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Maximum and Largest Crown Width Equations for 15 Tree Species in Maine

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An extensive statewide data set for seven conifer and eight hardwood species commonly occurring in Maine was used in the development of maximum and largest crown width equations. To establish the characteristics of open-grown trees, quantile regression was used to estimate the biological maximum crown width for a species at a given diameter. To predict crown widths of trees in forested settings, a constrained nonlinear equation was used, using the predicted maximum crown width, tree diameter, and crown ratio. The models performed well across the wide range of stand conditions present in the data set and improved predictions over the currently used crown width equations for most species (reduction of mean absolute error ranged from 1 to 23%). In general, predictions of largest crown width were not greatly improved with the inclusion of crown ratio, and there was a high amount of unexplained variation for shade-tolerant hardwood species, such as American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum). The equations presented herein can be used in examining tree crown profiles, computing measurements of stand density, and investigating canopy dynamics for species common to the forests of Maine.

Keywords: crown diameter; crown profile; open grown; quantile regression

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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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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