HAVE YOU EVER WANTED to learn how to measure a tree? Are you a bigtree hunter hoping to improve your measuring technique? Or a gadget-loving naturalist who’d like to get your hands on some of the most sophisticated measuring tools out there? If so, we’ve got an opportunity for you.

Using the TruPulse laser rangefinder

Using the TruPulse laser rangefinder; Credit: Paul Adkins

American Forests has teamed up with Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI), world leader in professional measurement lasers, to host a three-part webinar series on tree measurement, and you’re invited! The webinar series, Measurement Tools & Techniques, will feature expert guest speakers affiliated with the National Big Tree program. Continuing Forestry Education credits will be granted for each webinar through the Society of American Foresters.

And it gets even better. Attend all three sessions and you’ll be automatically entered to win a TruPulse 360 laser! Don’t delay — the first webinar is on May 20. Register and learn more at www. americanforests.org/webinar2014.

MAY 20 — Measurement Tools & Techniques Part 1: Crown Spread
Crown spread is often the first sign of a tree’s size. Laser rangefinders and clinometers can be used to measure the crown spread of tree, especially trees with high canopies. This webinar will cover the two-diameter method, spoke method and common obstacles when measuring crown spread.

MAY 27 — Measurement Tools & Techniques Part 2: Circumference
In this webinar, you will learn how to measure the girth of a tree on a flat surface, a tree on sloping ground and a tree that leans. This webinar will also go over various considerations and tests of form, such as bark inclusion or pith, when determining if you are measuring a single tree or multiple trees.

JUNE 3 — Measurement Tools & Techniques Part 3: Height
One aspect of a tree’s growth that can be hard to measure is tree height. National champion trees may be 30 feet tall or 300 feet tall. In this webinar, you will learn how to measure the height of trees and the best tools for each method. The webinar will cover the simple stick method as well as more advanced tangent and sine methods of measuring height.

Forestry measurement tools by Laser Technology, Inc.

Forestry measurement tools by Laser Technology, Inc.; Credit: Paul Adkins

AS EXCITING AS THE WEBINAR SERIES IS, it’s not the only reason American Forests is pleased to be partnering with LTI. Together, we have also created a unique grant program to help state big tree program coordinators and certifiers upgrade their equipment to more accurately measure current and potential champion trees. The American Forests – Laser Tech Grant will distribute up to 10 refurbished TruPulse 360 compass laser rangefinders valued at $1,000 each.

Tens of thousands of professionals, from foresters to electric utilities, use LTI lasers every day to measure heights, clearances, slopes, azimuths, spans between two tree features and much more. All raw measurements and calculated solutions from the laser can import into most GPS and GIS handheld data collectors for remote positioning and mapping purposes.

We’re pleased that this partnership will bring this sophisticated technology to programs that need it most. Last year, we assembled the Big Tree Measuring Guidelines Working Group to update the current measuring guidelines and establish techniques everyone can use when nominating national contenders. Equipping state programs with the tools necessary to measure trees accurately and consistently is another important step in our ongoing effort to elevate the scientific foundation of the program.

To learn more about American Forests’ partnership with LTI, including the upcoming webinars, visit www.americanforests.org/forestry-measurement-tools.