By Caroline Brooks, Communications Intern

Big tree hunting just got easier for ten programs, thanks to the American Forests and LTI grant.

This year, American Forests partnered with Laser Technology, Inc. (LTI) for the first time to issue 10 refurbished TruPulse 360 compass laser rangefinders to a group of state big tree programs from across the country.

Lasers are used to accurately and consistently measure trees, an essential process when state programs receive nominations to The National Big Tree Register. Each of the recipient programs has a history of commitment to the National Big Tree Program, and American Forests and LTI agreed that their programs would benefit from the grant. Recipients include:

  • Alaska State Register of Big Trees — Don Bertolette
  • California Register of Big Trees — Matt Ritter
  • Connecticut’s Notable Trees — Frank Kaputa
  • Florida Champion Tree Program — Steve Lloyd
  • Iowa Big Tree Program — Emma Hanigan
  • Missouri’s Big Tree Program — Donna Baldwin
  • New Hampshire Big Tree Program — Kamalendu Nath
  • Ohio Big Tree Program — Lisa Bowers
  • Oregon Champion Tree Registry — Will Koomjian
  • Virginia Big Tree Program — Eric Wiseman

Here is how some of the grant winners will use their laser rangefinders to enhance their big tree programs:

The laser rangefinder will help the program remeasure and verify current records as well as measure newly nominated big trees. This information will help contribute to our efforts to create a statewide database of big trees in California. We hope the rangefinder will help us to attain complete information for every big tree record in the registry. — Matt Ritter

We expect a laser rangefinder would improve our program by making tree measuring an easier and more accurate task than it currently is… Also, comparing side-by-side measurements of laser rangefinders and clinometers, we might develop better methods of measuring using our existing tools. — Frank Kaputa

Once we show how well the TruPulse 360 can work in an urban environment, chances are I will be able to make the case for equipping all our urban foresters in the future, or at least provide one big tree measuring kit for each of our 8 regions in the state. — Donna Baldwin

A laser rangefinder will improve the accuracy of our tree measurements and the integrity of our database. This will foster positive public perceptions of our program and keep citizens engaged with us. — Eric Wiseman

American Forests congratulates all of the LTI grant recipients. We are thrilled to see how the TruPulse® 360 compass laser rangefinders will benefit these big tree programs!