembolism/ breaking of the magical cohesive train that would be created by not stuffing violated vessels in tree damage would cause more damage; as the system is not strong enough to self prime; it must grow primed; reaching farther and farther by playing these forces agaisnt each other/gradually ping-ponging the forces of need and supply back and forth at escalating scale. Thus making the most of these equal and opposite force reactions to challenge each other to higher/stronger and incuring growth of each. Only at the line of balance betwixt the individual force ranges is this possible i think.

So the tree seals over as it pounds on layers of eternal growth; and so isn't confused, doesn't waiver from it's normal course to repair. Also the wound woods produced to seal will be stronger and more flexible/ superior; as this will fortify the key outer/ non-core diameters quickest; and even with slight swelling/ increase in diameter. i think it is best if the wounds seal before lots of deterioration win this race; then deteriorate in side the clean seal; a race not won by all species/especially fast growers trading speed for quality(?) from input resource range. We don't have this eternal growth layering; so must heal and fortify to work within our finite structure or crumble; there will be no fortification to the whole mass to 'cover-up' the damage; and eventually make it negligible.

So, when removing a branch; wounding the parent collar swelling; causes a stuffing up of the open vessels; shutting off life giving water to them to maintain internal 'pressures'. These closest tissues to the port of the removed branch can't close/ are dying back in that case, and the tree must wait for farther into the future growths from farther away from the port/damage to seal over the removed branch.

i think personification of trees is important part of non-physical touching of trees to understand them as a life form(and not the usual familiarity with them as dead wood to pound nails into). But, we should be realistic and find wonder in the differences too.

At least that is my general understanding and model to handle the beast by.
 
#18
i think personification of trees is important part of non-physical touching of trees to understand them as a life form(and not the usual familiarity with them as dead wood to pound nails into). But, we should be realistic and find wonder in the differences too.

At least that is my general understanding and model to handle the beast by.

[/ QUOTE ]

I believe I have thought this thought on numerous occasions.

One thing that formal education taught me, was to question labels and definitions. Don´t accept them blindly, and see things for what they are, without a preconceived notion. This is what leads to new discoveries.

If we all just look at a tree the same way that we are told to look at it, then we will only find what we are told to find.

Did the Cherokee Indians refer to a tree differently than the formally educated Europeans, starting with De Soto on his trip through the Eastern United States almost 500 years ago.....or did they see things a bit more passionately.

I believe they didn´t see the product potential as the Europeans did.

Thus, defining trees in a way that takes life out of them and puts them into the status of¨"resource" is a more politically correct term to sell to a majority of the public.

This terminology comes right from the Forestry Management Universities. It has been delivered, and is in use.

Does this close the door into speculation as to whether or not "healing" occurs in trees, I think not.

If a human loses an arm, does in grow back or does the skin and bone heal at the end, with differing functions beneath......that is healing on the surface, but not necessarily a restoration of function. But there is some healing to help seal off the body from the outside. Just like a tree.

Healing is not term reserved just for humans. Therefore, I suggest that the jury is still out on this topic. I also suggest that a deeper understanding of compartmentalizing be documented and supported before suggesting that healing does not occur.

If supporting tissue is replaced, then that aspect of healing occured. Maybe healing did not occur in full. But possibly partial healing for what was important did occur. Much like the body heals as best as possible, but sometimes not 100%.
 
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