Wind-induced fragility assessment of urban trees with structural uncertainties

  • Peng, Yongbo (State Key Laboratory of Disaster Reduction in Civil Engineering, Tongji University) ;
  • Wang, Zhiheng (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California) ;
  • Ai, Xiaoqiu (Shanghai Institute of Disaster Prevention and Relief, Tongji University)
  • Received : 2017.09.18
  • Accepted : 2017.12.09
  • Published : 2018.01.25


Wind damage of urban trees arises to be a serious issue especially in the typhoon-prone areas. As a family of tree species widely-planted in Southeast China, the structural behaviors of Plane tree is investigated. In order to accommodate the complexities of tree morphology, a fractal theory based finite element modeling method is proposed. On-site measurement of Plane trees is performed for physical definition of structural parameters. It is revealed that modal frequencies of Plane trees distribute in a manner of grouped dense-frequencies; bending is the main mode of structural failure. In conjunction with the probability density evolution method, the fragility assessment of urban trees subjected to wind excitations is then proceeded. Numerical results indicate that small-size segments such as secondary branches feature a relatively higher failure risk in a low wind level, and a relatively lower failure risk in a high wind level owing to windward shrinks. Besides, the trunk of Plane tree is the segment most likely to be damaged than other segments in case of high winds. The failure position tends to occur at the connection between trunk and primary branches, where the logical protections and reinforcement measures can be implemented for mitigating the wind damage.


Supported by : Ministry of Science and Technology of China, Central Universities of China


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