Cyber bits and pieces


As usual, I’m still obsessing about risk and the definition of tree failure. I couldn’t stand it any more so I sought (more) advice. I do like to able to argue intelligently with my cyber bullies.

For some bizarre reason, using my IT expert’s computer and a hotel internet connection leads to an inability to begin the post with a photo, so I have to live with a funny-looking post. Apologies.

I wrote to a tree and QTRA expert and here’s the advice I received:

As is the case for medicine there is no statutory definition of failure. Minor movement in a tree in saturated soils is not necessarily a significant problem as is evidenced by the fact that one such tree still remains in Laman Street.

From a risk perspective failure must involve the potential for the failure to come into contact with a person or property so from a QTRA perspective there have been no failures. From a risk perspective movement of the trunk even if this was very close to failure is no different to the movement of a branch that was close to failure.

If it didn’t fail no matter how close it got to failing … it didn’t fail and the use of the term partial failure is unfortunately misleading although it is not intended to be this way.

Isn’t it a shame that the QTRA-licensed consultants who assessed the risk in Laman Street didn’t hear that part of the course? Home


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One Response to “Cyber bits and pieces”

  1. ArchitectGJA (Ed) Says:

    “Failure” is a word that can be manipulated rather easily to forward an agenda, it can strike fear.

    In building structure, we don’t refer to failure until something actually fails, e.g. as in a building collapsing. Prior to that point, a weakness that is discovered is referred to in terms of the potential risk of failure, and measures are begun to remedy the problem. Buildings are only then demolished if the failure is imminent and remedies are too dangerous to attempt.

    Comparing buildings to fig trees then begs the question, why rush to tear them down when there is no potential risk so severe to assume imminent failure?

    The trees on Laman Street have apparently had the audacity and unmitigated gall to not fail, no matter how severe the windstorm, despite certain parties claiming they are too dangerous to be left standing, and despite efforts to weaken their structure.

    … and the Hills Figs on Laman Street, unlike buildings, will self-heal a weakness by aerial roots and root expansion – they just need to be left alone to take care of business.

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