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Individual Highlight

A New Tool for Detecting and Attributing Cause of Tree Decline

Photo of Tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada National Forest, California. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Tree mortality in the Sierra Nevada National Forest, California. U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.Snapshot : Insects and pathogens generally first kill branches at the top of a tree, whereas drought affects the lower branches first. Unlike satellite imagery, high-resolution imagery collected via small aircraft can detect these differences. This information, gathered over vast areas, helps land managers identify trees at risk of dying and reasons for the decline, and take action accordingly.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Grulke, Nancy E. 
Research Location : California
Research Station : Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW)
Year : 2016
Highlight ID : 1188

Summary

Because of its coarse scale, satellite imagery cannot detect patterns within tree mortality, nor identify individual trees. High-resolution imagery collected via small aircraft, however, can be used toidentify imminent individual tree mortality. The high-resolution imagary can be used to indentify individual trees in decline and patterns of crown mortality, which can be used to determine the cause for the decline. Forestry professionals can use this methodology to help target at-risk trees for removal during forest restoration activities.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Nature Conservancy

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