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Compartmentalization today

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Arboricultural Journal. 29: 173-184.


For more than 30 years, the compartmentdization concept has helped tree care practitioners and land managers interpret patterns of decay in living trees. Understanding these patterns can help guide the selection of treatments that meet the needs of people and communities while respecting the underlying tree biology. At its simplest, compartmentalization resists the spread of infection in trees. The term most often refers to infections of wood decay fungi and associated organisms. Compartmentalization is a boundary-setting process that protects the vascular cambium from attack and that favors tree survival. Wood decay fungi and their associates exploit and create opportunities to breach or avoid these boundaries. The challenge for tree care is to favor and support the biology that contributes to safe, healthy, and beautiful trees while understanding that all trees die and that all wood rots.


Smith, Kevin T. 2006. Compartmentalization today. Arboricultural Journal. 29: 173-184.

Last updated on: November 30, 2009