Tree Monitoring 2

Environmental Observations

  It is also important to note the environment (both living and nonliving) in which the tree is growing.  Changes in sunlight, shade, and surrounding plant growth can have a strong impact on the growth of a tree.  Decrease in sunlight, increase in shade, increased numbers of plants growing around the base of a tree, increased number of plants growing tall above the tree can all have a negative impact on the growth of a tree.  Monitoring environmental changes closely 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. 

Understory Vegetation

Understory vegetation refers to the plants (smaller trees, bushes, shrubs, wildflowers) that are living and growing under the taller trees in a forest. 



Scan the forest area around your tree.  Do you see understory vegetation?  Look to the sky... are there trees towering over the tree you are measuring?   If you answered, "yes", then understory vegetation is present and your tree is a part of that understory!

Estimate the average height of the understory vegetation and record that number in centimeters in the "Height of vegetation" blank below.  

Finally, estimate the percentage of your tree that is surrounded by the other understory vegetation.  Return to the data entry page and select the best number from the drop down menu.



Shade to Sunlight Ratio

A shade to sunlight ratio, compares the amount of your  tree that is shaded to the amount of your tree that is in the sunlight.  This is important because all trees need sunlight to produce energy to live.  If your tree is not getting enough sunlight, or is covered in too much shade, it may not be able to produce enough energy to live.  Look at your tree for areas that are in the shade.... Look at your tree for areas that are in the sunlight.  Take a guess at the approximate percentage (out of 100%) of your tree that is covered with shade and with sunlight.  Record your two numbers in the blanks provided below. For example, your tree may be 40% covered in shade and 60% covered in sunlight. Whatever your guess, together  your two numbers must equal 100%.