Standing Deadwood

Utilising hyperspectral and true colour imagery to minimise the risk of falling deadwood.

by | Apr 23, 2019 | Forestry

Dr Chloe Barnes

Head of Remote Sensing


Chloe joined the 2Excel Geo team in 2017, following the completion of her PhD in Remote Sensing. She is a domain expert in tree disease detection using spectral imaging and LiDAR techniques from airborne platforms and is an experienced data analyst.

Standing deadwood is a term used to describe dead trees or branches that still remain rooted into the ground. Trees displaying these characteristics can also be referred to as snags.

Standing deadwood can be attributed to a whole range of causal factors including old age over over-maturity, pests or diseases, animal browsing or storm damage.

Identifying standing deadwood can be particular important with regard to managing the risk of trees to public and property. This is due to the face that standing dead trees or branches typically have a higher risk of failure, especially in high winds or storm events.

On the other hand, deadwood also provides essential habitat for a range wildlife including birds and insects. As a result, land managers and tree officers often have to strike a fine balance between managing health and safety and promoting conservation and biodiversity.

To manage risks posed by standing deadwood, decision making should be informed by complete and accurate data.

High resolution imagery acquired from aircraft can provide detailed information to facilitate the detection of standing deadwood at the induvial tree scale.

Additional risk factors such as tree height and distances from roads, pathways and buildings can also be factored into the analysis to inform management decisions.

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