‘Tree doctor’ Bruce Allison administers to campus’ historic trees

As a board certified master arborist and owner of Allison Tree Care, Inc., Bruce Allison has a wealth of experience to share with CALS students in his New Techniques for Tree Stability Analysis course. In it, Allison, an adjunct professor in forest and wildlife ecology, teaches students how to use modern, non-destructive techniques to assess the health and stability of trees.

Of late, Allison and his students have focused their efforts on the President’s Burr Oak, a 300-year old tree located atop Observatory Hill. According to campus legend, the tree took a number of cannon ball hits back in the Civil War days, when it was used for target practice by soldiers training at Camp Randall.

The goal of this work, featured in this slideshow produced by University Communications, is to find a way to preserve the historic tree, while minimizing the risk of a dangerous limb or trunk break.