An inventory of large trees along the canopy
roads was completed in 2004, paid for in part by a grant from the Florida
Division of Forestry. The purpose of the inventory was to provide a "snapshot"
in time of the large canopy road trees.
Trees are typically measured in "Diameter at Breast Height" (DBH) which has been
standardized at 54" above the ground. Trees greater than 17" DBH within 20 feet
or the road were inventoried. Larger trees contribute the most to the canopy
effect. They also are older and may be more likely to develop problems as they
Six aspects of each tree were measured. They were location, species, DBH,
height, condition, and whether power lines were present. The location of each
tree is very specific, using Global Position System (GPS) equipment to locate
and map each tree. The species of tree is important in understanding how
different tree species are distributed across the canopy road system. The DBH of
each tree tells us about the contribution of that tree to the canopy, and also
is an indicator of age. The height contributes to this same understanding. The
condition rating of the tree relates to its health, as well as its structure.
The condition can be an indication of needed pruning or intervention to prolong
the life of the tree. It can also indicate that the tree has structural
deficiencies and that it should be removed. The presence or absence of power
lines helps indicate how the tree could affect power lines and how power line
pruning could affect the tree. Although the inventory is not complete, the
statistics generated give a good indication of how many large trees are out
there and how they can be managed to sustain the canopy.
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