Tree Monitoring

Tree Identification and Information

For best results, tree monitoring should occur at least twice a year.  Once in early Spring and once in late Autumn.  This will make sure you are monitoring the tree at different points in its growing cycle.  During each monitoring time, recording a tree's location, scientific name, type, height, diameter and general appearance is very important.  Trees grow and change over time and the measurements and observations you are making help record the history of a tree's growth.  This monitoring will help you recognize and track changes to a tree's overall health and make it easier for you to make management decisions that are in the best interest of the tree.  

Tree Number
Locate the colored tree tag hanging from the tree and record the number written on the tag in the "Tree Number" blank on the data entry page. 

Tree Name  
Using the tree guide in your field box, do your best to identify the tree you are measuring.  Be sure to look at the bark, branch tips, leaves, berries, and blooms to correctly identify the tree.  Once you have identified the tree, record the common name and scientific name in the "Common Name"  and "Scientific Name" blank on the data entry page.

          Common Name:  Tulip Tree
          Scientific Name:  Liriodendron tulipifera  



Tree Type

Deciduous Tree

A deciduous tree is a tree that loses all its leaves some time during the year usually late Fall or early Winter.  Some examples include oak trees, maple trees, and beech trees.


Coniferous Tree

A coniferous tree is a tree that has needles and produces seeds in cones.  Some examples include fir trees, cedar trees, and popular pine Christmas trees!


Tree Height

Use the stadia rod to measure tree height. 

Begin by holding the stadia rod as close to the trunk of the tree as possible, with the red side facing you and the bottom of the rod flat against the ground. 

Start at the TOP and pull the first section up until you hear a "click". You have reached the end of the first section.  Continue by raising the next section until you either hear another "click" or the tip of the rod reaches the top of the tree. 

Once you have reached the top of the tree, record the measurement below.  Your tree height measurement is the number that is located on the section you were raising just above the next section to be raised.   


Be sure to include units of measure used (cm, in, or ft).
Tree Diameter

To measure tree diameter, FIRST try the caliper measurement.
  If the calipers are too small to fit around the trunk of the tree, use the dbh tape measurement instead.

Caliper Measurement:
With the ruler,  measure 10cm up the base of the tree.  Use the calipers to measure the diameter of the tree at 10cm.  The caliper measures in both centimeters and inches.  Make sure the centimeter side is facing up.  Take the caliper measurement in centimeters and record that number in the "Tree Diameter" blank below.
Dbh Tape Measurement:
If the calipers are too small, measure the diameter of the tree at chest height with the dbh tape.  Using the side of the dbh tape that reads "Diameter in centimetres and millimetres" wrap the tape all the way around the tree.  Where the beginning and end of the tape overlap at the point of the arrow, record that number in the "Tree Diameter" blank below. 


Be sure to include units of measure used (cm, in, or ft)
Tree Appearance
Healthy Tree

Marks on Bark
Broken Branches

Bird Nest
Squirrel Nest

Soil Erosion around Roots

Insect/Fungus Damage

Human Damage
Soil Compaction

Look at the soil around the roots. Compacted soil is difficult to dig up with a shovel and will have very little plant growth.  If there are no plants growing near the base of the tree.  You have compacted soil. 


Check all that apply.