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Crown-Condition Classification Tutorial. (Revised January 2008). Why Crowns?. To assess tree vigor and growth potential Early warning sign of tree health deterioration Crowns form the structural architecture of forests Crowns influence understory flora and fauna

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slide3

Why Crowns?

  • To assess tree vigor and growth potential
  • Early warning sign of tree health deterioration
  • Crowns form the structural architecture of forests
  • Crowns influence understory flora and fauna
  • To assess individuals, ecosystems, states, regions
slide4

Crown Variables

  • Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio
  • Crown Position
  • Crown Light Exposure
  • Crown Density
  • Crown Dieback
  • Foliage Transparency
  • Sapling Vigor Class
slide5

Size Classes of Trees

  • Seedlings
    • <1.0-inch DBH/DRC
  • Saplings
    • 1 inch to 4.9 inches DBH/DRC
  • Trees
    • 5 inches + DBH/DRC
slide6

Crown Variables

  • Both Saplings and Trees
    • Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio
    • Crown Position
    • Crown Light Exposure
  • Trees Only
    • Crown Density
    • Crown Dieback
    • Foliage Transparency
  • Saplings Only
    • Crown Vigor Class
slide7

FIA Plot Configuration

Macroplot-trees

Subplot-trees

Microplot-saplings

slide8

Definitions

  • Live branch

Woody lateral growth supporting foliage and larger than 1 inch at the base just above the swelling where it joins the main stem.

slide9

Definitions

  • Twig

Woody lateral growth with secondary branching and less than 1 inch in diameter at the point of attachment to a branch or crown stem.

slide10

Definitions

  • Sprig

Woody or non-woody lateral growth without secondary branching and less than 1 inch.

slide11

Definitions

  • Snag branch

Dead upper crown branches without fine twigs.

slide12

Definitions

  • Epicormic branches

Woody or non-woody lateral growths, usually on the bole or crown stem and initiated by sudden exposure or loss of crown stem.

slide13

Definitions

  • Crown Outline

Outline

Exclude abnormally long branches

definitions
Definitions

Crown Top

  • Crown Top
definitions1
Definitions
  • Obvious Live Crown
  • Obvious Live Crown Base

Obvious Live Crown

Crown Base

slide16

Crown Base

Definitions

  • Live Crown Base, Saplings
slide17

> 5 feet

Definitions

Point 1

  • 5-ft Rule

Point 2

slide18

Definitions

  • 5-ft Rule

Point 1

< 5 ft

Point 2

slide19

Viewing the Crown

Quality Crown Measurements Require…

  • A calibrated eye
  • A positive attitude
  • Good weather and daylight
  • 2 certified crown raters working as a crew
slide21

90o

Viewing the Crown

½ to 1 tree length away

View from grade level or upslope

slide22

Viewing the Crown

  • Separate the subject from other trees
  • Rate the whole crown, not just the easiest part to see
slide23

Viewing the Crown

DON’T stand under the tree to make your ratings.

DON’T stand at 180o from your partner.

field aid
Field Aid
  • Useful for…Live Crown RatioCrown DensityFoliage Transparency
slide25

Crown Variables

  • Both Saplings and Trees
    • Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio
    • Crown Position
    • Crown Light Exposure
  • Trees Only
    • Crown Density
    • Crown Dieback
    • Foliage Transparency
  • Saplings Only
    • Crown Vigor Class
slide26

X

X

Y

Y

ULCR = X/Y(100)

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

slide27

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

  • Determine the LIVE TOP of the tree (dieback & dead branches excluded)
  • Establish the OBVIOUS LIVE CROWN BASE
  • Determine the ACTUAL LENGTH of the tree (same as defined in the Phase 2 field guide)
  • Express the length of the Obvious Live Crown as a PERCENTAGE of the Actual Length
  • Agree on best answer with your partner or average and record to the nearest percent
slide28

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

For trees:

The Obvious Live Crown includes foliage and branches down to the lowest foliage of the lowest 1-inch branch.

slide29

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

For trees:

The 5-foot, 1-inch rule

<5 feet; include

New Live

Crown Base

>5 feet; exclude

>1 inch

slide30

?

