Davey Institute Adds to Scientific Advisory Staff

Posted: November 24, 2014 

Kent, Ohio – The Davey Institute has announced the hiring of two new tree science experts to assist in technical support, research and training for The Davey Tree Expert Company.

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Plant biologist Christine Balk and forest resources expert Aaron Carpenter bring focused expertise in plant pathology and tree biomechanics to the Davey Institute, the industry's premier research, development and innovation group.

Balk holds a master’s degree in plant pathology from Ohio State University and has a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Lawrence University. A native of Buffalo, New York, Balk is a member of the International Society of Arboriculture and the American Phytopathological Society.

She will work to diagnose and develop treatments for tree diseases in addition to providing training support for Davey field employees.

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Carpenter holds a master’s degree in forestry, specializing in tree biomechanics, from West Virginia University and has a bachelor’s degree in forest resources management from WVU. The Colonial Heights, Virginia, native has studied the effect of climate changes on how tree branches bend and fail. He is a member of the ISA and Utility Arborist Association.

Carpenter will provide education, training and diagnostic support to Davey’s mid-Atlantic region.

Jim Zwack, director of technical services for Davey Tree, said both Balk and Carpenter’s skills were sought after to complement the knowledge base at the Institute.

“We are just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding how trees bend and break, so having Aaron’s expertise in-house has implications both for safe work practices and how winter storms contribute to utility power outages,” Zwack said. “And Christine’s pathology background brings additional capacity to our lab and bolsters our initiatives in plant health care and the management of exotic, invasive threats.”

The Davey Tree Expert Company’s more than 8,000 employees provide tree care, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial and government markets in more than 47 states and 5 Canadian provinces. Davey has provided Proven Solutions for a Growing World since 1880, and 2014 marks 35 years of employee ownership. For more information, visit www.davey.com.

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