Those who attended the CALS Breakfast with the Dean last month enjoyed a fascinating presentation by CALS UW adjunct professor R. Bruce Allison. Allison is a noted arborist who authored the book Wisconsin’s Champion Trees. At the breakfast, he recounted the college’s historical and current relevance to the urban forest, the environment in which 80 percent of Wisconsin residents live.
He referred to Increase Lapham, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Gene Smalley, and others who had an impact on our understanding of trees. He presented two case studies that show how CALS research and outreach has helped solve community problems of tree health and safety. One is the forensic work done following a fatality caused by tree failure onto a roadway in the city of Monona. The other is the tree safety study conducted in the Capitol Park using new technologies of sonic tomography and wood density resistographs. Allison also talked about CALS international leadership in tree research, its industry partnerships, and engagement in the political and community needs within Wisconsin’s urban forest.