?

?

?

>5 feet, >1 inch

ULCR = 50 - 75%?

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

slide31

35%

50%

75%

Include leafed twigs

Exclude sprigs

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

For saplings:

The Obvious Live Crown includes twigs, but not sprigs.

slide32

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

X

X/Y(100)

Y

Obvious Live Crown (X) excludes dieback.

Actual Length (Y) includes dieback.

slide33

Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio

Epicormic branches:

If tree or sapling crown contains only epicormics, ULCR = 00

slide34

Crown Position

  • The relative position of each tree in relation to the main overstory canopy

Four Codes:

  • Superstory
  • Overstory
  • Understory
  • Open Grown
slide35

Overstory Canopy Zone

Average Live Crown

Lengths of

overstory trees

slide36

1

2

2

midpoint

2

2

2

3

3

Crown Position

slide37

Crown Position

Open Canopy:

All saplings and trees coded 4

4

4

4

4

slide38

Crown Position

<50% crown cover, > 1 acre in size

Scattered

All coded 4

Clumped

slide39

Crown Position

  • 2 Conditions (> 1 acre in size)
    • >50% crown cover
      • 1=Superstory (Never for saplings)
      • 2=Overstory
      • 3=Understory
    • <50% crown cover
      • 4=Open grown (all saplings/trees)
slide40

Crown Light Exposure

The number of sides of a crown (including the top) that receive sunlight when the sun is directly overhead.

slide42

Crown Light Exposure

In this case, the code for exposure would be 2

slide43

ULCR = 25%

Code as 1

Crown Light Exposure

slide44

3

1 2

0

4

5

Crown Light Exposure

slide45

Crown Variables

  • Both Saplings and Trees
    • Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio
    • Crown Position
    • Crown Light Exposure
  • Trees Only
    • Crown Density
    • Crown Dieback
    • Foliage Transparency
  • Saplings Only
    • Crown Vigor Class
slide46

Codes for 5-percent Classes

  • Crown density, crown dieback and foliage transparency…
    • 00 No Crown
    • 05 1-5%
    • 10 6-10%
    • 15 11-15%
    • … …
    • 99 96-100%
slide47

Crown Density

  • The amount of crown branches, foliage, and reproductive structures that block light visibility through the crown
slide50

plywood

Density: 100%

Crown Density

slide51

Density: 50%

Crown Density

slide52

Crown Density

Density: 50%

slide53

Crown Density

Density: 25%

slide54

Crown Density

Density: 25%

slide55

Crown Density

Density: 55%

slide56

Crown Density

Density: 35%

slide57

Crown Density

Dead, no density estimate necessary!

If there was some green, then….

Density: 20%

slide58

Crown Density

Oval shape

Density 65%

slide59

Crown Density

Conical shape

Density 80%

slide60

Crown Density

Fan-shaped crown

Density 75%

slide61

Crown Dieback

  • Recent mortality of branches with fine twigs
  • Begins at the terminal portion of a branch and proceeds downward and inward towards the crown stem
  • Only considered when in the upper and outer portions of the crown
slide63

Crown Dieback

  • Must be recent
  • Fine twigs attached
slide64

Crown Dieback

Dieback?

Exclude coarse, stubby dead branches

slide65

Crown Dieback

Dieback: 35%

slide66

Crown Dieback

Dieback: 15%

slide67

Crown Dieback

Dieback: 25%

slide68

Crown Dieback

Dieback: 75%

slide69

Foliage Transparency

  • The amount of skylight visible through the live, normally foliated portion of the crown
slide70

Defoliation

Transparency Outline

Foliage Transparency

slide71

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 20%

slide72

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 25%

slide73

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 5%

slide74

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 10%

slide75

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 20%

slide76

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 50%

slide77

Foliage Transparency

Transparency 15%

Ignore dieback

slide78

Foliage Transparency

  • Ignore Dieback
  • Include Defoliation
  • Complete defoliation

=99 (not 0!)

