Healthy trees adjust to experienced force by changing how they produce new wood. Current industry Best Management Practices and Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) training materials highlight the importance of response growth as a potential indicator of both tree weakness and compensation for that weakness. Despite an emphasis placed on this latter role, both references acknowledge that the industry has few guidelines for evaluating the impact response growth in compensating for structural defects such as injury and decay. In this project, two types of trees, southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and pin oak (Quercus palustris), were intentionally wounded at various levels of severity. The progression of decay, wound response, and how the damage impacts the mechanical strength of each tree is being measured regularly over a five-year period. Results will be used to better inform risk assessments which follow the ISA Tree Risk BMP/Tree Risk Assessment Qualification recommendations.