Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

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Drs. David Kulhavy, Daniel Unger, and I-Kuai Hung are faculty members leading research in the field of urban forestry, using the latest technology to potentially revolutionize the way urban tree measurements are taken. Estimating tree height has been a critical component of forest inventory assessments for decades.  Although estimating tree height on site is relatively straight forward, the ability to estimate tree height for multiple individual trees or stands of trees over remote and expansive areas can be time consuming and expensive. Their research, currently being reviewed for publication by the Journal of Forestry, found that Pictometry®, an aerial image capture process that displays digital aerial imagery within a web-based interface, was effective at estimating tree height within seconds and proved more accurate than historical results obtained with a clinometer, laser range finder, or Lidar data.  In addition, crown shape, which can add difficulty in assessing tree height on site, is not an issue with Pictometry®. The web-based interface allows for a visual assessment of the top of a tree crown within an open grown urban setting. Estimating height of open grown urban trees using the Pictometry® web-based interface could supplement or replace time consuming field-based tree height estimation in the field of urban forestry. 

Click the image above to watch the professors discuss Pictometry's applications and obtain accurate tree measurements in a matter of seconds.