  • Transparency 70%
slide79

Include dead branches, dieback and/or missing top

Include gaps

for symmetry

Crown Outline for Density

slide80

Crown Outline for Dieback

Include live foliage and recent dieback

slide81

Crown Outline for Transparency

Include live foliage only

slide82

Crown Outline for Transparency

If large gaps, average transparency across foliated segments

slide83

Crown Variables

  • Both Saplings and Trees
    • Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio
    • Crown Position
    • Crown Light Exposure
  • Trees Only
    • Crown Density
    • Crown Dieback
    • Foliage Transparency
  • Saplings Only
    • Crown Vigor Class
slide84
3 Crown Vigor Classes:

Vigor Class 1 – High

Vigor Class 2 – Moderate

Vigor Class 3 – Low

Sapling Vigor Class

Rating Factors:

  • Uncompacted Live Crown Ratio
  • Dieback
  • Percent Normal Foliage
slide85

Sapling Vigor Class

Normal foliage

  • Individual leaf has > 50% of the surface area present and free of damage
slide86

Sapling Vigor Class

Abnormal foliage

  • Individual leaf has < 50% of the surface area present and free of damage.
slide87

Sapling Vigor Class

Abnormal foliage

  • Dead leaves count as abnormal foliage
  • Recent dieback counts as abnormal foliage
slide88

Sapling Vigor Class

50% Normal foliage

slide89

Sapling Vigor Class

95% Normal foliage

slide90

Sapling Vigor Class

  • Vigor Class 1
    • > 80% normal foliage
    • ULCR > 35%
    • < 5% dieback
  • Vigor Class 2
    • > 20% normal foliage (can have any ULCR; may or may not have dieback)
  • Vigor Class 3
    • < 20% normal foliage (can have any ULCR; may or may not have dieback)
slide91

Sapling Vigor Class 1

Dieback < 5%

50% ULCR

35% ULCR

ULCR > 35%

< 5% dieback

>80% normal foliage

slide92

Sapling Vigor Class 3

Dieback = abnormal foliage

< 20% normal foliage

slide93

Sapling Vigor Class 2

Dieback

> 20% normal foliage

slide94

Sapling Vigor Class

Normal Foliage: 100%

ULCR: 40%

Dieback: 0

Vigor Class: 1

slide95

Sapling Vigor Class

Normal Foliage: 30%

ULCR: 70%

Dieback: 50%

Vigor Class: 2

slide96

Sapling Vigor Class

Normal Foliage: 0%

ULCR: 60%

Dieback: 5%

Vigor Class: 3

slide98

Special Situations

Leaning Trees

  • Live Crown Ratio
slide99

Special Situations

Leaning Trees

  • Crown Density
slide100

Special Situations

Leaning Trees

  • Crown Position
  • Crown Exposure
slide101

Special Situations

Forked Trees

  • Crown Density
slide102

Special Situations

Actual Length used in

denominator of ULCR

Dead Top

  • Included in ULCR
  • Included in Density Outline
slide103

Special Situations

Missing Top

  • NOT included ULCR
  • Included in Density Outline

Actual Length used in

denominator of ULCR

slide104

Special Situations

  • Coding for trees/saplings with only epicormics or sprigs:
      • ULCR = 00
      • Light Exposure = 0
      • Position = 3 (or 4)
      • Density = 00
      • Dieback = 99
      • Transparency = 99
slide105

Special Situations

Species with delayed development of 1-inch branches:

  • These small branches are

part of the obvious live

crown (i.e., not epicormics)

  • 5-ft. rule may be applied
slide107

http://srsfia2.fs.fed.us/crowns/index.shtml

Crown Indicator Homepage

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