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Comparison of Field Methods and Models to Estimate Mean Crown Diameter

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The direct measurement of crown diameters with logger's tapes adds significantly to the cost of extensive forest inventories. We undertook a study of 100 trees to compare this measurement method to four alternatives—two field instruments, ocular estimates, and regression models. Using the taping method as the standard of comparison, accuracy of the tested alternatives was adequate for softwood species, but short of the specified measurement quality objective for estimating the mean crown diameter of hardwoods. Due to savings in field costs, ocular estimation and regression models were the best alternatives to direct measurement with logger's tapes.

Keywords: Tree crown width; crown diameter measurement; crown diameter models; tree crown diameter

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, P.O. Box 2680 Asheville, NC, 28802, 2: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, 1992 Folwell Avenue, St. Paul, MN, 55108,

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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