TreeTronic 3 Electrical Resistance Tomography

  • Brand: Argus
  • Product Code: DD0026

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  • TreeTronic 3 Electrical Resistance Tomography

TreeTronic 3 Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT) System

The TreeTronic 3 is the latest version of this system, styled on the PICUS 3 sonic tomography system.

It was the great Alex Shigo who first identified that the changes electrical/chemical properties of tree fluids caused by decay organisms could be used in tree evaluations. A device – the Shigometer which is no longer available but still remains one of the very first decay detection tools – was used to probe the tree at various points. Although the Shigometer was a very sensitive device, result interpretation was not that easy.

The PICUS TreeTronic 3 has been described as the ‘21st Century Shigometer’. It is a measuring device that uses electric current and voltage measurements to calculate a map of the electrical resistance properties of the cross section of a tree.

The electrical resistance (or in other words, the ability of the wood to transmit an electric current) depends on water content, cell structures, amount of elements (ions…) etc. All these properties change if decay is present in the tree.

By the analysis of Sonic (SoT) and Electrical Resistance (ERT) tomograms more information about the position, extent and - in some cases - the kind of decay can be determined. The ERT is also able to clearly identify areas of entrapped bark, resin etc that could be mistaken for decay. Unlike SoT, which is a relative measurement and thus independent of tree species, ERT is to some extent species dependent with tree species having their own ERT ‘fingerprint’.

The TreeTronic 3 can be used alone but it is better to deploy it after the SoT test has been carried out.  Simply connect the electrodes  to the nails used for the SoT and start the process. The measurement runs automatically and takes minutes to complete. SoT information relates only to the cross-section of the tree where the test points are located but ERT provides information above and below the test area as well and can, for example, show the effects in the stem of a root based organism such as meripilus where SoT data would show little or no effect.

For more information and to see examples of the kind of results the TreeTronic can give click please Click Here

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