Brian KaneBrian Kane

Massachusetts Arborists Association Professor

Email: bkane

Phone: 413-545-6637

Office: 214 Holdsworth Hall

Curriculum vitae

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Primary Interests

Arboricultural Biomechanics, Tree Worker Safety

Interested students should feel free to contact me about helping out with research projects. I have lots of work to do, and can always use some help!

Current Projects

  • Effect of limb removal on forces and sway response of trees subject to different loads
  • Measuring rope tension during arboricultural tree climbing
  • Effects of root pruning on tree stability
  • Assessing factors predisposing trees to failure in hurricanes

Current Student Research Projects

  • Growth of transplanted street trees in Springfield, Mass. (Jacyln Lim)
  • The state of the utility forest in Massachusetts (Ryan Suttle)
  • Do support systems reduce the likelihood of tree failure (Amanda Halperin)
  • Can volunteers be trained to prune small trees? (Ryan Fawcett)
  • Do pull tests improve prediction of likelihood decay-induced of tree failure? (Ari Okun)

Previous Projects

  • Tree risk and structure analysis: determining risk of failure from structural defects and understanding how arboricultural practices such as pruning reduce the risk of failure (
  • Tree worker safety:  assessing climbing gear and techniques adapted from other high angle rope disciplines (
  • Urban tree growth:  measuring the post-planting growth of street trees.

Courses Taught


  • NRC 102: Arboricultural Field Techniques I
  • NRC 210: Arboricultural Field Techniques II
  • NRC 213: Arboriculture Field Techniques III
  • NRC 290C: Trees and Sustainability
  • NRC 397X: Special Topics- Sensible Pruning for Beginners & Experts


  • NRC 305: Commercial Arboriculture
  • NRC 590A: Advanced Arboriculture

Recent Publications

Brian, K., Emma, B., & Arwade, S. R. (2020). The effects of ascent technique and the presence of leaves on loading of a tie-in point during climber ascents. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening54,

Lim, J., Kane, B., & Bloniarz, D. (2020). Arboriculture Safety Standards: Consistent Trends. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Koeser, A. K., Smiley, E. T., Hauer, R. J., Kane, B., Klein, R. W., Landry, S. M., & Sherwood, M. (2020). Can Professionals Gauge Likelihood of Failure?-Insights from Tropical Storm Matthew. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Kane, B. (2020). Loads borne by a tie-in point during ascents and descents on a basal-anchored stationary rope system. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Klein, R. W., Koeser, A. K., Kane, B., Landry, S. M., Shields, H., Lloyd, S., & Hansen, G. (2020). Evaluating the Likelihood of Tree Failure in Naples, Florida (United States) Following Hurricane Irma. Forests11(5), 485. https://doi:10.3390/f11050485.

Kane, B. (2020). Loads borne by a tie-in point (TIP) during arboricultural climbing operations. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening49.

Kane, B., & Arwade, S. R. (2020). Quantifying tension and deflection in pre-tensioned speedlines carrying a load. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening48.

Burcham, D. C., Autio, W. R., James, K., Modarres-Sadeghi, Y., & Kane, B. (2020). Effect of pruning type and severity on vibration properties and mass of Senegal mahogany (Khaya senegalensis) and rain tree (Samanea saman). Trees34(1), 213-228.

Kane, B. 2018. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 34:78-84.

Kabir, E. S. Guikema, B. Kane. 2018. Reliability Engineering and System Safety 177:68-79.

Kane, B. 2018. Trees – Structure & Function 32:985-1000.

Centrangolo, I., S.R. Arwade, and B. Kane. 2018. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 30:124-131.

Kane, B. 2017. Italus Hortus 24:23-31.

Kane, B. 2017. Pruning. Chapter 27 In: Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry. Ferrini, F., C. Konijnendijk van den Bosch, and A. Fini (Eds.). Taylor & Francis, NY, NY.

Sherman, A.R., Kane, B., Autio, W.A., Harris, J.R. and Ryan, H.D.P., 2016. Establishment period of street trees growing in the Boston, MA metropolitan area. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 19, pp.95-102.

Harris, J.R., Day, S.D. and Kane, B., 2016. Growth and stability of deep planted red maple and northern red oak trees and the efficacy of root collar excavations. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 18, pp.19-24.

Kane et al. 2015. A broad scale analysis of tree risk, mitigation and potential habitat for cavity-nesting birds. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Reiland et al. 2015.  The effect of cables and leaves on the dynamic properties of red oak (Quercus rubra) with co-dominant stems. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Kane. 2014. Determining parameters related to the likelihood of failure of red oak (Quercus rubra L.) from winching tests. Trees Structure & Function. Watch a video of the project:

Kane and Finn. 2014. Factors affecting branch failures in open-grown trees during a snowstorm in Massachusetts, USA. SpringerPlus.

Ciftci et al. 2014. Analysis of the probability of failure for open-grown trees during wind storms. Probabilistic Engineering Mechanics.

Kane and Autio. 2014. Installing cables did not affect annual radial increment in co-dominant stems of red oaks. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.

Ciftci et al. 2013. Loss in moment capacity of tree stems induced by decay. Trees–Structure & Function.

Kane et al. 2013. Effects of crown structure on the sway characteristics of large decurrent trees. Trees–Structure & Function.

Ciftci et al. 2013.  The effect of crown architecture on dynamic amplification factor of an open-grown sugar maple (Acer saccharum L.). Trees–Structure & Function.

Kane, B. 2012. Breaking load of ropes and hitches used in rigging. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry.

Kane, B. 2011. Compatibility of toothed ascenders with arborist climbing ropes. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry. Watch a video of the project:

Kane et al. 2010.Impact force and rope tension affect likelihood of cutting a climbing rope with a handsaw Arboriculture & Urban Forestry. Watch a video of the project:

Pavlis et al. 2008. The effect of pruning on drag-induced bending moments. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry. Watch a video of the project:

Kane et al. 2008. Crown reconfiguration and trunk stress in deciduous trees. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Brochure in pdf

Kane and Clouston. 2008. Tree Pulling Tests of Large Shade Trees in the Genus Acer. Arboriculture & Urban Forestry. Watch a video of the project:


A.B., College of the Holy Cross 1992

M.S., University of Massachusetts – Amherst 1997

Ph.D., University of Massachusetts – Amherst 2002

Professional Achievements

  • ISA President’s Award 2019
  • ISA Board of Directors 2013-2016
  • ISA Alex L. Shigo Award 2014
  • ISA Early Career Scientist Award 2011
  • Chair, ISA Science & Research Committee 2011-2013
  • TCIA Safety Award 2009

Careers in Arboriculture

Tree Care Advice